Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Ceisteanna (198)

Peadar Tóibín


198. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Education and Skills the ASD units in schools in County Meath. [39390/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

Enabling children with Special Educational Needs including Autism to receive an education appropriate to their needs is a priority for me and the Government. 

Nearly one euro in every five of this budget, about €1.9 billion, is invested in supporting children with special educational needs in schools. 

Since 2011, the Government has increased the number of Special education teachers from 9,740 to over 13,400 and the number of Special Needs Assistants from 10,575 to 15,950. 

We have also increased the number of special classes from 548 in 2011 to 1,621 across the country now. 1,355 of these are Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) special classes. 

In addition places in the 124 special schools for students with the most complex special educational needs have increased from 6,848 to 8,000 across the country now. 

This ensures that a continuum of special educational provision, including special class and special school placements, is made available for children with special educational needs, so that regardless of the level of need of the child, educational provision can be made for them. 

In Co. Meath, there are currently 3 special schools and 66 special classes in mainstream schools, including 2 ASD Early Intervention classes, 42 primary ASD classes and 18 ASD post primary ASD classes. 

Details of all special classes for children with special educational needs are available in tabular form by county on the NCSE website at https://ncse.ie/special-classes.

The NCSE team of locally based Special Education Needs Organisers (SENOs) are available to assist parents to identify appropriate educational placements for children with special educational needs and to discuss their child's special educational needs. The local SENO contact details are available on www.ncse.ie.  

Special Education Needs Organisers (SENOs) also assist and advise schools to plan for special class provision and to address issues in provision that may arise from time in time at local levels.