Thursday, 21 January 2021

Questions (272)

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin

Question:

272. Deputy Aodhán Ó Ríordáin asked the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science if his attention has been drawn to delays in some schools in completing school-based attainment testing due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which have led to a concern among parents that testing will not take place in time to apply for the disability access route to education, DARE, programme; and if he will extend the DARE deadline from 1 March 2021 to prevent the exclusion of candidates who might otherwise qualify. [3141/21]

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Written answers (Question to Further and Higher Education)

The DARE scheme is operated by the Irish Universities Association (IUA) www.iua.ie who set the policy criteria for the scheme.

Admissions under the DARE scheme are regulated by the higher education institutions themselves. Each institution determines its own admissions policy in relation to the scheme, the number of places they reserve and the allocation of those places.

Applications to the scheme are submitted to the Central Applications Office (CAO) who coordinate the scheme for participating institutions.

As such, The Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science has no role in the policy criteria or operation of the scheme.

However, I have made some enquiries and can confirm that DARE are proceeding with the documented timelines but will continue to monitor the public health situation closely.

The application window is open since 5th November for online applications with a deadline of 1st March. Applicants have until 15th March to submit supporting documentation.