Education Act, 1998


2.—(1) In this Act, except where the context otherwise requires—

“articles of management” means any instruments, relating to the operation and management of schools, as are in operation on the commencement of this Act and as shall be agreed from time to time by patrons of schools, national associations of parents and recognised trade unions and staff associations representing teachers;

“board” means a board of management established under section 14 ;

“centre for education” means a place, other than a school or a place providing university or other third level education, where adult or continuing education or vocational education or training, is provided and which is designated for that purpose under section 10 (4);

“characteristic spirit” means the characteristic spirit referred to in section 15 (2) (b);

“Council” means the body established under section 39 ;

“curriculum” shall be construed in accordance with section 30 ;

“disability” means—

(a) the total or partial loss of a person's bodily or mental functions, including the loss of a part of the person's body, or

(b) the presence in the body of organisms causing, or likely to cause, chronic disease or illness, or

(c) the malfunction, malformation or disfigurement of a part of a person's body, or

(d) a condition or malfunction which results in a person learning differently from a person without the condition or malfunction, or

(e) a condition, illness or disease which affects a person's thought processes, perception of reality, emotions or judgement or which results in disturbed behaviour;

“educational disadvantage” has the meaning assigned by section 32 (9);

“examination” has the meaning assigned to it by section 49 ;

“functions” includes powers and duties;

“Gaeltacht area” means an area for the time being determined to be a Gaeltacht area by order made under section 2 of the Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) Act, 1956 ;

“Inspector” means a member of the Inspectorate;

“Inspectorate” means the Inspectorate appointed under section 13 ;

“Minister” means the Minister for Education and Science;

“national association of parents” means an association or other body of persons established by parents with objects which include representing the views and interests of parents with regard to education and assisting parents in exercising their rights and role in the process of the education of their children, that is—

(a) established and organised on a national basis and has a membership distributed over a substantial part of the State, and

(b) for the time being recognised by the Minister for the purposes of this Act, including the National Parents Council - Primary and the National Parents Council (Post-Primary) Limited, being bodies for the time being so recognised;

“National Council for Curriculum and Assessment” means the body established in accordance with section 39 ;

“parent” includes a foster parent, a guardian appointed under the Guardianship of Children Acts, 1964 to 1997, or other person acting in loco parentis who has a child in his or her care subject to any statutory power or order of a court and, in the case of a child who has been adopted under the Adoption Acts, 1952 to 1998, or, where the child has been adopted outside the State, means the adopter or adopters or the surviving adopter;

“parents' association” means an association to which section 26 applies;

“patron” has the meaning assigned to it by section 8 ;

“prescribed” means prescribed by regulations made by the Minister and cognate words shall be construed accordingly;

“Principal” means a person appointed under section 23 ;

“recognised school” means a school which is recognised by the Minister in accordance with section 10 ;

“recognised school management organisations” means those bodies as may be established for the purpose of representing the interests of persons engaged in the management of schools and which are recognised by the Minister for the purposes of this Act;

“recognised trade union” means a trade union licensed under the Trade Union Acts, 1871 to 1990, that stands recognised for consultation purposes;

“school” means an establishment which—

(a) provides primary education to its students and which may also provide early childhood education, or

(b) provides post-primary education to its students and which may also provide courses in adult, continuing or vocational education or vocational training,

but does not include a school or institution established in accordance with the Children Acts, 1908 to 1989, or a school or institution established or maintained by a health board in accordance with the Health Acts, 1947 to 1996, or the Child Care Act, 1991 ;

“school plan” has the meaning assigned to it by section 21 (1);

“school week” means the period of time during a week when a school is open for the reception of students;

“school year” means such twelve month period commencing on a day that falls between the first day of July and the first day of October in any year as may be prescribed from time to time by the Minister, either generally or in respect of any school or class of school;

“special educational needs” means the educational needs of students who have a disability and the educational needs of exceptionally able students;

“student”, in relation to a school, means a person enrolled at the school and in relation to a centre for education, means a person registered as a student in that centre;

“support services” means the services which the Minister provides to students or their parents, schools or centres for education in accordance with section 7 and shall include any or all of the following:

(a) assessment of students;

(b) psychological services;

(c) guidance and counselling services;

(d) technical aid and equipment, including means of access to schools, adaptations to buildings to facilitate access and transport, for students with special needs and their families;

(e) provision for students learning through Irish sign language or other sign language, including interpreting services;

(f) speech therapy services;

(g) provision for early childhood, primary, post-primary, adult or continuing education to students with special needs otherwise than in schools or centres for education;

(h) teacher welfare services;

(i) transport services;

(j) library and media services;

(k) school maintenance services;

(l) examinations provided for in Part VIII ;

(m) curriculum support and staff advisory services, and

(n) such other services as are specified by this Act or considered appropriate by the Minister;

“teacher” includes a Principal;

“vocational education committee” means a committee established by section 7 of the Vocational Education Act, 1930 .

(2) (a) In this Act a reference to a Part, section or a Schedule is a reference to a Part or section of or a Schedule to this Act, unless it is indicated that a reference to some other Act is intended.

(b) In this Act a reference to a subsection, paragraph or subparagraph is a reference to a subsection, paragraph or subparagraph of the provision in which the reference occurs, unless it is indicated that a reference to some other pro-vision is intended.

(3) A reference in this Act to the performance of functions includes, with respect to powers and duties, a reference to the exercise of powers and the carrying out of duties.