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Education Schemes

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 1 June 2021

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Ceisteanna (422)

Mark Ward

Ceist:

422. Deputy Mark Ward asked the Minister for Education if an accurate costing will be provided for the expansion of the visiting teacher service by five full-time posts; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [29607/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

Visiting teachers for children who are deaf/hard of hearing or blind/visually impaired provide additional supports for such children, their families, and schools. Details of the services which are provided to schools and families by the visiting teacher service are available at ncse.ie/visiting-teachers.

The Visiting Teacher Service now forms part of the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) Support Service for schools.

Visiting teachers are qualified teachers with particular skills and knowledge of the development and education of children with varying degrees of hearing loss and/or visual impairment. They offer longitudinal support to children, their families and schools from the time of referral through to the end of post-primary education.

Each visiting teacher (VT) is responsible for a particular region and is allocated a caseload of students. The VT supports children/young people, parents, guardians, teachers and other professionals involved with the child. The frequency and nature of support takes into account a range of factors based on the individual’s needs. The work of the VT involves liaising with other professionals and agencies such as audiological scientists, ophthalmology services, speech and language therapists, low vision specialists, psychologists, early intervention teams, school staffs, and with parents.

The approximate cost of employing an additional five full time visiting teachers is €350,000 per annum for a full year However, the actual cost of each post will vary depending on the point of scale of the teacher employed or seconded to the post, and the extent of costs associated with travel and visits undertaken, within a region, in any given year.

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