Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Questions (246, 247)

Finian McGrath

Question:

246. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of children at primary school level diagnosed with ADHD and the number of hours of support provided either through special needs assistants, resource teachers or other assistance to these children. [30178/13]

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Finian McGrath

Question:

247. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of children at secondary school level diagnosed with ADHD; and the number of hours of support provided either through special needs assistants, resource teachers or other assistance to these children. [30179/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 246 and 247 together.

The Deputy will be aware that the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is responsible, through its network of local Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENOs) for allocating resource teachers and Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) to schools to support children with special educational needs. The NCSE operates within my Department's criteria in allocating such support. This now includes a requirement for the NCSE to have regard to an overall cap on the number of SNA posts. I wish to advise the Deputy that there is not presently a distinct disability category of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) for resource allocation purposes. Such children may be receiving supports in schools via their inclusion within other disability categorisations, such as mild general learning difficulty, or a low incidence disability categorisation, while also having ADHD. Pupils with ADHD may receive additional teaching support either under the General Allocation Model in primary schools or equivalent provision in post primary schools if their educational assessments place them in the mild general learning disability category. Pupils with who are diagnosed with EBD or more complex needs as defined by the Department's Circular Sp Ed 02/05, are supported through an allocation of individual additional resource teaching hours allocated by the National Council for Special Education. As such, it is not possible to advise of the number of children with ADHD who are receiving additional supports in mainstream primary and post primary education. The NCSE has recently published statistical information in relation to the allocation of SNA posts and resource teaching hours to Primary, Special and Post Primary Schools. The information is provided on a county by county and school by school basis and is available on its website at www.ncse.ie.

The NCSE have also detailed the number of children being supported with additional resources in schools by disability category breakdown in their recently published report Supporting Children with Special Educational Needs in Schools, which is also available at www.ncse.ie.