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Higher Education Authority Bill 2022: Report and Final Stages (22 Jun 2022)

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin: I move amendment No. 18: In page 17, between lines 6 and 7, to insert the following: “(n) to freely express its views on matters concerning the higher education sector,”.

Higher Education Authority Bill 2022: Report and Final Stages (22 Jun 2022)

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin: I move amendment No. 19: In page 17, between lines 9 and 10, to insert the following: “(o) advise the Minister in relation to the adequacy of the level of public funding that is made available for higher education and to advise on future funding requirements,”.

Higher Education Authority Bill 2022: Report and Final Stages (22 Jun 2022)

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin: I move amendment No. 24: In page 18, between lines 32 and 33, to insert the following: “Direction and guidelines to be published 13. The Minister shall cause to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas and to be published on the Minister’s website⁠— (a) any direction issued under section 11, and (b) any guidelines issued under section 12.”.

Higher Education Authority Bill 2022: Report and Final Stages (22 Jun 2022)

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin: I will address amendment No. 19. We suggest that, between lines 9 and 10 of page 17, it be included that one of the functions of an tÚdarás shall be to "advise the Minister in relation to the adequacy of the level of public funding that is made available for higher education and to advise on future funding requirements". All of these amendments are on a similar theme. Amendment...

Higher Education Authority Bill 2022: Report and Final Stages (22 Jun 2022)

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin: My amendments are Nos. 14, 15, 17, 18 and 50. Amendment No. 14 states, under the broad heading of "Academic freedom", that "Nothing in this Act shall be construed as modifying or restricting the principle of academic freedom as provided for in section 14 of the Universities Act 1997.” Amendment No. 15 inserts on page 16 between lines 3 and 4 "support and recognise the application of...

Higher Education Authority Bill 2022: Report and Final Stages (22 Jun 2022)

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin: I appreciate the point the Minister makes on amendment No. 18. There is nothing in the Bill that precludes an institution expressing its view but we are trying to say here that having it explicitly referenced in the Bill gives more cover to somebody who was minded to express their views.

Higher Education Authority Bill 2022: Report and Final Stages (22 Jun 2022)

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin: I support the amendment. The point about teacher training is well made. Most teachers are now trained by a private online training college, which is owned by a book company. The Minister was in my part of the world not long ago at the Marino Institute of Education. When we are trying to change the nature of teaching and teachers, ensure the teaching profession is reflective of the...

Written Answers — Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Irish Aid (21 Jun 2022)

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin: 449. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade when the Rapid Response Corps Panel will be open for new applicants; if the existing panel members will have to reapply when applications for a new panel are opened; if not, if they will be automatically enrolled if they wish; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32489/22]

Written Answers — Department of Education and Skills: Scoileanna DEIS (21 Jun 2022)

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin: 540. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the number of DEIS primary schools that are due to lose teaching staff for the 2022-2023 academic year. [31881/22]

Written Answers — Department of Education and Skills: Scoileanna DEIS (21 Jun 2022)

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin: 541. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the number of DEIS primary schools that will lose teaching staff for the 2022-2023 academic year due to being one pupil short of the relevant threshold. [31882/22]

Written Answers — Department of Education and Skills: School Staff (21 Jun 2022)

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin: 542. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the total number of appeals lodged by primary schools that are due to lose teaching staff for the 2022-2023 academic year; and the number of successful appeals. [31883/22]

Written Answers — Department of Education and Skills: State Examinations (21 Jun 2022)

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin: 558. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills when the State certificates promised to students whose junior certificate exams were cancelled in 2020 will be issued; the reason for the two-year delay in issuing them; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32100/22]

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills: Revised Criteria for Qualifications of Special Needs Assistants: Discussion (21 Jun 2022)

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin: I welcome the Minister of State. I congratulate Fórsa and the individual SNAs who have brought this conversation to the heart of the Houses of the Oireachtas today. It shows the power of joining a union. The tag line or slogan the SNAs are using is "Respect for SNAs". In my work in this area over several years, the lack of respect has become clear to me. I wish to link this back to...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills: Revised Criteria for Qualifications of Special Needs Assistants: Discussion (21 Jun 2022)

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin: It was explained to me that the Department still, in effect, views the SNA role as a scheme, rather than as something more permanent. Can the Minister of State speak to that? If it is the case, which I believe it is, that needs to be changed.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills: Revised Criteria for Qualifications of Special Needs Assistants: Discussion (21 Jun 2022)

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin: They do.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills: Revised Criteria for Qualifications of Special Needs Assistants: Discussion (21 Jun 2022)

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin: As I said and has been repeated since, I congratulate Fórsa and the individual SNAs who have brought this conversation to heart of the Oireachtas and demanded responses from everybody in the Oireachtas, from every political party, from every political entity and from the Minister and the Minister of State as well. This is to their credit. The opening remarks placed great emphasis on...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills: Revised Criteria for Qualifications of Special Needs Assistants: Discussion (21 Jun 2022)

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin: Will one of the SNA witnesses comment on the scheme and the insecurity they have spoken about when it comes to mortgage repayments, rent payments and so on? How can they have security in their lives if the job is so insecure from year to year?

Special Educational Needs: Statements (16 Jun 2022)

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin: The Minister of State knows we already had a debate on many of these issues on Tuesday night. I will expand my comments to address some of the issues within the system. The Minister of State will know that not every school is the same. As has been mentioned, there are a cohort of students in some schools who are particularly vulnerable and needy. There may be intergenerational...

Written Answers — Department of Education and Skills: School Staff (15 Jun 2022)

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin: 144. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if her attention has been drawn to the impact that the pandemic has had on the ability of substitute teachers to qualify for the supplementary panel on the basis of hours worked due to their loss of 65 available days during the school closure in 2020; if she will consider awarding a proportion of the 65 days for which schools were closed to...

Special Educational Needs School Places: Motion [Private Members] (14 Jun 2022)

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin: I thank Deputy Ó Laoghaire for tabling the motion. It is important that we reflect on the life of a family with a child with autism, the news of a diagnosis, the challenge of it and getting used to it. They then have to deal with the system and the long waiting lists for assessment and interventions. It can take 36 months in some cases. I have been dealing with families who have been...

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