Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Questions (82)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

82. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the actions his Department has taken to address the delay in the publication of the findings of the research project referred to as Project IRIS which was commissioned by the National Council for Special Education in 2008 and which is still not available six years later; and if he will have major concerns about such a long unexplained delay, especially in view of his request for input from the NCSE to drafting his policy on educating children with autism and where he has previously indicated that the NCSE has advised his Department that the policy advice would be delivered in spring 2015. [28677/14]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The research project to which the Deputy refers is the Inclusive Research in Irish Schools Project (Project IRIS). This National Council for Special Education (NCSE) commissioned research is a longitudinal study initially over 3 years examining the provision of special education within schools. The aim of the project is to look at the educational experiences and outcomes of students with a variety of special educational needs in various school settings. It was expected that the report would be published late last year but was delayed at review stage. NCSE has advised that they expect to have it published before the end of this year and I have no major concerns in this regard.

Separately as the Deputy is aware I have asked the NCSE to provide policy advice specifically on the educational provision for children with autism spectrum disorders. The NCSE has advised that the policy advice will be delivered in the spring of 2015 and will draw upon findings gathered from an extensive consultation process which has already commenced.