Dáil Éireann - Volume 572 - 21 October, 2003

Written Answers. - Special Educational Needs.

  200. Mr. Howlin asked the Minister for Education and Science if his attention has been drawn to a recent newspaper report which alludes, inter alia, to a possible reduction of up to 30% in special need school assistants resulting from a proposed audit of SNA requirements; the criteria on which this proposed audit is to be based; and [1545] if he will make a statement on the matter. [23882/03]

  Minister for Education and Science (Mr. N. Dempsey): I wish to advise the Deputy that a general audit of resource allocations to national schools in support of pupils with special educational needs is to be undertaken by my Department. The terms of reference for the process have not yet been decided. The purpose of the audit is to ensure that those resource allocations continue to be targeted to best effect.

  In the case of special needs assistants, the audit will focus on the overall level of support required in each school, having regard to the evolving care needs of the pupils for whom the supports were put in place.

  201. Mr. O'Dowd asked the Minister for Education and Science the position regarding the application for a special needs assistant for a person (details supplied) in County Louth. [23885/03]

  Minister for Education and Science (Mr. N. Dempsey): I am aware of the case referred to by the Deputy. My Department received an application for resource teaching and special needs assistant support for the pupil in question. A total of five hours resource teaching support was sanctioned on 25 September 2003.

  Special needs assistant support was not sanctioned because the pupil did not qualify under the eligibility criteria set out in Department Circular 07/02.