Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Questions (404)

Frank O'Rourke

Question:

404. Deputy Frank O'Rourke asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of places available in the ASD unit at a secondary school (details supplied) for the pupil intake in September 2019; his views on whether the number of places available is sufficient to accommodate all applicants; if there will be an increase in the number of ASD unit places available upon completion of an enlarged education campus scheduled for June 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14053/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The delivery of the two new schools to which the Deputy refers has been devolved to Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board (KWETB). There will be a two-classroom Special Educational Needs Base in each of the schools. This means that 24 places will be provided in the SEN Bases that will be made available on the campus once it is completed.

I understand that there is no ASD provision in either school at present.

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is responsible, through its network of Special Needs Organisers, for the development and delivery and co-ordination of education services to children with Special Educational Needs, including the establishment of special class and special school placements.

The NCSEs main responsibility is to ensure that schools in an area can, between them, cater for all children who have been identified as needing special class placements. This process is ongoing and the NCSE is actively engaging with schools in Kildare to ensure that all children who require special class placements can access such placements in for the forthcoming school year.

My Department will continue to support the NCSE in opening ASD special classes in areas where there is an identified need.