Dáil Éireann - Volume 586 - 26 May, 2004
Written Answers - Special Educational Needs.
Mr. Noonan Mr. Noonan
152. Mr. Noonan asked the Minister for Education and Science if financial assistance is available towards the cost of a person in primary school (details supplied) in County Limerick attending a clinic in Manchester for treatment for dyslexia; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15851/04]
Minister for Education and Science (Mr. N.Dempsey) Minister for Education and Science (Mr. N.Dempsey)
 Minister for Education and Science (Mr. N.Dempsey): My Department has no record of having received an application for financial assistance for the pupil referred to by the Deputy. In general, my Department considers that satisfactory education provision exists in the State to meet the educational needs of persons with dyslexia and consequently the question of providing financial assistance towards attendance at a facility outside the jurisdiction would not arise.
I wish to advise the Deputy that the following supports are provided by my Department to assist pupils with dyslexia. All children in the primary school system who have been assessed as having special educational needs, including children with dyslexia, have an automatic entitlement to a response to their needs irrespective of their level of need or location. The nature and level of the support provided is based on the professionally assessed needs of the individual child.
Children with dyslexia are generally catered for on an integrated basis in ordinary primary schools where they can be supported by the learning support teacher service or the resource teacher service. At present, there are over 2,600 resource teachers and 1,531 learning support teachers in the primary school system. My Department also provides funding to schools for the purchase of specialised equipment such as computers to assist children with special needs with their education, including children with dyslexia, where recommended by relevant professionals.
In addition, my Department is developing a weighted system of teacher resource allocation to primary schools from September 2004. An additional 350 teaching posts will be allocated as part of this system. This will allow resources to be speedily allocated to pupils with disabilities, including those with dyslexia, on the basis of school based assessment, pending full psychological, or other professional assessment.
Dáil Éireann 586 Written Answers Special Educational Needs.