Tuesday, 19 October 2004

Questions (416, 417, 418)

Dan Neville

Question:

557 Mr. Neville asked the Minister for Education and Science further to Question No. 175 of 12 October 2004, if the person (details supplied) in County Limerick is being considered for a special needs assistant in 2004. [25486/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Education and Science)

The Deputy may be aware that my Department has established a team to review SNA support in mainstream national schools generally. The team recently commenced its task and will assess the levels and deployment of such support to ensure that the needs of children are being met in the context of new applications for resources for the school.

I am endeavouring to ensure that the review and the notification of schools regarding outstanding applications for SNA support are completed in the earliest possible timeframe.

Jan O'Sullivan

Question:

558 Ms O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Education and Science the reason resource hours which had been provided for a person (details supplied) in County Clare with special needs have been cut; if the hours will be restored; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [25487/04]

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My Department allocates additional teaching support and special needs assistant support to second level schools and vocational education 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 44.33 hours per week additional teaching support for the 2004-2005 school year to cater for the special educational needs of a number of pupils including the pupil to which the Deputy refers. The level of resource teaching allocated to the school in question by my Department was determined after detailed consideration of the school's application, the supporting documentation provided and having regard to the overall level of resources already available to the school to address special needs issues.

It is a matter for the school authority concerned to deploy this allocation having regard to the assessed need of individual pupils involved and in line with their evolving needs.

John McGuinness

Question:

559 Mr. McGuinness asked the Minister for Education and Science the supports or assistance which can be put in place at the school of a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny. [25504/04]

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Second level pupils with dyslexia are normally integrated into ordinary classes. In such cases they may receive additional tutorial support from the remedial teacher, guidance counsellor and subject teachers.

My Department also allocates additional teaching support to second level schools and vocational education committees to cater for pupils with special educational needs. Applications for such support are made to my Department by the relevant school authority. Each application is considered on the basis of the assessed needs of the pupil(s) involved and the nature and level of the support provided is determined on the advice of the psychological service.

In accordance with the terms of circular letter M10/94, pupils with dyslexia may also meet the criteria for exemption from the learning of the Irish Language. Depending on the degree of the condition, they may also be eligible for special arrangements in the certificate examinations.