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Special Educational Needs.

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 14 October 2004

Thursday, 14 October 2004

Questions (122)

Jim O'Keeffe

Question:

122 Mr. J. O’Keeffe asked the Minister for Education and Science if her attention has been drawn to the urgent need for the appointment of a special needs care assistant on a full-time basis and for adequate resource hours for a person (details supplied) in County Cork; and if she will immediately approve same. [24879/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Education and Science)

Where a pupil with special educational needs enrols in a post primary school, it is open to the school to apply to my Department for additional teaching and-or special needs assistant support for the pupil.

My Department allocates additional teaching support and special needs assistant support to second level schools and vocational educational committees to cater for pupils with special educational needs. 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.

The school concerned has been allocated 39.5 hours per week teaching support and 10.0 hours per week special needs assistant support for the 2004-2005 school year to cater for the special educational needs of a number of pupils, including the pupil referred to by the Deputy. The level of resources allocated by my Department was determined after detailed consideration of the school's application, the supporting documentation provided, including the recommendations made by the National Educational Psychological Service, and having regard to the overall level of resources already available to the school.

If the school authority is of the view that the level of needs within the school is such as to be incapable of being addressed from within its current allocation, my Department will be prepared to consider these concerns. Such consideration will require a clear demonstration of the inadequacy of the allocation by reference to the current utilisation of the school's available resources.

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