I am happy to clarify the position in regard to the recognition of the higher diploma in remedial and special education course at primary and second levels. At second level, the position is that a fully qualified second level teacher, who successfully completes the higher diploma in remedial and special education course in UCD, is eligible for appointment as a remedial teacher or a resource teacher in a second level school. Second level teachers may be released from their teaching duties to attend the course in question. My Department continues to pay the salary of the teacher for the duration of the course, but the cost of a fully qualified substitute is the responsibility of the teacher.
At primary level, this course has been recognised for the purposes of rule 116 of the Rules for National Schools. Under this arrangement, broadly similar course attendance and substitution provisions apply as at second level. The issue of recognition for teaching purposes does not however, arise.
The issue of the secondment, that is, paid leave of absence for attendance at the course, is being considered in the context of an overall training plan for teachers in the special needs area, which is currently being developed. Officials of my Department have recently met with the relevant UCD authorities in this regard.