Written Answers. - Special Educational Needs.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

88 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Science if he will review the level of assistance which will be offered to a person (details supplied) in County Kildare in view of the fact that they receive double the assistance at primary level than that promised to them when they attend Scoil Dara in September 2003; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17284/03]

My Department recently received an application from the school referred to by the Deputy for an increase in the resource teaching and special needs assistant support granted by my Department for the child in question. This application has been forwarded to the national educational psychological service for its recommendation. As soon as the report of the psychological service is received and considered, the school authority will be notified of the outcome of its application.

John McGuinness

Question:

89 Mr. McGuinness asked the Minister for Education and Science if permission will be given to a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny to continue their care for a special needs person for one further year, that is, one year beyond their retirement, in view of the relationship they have established with the person over five years and the fact that the latter is now entering leaving certificate year; and if the application for approval made by the CBS Kilkenny, will be expedited and approved in view of the special circumstances of the case. [17285/03]

My Department has recently approved the application of the school concerned for continuation of its special needs assistant posts for the 2003-04 school year. Responsibility for the recruitment and employment of special needs assistants rests with the relevant school authority. Appointments are made on an annual basis. The requirements for appointment to a special needs assistant post stipulate that appointees must be under 65 years of age on 1 September of the year in which they take up appointment. It is not possible to allow exceptions to this requirement in individual cases.