Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Questions (179)

Niamh Smyth


179. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason a person (details supplied) cannot obtain more home tuition hours; if additional hours will be allocated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51315/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The purpose of the Home Tuition Grant Scheme is to provide funding towards the provision of a compensatory educational service for children who, for a number of specific reasons, are unable to attend school.

In exceptional cases my Department will consider home tuition applications on behalf of students with diagnoses of school phobia and/or associated depression/anxiety which has caused major disruption to their attendance at school.

This exception will only apply where a continued absence from school is required to facilitate appropriate medical or therapeutic intervention with a view to the reintegration of the student in their school.

Home tuition is not an alternative to a school placement and is provided in very limited and specific circumstances.

Generally, grant aid based on a range of between 2 and 10 hours tuition may be approved with the allocation reflecting the level of attendance in the previous school year and whether the attendance was at primary or post primary level.

As a general guide, up to 5 hours may be granted to children at primary level while students at post primary level may be granted between 2 and 10 hours.

Based on the information provided in the application referred to by the Deputy, my Department sanctioned a Home Tuition grant towards the provision of 2 hours tuition per week.

The Home Tuition Grant Scheme provides for an appeal process and details are set out in the decision letter which issued to the applicant.

My Department received an appeal in relation to the application referred to by the Deputy on 3rd December 2019. My officials are considering the documentation supplied and the parent will be notified directly once a decision has been made.