Tuesday, 27 January 2004

Questions (454)

Fergus O'Dowd

Question:

569 Mr. O'Dowd asked the Minister for Education and Science why resource teaching hours for special needs students were reduced by approximately one third for a school (details supplied) in County Louth; and if he has any plans to improve on this allocation. [2202/04]

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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. The relevant school authorities apply to my Department for such support. Each application is considered on the basis of the assessed needs of the pupils involved and the nature and level of support provided is determined on the advice of the psychological service.

For this school year my Department has allocated 2.08 whole-time equivalent teacher posts and three whole-time special needs assistant posts to the school in question to cater for students with special educational needs. This allocation was based on the assessed needs of students attending the school for whom support was sought. It also had regard to the overall level of resources already available to the school to address such needs. In the 2002-03 school year my Department allocated 1.62 whole-time equivalent teacher posts and three whole-time special needs assistant posts to the school to cater for students with special needs.