Tuesday, 27 January 2004

Questions (426)

Olwyn Enright

Question:

541 Ms Enright asked the Minister for Education and Science the reason resource hours for a person (details supplied) in County Offaly were cut; if these resource hours will be returned; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2086/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Education and Science)

My Department allocates resource teaching support and special needs assistants support to second level schools and vocational educational committees to cater for students with special educational needs. Applications for such support are made to my Department by the relevant school authorities. Each application is considered on the basis of the assessed needs of the pupil or pupils involved and the nature and level of support provided is determined on the advice of the psychological service.

The student in question had previously attended a special class at primary level. Such special classes are dedicated to pupils in particular disability categories and attract the special reduced pupil teacher ratios applicable to such facilities. The student in question is now attending a second level school on an integrated basis where support provided by the individual subject teachers is supplemented by the resource teacher service. An allocation of four hours resource teaching per week has been made available to support the student in question on a shared basis with two other special needs students attending the school.