Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Questions (59)

Seán Crowe

Question:

59. Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will provide the details of the terms of reference that will apply to the working group that is being established to review the allocation of special educational resources. [32222/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) published its Policy Advice on Supporting Children with Special Educational Needs on 17 May, 2013. This is a very significant report which is based on a review of best practice in both national and international research and follows a wide process of consultation with children with Special Educational Needs, parents, representative groups, educational partners, voluntary bodies and advocacy groups. The policy advice makes a number of recommendations as to how students with special educational needs might best be supported educationally in the future. One of the principal recommendations is that a new model should be developed for the allocation of additional teaching resources to mainstream schools, based on the profiled need of each school. I have requested the NCSE to proceed immediately to establish a Working Group to develop a proposal for consideration in relation to a revised allocation mechanism for Learning Support and Resource Teachers. Mr. Eamon Stack, Chairperson of the NCSE and former Chief Inspector in the Department of Education & Skills, has been appointed to chair the Working Group. The National Council for Special Education is currently in the process of establishing the working group and with developing the terms of reference for this group. The Working Group, which will include parents, will begin its work immediately and will report with preliminary views by the end of September. The aim of any new allocation mechanism will be to ensure that Learning Support and Resource Teachers are targeted at those schools and children who need them most.