Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Questions (245)

John McGuinness


245. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Education and Skills further to Parliamentary Question No. 340 of 8 May 2019, if two places will be provided at a school (details supplied) for two children whose parents have already received written confirmation of offers of places; if both offers will be honoured in view of the fact the letters were issued by the school following consultation with the special education section of his Department; if the consultation between the school and the special education section took place; if two of the four places available out of 12 will be reserved for the two children; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21474/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

It is the responsibility of the managerial authorities of all schools to implement an enrolment policy in accordance with the Education Act, 1998. The criteria to be applied by schools in such circumstances is a matter for the schools themselves. This 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.

The enrolment of a child in a school is a matter, in the first instance, for the parents of the child and then a matter for the school/ Board of Management having regard to their own enrolment/admissions policy.

My Department has no role in making decisions in these matters.

However, practical help and advice is available throughout the country from the NCSE’s team of locally based Special Education Needs Organisers (SENOs) who are available to assist and advise parents. They also support and advise schools in this area.

The NCSE, through its network of local Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENOs), in consultation with the relevant education partners, is responsible for identifying the need for and sanctioning the resourcing of special classes and special school placements in various geographical areas where there is an identified need.

The Council ensures that schools in an area can, between them, cater for all children who have been identified as needing special class placements.

As the Deputy's question relates to the availability of placements in a particular area, it has been referred to the NCSE for their direct reply.