Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (312)

Michael McGrath


312. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Education and Skills the capacity of a special school (details supplied) in County Cork; the number enrolled; the number of children on the waiting list; his plans to extend the capacity; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19108/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The enrolment of a child to a school is a matter in the first instance for the parents/guardians of the child and the Board of Management of a school.  My Department has no role in relation to processing applications for enrolment to schools, and it does not maintain details of waiting lists in schools. The enrolment on 30th September 2018 was 66 students.

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is a statutory body, the functions of which include planning and co-ordination, the provision of education and support services to children with special educational needs. The NCSE, through its network of local Special Education Needs Organisers (SENOs), is responsible for processing applications from special schools for special educational needs supports as required. The NCSE operates within my Department's criteria in allocating such support. 

It is the responsibility of the managerial authorities of all schools to implement an enrolment policy in accordance with the Education Act, 1998.  The selection process and the enrolment policy on which it is based must be non-discriminatory and must be applied fairly in respect of all applicants. Under section 15 (2) (d) of the Education Act 1998, each school is legally obliged to publish its enrolment policy.

Regarding the capacity of the school, I wish to advise the Deputy that my Department has no record of receiving an application, for capital funding, from the school in question.