Dáil Éireann - Volume 580 - 18 February, 2004

Written Answers. - School Staffing.

  197. Mr. Murphy asked the Minister for Education and Science when a resource teacher will be provided for a school (details supplied) in County Tipperary. [5118/04]

  Mr. N. Dempsey: The school has the services of a full-[698] time resource teacher and part-time resource teaching hours. My Department received a further application for special educational resources from the school.

SER applications received between 15 February and 31 August 2003, including the one made by the school, are being considered. More than 5,000 applications were received. Priority was given to children that started school last September. Their cases were responded to at or before the commencement of the current school year.

The balance of more than 4,000 applications was reviewed by a dedicated team comprising members of my Department's inspectorate and the national educational psychological service. They are being further considered after surveys of SER provision were carried out in the past year. Account is also being taken of the data submitted by schools as part of the recent nationwide census of SER provision.

Processing applications is complex and time consuming but my Department is endeavouring to complete the process as quickly as possible. My officials will then respond to all applicant schools. Pending a response, schools are advised to refer to circular 24/03 issued last September. It contains practical advice on how to achieve the most effective deployment of resources already allocated for special educational needs.