Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Questions (159)

Eugene Murphy


159. Deputy Eugene Murphy asked the Minister for Education and Skills if the allocation of home tuition hours for children with autism and special educational needs for the 2019-20 academic year will be expedited; the reason for the lengthy delays in the allocation of home tuition hours that is perceived as detrimental for children with special needs and causing undue stress and hardship on home tutors; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38385/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The Special Education Home Tuition Grant scheme provides funding towards a compensatory educational service for children with special educational needs seeking an educational placement for whom such a placement is not available. The scheme also provides for early intervention for children with Autism.

The application forms and related Circular for this year’s scheme were published on the 8th August 2019. Last year, the forms and circular were published on the 26th July 2018.

Applications forms must be signed by the NCSE local SENO to confirm that no school placement is currently available for a child. SENOs are processing home tuition applications as a matter of urgency.

The Home Tuition Application form outlines that it may take the Department up to 15 working days to process home tuition applications. The vast majority of applications made during the summer have been processed. The Department is prioritising the processing of a small number Home Tuition applications with a view to processing completed applications within a shorter timeframe.

By its nature, the grant is intended to be a short term intervention until the a school placement is available. Home Tutors are engaged by the parents/guardian of the child who is to receive tuition. Home tutors do not have a contractual relationship with the Department.