Special Educational Needs Staff Contracts

Questions (332)

Bobby Aylward

Question:

332. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding the entitlement of special needs assistants, SNAs, to breastfeeding breaks and annual leave for the graduation days of children; if the possibility of reviewing the entitlement of SNAs to bereavement, assault and health and safety leave will be considered in order to ensure their needs are being met; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33923/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) are recruited specifically to assist in the care of pupils with disabilities who have additional and significant care needs in an educational context. They may be appointed to a special school or a mainstream school to assist school authorities in making suitable provision for a pupil or pupils with special care needs. The first priority is that the care needs of the pupils are met on an ongoing basis during the school year.

In accordance with the Education Act, the terms and conditions of employment of SNAs employed in approved posts funded by moneys provided by the Oireachtas are determined by the Minister for Education and Skills, with the concurrence of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.  

Circular 17/2013  issued by my Department, deals with the Maternity Protection entitlements, including provision for breastfeeding and Maternity Health and Safety Leave for SNAs employed in Recognised Primary and Post Primary Schools.  

Circular 32/2010 caters for Brief Absences and Circular 62/2017 deals with Leave of Absence following Assault for SNAs employed in Recognised Primary and Post Primary Schools

A Union has recently submitted a claim on behalf of SNA members, for brief absences which are available to teachers to be made available to SNAs.  This is currently under consideration in my Department.

Special Educational Needs Staff

Questions (333)

Bobby Aylward

Question:

333. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Education and Skills the steps he has taken to ensure that SNAs are not experiencing a reduction in hours; the further steps he has taken to ensure that SNAs are not forced to endure additional pressure in the work environment when catering for children with complex needs due to perceived inadequate levels of SNA staffing in schools and special schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33924/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I announced on 27th May that 792 additional SNA posts will be allocated to schools for the beginning of the 2019/20 school year, with up to 130 additional posts expected to be allocated by December 2019.

By the end of this year, there will be up to 15,950 SNAs working in our schools, an increase of over 51% since 2011.

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is responsible for allocating a quantum of Special Needs Assistant (SNA) support for each school annually taking into account the assessed care needs of children qualifying for SNA support enrolled in the school.  

The NCSE allocates SNA support to schools in accordance with the criteria set out in Department Circular 0030/2014, which is available on my Department's website at www.education.ie, in order that students who have care needs can access SNA support as and when it is needed.  

In considering applications for SNA support for individual pupils, the NCSE take account of the pupils' needs and consider the resources available to the school to identify whether additionality is needed or whether the school might reasonably be expected to meet the needs of the pupils from its current level of resources.

SNAs are not allocated to individual children but to schools as a school based resource.

SNA allocations to all schools can change from year to year as children with care needs leave the school, as new children with care needs enrol in a school and as children develop more independent living skills and their care needs diminish over time.

The NCSE Appeals Process may be invoked by a parent or a school where it is considered that a child was not granted access to SNA support because the requirements outlined in Circular 0030/2014 were not complied with.  Schools may also appeal a decision, where the school considers that the NCSE, in applying Department policy, has not allocated the appropriate level of SNA support to the school to meet the special educational and/or care needs of the children concerned.

Where a school has received its allocation of SNA support for 2019/20, but wishes new enrolments or assessments to be considered, which were not taken into account when the initial allocation was made, they may continue to make applications to the NCSE.   

The closing date for receipt of appeals in regard to SNA allocations is Friday 27th September 2019. 

Speech and Language Therapy Waiting Lists

Questions (334, 624)

John Curran

Question:

334. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the new school speech and language therapy service project introduced by his Department, the Departments of Education and Skills and Children and Youth Affairs in July 2018 for September 2018/19; the impact of the service on the long waiting lists for speech and language therapy; his plans to continue the project for the school term 2019-2020 and beyond; his further plans to extend this project nationally; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34242/19]

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John Curran

Question:

624. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the new school speech and language therapy service project introduced by his Department, the Departments of Children and Youth Affairs and Health in July 2018 for September 2018/19; the impact of the service on the long waiting lists for speech and language therapy; his plans to continue the project for the school term 2019-2020 and beyond; his further plans to extend this project nationally; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34240/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 334 and 624 together.

The Deputy will be aware that a demonstration project to provide in-school and pre-school therapy services has been introduced for the 2018/19 school year.

The demonstration project has been developed by a Working Group which includes representatives from the Departments of Education, Children and Youth Affairs, Health, and the Health Service Executive (HSE).

The project is being managed and co-ordinated by the National Council for Special Education with clinical support also being provided by two HSE Therapy Managers which have been assigned to the project.

The purpose of the project is to test a model of tailored therapeutic supports that allows for early intervention in terms of providing speech and language and occupational therapy within ‘educational settings’.

This innovative pilot has been designed to complement existing HSE funded provision of essential therapy services and is additional to those services. It has therefore not been designed to impact upon existing Health Service Executive waiting lists or service provision for speech and language therapy, but rather to develop a pilot of an in school and pre-school service.

The project has been taking place in Community Healthcare Organisation (CHO) 7 Region of South West Dublin, Kildare, and West Wicklow.

This region has been selected to ensure that the pre-school and in-school therapy model can be tested in both urban and rural locations and with a suitable mix of various types of schools and pre-schools.

75 schools, including a representative sample of primary, post primary, and special schools are taking part in the project.

75 Pre-school settings associated with primary schools participating in the project have also been included in order to provide for therapy interventions to be made at the earliest possible time and to create linkages between pre-school and primary school provision.

In total, 150 settings are participating in the demonstration project.

As the project has been taking place in the region of South West Dublin, Kildare, and West Wicklow, only schools from this area could be selected for participation in the demonstration project.

Children who require speech and language therapy services and who are not attending one of the pilot schools will continue access services from the Health Service Executive.

Children who are attending pilot schools and who receive therapy supports from the HSE will also continue to access such services. The in-school therapy model is designed to supplement, not to replace existing services.

It will provide for a clinical Speech and Language Therapy service delivery model of Specialist, Targeted and universal supports in line with best practice for pupils which will see them receiving supports along a continuum of provision depending on the extent or severity of needs of the child/pupil.

Although initially designed as a one year pilot, a Government decision of 12th February, 2019, in relation to the Review of the Special Needs Assistant Scheme, also agreed to the establishment of a pilot of a new School Inclusion Model for children with special educational and additional care needs involving up to 75 participating schools in the CHO 7 region over the course of the 2019/20 school year.

The demonstration project to provide in-school and pre-school therapy services will continue, as part of the School Inclusion Model, over the course of the 2019/20 school year.

Decisions in relation to the extension of the service to other areas or Counties, or to extend the service nationally, will be taken following the evaluation of the existing informed pilot phase.

Cyber Security Protocols

Questions (335, 636)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

335. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Education and Skills the funding provided to groups that provide safe internet usage education in primary schools in each of the past three years by project in tabular form [34429/19]

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Anne Rabbitte

Question:

636. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Education and Skills the funding provided for the purposes of school hiring external facilitators to educate students on safe online behaviour in each of the past five years with reference to the provider receiving this funding [34492/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 335 and 636 together.

My Department does not provide funding to schools for the purpose of hiring external facilitators to educate students on safe online behaviour nor does it provide direct funding to groups to provide education in primary schools on online safety.

Furthermore my Department does not to endorse or promote any individual product or external service.

However my Department, though its teacher support services, provides extensive training, supports and resources to schools to assist with the development of policies and practices on the effective use of digital technologies in teaching and learning including their safe and ethical use. This includes supports on the prevention of bullying and harassment using the internet.

It is also important to note that individual schools have autonomy to engage with external providers for resources/materials/training to meet the needs of the school including for matters relating to online safety. This is a matter for each individual school to determine in the context of its own particular needs.

Apprenticeship Programmes

Questions (336, 337, 338, 339, 346, 347, 348, 349, 450, 451, 452, 453, 472, 473, 474, 475, 485, 486, 487, 488)

Danny Healy-Rae

Question:

336. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Education and Skills if new apprenticeship programmes developed since 2017 will receive the same allowances for apprentices attending college as apprenticeships developed prior to 2017. [31462/19]

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Danny Healy-Rae

Question:

337. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of apprenticeships developed since 2017. [31463/19]

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Danny Healy-Rae

Question:

338. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of apprentices enrolled per apprenticeship programme developed since 2017. [31464/19]

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Danny Healy-Rae

Question:

339. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Education and Skills if equality of allowances will be sought for apprenticeships in budget 2020; and the estimated cost in this regard. [31465/19]

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Pat Casey

Question:

346. Deputy Pat Casey asked the Minister for Education and Skills if equality of allowances will be sought for apprenticeships in budget 2020; and the estimated cost in this regard. [31555/19]

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Pat Casey

Question:

347. Deputy Pat Casey asked the Minister for Education and Skills if new apprenticeship programmes developed since 2017 will receive the same allowances for apprentices attending college as apprenticeships developed prior to 2017. [31556/19]

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Pat Casey

Question:

348. Deputy Pat Casey asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of new apprenticeships developed since 2017. [31557/19]

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Pat Casey

Question:

349. Deputy Pat Casey asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of apprentices enrolled per apprenticeship programme developed since 2017. [31558/19]

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Carol Nolan

Question:

450. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Education and Skills if all new apprenticeship programmes developed since 2017 will receive the same allowances for apprentices attending college as apprenticeships developed prior to 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32148/19]

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Carol Nolan

Question:

451. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of new apprenticeships developed since 2017 [32149/19]

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Carol Nolan

Question:

452. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of apprentices enrolled per apprenticeship programme developed since 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32150/19]

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Carol Nolan

Question:

453. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Education and Skills if equality will be ensured in respect to allowances for all apprenticeships in budget 2020; the estimated cost of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32151/19]

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Kathleen Funchion

Question:

472. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills if new apprenticeship programmes developed since 2017 will receive the same allowances for apprentices attending college as apprenticeships developed prior to 2017. [32370/19]

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Kathleen Funchion

Question:

473. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of new apprenticeships developed since 2017. [32371/19]

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Kathleen Funchion

Question:

474. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of apprentices enrolled per apprenticeship programme developed since 2017. [32372/19]

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Kathleen Funchion

Question:

475. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will seek equality of allowances for all apprenticeships in budget 2020; and the estimated cost in this regard. [32373/19]

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Margaret Murphy O'Mahony

Question:

485. Deputy Margaret Murphy O'Mahony asked the Minister for Education and Skills if each new apprenticeship programme developed since 2017 will receive the same allowances for apprentices attending college as apprenticeships developed prior to 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32649/19]

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Margaret Murphy O'Mahony

Question:

486. Deputy Margaret Murphy O'Mahony asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of new apprenticeships developed since 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32650/19]

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Margaret Murphy O'Mahony

Question:

487. Deputy Margaret Murphy O'Mahony asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of apprentices enrolled per apprenticeship programme developed since 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32651/19]

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Margaret Murphy O'Mahony

Question:

488. Deputy Margaret Murphy O'Mahony asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will seek equality of allowances for each apprenticeship in budget 2020; the estimated cost in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32652/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 336 to 339, inclusive, 346 to 353, inclusive, 472 to 475, inclusive, and 485 to 488, inclusive, together.

This Government is committed to the ongoing expansion and development of our national apprenticeship system, as is evident by a year on year increase in the budget allocation. This year’s allocation for apprenticeship training is €142m which represents an increase of over 16% on the 2018 allocation of €122m. Since 2015 new apprenticeship registrations have increased by 80% with 5,648 new registrations by the end of 2018. In addition, following two calls for proposals in 2015 and 2017 by the Apprenticeship Council, to date twenty new apprenticeship programmes have been developed and are now operational to complement the existing 25 craft apprenticeships.

It is important to note that the structure of these new consortia led apprenticeship programmes are different to those in the craft trades. Our new consortia-led apprenticeships offer more flexibility to employers in meeting their skill needs both in the duration of the programme and in terms of the delivery of the off-the-job training. These new apprenticeship programmes vary in length from 2 to 4 years and have different methods of off-the-job training such as one day per week, and on-line blended learning rather than the traditional block release of up to 22 weeks in an education setting, as is the case in the craft trades. While there is no training allowance paid to apprentices undertaking one of our new apprenticeships, I am aware that some employers engaged in the system have raised this as an issue. However, any change in this regard, which has not yet been costed by the Department, would have to form part of the normal budgetary process and be considered in the broader context of competing demands and the overall availability of resources.

Details of apprentice population per apprenticeship programme as requested by the deputy are set out in the tabular statement in the following link.

Apprenticeships

Summer Works Scheme Applications

Questions (340)

Jackie Cahill

Question:

340. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Education and Skills if an application by a school (details supplied) under the summer works scheme to renovate the toilets will be expedited; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31466/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The school referred to by the Deputy has submitted an application for renovations to existing WC facilities (Category 6) under my Department’s multi-annual Summer Works Scheme (SWS) 2020 onwards.

I wish to advise the Deputy that commensurate with the level of funding available for the SWS in 2020, applications will be assessed on a top down basis in accordance with the prioritisation criteria outlined in the governing Circular Letter for the Scheme. This Circular Letter (0027/2019) is available on my Department's website www.education.ie.

It is my intention to publish a list of successful applicants in Q4 2019 for works to be carried out in summer 2020.

Legislative Programme

Questions (341, 342)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

341. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the primary legislation enacted since May 2016; and if in each case, the legislation placed additional regulatory burdens on small and medium enterprises. [31480/19]

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Tom Neville

Question:

342. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Education and Skills the secondary legislation enacted since 1 January 2018; and if the legislation in each case placed additional regulatory burdens on small and medium enterprises. [31504/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 341 and 342 together.

The primary legislation enacted since May 2016 and the secondary legislation enacted since 1 January 2018 are listed below. None of the primary or secondary legislation listed placed additional regulatory burdens on small and medium enterprises.  

Primary legislation enacted since May 2016:  

Education (Admissions to Schools) Act 2018

Technological Universities Act 2018

  Secondary Legislation enacted since 1 January 2018:

S.I. No. 100 of 2018 - Student Grant Scheme 2018

S.I. No. 101 of 2018 - Student Support Regulations 2018

S.I. No. 124 of 2018 - Technological Universities Act 2018 (Commencement) Order 2018

S.I. No. 199 of 2018 - Industrial Training (Property Services Industry) Order 2018

S.I. No. 260 of 2018 - Employment Equality Act 1998 (Section 12) (Reservation of Vocational Training Places) Order 2018

S.I. No. 281 of 2018 - Education Support Centres (Appointment and Secondment of Directors) (amendment) Regulations 2018

S.I. No. 396 of 2018 – Education (Admissions to Schools) Act 2018 (Commencement) Order 2018

S.I. No. 407 of 2018 - Industrial Training (Retail Industry) Order 2018

S.I. No. 408 of 2018 - Industrial Training (Logistics Industry) Order 2018

S.I. No. 409 of 2018 - Industrial Training (Laboratory Industry) Order 2018

S.I. No. 437 of 2018 - Technological Universities Act 2018 (Section 36) (Appointed Day) Order 2018

S.I. No. 586 of 2018 - Student Support (Amendment) Regulations 2018

S.I. No. 141 of 2019 - Education and Training Boards Act 2013 (Section 32) Order 2019

S.I. No. 142 of 2019 - Education and Training Boards Act 2013 (Local Authority Members) Regulations 2019

S.I. No. 151 of 2019 - Student Support Regulations 2019

S.I. No. 152 of 2019 - Student Grant Scheme 2019

S.I. No. 200 of 2019 - Industrial Training (Process Analytics Industry) Order 2019

Summer Works Scheme Applications

Questions (343)

Eamon Scanlon

Question:

343. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of a summer works scheme application by a school (details supplied) in County Leitrim; when a decision is expected on 2020 applications; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31517/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I can confirm that the school referred to by the Deputy has a Category 10 application under my Department's 2016/17 Summer Works Scheme (SWS).  It is intended to undertake an analysis of these outstanding applications later this year. This analysis, together with funding availability and priorities for the SWS in 2020 will determine the pathway forward in respect of these remaining applications.

I can also confirm that this school has also submitted an application for the 2020 SWS.  Commensurate with the level of funding available for the SWS in 2020, applications will be assessed on a top down basis in accordance with the prioritisation criteria outlined in the governing Circular Letter for the Scheme.  This Circular Letter (0027/2019) is available on my Department's website www.education.ie.

It is my intention to publish a list of successful applicants in Q4 2019 for works to be carried out in summer 2020.

Schools Building Projects

Questions (344)

Stephen Donnelly

Question:

344. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Education and Skills further to Parliamentary Question No. 289 of 2 July 2019, the planned date for the master planning process to be completed with regard to the school and the commencement of further engagement with all parties; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31550/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

A project manager has been appointed to master plan the site for the school referred to by the Deputy to explore the feasibility of whether the accommodation needs of the school in question and an existing education provider could be met on the site. This process is on-going.

When this process has been completed, it will provide an opportunity for further engagement with all parties.

Special Educational Needs Service Provision

Questions Nos. 346 to 349, inclusive, answered with Question No. 336.

Questions (345)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

345. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Education and Skills if a person (details supplied) will have a SNA in September 2019 when the school year commences. [31552/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is responsible for allocating a quantum of Special Needs Assistant (SNA) support for each school annually taking into account the assessed care needs of children qualifying for SNA support enrolled in the school.  

The NCSE allocates SNA support to schools in accordance with the criteria set out in Department Circular 0030/2014, which is available on my Department's website at www.education.ie, in order that students who have care needs can access SNA support as and when it is needed.  

In considering applications for SNA support for individual pupils, the NCSE take account of the pupils' needs and consider the resources available to the school to identify whether additionality is needed or whether the school might reasonably be expected to meet the needs of the pupils from its current level of resources.

SNAs are not allocated to individual children but to schools as a school based resource.

SNA allocations to all schools can change from year to year as children with care needs leave the school, as new children with care needs enrol in a school and as children develop more independent living skills and their care needs diminish over time.

The NCSE Appeals Process may be invoked by a parent or a school where it is considered that a child was not granted access to SNA support because the requirements outlined in Circular 0030/2014 were not complied with.  Schools may also appeal a decision, where the school considers that the NCSE, in applying Department policy, has not allocated the appropriate level of SNA support to the school to meet the special educational and/or care needs of the children concerned.

Where a school has received its allocation of SNA support for 2019/20, but wishes new enrolments or assessments to be considered, which were not taken into account when the initial allocation was made, they may continue to make applications to the NCSE.  

The closing date for receipt of appeals in regard to SNA allocations is Friday 27th September 2019.

As this question relates to a particular child, I have referred the question to the NCSE for their direct reply. I do not have a role in making determinations in individual cases.

Questions Nos. 346 to 349, inclusive, answered with Question No. 336.

Special Educational Needs Service Provision

Questions (350)

Danny Healy-Rae

Question:

350. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason there is a lack of autism spectrum disorder, ASD, special class places at secondary level; the reason there is a lack of year on year funding for ASD special classes in secondary schools in view of the fact that funding is provided for same in primary schools; and if funding will be committed for ASD special classes in secondary schools to the same degree as those in primary. [31580/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Enabling children with Special Educational Needs including Autism to receive an education appropriate to their needs is a priority for Government.

There is now unprecedented investment in special education. The Government is spending nearly one euro in every five of the education budget on special education – about €1.9 billion in 2019. 

The NCSE, an independent agency of my Department, is responsible for planning, coordinating and advising on education provision for children with special educational needs. This includes taking account of the flow of students from primary into post primary. The Council ensures that schools in an area can, between them, cater for all children who have been identified as needing special class placements.

Individual school boards of management are responsible for the establishment of special classes.  It is open to any school to make application to the NCSE to establish a class. In deciding where to establish a special class in an area, the NCSE take account of the current and projected demand and the available school accommodation both current and planned.   In this regard, the SENO may approach individual schools to discuss the matter with a view to finding the optimal location in terms of convenience and sustainability.

In deciding where to establish a special class in an area, the NCSE take account of the current and projected demand and the available school accommodation both current and planned.   In this regard, the SENO may approach individual schools to discuss the matter with a view to finding the optimal location in terms of convenience and sustainability.

When the NCSE sanction a special class in a school, the school can apply to my Department for capital funding to re-configure existing spaces within the school building to accommodate the class and/or to construct additional accommodation.  Enhanced capitation grants are also payable.

Special Education Needs Organisers (SENOs) who are locally based are available to assist and advice parents whose children have special needs.  Where parents have been unsuccessful in enrolling their child in a school, they should update their local SENO to inform the planning process.

SENOs are also available to assist and advise schools on special education supports and planning.

From time to time, the NCSE identifies local areas where additional special class provision is required. In those circumstances, Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENOs) work with the schools and families concerned to resolve the issues involved. This process is ongoing and the NCSE are actively engaging with schools in relation to establishing ASD classes where there is an identified need for the 2019/2020 school year.

As a result of these efforts, I expect progress will be made in the coming weeks in ensuring that every child has a placement available to them from September

I have asked the NCSE to keep in regular contact with the Parents of the children concerned and advise them of progress.

Student Grants Data

Questions (351)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

351. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Education and Skills the estimated first and full year cost of abolishing the student contribution charge for all students; and the estimated cost of a €500 and €1,000 reduction, respectively, in tabular form. [31602/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The Student Contribution, which currently stands at €3,000, was introduced with effect from the 2011/12 academic year. It is important to recognise that there has been no increase in the contribution since 2014/15. 

Based on the number of students that qualified for free fees funding in the academic year 2017/18 (and were therefore liable to pay the Student Contribution), and taking into account expected increases in student numbers, it is estimated that the net annual cost to my Department of abolishing the contribution is approximately €229 million.

The estimated net cost to my Department of reducing the contribution by €500 or by €1,000 is outlined below:

Reduce by (Per Student) 

Estimated Net cost to Department 

 €500

 €38m

 €1,000

 €76.4m

It should be noted that the above estimates incorporate the resulting reduction to my Department's Student Grant Scheme budget as the exchequer pays this contribution (or part of it) on behalf of almost 50% of undergraduate students who are in receipt of student grant assistance.

Tax relief provisions are also available so that second and subsequent siblings do not have to bear the full cost. In addition, higher education institutions have provisions in place to allow students to pay the contribution in two moieties.

Legislative Reviews

Questions (352)

Catherine Connolly

Question:

352. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of reviews carried out by his Department pursuant to Standing Order No. 164A of Dáil Éireann; the pieces of legislation to which each review refers; the number and title of each piece of legislation in respect of which a review pursuant to Standing Order 164A has not been undertaken; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31628/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Standing Order No. 164A of Dáil Éireann 2016 provides for post-enactment reports on the functioning of an Act, within twelve months of its enactment.

A post-enactment report on the Technological Universities Act 2018 (No. 3 of 2018) was laid before the Houses on 17 April 2019.  

A post-enactment report on the  Education (Admissions to Schools) Act 2018 (No. 14 of 2018) is being prepared.

Transition Year Selection Process

Questions (353)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

353. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Education and Skills if schools can choose to make transition year compulsory; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31643/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The management authority of each school carries responsibility for making decisions regarding the Transition Year Programme in that school. In some schools, the programme is compulsory for all students.

In those that offer Transition Year as an option, circumstances may arise where it is necessary to limit the number of students who can avail of it.

It is the board of management of each individual school that decides the number of places available to students on programmes such as Transition Year. In cases where restrictions apply, schools should have clear procedures regarding how places are allocated to students. 

Overall, this Department is in favour of leaving the decision on what is offered at the discretion of the school.

The latest confirmed statistics for students participating in Transition Year, in 2018/19, are 45,915 pupils in 670 schools. This means over two thirds of all students, as a percentage of the previous third years, participate in Transition Year in approximately 92.8% of schools.

The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment is currently carrying out a review of Senior Cycle. The Transition Year programme is being considered as part of this review.

Pupil Data Collection

Questions (354)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

354. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of fifth or sixth year students aged 18 years or over that attended secondary school for each of the school years 2016/2017, 2017/2018 and 2018/2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31644/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The information requested by the Deputy is available in the following spreadsheet.

Academic Year

Age

Fifth Year

Sixth Year (incl. Repeat Leaving Cert)

Total

2016

18

881

24,221

25,102

2016

19 and Over

145

1,426

1,571

2016

Total

1,026

25,647

26,673

2017

18

991

24,682

25,673

2017

19 and Over

128

1,334

1,462

2017

Total

1,119

26,016

27,135

2018

18

914

25,589

26,503

2018

19 and Over

115

1,300

1,415

2018

Total

1,029

26,889

27,918

Note: age is calculated on 1st January of the academic year. For example the age given for the 2016 academic year is the age of pupils as of 1st January 2017.

Capitation Grants

Questions (355)

Kathleen Funchion

Question:

355. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills the estimated cost of each one point increase in the capitation grant for primary schools. [31655/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

I fully recognise the need to improve capitation funding for schools.

I am pleased to have been able to provide for a 5% increase in capitation funding for primary and post primary schools that will apply from the start of the 2019/20 school year.  The first and full year costs of this increase is €4 million and €10 million respectively.

The estimated cost of increasing capitation by 1% in Primary schools is circa €1 million. 

I must be prudent in the context of ongoing budgetary pressures.  Where it is not possible to do everything that I would like to do in the education sector in any one year I have to prioritise, especially in the context of increasing enrolments.

It is my intention to seek funding for further capitation increases in future budgets.

Capitation Grants

Questions (356)

Kathleen Funchion

Question:

356. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills the estimated cost of each one point increase in the capitation grant for post-primary schools. [31656/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

I fully recognise the need to improve capitation funding for schools.

I am pleased to have been able to provide for a 5% increase in capitation funding for primary and post primary schools that will apply from the start of the 2019/20 school year.  The first and full year costs of this increase is €4 million and €10 million respectively.

The estimated cost of increasing capitation by 1% in Post-primary schools is circa €1 million. 

I must be prudent in the context of ongoing budgetary pressures.  Where it is not possible to do everything that I would like to do in the education sector in any one year I have to prioritise, especially in the context of increasing enrolments.

It is my intention to seek funding for further capitation increases in future budgets.