Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Ceisteanna (459)

Martin Heydon

Ceist:

459. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Education and Skills if the summer education programme will be extended to children with special education needs who are due to commence education in September 2020; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14423/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

My Department published details of Summer Provision 2020 – Reconnecting with Education including a programme for children with complex special educational needs.

The programme is a significant expansion on the July Provision programme of previous years with the eligibility criteria widened to include approximately 9,000 additional primary aged children with complex needs.

The programme aims to ensure, in so far as possible, that these children can reintegrate/transition into their planned education setting for the next school year with their peers.

In-school or home-based supports by teachers and SNAs will help to prevent regression among children with complex special educational needs.

The eligibility criteria includes the following categories of children:

1. Pupils with a diagnosis of Autism

2. Pupils with severe and profound learning difficulties

3. Any child in special school or a special class in a Primary School

4. Children transitioning into a special class or special school from early year’s settings

5. Pupils in primary school mainstream classes who present with the following disabilities:

- Children with Down syndrome

- Children who are Deaf or most severe hard of hearing

- Children who are blind or have a most severe visual impairment

- Children who have a moderate general learning disability

- Children with severe emotional behavioural difficulties

A child must meet at least one of the eligibility criteria.

If a Parent is in doubt about their child’s eligibility, they should consult their child’s school or contact my Department. Contact details are available on my Departments website https://www.education.ie/en/Parents/Services/summerprovision/summer-education-programme-2020.html

Full information on summer provision and its various strands, including guidance information for parents, is available at Gov.ie/summerprovision

In relation to support for preschool children the Department of Children and Youth Affairs launched a dedicated campaign and website to support transition called “Lets Get Ready” which has received a positive response so far.

This resource has been prepared jointly with my Department. It is universal in scope, and is aimed at children returning to preschool as well as children returning to or transitioning to school.

Information on the site is at a level for all to understand and include a section called ‘Ready for Everyone’ to specifically support transitions for children with special / additional needs.

The website, which is being updated and reviewed by the DCYA based on the feedback from various sources, is available at https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/74b0d-ready-for-everyone