Written answers

Thursday, 4 July 2024

Department of Education and Skills

Departmental Staff

Photo of Richard BrutonRichard Bruton (Dublin Bay North, Fine Gael)
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273. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the numbers deployed in her strategic policy unit; the priority issues upon which they are working; their publications over the past three years; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28682/24]

Photo of Norma FoleyNorma Foley (Kerry, Fianna Fail)
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The Central Policy Unit has a staff compliment of 17. The Unit supports the work of individual policy units across a number of cross-cutting areas and ensures a whole-of-government approach, representing the Department on multiple Inter-Departmental working groups and committees. The Unit also has a role in coordinating the strategic approach to research activity across the department and aegis bodies, ensuring strategic alignment and dissemination of research across the sector.

In addition to the work above, the Unit also includes the Irish Government Economic and Evaluation Service staff – who provide economic evaluation and policy analysis advice to individual units – with current priorities including School Transport Review, Free Books Scheme, at both Primary and Junior Cycle and teacher’s pay expenditure drivers.

The staff compliment also includes Legal Services Unit – which is responsible for the provision of legal advice through three seconded legal advisors. Legal Services also manages the State Claims Agency account on behalf of the Department and liaises with the Chief Whip’s Office to support the Government Legislation Committee Meetings and the Legislative Programmes.

Through its work on interdepartmental groups and committees, the Central Policy Unit actively contributes to the development and implementation of a range of national strategies including the National Drug Strategy, the National Women and Girls Strategy, the National Disability Inclusion Strategy, the LGBTI+ Inclusion Strategy, the National Biodiversity Strategy, and Young Ireland.

In addition to supporting the areas listed above, the Unit’s own direct publications are; Trends in Teacher Substitution (July 2021) and Teacher Allocations: Developing a Model for Mainstream Teacher Projections (July 2021).


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