I recently announced that I am not proposing to change the way teachers are allocated to schools for children with special educational needs for the coming school year. In the consultations, there was a broad welcome for the proposed new model from parents, disability groups, schools and stakeholders. However, there has not been sufficient time to address all of the concerns which have been raised in advance of the 2015 school year.
I have asked my Department to design a pilot of the new model, which schools could opt into on a voluntary basis. In conjunction with the National Council for Special Education and the Educational Research Centre, the Department is currently designing a pilot which could consider the impact of the proposed new model on schools. Following the completion of this work, consultation will take place with education partners. The number of schools involved and the timeframe for the establishment of the pilot will then be established.