Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Ceisteanna (99, 100, 119)

Thomas Byrne

Ceist:

99. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of applications outstanding for home tuition grants as at 13 September 2019. [37773/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Thomas Byrne

Ceist:

100. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of applications received to date for the 2019/2020 school term for home tuition grants. [37774/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Thomas Byrne

Ceist:

119. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills the date on which home tuition will commence in September 2019; the number of children who will receive home tuition in September 2019; the number of teachers who are in place to provide same; the number of vacancies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37885/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 99, 100 and 119 together.

The Home Tuition Grant schemes application forms and related Circular were published on 8th August 2019 this year. Last year, the forms and circular were published on 26th July 2018.

The scheme provides funding towards a compensatory educational service for children with special educational needs seeking an educational placement for whom such a placement is not available. The scheme also provides for early intervention for children with Autism.

Where the NCSE confirms that there is no suitable school place available for a child, the Department can provide Home Tuition Grant funding towards a compensatory educational service for the child until a school placement is available.

By its nature, the grant is intended to be a short term intervention and should not be regarded as an optional alternative to a school placement.

Applications forms are signed by the NCSE local SENO to confirm that no school placement is currently available for a child. SENOs are processing home tuition applications as a matter of urgency.

It is an essential condition for the approval of grant funding that tutors engaged by Parents are registered with the Teaching Council of Ireland and vetted by the National Vetting Bureau via the Teaching Council of Ireland’s on-line vetting process, prior to the commencement of the delivery of tuition.

The Department has no flexibility in this regard and cannot approve the Home Tuition grant until it verifies that these conditions are met.

The same conditions apply whether Parents use the grant to engage tutors to deliver tuition in their home or private providers to deliver tuition in a group setting.

The Home Tuition Application form outlines that it may take the Department up to 15 working days to process home tuition applications.

The Department is prioritising the processing of Home Tuition applications with a view to processing completed applications within 7 working days.

My Department also provides a Home Tuition Grant Scheme for students, enrolled in schools, with significant medical conditions, which has caused, and is likely to continue to cause, major disruption to their attendance at school for a number of reasons such as chronic illness, are unable to attend school.