Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Questions (206)

Brendan Griffin


206. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Education and Skills if a decision has been made on a review of the allocation of special education teaching supports in mainstream classes by a school (details supplied) on the grounds of exceptional circumstances; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53064/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

DES Circulars 0007/2019 for primary schools and 0008/2019 for post primary schools provide details of how the allocations of Special Education Teachers have been updated for schools from September 2019, based on updated profile data.

All schools have now received revised allocations for September 2019. 

Under the allocation model, schools have been provided with a total allocation for special education needs support based on their school profile.

Both this Department and the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) are committed to ensuring that all schools are treated fairly in the manner in which their school profiles have been calculated.

Accordingly, a number of review processes have been put in place to support schools.

A process is in place to address circumstances where the school profile significantly changed following the allocation process e.g., a developing school where the net enrolment numbers significantly increased.

The criteria for qualification for mainstream developing school posts are set out in the Primary and Post Primary School Staffing Schedule for the 2019/20 school year.

Schools who qualify for additional mainstream developing school posts, in accordance with these criteria, also qualify for additional Special Education Teaching Allocations to take account of this developing status.

It is also acknowledged that there are some circumstances, which may arise in schools, which fall outside the appeals process, or allocations for developing school status.

These relate to exceptional or emergency circumstances which could not have been anticipated e.g., where the school profile changes very significantly, or where other exceptional circumstances have arisen in a school and which may require a review of schools capacity to provide additional teaching support for all pupils who need it in the school, or of their utilisation of their allocations.

A process is in place where schools can seek a review of their allocations, including the utilisation of their allocations, in circumstances where a school considers that very exceptional circumstances have arisen subsequent to the development of the profile.  

This appeal process, which is managed by the NCSE is available at: https://ncse.ie/review-of-special-education-teacher-supports-where-there-are-exceptional-circumstances-or-needs-arising-in-a-school-2.

As applications for reviews of special education teaching supports on the grounds of exceptional circumstances are considered by the NCSE, I have referred this question to the NCSE for its attention and direct reply.