Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Questions (235)

Ruth Coppinger


235. Deputy Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Education and Skills the specialised supports and staffing being put in place for a school (details supplied). [37571/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The new Danu Community Special School in Dublin 15, under the patronage of Dublin and Dun Laoghaire ETB has been established and will be catering for up to 40 students with complex needs.

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) determines the staffing level for special schools based on the pupil profiles and the disability category of each pupil enrolled.

To date the NCSE has allocated a Principal teacher, 7 classroom teachers and 12 SNAs to the new school.

The NCSE will continue to liaise with the school throughout the school year and the school may apply for additional staffing resources where there is an identified need in line with normal procedures.

I am anxious that the Principal, teachers, SNAs and other staff in the new school are appropriately supported during the challenging start-up terms.

My Department, through NEPS, the Inspectorate, the NCSE and in collaboration with the Middletown Centre for Autism developed a programme of professional learning for the staff in this new special school.

This programme includes a period of intensive upskilling before the students commence school which is currently being delivered to the staff of Danu Special School.

This will be followed by as ongoing mentoring, coaching and in-school support during throughout the school year.

This is in addition to the extensive professional development and other supports already available to special schools through the NCSE Support Service.

The NCSE and National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) have committed to ensuring that provision is in place to support the new school throughout the school year.

As the placements in the school come on stream over coming weeks, the NCSE will work closely with the School and keep in regular contact with the Parents of the children concerned to ensure there is a planned approach to the start-up of the new school.