Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Questions (183)

Michael Healy-Rae


183. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the July provision for children (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25040/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

My Department's July Provision Grant Scheme provides funding for an extended school year for students with severe or profound intellectual disabilities and students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

The July Provision Grant allocations to siblings generally reflect the school grouping principle. This is where one teacher is allocated to a class of six pupils at the appropriate educational level, primary or post primary. Within State-funded classes, differentiated needs are accommodated through a differentiated approach in teaching.

In general where a child is receiving their education in a class setting with other children of mixed age and ability, this should carry through to their July Provision. Accordingly it is considered appropriate, as in a school situation, that a tutor should have the capacity to develop and deliver tuition in an environment which includes other children.

My Department also recognises, however, that it may be difficult to cater for the differentiated needs of some siblings through a differentiated approach in tuition at home. In recognition of the differentiated need of the siblings in question, my Department has sanctioned a 50% increase in the combined allocation of hours for the siblings referred to by the Deputy. This has been communicated to the family.

My Department understands that circumstances of an exceptional nature may arise which justify separate allocations to be made to siblings.

Applications in this regard will require supporting documentation including professional reports from a psychologist detailing the existing arrangements currently in place for the respective children and providing sound reasons why the needs of both children can only be met if they are separated and tutored individually.

An Information Note, outlining all the terms and conditions of the scheme including allocations to siblings, is available on the Department’s website at www.education.ie.