Dáil Éireann - Volume 484 - 09 December, 1997

Written Answers. - Teacher Appointments.

360. Mr. Penrose asked the Minister for Education and Science if his attention has been drawn to the concerns expressed by parents of children at a school (details supplied) in County Tipperary regarding an adequate number of special needs assistants in all the classes; the action, if any, he proposes to take to remedy these deficiencies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21923/97]

Minister for Education and Science (Mr. Martin): I am aware that the school referred to by the Deputy has applied to my Department for additional child care assistant support. My capacity to allocate additional child care assistant posts in any year is dependent on resource availability and the level of competing demand across the special needs area. Since my appointment as Minister for Education and Science, I have allocated an additional 20 child care assistant posts. These posts were allocated on the basis of priority of need and were focused particularly on children with severe or profound mental handicap.

I am reviewing provision across the special needs area, including the child care area, to ensure all available resources are deployed as effectively as possible. The needs of the school to which the Deputy refers will be considered in this context.