I wish to advise the Deputy that DES Circular 0007/2019 for primary schools and 0008/2019 for post primary schools were published in February 2019.
These Circulars set out the details of the model for allocating special education teachers to schools.
Since the 2017/18 school year the new Special Education Teaching allocation provides a single unified allocation for special educational support teaching needs to each school, based on each school’s educational profile and also encompasses the Language Support (EAL) allocation that schools were allocated in previous years.
Under this allocation model, schools have been provided with a total allocation for special education needs support based on their school profile.
The provision of a profiled allocation is designed to give a fairer allocation for each school which recognises that all schools need an allocation for special needs support including language support but which provides a graduated allocation which takes into account the actual level of need in each school.
Under this allocation model, schools are frontloaded with resources, based on each school’s profile, to provide supports immediately to those pupils who need it without delay.
It should be noted that this model of allocation introduced in the 2017/18 school year is not comparable to the previous model. By using a broad range of attainment and socio-economic criteria, it is expected that generally, a school’s profile will remain relatively constant from year to year. Each year, some students with additional teaching needs will leave and others will enrol, broadly balancing the school profile.
Further additional temporary Language Support is also provided, as necessary, to schools that have high concentrations of pupils that require language (EAL) support. At primary level, these allocations are made on the basis of appeals by schools to the Primary Staffing Appeals Board and at post-primary level to the Post Primary Staffing Appeals Board.