Education Act, 1998

Functions of Minister.

7.—(1) Each of the following shall be a function of the Minister under this Act:

(a) to ensure, subject to the provisions of this Act, that there is made available to each person resident in the State, including a person with a disability or who has other special educational needs, support services and a level and quality of education appropriate to meeting the needs and abilities of that person,

(b) to determine national education policy, and

(c) to plan and co-ordinate—

(i) the provision of education in recognised schools and centres for education, and

(ii) support services.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), each of the following shall be a function of the Minister:

(a) to provide funding to each recognised school and centre for education and to provide support services to recognised schools, centres for education, students, including students who have a disability or who have other special educational needs, and their parents, as the Minister considers appropriate and in accordance with this Act;

(b) to monitor and assess the quality, economy, efficiency and effectiveness of the education system provided in the State by recognised schools and centres for education, having regard to the objects provided for in section 6 and to publish, in such manner as the Minister considers appropriate, information relating to such monitoring and assessment;

(c) to lease land or buildings to any person or body of persons for the purpose of establishing a school without prejudice to the establishment by patrons of schools which are situated on land or in buildings which are not leased to them by the Minister, the extension and further development of such schools when established and the recognition of such schools in accordance with section 10 ;

(d) to provide support services through Irish to recognised schools which provide teaching through Irish and to any other recognised school which requests such provision;

(e) to perform such other functions as are specifically provided for by this Act or any other enactment, and

(f) to do all such acts and things as may be necessary to further the objects for which this Act is enacted.

(3) The Minister shall have all such powers as are necessary or expedient for the purpose of performing his or her functions.

(4) In carrying out his or her functions, the Minister—

(a) shall have regard to—

(i) the resources available,

(ii) the provision for education and training made by other agencies with funds provided by the Oireachtas,

(iii) the need to reflect the diversity of educational services provided in the State, and

(iv) the practices and traditions relating to the organisation of schools or groups of schools existing at the commencement of this Part and the right of schools to manage their own affairs in accordance with this Act and any charters, deeds, articles of management or other such instruments relating to their establishment or operation,


(b) shall make all reasonable efforts to consult with patrons, national associations of parents, parents’ associations in schools, recognised school management organisations, recognised trade unions and staff associations representing teachers and such other persons who have a special interest in or knowledge of matters relating to education, including persons or groups of persons who have a special interest in, or experience of, the education of students with special educational needs, as the Minister considers appropriate.