Dáil Éireann - Volume 595 - 15 December, 2004

Written Answers. - Special Educational Needs.

  225. Mr. Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Education and Science if the provision of a full-time special needs assistant for a person (details supplied) in County Kerry will be fast-tracked; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [33588/04]

  Ms Hanafin: I can confirm that the school in question sought five hours special needs assistant support for the person referred to by the Deputy. This support has now been sanctioned and a letter to this effect issued to the school on 25 November 2004.

  226. Mr. Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Education and Science if the provision of five hours per week resource teaching hours will be fast-tracked for a person (details supplied) in County Kerry. [33589/04]

  Ms Hanafin: I can confirm that my Department has received an application for resource teaching support for the pupil in question. The application will be considered by my Department and a decision will be conveyed to the school at the earliest possible date.

  227. Mr. Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Education and Science if the decision in relation to a person (details supplied) in County Kerry to share a special needs assistant will be reconsidered; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [33590/04]

  Ms Hanafin: As previously indicated to the Deputy, [869] the National Educational Psychological Service has recommended five hours special needs assistant support per week for the pupil in question. Evidence provided in the supporting documentation submitted with the application does not meet criteria for the allocation of a full-time SNA under the terms of circular 07/02.

My Department’s inspectorate has also evaluated the case. The advice provided is that the school should deploy its two existing full-time SNAs in a flexible manner in order to meet the needs of all the pupils with special care needs in the school, including the pupil in question. My officials have communicated this advice to the school authorities.

  228. Ms Enright asked the Minister for Education and Science if resource teaching hours will be assigned to a person (details supplied) in County Offaly with down syndrome; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [33614/04]

  Ms Hanafin: Where a pupil with special educational needs enrols in a post primary school, it is open to the school to apply to my Department for additional teaching support and-or special needs assistant support for the pupil. My Department allocates additional teaching support and special needs assistant support to second level schools and vocational educational committees to cater for pupils with special educational needs. Each application is considered on the basis of the assessed needs of the pupils involved and having regard to a range of factors including the overall resources available to the school.

The school concerned has been allocated 1.87 whole-time equivalents per week additional teaching support and also 1.79 whole-time equivalents per week special needs assistant support for the 2004-5 school year to cater for the special educational needs of a number of pupils including the pupil to whom the Deputy refers. The level of support allocated was determined after detailed consideration of the school’s application, the supporting documentation provided and having regard to the overall level of resources already available to the school to address special needs issues.