Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Questions (286)

Martin Browne


286. Deputy Martin Browne asked the Minister for Education if there are plans to provide additional funding for the inclusion of ASD classrooms in a school (details supplied). [49423/21]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Enabling children with special educational needs to receive an education appropriate to their needs is a priority for this Government.

This year, just under 25% of the total Education budget or €2bn will be invested in supporting children with special educational needs. As a result, the numbers of special education teachers, SNAs, special class and special school places are at unprecedented levels.

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) has responsibility for coordinating and advising on the education provision for children nationwide.

It is open to any school to make an application to the NCSE for the establishment of a specialised provision and where sanctioned, a range of supports, including capital funding, is made available to the school.

Parents seeking special class placements for their children are advised to contact NCSE locally so that their needs can be taken into account for planning purposes.

The NCSE through their network of SENOs (Special Educational Needs Organisers) are currently engaged in a process of establishing new classes for the 2022/2023 school year and beyond. They are looking at local information in relation to projected demand for future special class places.

The school referred to by the Deputy has been sanctioned a new build to incorporate 4 ASD classes which will provide an additional 24 placements for students with autism.

The local SENOs remain available to assist and advise parents of children with special educational needs. Parents may contact SENOs directly using the contact details available at: www.ncse.ie/regional-services-contact-list .