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Special Educational Needs

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 30 June 2020

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Questions (224)

Christopher O'Sullivan


224. Deputy Christopher O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason for the decision to limit the number of pupils with Down's syndrome that can avail of the July provision; the reason access has deteriorated in the past number of years; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13497/20]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

My Department published details of Summer Provision 2020 – Reconnecting with Education including a programme for children with complex special educational needs.

The programme is a significant expansion on the July Provision programme of previous years with the eligibility criteria widened to include approximately 9,000 additional primary aged children with complex needs.

The programme aims to ensure, in so far as possible, that these children can reintegrate/transition into their planned education setting for the next school year with their peers. 

In-school or home-based supports by teachers and SNAs will help to prevent regression among children with complex special educational needs. 

The eligibility criteria includes the following categories of children:

1. Pupils with a diagnosis of Autism

2. Pupils with severe and profound learning difficulties

3. Any child in special school or a special class in a Primary School

4. Children transitioning into a special class or special school from early year’s settings

5. Pupils in primary school mainstream classes who present with the following disabilities:

- Children with Down syndrome

- Children who are Deaf or most severe hard of hearing

- Children who are blind or have a most severe visual impairment

- Children who have a moderate general learning disability

- Children with severe emotional behavioural difficulties

A child must meet at least one of the eligibility criteria. I Have asked my officials to review the programme having a regard to the need to ensure equity as far as possible.

If a Parent is in doubt about their child’s eligibility, they should consult their child’s school or contact my Department. Contact details are available on my Departments website