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. This involves direct support in the event of a critical incident, access to national and regional support and development work to build school capacity to support students, access to a NEPS psychologist for responses to queries arising, and access to individual pupil casework via a NEPS psychologist or through the Scheme for the Commissioning of Psychological Assessments. (SCPA).
By way of clarification NEPs psychologists are recruited via regional panels formed from national recruitment competitions administered by the Public Appointments service. The assignment of a NEPS psychologist to the school to which the Deputy alludes in his question, was the subject of a vacancy and the school was given access to the SCPA process in relation to its pupils casework needs. While every effort was made by PAS to fill the post from the existing panel in the region these ultimately proved unsuccessful and the panel has now been exhausted.
I can inform the Deputy however that a new national competition will be launched very shortly from which new regional recruitment panels will be formed with a view to filling vacancies in the coming academic year including the vacancy in the NEPS North-Western Region .
I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.