Written Answers. - Third Level Courses.

Dan Neville

Question:

619 Mr. Neville asked the Minister for Education and Science if, further to Parliamentary Question No. 246 of 7 June 2000, he will accept that the higher diploma in remedial and special education in University College Dublin has been afforded full recognition by his Department in August 1984 and February 1995; if he has met the Professor of Education at University College Dublin as requested in a letter to him dated 3 June 2000 to clarify a misunderstanding which arose due to the reply to the parliamentary question; if he has considered teacher secondment to this course; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7576/01].

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.