Dáil Éireann - Volume 578 - 27 January, 2004

Written Answers - Special Educational Needs.

  412. Mr. F. McGrath asked the Minister for Education and Science if he will give Scoil Mhuire primary school, Griffith Avenue, Dublin 9, the maximum support and assistance in 2004. [1242/04]

[479]   Mr. N. Dempsey:Any application for special educational needs, SEN, supports received in my Department will be considered in the context of the criteria outlined in the relevant Department circulars and the existing level of SEN resources already available in the school.

  413. Mr. F. McGrath asked the Minister for Education and Science if he will give maximum support and assistance to St. Malachi's primary school, Edenmore, Dublin 5, in 2004. [1243/04]

  Mr. N. Dempsey:Any application for special educational needs, SEN, supports received in my Department will be considered in the context of the criteria outlined in the relevant Department circulars and the existing level of SEN resources already available in the school.

  414. Mr. F. McGrath asked the Minister for Education and Science the current position regarding back-up services for children with disabilities at St. Fiachra's junior school, Beaumont, Dublin 9; and if he will give the maximum support and assistance in 2004. [1244/04]

  Mr. N. Dempsey:I understand that the Deputy's question relates to an application for special needs assistant support for a junior infant pupil attending St. Fiachra's junior school, Beaumont, Dublin 9. My officials will contact the school in question concerning the matter.

Any application for special educational needs, SEN, supports received in my Department will be considered in the context of the criteria outlined in the relevant Department circulars and the existing level of SEN resources available in the school.

  415. Mr. F. McGrath asked the Minister for Education and Science if he will give the maximum support and assistance to Virgin Mary's boys' school, Ballymun, Dublin 9, in 2004. [1245/04]

  Mr. N. Dempsey:Two large-scale projects have recently been completed at Virgin Mary's boys' and girls' schools, Ballymun. Grant aid in the amount of €1,019,561 was sanctioned in 2002 for the works, which included mechanical and electrical upgrades and refurbishment of both school buildings.

If additional works are required in the school, the Deputy will note that I have put in place a new devolved summer works scheme. This caters for necessary small scale works that can be planned and delivered during the summer holidays. The 2004 programme will be updated in early spring to provide details of approved projects under the scheme.

[480] Question No. 416 answered with Question No. 388.

  417. Ms O. Mitchell asked the Minister for Education and Science if his attention has been drawn to the fact that parents of children attending CABAS schools must now begin to make plans for September if the decision on the pilot schemes is not favourable; if the uncertainty created by the reply in the current school year is causing huge stress; and if he would aim for an early decision and indicate when that might be. [1248/04]

  Mr. N. Dempsey:My Department intends to take a measured approach to considering the future of the three CABAS facilities in Dublin, Cork and Drogheda. My approach will be to ensure continuity of provision for the pupils in question. My Department appreciates the concerns of parents for greater certainty and in this regard, I wish to confirm that my Department is prepared to continue to provide funding for three CABAS facilities for the next school year 2004/2005.

I hope this clarification will ease parents' concerns. My Department will in due course consider the reports of the Inspectorate on autism specific provisions and any issues arising therefrom will be raised directly with the relevant managements.

  418. Mr. Howlin asked the Minister for Education and Science if additional learning support can be provided for Barntown and Glynn national schools, County Wexford, where overall enrolment has increased by 40% since 1993 when they were allocated the services of a learning support teacher on a shared basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1249/04]

  Mr. N. Dempsey:The schools referred to by the Deputy currently have the services of a full-time shared learning support teacher. The number of learning support teachers now stands at 1,531, enabling a learning support service to be accessed by every primary school pupil in the country. While it is not my intention to allocate further such posts at this time, my Department will continue to review the allocation of resources for special needs.

  419. Mr. Stagg asked the Minister for Education and Science if he will give a commitment that the evaluation of the CABAS facilities for teaching autistic children currently being carried out by his Department's inspectorate will be concluded at an early date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1254/04]

  Mr. N. Dempsey:I would like to assure the Deputy that my Department intends to take a measured approach to considering the future of the three [481] CABAS facilities in Dublin, Cork and Drogheda. My approach will be to ensure continuity of provision for the pupils in question. My Department appreciates the concerns of parents for greater certainty and in this regard, I wish to confirm that my Department is prepared to continue to provide funding for three CABAS facilities for the next school year 2004/2005.

I hope this clarification will ease parents' concerns. My Department will in due course consider the reports of the Inspectorate on autism specific provisions and any issues arising therefrom will be raised directly with the relevant managements.