Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Ceisteanna (262)

Eoin Ó Broin

Ceist:

262. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans and the funding arrangements being put in place to ensure the provision of additional special needs classroom spaces in a school (details supplied); and his further plans and funding arrangements in place to provide permanent additional capacity for pupils in need of ASD classroom places. [23789/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

My Department’s capital allocation for the school sector in 2019 amounts to €622m. I wish to advise the Deputy that my Department has received an application from the school in question. The application is currently being assessed. As soon as the assessment process is completed a decision will be conveyed to the school authority. 

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) through its national network of Special Needs Organisers (SENOs) is responsible for planning and coordinating education provision for children with special educational needs including granting approval for the establishment and resourcing of special classes. 

Special classes for students with ASD are staffed with a lower pupil–teacher ratio of 6:1 at primary level and 6:1.5 at post primary level, and also have a minimum of two SNAs for every class of 6 children.

When the NCSE sanction a special class in a school, the school can apply to my Department for capital funding to reconfigure existing spaces within the school building to accommodate the class and/or to construct additional accommodation.  There are standard arrangements in place for the funding, design and delivery of these projects.

Other resources which are provided to schools to support children with Special Educational Needs, including Autism, include the following:

- Professional development for teachers.

- The National Educational Psychological Service

- Assistive technology.

- Access to the Special School transport scheme.

- Access to special equipment and furniture where required.

- Enhanced capitation grants at primary level

- Adapted school buildings/Additional accommodation

- ICT Grant for new classes

- Start Up grant for new classes

- Access to the extended school year scheme. (July Provision).