Written Answers. - Special Educational Needs.

John McGuinness

Question:

163 Mr. McGuinness asked the Minister for Education and Science if a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny will be given an extra year in St. Patrick's special school, Kells Road, Kilkenny, while waiting on the new unit to be established; if the special circumstances of this case can be examined without delay and the appropriate arrangements put in place; if the transport arrangements for this person can be resolved as part of the examination of this case; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15157/02]

The Department of Health and Children has direct responsibility for provision for young adults over 18 years of age with special needs. My Department provides funding towards the education component in the individual's programme in this context.

Special schools are designated as primary schools and are designed to cater for children with special needs from four years of age until the end of the school year in which they reach their 18th birthday. An extension of the period of attendance beyond this point will only be granted in exceptional circumstances.

My officials will liaise with the health authorities regarding the case referred to by the Deputy and contact will be made with the parents as quickly as possible.
Question No. 164 answered with Question No. 153.