Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Ceisteanna (486, 487)

Johnny Mythen

Ceist:

486. Deputy Johnny Mythen asked the Minister for Education the number of autism spectrum disorder primary level classes and places in County Wexford; the listing of each school that has a special ASD class; the status of the class for the 2020/2021 school year, that is, if it is full or has vacancies; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [27153/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Johnny Mythen

Ceist:

487. Deputy Johnny Mythen asked the Minister for Education the number of autism spectrum disorder secondary level classes and places in County Wexford; the listing of each school that has a special ASD class; the status of the class for the 2020/2021 school year, that is, if it is full or has vacancies; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [27154/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 486 and 487 together.

Ensuring that every child has a suitable school placement is a key objective of my Department.  Significant resources are allocated each year to ensure that appropriate supports are available for children with special educational needs. 

Children with special educational needs are supported through placement in mainstream classes, special classes and special schools. At school, they receive a range of supports provided by teachers and SNAs.  Other professional supports, including training for teachers, are provided by the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) and the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) to enable each school provide a holistic educational experience for each child.  The HSE is responsible for the delivery of therapeutic supports.

NCSE has responsibility for coordinating and advising on the education provision for children nationwide; has well established structures in place for engaging with schools and parents; and seeks to ensure that schools in an area can, between them, cater for all children who have been identified as needing special education placements.  The NCSE is planning a further expansion of special class and school places nationally to meet identified need. This process is ongoing.

A list of special classes for the current school year, including special classes for children with autism, is available on the NCSE website - www.ncse.ie

It is open to any school to make an application to the NCSE for the establishment of a specialised provision and where sanctioned, a range of supports, including capital funding, is made available to the school. School transport is also available. My Department works closely with the NCSE in this regard.

The NCSE's local Special Education Needs Organisers (SENOs) are available to assist and advise both schools and the parents of children with special educational needs.  Parents may contact SENOs directly using the contact details available at: https://ncse.ie/regional-services-contact-list