Dáil Éireann - Volume 609 - 02 November, 2005
Written Answers. - Special Educational Needs.
Mr. Durkan Mr. Durkan
543. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Science, further to Parliamentary Question No. 1255 of 28 September 2005 regarding a school (details supplied) in County Kildare, if she has received further response from the  school authorities with a view to meeting requirements to make the necessary provisions as originally requested by the authorities appertaining to the double autistic unit; if she has been in further contact with the school authorities in this regard or is likely to be in contact; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [31675/05]
Mr. Durkan Mr. Durkan
544. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Science when a decision will be made by the National Council for Special Education in respect of an application by a school (details supplied) in County Kildare through her Department for resources and staffing and so on for the double autism unit; the position in this regard; if the matter will be prioritised in view of the fact that this unit has been completed and ready for occupation for the past two years and has remained vacant; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [31676/05]
Ms Hanafin Ms Hanafin
Ms Hanafin: I propose to take Questions Nos. 543 and 544 together.
My Department received a response from the school in question on 1 November 2005 to its proposals for resourcing the proposed autism unit at the school. This response is now being considered within my Department. I also understand that the local special educational needs organiser, SENO, is continuing to liaise with the school authorities regarding the matter.
As the Deputy is aware my officials have been liaising with the school authorities in relation to resources to be made available to facilitate the operation of the classes in the unit. My Department has confirmed that the classes will be capable of catering for up to 12 pupils with autism at a pupil teacher ratio of 6:1. In addition, two full-time special needs assistants, SNA, will be allocated to each class. The National Council for Special Education, NCSE, through the local SENO, will process the relevant application for resources following receipt of a formal application from the board of management of the school for the establishment of the classes. Additional SNAs for the classes may also be considered by the SENO on the basis of the individually assessed needs of the pupils enrolled.
The Department is extremely anxious that this purpose-built facility for children with autism will become operational as soon as possible.
Dáil Éireann 609 Written Answers. Special Educational Needs.