Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Questions (262)

Michael Healy-Rae


262. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to introduce art therapy (details supplied) as part of the wider primary school curriculum; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21812/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

While art therapy is not included in the Primary Curriculum and primary teachers are not trained as art therapists, at a local level some Boards of Management have responded to the needs of individual pupils with additional or special needs by inviting art or music therapists to work with the children under the supervision of class teachers. Such interventions are useful, child-friendly ways of providing support for pupils’ wellbeing. There exists the autonomy in the system for local arrangements such as this to meet the needs of pupils, if it is deemed appropriate by the Board of Management in consultation with parents.

The NCCA is currently reviewing the 1999 Primary Curriculum. Following the publication of a report on the consultation on the structure of the primary curriculum and how time is allocated within it in January 2018, work is now focused on the overview of a redeveloped curriculum. This draft overview will be the focus of further public consultation in Autumn 2019. The development of the overview involves exploring key aspects of a primary curriculum through:

- Working with schools and settings

- Learning from research

- A series of invitational seminars

Members of the public will be invited to contribute to the consultation process and provide their views as to what areas of learning should be included in a future primary curriculum to meet the needs of Irish pupils.