Tuesday, 19 October 2004

Ceisteanna (396, 397)

Michael Ring

Ceist:

537 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Education and Science the reason she is not recognising persons as special needs assistants following their training on special needs courses. [25377/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Education and Science)

Approval for the post of special needs assistant is granted by my Department. However, the appointment of individual special needs assistants in primary and second level schools is a matter for each school authority.

Michael Ring

Ceist:

538 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Education and Science the reason she is not recognising trained special education teachers, or only recognise them on a provisional or restricted basis. [25378/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

To obtain full recognition as a primary teacher in this country, teachers must have satisfactorily completed a recognised primary teacher training course. In addition, Irish primary school teachers are class teachers as distinct from individual subject teachers and must be able to teach all aspects of the curriculum including the Irish language. Accordingly, fully recognised primary teachers must be qualified to teach the full range of primary school subjects to children aged four to 12 years.

Teachers trained in another jurisdiction but who do not possess an appropriate Irish language qualification must have their qualifications assessed and accepted by my Department before they are granted a five-year period of provisional recognition to teach in national schools. Such teachers must satisfy my Department that they are competent to teach the Irish language and to teach the range of primary school curricular subjects through the medium of Irish before being granted full recognition to teach in mainstream classes in national schools. To satisfy the Irish language requirement such teachers must pass an Irish language examination, Scrúdú Cáilíochta sa Ghaeilge, and provide certification that they have resided in the Gaeltacht while attending an approved three-week course. Holders of provisional recognition are entitled to be placed on the trained teachers' common basic scale.

My Department grants restricted recognition to certain Montessori trained teachers and to teachers who have a recognised primary teacher qualification from another jurisdiction but who are not qualified to teach in mainstream national schools because they do not have an appropriate Irish language qualification. Restricted recognition gives eligibility to teach in certain categories of special schools and special classes in mainstream schools where Irish is not a curricular requirement. Access to and renumeration for these posts is on a qualified teacher basis.