Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Questions (94, 98, 99)

Sandra McLellan

Question:

94. Deputy Sandra McLellan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason letters to schools with the following school year's allocation of resource hours cannot be issued by 15 May or 30 May when primary schools are required to submit applications for resource hours and-or special needs assistants to the National Council for Special Education by 15 March each year; if this delay is an attempt at dissuading principals from launching appeals by having the announcement as close as possible to the summer holidays; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29470/13]

View answer

Martin Heydon

Question:

98. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Education and Skills when the special needs assistants hours for school year 2013-2014 will be announced and allocated to the individual schools, specifically those in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29512/13]

View answer

Jonathan O'Brien

Question:

99. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will list, in tabular form, the schools in counties Donegal and Leitrim that have yet to receive their full allocation of resource hours for the 2013-14 academic year; the date on which these schools will receive their allocation of resource hours; and if he will give assurances that his Department will not implement cuts to the allocation of resource hours for these schools. [29524/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 94, 98 and 99 together.

I wish to advise the Deputies that the NCSE, through its network of local Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENOs), is responsible for processing applications from schools for special educational needs supports, including the allocation of resource teachers and Special Needs Assistants to schools. The NCSE operates within my Department's established criteria for the allocation of Special Education supports and the staffing resources available to my Department.

The number of posts available to the NCSE for allocation this year has been maintained and there has been no reduction to the overall number of posts available for allocation. The allocation that is made to schools, however, will be based on the number of valid applications received.

All schools were advised to apply to the NCSE for resource teaching and SNA support for the 2013/14 school year by 15th March 2013. The NCSE have been processing these applications and schools will be notified by SENOs of their resource teaching and SNA allocation for 2013/14 in advance of the coming school year, based on the number of valid applications received. I can assure the Deputies that this process has been done as expeditiously as possible by the NCSE and to allow schools and principals sufficient time to plan for the coming school year.

As the NCSE allocates resources to schools to support over 30,000 pupils annually, some time is required to process all of the applications which are received each year, in advance of notifying schools of their allocations. I understand that the NCSE intend to publish details of allocations for SNAs and resource teaching hours for the 2013/2014 school year, today Wednesday 19th June. These details will be available on the NCSE website www.ncse.ie, and will detail the allocations made for each school by County, including Counties Kildare, Leitrim, and Donegal.