Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (345)

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire


345. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Education and Skills the estimated full year net saving of reducing the scheme for private psychological assessment by 10%. [35270/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

As the Deputy may be aware my Department’s National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) provides educational psychological support to all primary and post-primary schools. This involves direct support in the event of a critical incident, access to national and regional support and development work to build school capacity to support students, access to a NEPS psychologist for responses to queries arising, and access to individual pupil casework via a NEPS psychologist or through the Scheme for the Commissioning of Psychological Assessments. (SCPA).

Under the Scheme, schools that do not currently have access to an assigned NEPS psychologist for individual casework may commission psychological assessments from an approved panel of private practitioners maintained and paid for by NEPS for this purpose.  NEPS pays an all-in fee of €304 (€243 net withholding tax) per assessment.

In its last full year of operation, 2018, NEPS expended some €0.52m on some 1,715 SCPA assessments countrywide - a reduction of 10% at this level would therefore produce a saving of €0.05m per annum.