Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Questions (356, 358)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

356. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of children in each of the past six years who have been assigned low incidence resource teaching. [32104/13]

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Charlie McConalogue

Question:

358. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of children in mainstream education in receipt of low incidence resource teaching; and the number of teachers employed to provide the resource teaching. [32106/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 356 and 358 together.

The Deputy will be aware that the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) through its network of local Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENOs), is responsible for processing applications from primary and post primary schools for special educational needs supports, including Resource Teaching support for children with more complex special needs. The NCSE operates within my Department's criteria in allocating such supports.

I wish to advise the Deputy also that I have now authorised the NCSE to restore the level of resource teaching allocations which can be provided for students with special educational needs to the 2012/13 levels.

The NCSE has now published revised details of the Resource Teaching allocations for all schools, based on existing allocation levels.The NCSE has recently published comprehensive policy advice on Supporting Students Special Educational Needs in Schools, which contains detailed information regarding the number of pupils with special educational needs being supported in schools, and the number of pupils in receipt of additional supports by disability category. This report is available at www.ncse.ie. The report sets out that, in the 2012/13 school year, additional teaching resources were allocated to schools for 21,421 primary and 9,781 post primary students with low incidence special educational needs. 5,265 additional teaching posts were made available to the NCSE in 2012/13 for allocation in respect of pupils with low incidence special educational needs.

As applications for additional resource teaching support for children with low incidence disabilities are considered by the NCSE, I have referred the Deputy's question regarding the number of children who have been allocated additional resource teaching support for the past six years to the NCSE for their attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

In the longer term, it is proposed to develop new allocations system to improve how resources for children with special Educational needs are allocated to schools.

I have, as suggested in the NCSE policy advice on Supporting Students with Special Educational Needs in Schools, requested the NCSE to establish a Working Group to develop a proposal, for consideration, for a new allocation model for teaching supports for children with Special Educational Needs based on the profiled educational needs of children in schools.