Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Wednesday, 22 Mar 1995

Vol. 450 No. 8

Written Answers. - Children with Learning Difficulties.

Trevor Sargent


137 Mr. Sargent asked the Minister for Education the progress, if any, with the educational assessment of children with learning difficulties in view of the fact that currently a child can be waiting from 18 months to two years and her views on whether a child's development or lack of it should be dealt with immediately as time waits for no child. [5875/95]

The educational needs of children with learning difficulties are generally capable of being met within the ordinary school system, with the assistance, where appropriate, of a remedial teacher. Fully qualified primary teachers are trained to deal with a variety of learning difficulties.

There are 1,133 full-time remedial teachers employed in primary schools. These teachers are concerned with the prevention and remediation of learning disabilities. As I recently announced, I intend to allocate an additional 55 remedial posts to national schools in 1995. The responsibility for the educational assessment of children is a matter for the health authorities through the director of community care.

My Department is currently in the process of developing a school psychological service at primary level on a phased basis. To this end, ten additional psychologists have been recruited and a further ten will be recruited later this year. However, it will be some time before this new service will be in a position to take on the responsibility for educational assessments from the health authorities.