Special schools are classified as primary national schools and are intended to cater for children with special educational needs from 4 until 18 years old. The Health Service Executive then assumes direct responsibility for young adults with special needs who are over 18.
Some people with a disability, over the age of 18, and who have complex needs, may require specialised support throughout their lives. Ongoing care and support services within the community, in a post school setting, are provided by voluntary or statutory organisations; responsibility for such care and support rests with the HSE. My Department, at that stage, may allocate funding towards an education component of such provision.
Schools liaise with the relevant health authorities to ensure the young person’s successful transition to adult services by the time s/he reaches 18 years.
It is important to note that students who transfer to adult service settings can continue to participate in educational programmes through further adult educational programmes or in adult settings which are allocated resources towards educational provision.
The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) has published information pamphlets on the main post-school education and training options for people with disabilities.
The pamphlets cover:
- Further Education and Training
- Higher Education
- Rehabilitative Training and Adult Day Services.
People with a disability may have a difficulty getting clear information and advice on the post-school options and pathways that are available and appropriate for them. The aim of the leaflets is to give parents and students and other adults an overview of the range of post-school options and supports available and how to get the relevant details and guidance to inform individual choice.
The pamphlets are available on the NCSE website www.ncse.ie.
The NCSE have advised that the student referred to by the Deputy has enrolled in a Special school placement. He can remain in this placement until the end of the current school year, however he cannot be enrolled for the 2018/19 school year due to his age.
It is a matter for his parents to seek the support of adult services through the relevant health authorities.
In this regard his Parents should continue to liaise with the NCSE, NEPS and the relevant HSE authorities.