Thursday, 29 January 2004

Questions (118)

John Perry

Question:

115 Mr. Perry asked the Minister for Education and Science if he has received a submission from the Irish Primary Principal Network with regard to the upcoming Disabilities Bill; the progress he has made in relation to adopting the amendments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2671/04]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for Education and Science)

I have received a submission from the IPPN in relation to the Education for Persons with Disabilities Bill and have considered it in the context of the preparation of amendments for Committee Stage.

I have a number of proposals which will reduce the burden placed on principals and have reiterated the right of principals to delegate their functions to their staff. I have proposed that principals will have a right to the assistance of special educational needs organisers in carrying out their duties if they feel that is required. I would also draw the Deputy's attention to section 12 of the Bill which, following amendments accepted on Committee Stage, provides that the resources necessary for the preparation and implementation of education plans will be made available.

The definition of "disability" within the Bill has been amended to provide that the Minister for Education and Science can specify conditions such as ADHD, dyslexia and dyspraxia in regulations to ensure that they come within the scope of the definition.

The amendments I have proposed and the matters I have agreed to re-examine for Report Stage substantially address the IPPN's concerns.