Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Questions (278)

Brendan Smith

Question:

278. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to the widespread concerns in relation to the new requirement that persons providing tuition for children with special needs during the month of July, commonly referred to as the July provision, have to be registered with the Teaching Council of Ireland; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that many parents are concerned that this requirement will deny some special needs assistants the opportunity to continue working with those children; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21541/14]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

July Provision is available to all special schools and mainstream primary schools with special classes catering for children with autism that choose to extend their education services through the month of July. My Department also provides July Provision for pupils with a severe/profound general learning disability. Where school based provision is not feasible, home based provision may be grant aided. Where a school chooses not to extend their services for July, eligible children in the school will be granted home based July Provision, on application. As the home based provision takes place outside the usual school structure it is important that home tutors are qualified to provide an educational programme. It is appropriate therefore that the qualification standard in the Home Based July Provision generally reflects that required in a school environment. Home tutors should be fully qualified teachers who are registered with the Teaching Council of Ireland. When it is not possible to recruit a fully qualified teacher then consideration will be given to the engagement of a tutor who is registered with the Teaching Council and has a primary degree (minimum level 7 FETAC) in a relevant area including e.g. psychology. The qualification standards for home tutors have not altered and if an SNA meets these standards they can also be considered in this context. The requirement that all home tutors be registered with the Teaching Council was introduced in September 2013. Parents with any concerns relating to the scheme can contact my officials at 090 64 84296.