Written Answers. - Resource Teachers.

Seamus Brennan


438 Mr. S. Brennan asked the Minister for Education when she will allocate the additional resource teachers promised earlier in 1996 for primary schools with special needs; the number of resource teachers that will be allocated; the reason for the delay in allocating such teachers in view of the fact that their allocation was announced several months ago; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16697/96]

Éamon Ó Cuív


446 Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Education whether she intends to appoint extra resource or remedial teachers in County Galway in 1996; the schools which will be provided with this service in 1996; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16865/96]

I propose taking Questions Nos. 438 and 446 together.

My capacity to allocate resource or remedial teacher posts in any year is determined by resource availability and the level of competing demand from other special needs areas. As Minister for Education, I have to consider how best to deploy available resources across a wide range of special needs, including resource and remedial teacher needs.

The process of determining the number of additional posts available for allocation to special needs areas for the current school year has only recently been finalised. This is because the determination in question needed to have regard to the needs of pupils enrolled in September, 1996.

The process of assessing needs and selecting schools for receipt of these posts is now at an advanced stage. The outcome is likely to include schools serving children with disabilities on a fully integrated basis for whom a resource teacher allocation would be the most appropriate response. However, in view of the significant increase in remedial teacher allocations of recent years, it is not my intention to allocate remedial teachers to primary schools in the current school year.
The precise number of resource teacher posts involved will be determined by an assessment of need at individual school level. Current indications suggest that in the order of ten such posts will be involved.
I expect to be in a position to announce precise details of post allocations to special needs pupils shortly.