Dáil Éireann - Volume 500 - 10 February, 1999

Written Answers. - Special Educational Needs.

108. Mr. Yates asked the Minister for Education and Science if schools have been informed of the new automatic right of children with special education needs to resource teaching and care assistance; and the way in which schools and parents can avail of this resource. [3615/99]

Minister for Education and Science (Mr. Martin): A draft circular and information note are currently being finalised in my Department and it is hoped that these will issue to all schools and the education partners, including the National Parents Council, before the end of February.

The purpose of these documents is to notify all schools of the very important development to which the Deputy refers. The documents will also advise schools on how to apply for appropriate resource teaching and/or child care support for pupils with disabilities attending the schools. All such applications will be required to be supported by detailed information relating to the individual children involved.

In addition, the Deputy will be aware that my Department and I have publicly promoted these new entitlements in various public fora in recent months. Parents wishing to avail of special sup[471] port services for their children would normally channel their request through the relevant school. However, individual parents can also draw my Department's attention to the special educational needs of their child.