Dáil Éireann - Volume 557 - 12 November, 2002
Written Answers. - Special Educational Needs.
Mr. F. McGrath Mr. F. McGrath
305. Mr. F. McGrath asked the Minister for Education and Science the amount of money which was spent on the 18,000 children with special needs attending mainstream primary schools; the expenditure spent on 6,000 attending special schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21569/02]
Mr. N. Dempsey Mr. N. Dempsey
Minister for Education and Science (Mr. N. Dempsey): Children with special needs are catered for in special schools, in special classes attached to mainstream schools and in integrated settings. The special school system, which involves 108 special schools, employs about 1,090 teachers at an annual salary cost of about €43.6  million. There are about 550 special classes attached to mainstream schools and the annual costs of the teachers involved in the special classes is about €22 million. Integrated special needs children are supported by approximately 2,400 full-time resource teacher equivalents at an annual cost of about €96 million. Children with special needs in all of the above settings are also supported by the special needs assistant service and the annual salary cost of this service in 2003 will be about €95 million.
Some children with special needs require the support of the visiting teacher service and the annual cost of this service is about €1.68 million. All children attending special schools and special classes attract special increased rates of capitation funding and are entitled to avail of the special school transport and escort services. The annual cost of the special capitation funding is about €10 million. Children attending mainstream schools on a fully integrated basis attract the standard rate of capitation funding. The annual cost of the special school transport and escort service is about €19 million. Some children with special needs also require the aid of specialised equipment such as braillers, touch talkers and computers. A funding allocation of €2.6 million is available in the current year for this purpose.
Dáil Éireann 557 Written Answers. Special Educational Needs.