Written Answers. - Educational Psychologist.

Noel Dempsey

Ceist:

403 Mr. Dempsey asked the Minister for Education the plans, if any, she has to provide an educational psychologist in the Meath area. [16366/96]

There is a psychologist from my Department's psychological service available to second-level schools in the Meath area. The psychological service for primary schools from my Department is in a limited number of areas at present, with priority given to schools serving disadvantaged areas. The service to primary schools has not been extended to the Meath area as yet.

In general, the responsibility for the psychological assessment of children in national schools, where such is deemed necessary, is a matter for the regional health boards through the appropriate director of community care. It will be some time before the psychological service from my Department will be in a position to take over responsibility for psychological assessments for educational purposes in national schools from the health boards.

When further expansion of the Department of Education's psychological service becomes possible, the needs of children and of schools in various areas, including the Meath area, will be borne in mind.