Dáil Éireann - Volume 580 - 17 February, 2004
Written Answers - Psychological Service.
Ms McManus Ms McManus
273. Ms McManus asked the Minister for Education and Science when a decision will be  made on the psychological assessments of the 14 children in Carnew national school, County Wicklow, given that they have been waiting almost a year following recommendations that they be allocated a resource teacher and special needs assistants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4519/04]
Mr. N. Dempsey Mr. N. Dempsey
Mr. N. Dempsey: The school referred to by the Deputy currently has the services of a full-time and part-time resource teacher together with a shared learning support teacher. My Department has received applications for further special educational resources, SER, from this school and the position in this regard is as follows.
Resources in respect of an emergency application for one of the persons referred to by the Deputy have been approved on a temporary basis; SER applications received between 15 February and 31 August 2003, including the applications for the remaining 13 persons made by this school, are being considered at present. In all, more than 5,000 such applications were received. Priority was given to cases involving children starting school last September and all these cases were responded to at or before the commencement of the current school year.
The balance of more than 4,000 applications has been reviewed by a dedicated team comprising members of my Department's inspectorate and the National Educational Psychological Service, NEPS. These applications are being further considered in the context of the outcome of surveys of SER provision conducted over the past year or so. Account is also being taken of existing resource levels, the details of which were submitted by schools as part of the recent nationwide census of SER provision.
The processing of the applications is a complex and time-consuming operation. However, my Department is endeavouring to have this completed as quickly as possible and my officials will then respond to all applicant schools. Pending a response, schools are advised to refer to circular 24/03, which issued in September 2003. This circular contains practical advice on how to achieve the most effective deployment of resources already allocated for special educational needs within the school.
Dáil Éireann 580 Written Answers Psychological Service.