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Special Educational Needs

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 24 February 2021

Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Questions (446)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

446. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Education if the in-person supplementary programme for pupils with special needs during school closures who are not attending special schools will be covered by her Department’s school insurance; if her attention has been drawn to the fact that teachers and SNAs will not be in a position to bring such children outdoors without insurance cover and that this will particularly impact families in DEIS areas who may not have their own home insurance; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9900/21]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The supplementary programme of in-person support is intended to enhance the remote learning experience for pupils with complex special educational needs during the school closure period.

The four-week programme provides 5 hours per week of support (20 hours) which is intended to be delivered in the pupils home at evenings and weekends up to 30 April 2021, including during the Easter break.

These hours supplement existing school provision provided remotely, therefore they cannot be delivered during the school day.

Similar to my Department’s home based summer programme, parents will engage either a teacher or an SNA in a private arrangement. My Department will act as a payroll agent for Parents and facilitate direct payment to Teachers/SNAs via the Department’s NTS payroll.

It is the responsibility of the parent and teacher/SNA to ensure any necessary insurance arrangements are in place.

Full guidance on the In-person Supplementary scheme has been provided to schools and has also been published at: www.gov.ie/en/service/865df-in-person-supplementary-programme/.

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