Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Questions (177)

Ruth Coppinger

Question:

177. Deputy Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Education and Skills if a preschool (details supplied) in Dublin 15 is not closed due to processing of Teaching Council registrations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51261/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

My Departments Home Tuition Grant Scheme provides funding towards a compensatory educational service for children with special educational needs seeking an educational placement. Provision is also made for early intervention for children with autism.

By its nature, the grant is intended to be a short term intervention and should not be regarded as an optional alternative to a school placement.

In the case referred to by the Deputy, tuition is provided in a private setting arranged directly by the parents. These settings operate outside of the normal school oversight arrangements of my Department. However, it is an important requirement of the funding that the qualification standard of tutors engaged generally reflects that which would be provided in a school environment. In addition, tutors engaged by the provider must be registered with the Teaching Council of Ireland and vetted by the National Vetting Bureau via the Teaching Council of Ireland’s online vetting process, prior to the commencement of the delivery of tuition.

My Department has no flexibility in this regard and cannot approve the Home Tuition grant until it verifies that these conditions are met by the private provider.

The same conditions apply whether Parents use the grant to engage tutors to deliver tuition in their home or private providers to deliver tuition in a group setting.

The Teaching Council of Ireland outlines that it will endeavour to process applications for registration within 8 weeks. The Council has confirmed that it is currently meeting these processing times.