Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Questions (197)

Pádraig MacLochlainn

Question:

197. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a number of schools in the north Inishowen area of County Donegal have been without the services of a NEPS psychologist since September 2013; the impact this is having on the north Inishowen schools completion programme; and if he will have the issue resolved as soon as possible. [14812/14]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I can inform the Deputy that my Department's National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) provides educational psychology service to all primary and post primary schools through an assigned NEPS psychologist and in some cases through the Scheme for Commissioning Psychological Assessments (SCPA). Under this scheme schools can have an assessment carried out by a member of the panel of private psychologists approved by NEPS, and NEPS will pay the psychologist the fees for this assessment directly.

In relation to the schools to which the Deputy refers in this instance the assigned NEPS psychologist is currently on maternity leave and, as is normal in this situation relevant, school authorities have been informed that they may avail of the SCPA to draw down necessary assessment services in the interim. The local NEPS office will continue to provide service to the school in the event of critical incidents and are available to discuss any other requirements schools in this area may have relevant to the NEPS service. Schools are free to contact the NEPS Regional Office in McKendrick House, McKendrick Place, Letterkenny at 074-9178592 in this regard.