The hourly rate of home tuition grant payable to qualified teachers since April 2000 is as follows: 1 April 2000 — €22.31; 1 October 2000 — €24.24; 1 April 2001- €24.72; 1 October 2001 — €26.08, and 1 October 2002 — €27.12.
The home tuition scheme is intended to provide compensatory instruction to pupils with a medical ailment that is likely to cause major disruption to their attendance at school on a continuing basis. It is also utilised in instances where specific types of tuition are recommended by educational psychologists that may not be available in mainstream or special education provision locally and until a suitable school placement can be arranged. The scheme is also used to fund tuition during the month of July for children with autistic spectrum disorders and severe-profound general learning disabilities who have specific needs and are not receiving school-based teaching due to school holidays.
There are in the region of 1,000 children availing of the home tuition scheme. Approximately 900 children were in receipt of a home tuition grant in 2002. Almost half of this number are children with an autistic spectrum disorder. The remainder are in respect of children with a range of disabilities. The number of children that availed of the scheme in 2000 and 2001 is not readily available.
Expenditure on the home tuition scheme during the past three school years was as follows: 2000-01 — €2.28 million; 2001-02 — €3.92 million; and 2002-03 — in excess of €6.13 million.