I am most anxious that all children, including children with autistic spectrum disorders receive education appropriate to their needs. I understand from my officials that the pupil in question is currently enrolled in a special class for autism in a mainstream school in north Dublin. This class has a pupil teacher ratio of 6:1 and has the support of two special needs assistants. I further understand that ten hours home tuition per week has been sanctioned for the pupil in question until the end of the current school year.
My Department is actively considering an application from Saplings, Kildare, for autistic provision in south County Dublin. My officials are liaising with my Department's inspectorate and the national educational psychological service, NEPS, in this regard. A response will issue to the applicants as quickly as possible.
I understand that the pupil referred to by the Deputy is on a waiting list for the Saplings facility. Applications for enrolment in the Saplings project are a matter for the management of the facility.