Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Questions (98)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

98. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Education and Skills further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 358 to 362, inclusive, of March 2014, in view of the encouragement of the Ombudsman for Children's office in October 2012 that greater clarity on his Department's policy on the education of children with autism would be useful for schools and parents, if he will provide a complete list of all the current departmental policies that specifically relate to the education of children with autism in view of his reply that the boards of management of schools have a formal role under the Education Act to ensure that all departmental policies are adhered to in their schools. [15578/14]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

My Department's policy on the education of children with autism resides within the overall policies on the education of children including those with special educational needs. The relevant circulars are available on www.education.gov.ie. Boards of Management and School staff are also supported in this regard by the Special Education Support Service, the National Educational Psychological Service and the National Council for Special Education. The following websites may be of interest to the Deputy in this regard www.SESS.ie and www.NCSE.ie.

I previously outlined in the response to the Parliamentary Question to which the Deputy refers that my Department commenced collating a statement of existing policy on the education of children with autism last year. Subsequently I requested the NCSE to prepare Policy Advice on the Educational Provision for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. I am confident that the policy advice, when it has been delivered will provide the level of clarity which was the purpose of the Ombudsman's encouragement.