Written Answers. - Special Educational Needs.

Seán Ryan

Question:

1001 Mr. S. Ryan asked the Minister for Education and Science if he will report on the scheme for assistance for students with dyslexia sitting their leaving certificate exams; the criteria for eligibility for this scheme; the number of students eligible for assistance for the exams in June 1999; the number of students refused assistance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1816/99]

The range of special arrangements granted to candidates with specific learning difficulties are for the purpose of ensuring as far as is practicable that a student with a specific learning difficulty is given every chance to demonstrate his/her ability at the examination. These arrangements are granted on a case by case basis depending on the evidence provided in support of the application and include the use of tape recorders, readers and scribes. Students who are dissatisfied with the arrangements proposed have access to an independent appeal process.

Applications for special arrangements on the grounds of specific learning difficulties in respect of the 1999 examinations are at present under consideration in my Department and the processing of applications will continue right up to examination time. It will not be possible to provide summary data until the process concludes.