Tuesday, 6 July 2021

Questions (316, 317)

Johnny Mythen

Question:

316. Deputy Johnny Mythen asked the Minister for Education further to Parliamentary Question No. 319 of 29 June 2021, the number of the 1,488 applications for exceptional reviews received by the NCSE in which a site visit to the school was included in the process; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [36357/21]

View answer

Johnny Mythen

Question:

317. Deputy Johnny Mythen asked the Minister for Education further to Parliamentary Question No. 319 of 29 June 2021, the number of the 716 unsuccessful exceptional reviews that have been appealed; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [36358/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 316 and 317 together.

The NCSE has responsibility for planning and coordinating school supports for children with special educational needs including the allocation of SNAs and reviews. The Department does not have a role in making individual school determinations. Accordingly your question has been forwarded to the NCSE for direct reply.

The NCSE manages the exceptional review process and handles each case individually. Some review requests can be concluded as an office based exercise, whilst others require a school to be visited. The timeframe for concluding a review can vary depending on the school context or the nature of the information provided.

In processing applications for an exceptional review of SNA support, the NCSE considers each application on the basis of the information provided by the school. Schools are required to use their existing allocation and deploy SNAs in support of the care needs as they are currently presenting in the school. The NCSE examines the application to identify whether there has been a significant change in the profile of care needs in the school. In some cases an additional allocation is required and is subsequently made available to the school. As advised in the Guidelines on the SNA Exceptional Review process published on the NCSE website, priority is given to schools with no or limited SNA resources and to rapidly developing schools.

For the 2020/21 Exceptional Review process, given the particular public health requirements and the fact that school buildings were closed for some of the year, wherever possible the opportunity was taken to conclude a review as an office based exercise. In most cases this resulted with the review being brought to a conclusion without a school visit. However, in some cases it was also necessary to visit the school in order to complete the process and 320 such school visits took place. The school visit provides an opportunity to engage with teachers, SNAs and school management on the effective deployment of SNAs in the school and the NCSE is thankful to schools for facilitating their taking place.

The NCSE have confirmed that 1,488 SNA Exceptional Review applications were received, and outcomes notified to schools. Of these, 772 schools received an increase amounting to 539.39 additional posts allocated. The number of appeals received was 137.

Question No. 317 answered with Question No. 316.