Dáil Éireann - Volume 588 - 24 June, 2004

Written Answers. - Special Educational Needs.

  115. Mr. Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Science asked the Minister for Education and Science if a person (details supplied) in Dublin 9 will receive a place in a special needs class. [18911/04]

  Mr. N. Dempsey: I am aware that an application was made for the placement of the child in question in a special class in the school referred to the Deputy. I understand that there is currently no spare capacity in the class and that the pupil has been placed on a waiting list. The National Education Welfare Board is currently liaising with the child’s parents with a view to securing an alternative placement.

  116. Mr. F. McGrath asked the Minister for Education and Science if he will give an update on new services for children with acute special educational needs. [18917/04]

  Mr. N. Dempsey: In Circular 24/03, the Department stated its intention to engage in discussions with representative interests with a view to developing a weighted system of teacher allocations for special needs teaching. The allocation of an additional 350 teaching posts for special needs and a new system for the allocation of resources for special needs in primary schools have now been approved.

The new system will involve a general weighted allocation for all primary schools to cater for pupils with higher incidence special educational needs, borderline mild and mild general learning disability and specific learning disability, and those with learning support needs, that is, functioning at or below the tenth percentile on a standardised test of reading and/or mathematics. It will also allow for individual allocations in respect of pupils with lower incidence special educational needs, which are those pupils referred to by the Deputy.

Details of the weighted system are outlined in Circular SP ED 09/04 which may be accessed on my Department’s website www.education.ie under children with special needs.