Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Ceisteanna (121)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

121. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Education and Skills when a person (details supplied) in County Donegal will receive an appointment for an assessment from the National Educational Psychological Service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27010/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I can inform the Deputy that my Department’s National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) provides educational psychological support to all primary and post-primary schools involving direct access to a NEPS psychologist for responses to queries arising, access to support and development work to build school capacity to support students, direct support in the event of a critical incident and access to individual pupil casework input via a NEPS psychologist or through the Scheme for the Commissioning of Psychological Assessments. (SCPA).

In common with many other psychological services and best international practice, NEPS has adopted a consultative model of service. The focus is on empowering teachers to intervene effectively with pupils whose needs range from mild to severe and transient to enduring. Psychologists use a problem solving and solution oriented consultative approach to maximize positive outcomes for these pupils. NEPS encourages schools to use a continuum based assessment and intervention process whereby each school takes responsibility for initial assessment, educational planning and remedial intervention for pupils with learning, emotional or behavioural difficulties. Teachers may consult their NEPS psychologist should they need to at this stage in the process. Only in the event of a failure to make reasonable progress, in spite of the school's best efforts in consultation with NEPS, will the psychologist become involved with an individual child for intensive intervention or assessment.

This system allows psychologists to give early attention to urgent cases and also to help many more children indirectly than could be seen individually. It also ensures that children are not referred unnecessarily for psychological intervention.

Should the parents of the child, the subject of the Deputy’s question, have specific concerns about his educational progress they should, in the first instance, speak to the Principal of the school concerned, with a view to raising these concerns with the local NEPS service.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.