A new model for allocating Special Education Teachers to mainstream schools was introduced from September 2017, based on the profiled needs of schools.
The allocations were updated for schools with effect from September 2019, with limited readjustments being applied for at that time.
The allocations have remained in place for the 2019/20 and 2020/21 school years, with some adjustments made over the course of the model for schools which achieved developing status, or successfully appealed on the grounds of exceptional circumstances arising in their schools. Allocations are also provided for new schools which open each year.
DES Circulars 007 and 008 2019, stated that the allocations being made for 2019 would initially remain in place for a minimum of two years, following which, revised profiled allocations would be considered for schools from September 2021.
The NCSE Policy advice ‘A Proposed new Model for Allocating Teaching Resources for Students with Special Educational Needs (2014)’ on which the SET allocation model is based, recommended that ‘the additional teaching supports be left in place initially for a two-year period. As the new model becomes embedded in the system, this may be extended to three years.’
In order to minimise disruption for schools, in the current circumstances, and to provide for continuity of allocations, the Minister for Education and the Minister for Special Education and Inclusion have agreed to maintain the existing Special Education Teacher Allocations for schools for the 2021/22 school year, with re profiled allocations now due to be made from September 2022.
Additional allocations will continue to be made for new schools, schools which achieve developing status, or for exceptional circumstances arising in schools, in the interim.
The criteria for qualification for mainstream school developing school posts are set out in the Primary and Post Primary School Staffing Schedule for the 2021/22 school year.
Schools who qualify for additional mainstream developing school posts in accordance with these criteria also qualify for additional Special Education Teaching Allocations to take account of this developing status.
It is also acknowledged that there are some circumstances, which may arise in schools, which fall outside the allocations for developing school status.
These relate to exceptional or emergency circumstances which could not have been anticipated e.g. where the school profile changes very significantly, or where other exceptional circumstances have arisen in a school and which may require a review of schools capacity to provide additional teaching support for all pupils who need it in the school, or of their utilisation of their allocations.
A process is available where schools can seek a review of their allocations by the National Council for Special Education (NCSE), including the utilisation of their allocations, in circumstances where a school considers that very exceptional circumstances have arisen subsequent to the development of the profile.
If a school wishes to make an exceptional needs review, they may do so at the following link: https://ncse.ie/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Primary-Schools-Review-Application-2020.doc