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Home Schooling

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 4 November 2021

Thursday, 4 November 2021

Questions (293, 294, 296)

Colm Burke

Question:

293. Deputy Colm Burke asked the Minister for Education the reason home tuition applications are only accessible from mid-summer each year when educational welfare officers, CAMHS and schools management are on holidays given that this greatly hinders submission of comprehensive applications in time for the beginning of the school year; if this can be brought back earlier in the year to spring; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [53784/21]

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Colm Burke

Question:

294. Deputy Colm Burke asked the Minister for Education the actions her Department will take to reduce and ultimately eliminate the backlog in processing applications for home tuition which results in students missing part of the school year and tutors being unable to work; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [53785/21]

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Colm Burke

Question:

296. Deputy Colm Burke asked the Minister for Education if her Department will institute a process to replace time lost through delays in processing home tuition applications; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [53787/21]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 293, 294 and 296 together.

My Department's Home Tuition Grant Schemes provide funding towards the provision of a compensatory educational service for children who, for a number of specific reasons, are unable to attend school. By its nature, it is intended to be a short term intervention.

The Home tuition scheme for 2020/21 at primary ended on the 25th of June 2021 and the Post Primary scheme ended on the 28th of May 2021.

The new application forms and related Circular for the 2021/22 scheme were published on the 7th July 2021 which was published earlier than 2020/21 circular the previous year, which was the 27th July 2020.

The operation of the scheme will continue to be reviewed during the current academic year with a view to improving processes.

The Home Tuition Application form outlines that it may take the Department up to 15 working days to process home tuition applications.

The vast majority of applications made have been processed. The Department is prioritising the processing of a small number Home Tuition applications with a view to processing completed applications within a shorter timeframe.

The operation of the scheme will continue to be reviewed during the current academic year with a view to improving processes.

As per the circular 0038/2021, Parents should not commence Home Tuition until they have received a grant approval letter from the Department confirming that they meet the terms and conditions of the scheme and the date of commencement of grant aid.

Parents/legal guardians are advised that the home tuition grant will not be back-dated. There are no plans to amend this at this time.

Home Tutors are engaged by the parents/guardian of the child who is to receive tuition. Home tutors do not have a contractual relationship with the Department.

Question No. 294 answered with Question No. 293.
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