Dáil Éireann - Volume 550 - 28 February, 2002
Written Answers. - Psychological Service.
Ms Clune Ms Clune
189. Ms Clune asked the Minister for Education and Science the reason a school (details supplied) in County Cork is without a psychological service for almost one year; his plans to address this situation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7326/02]
Dr. Woods Dr. Woods
Minister for Education and Science (Dr. Woods): I have been informed that, since its establishment, a psychological service was provided to this school by a voluntary body under the aegis of the Southern Health Board. This service was withdrawn on a temporary basis, beginning in September 2001, due to the resignation of a member of staff.
I am aware the children in the school have complex needs and that many of them require support from both clinical and educational psychologists. The National Educational Psychological Service Agency (NEPS) is liaising with the voluntary body with the aim of eventually providing a joint clinical-educational psychological service to the school.
NEPS is extending its service to further schools as additional psychologists are appointed. At present, the agency does not have a sufficient complement of psychologists in the southern region to be able to offer a full educational psychological service to all schools. However, a recruitment competition for additional psychologists is now nearing completion, and it is expected that a number of appointments will be made to the southern region.
Meanwhile, NEPS has taken some preliminary steps towards offering a full service to this school. A NEPS senior psychologist experienced in the area of disability has undertaken a detailed analysis of its needs for educational psychological support. Members of the NEPS management team have arranged a series of visits to the school to discuss the outcomes of the survey with the school principal and with representatives of the parents.
The school may avail of my Department's scheme for commissioning psychological assessments, full details of which are available from NEPS or from my Department's website.
Dáil Éireann 550 Written Answers. Psychological Service.