As the Deputy is aware, special schools funded by my Department are intended to cater for children and young persons with special educational needs from 4 years until the end of the school year in which they reach their 18th year.
At that point, the Department of Health and Children/Health Service Executive assumes direct responsibility for young adults with special educational needs who are over 18 years. My Department, at that stage, may allocate resources towards an education component of such provision.
I understand that the student in question will reach age 18 in March 2009 and will remain in his present school for the 2008/2009 school year. My Department is not in a position to make a decision beyond the next school year at this time.