Dáil Éireann - Volume 637 - 05 July, 2007

Written Answers. - Teaching Qualifications.

Deputy John Cregan asked the Minister for Education and Science the situation in relation to the July provision and the category of teacher that can be used for same; if a statement will be made on whether montessori teachers can still be employed; if changes are being considered; and the reason montessori teachers should be excluded. [19522/07]

  Deputy Mary Hanafin: My Department provides funding to schools with special classes for pupils with a Severe or Profound General Learning Disabilities and classes for pupils with Autistic Spectrum Disorders to enable them to provide a July Educational Programme. Where schools are unable to put such a programme in place, then parents may apply to the Department for funding to put a home tuition programme in place for July.

As this tuition takes place in the home, outside of a school structure, the most basic requirement is to ensure that the tuition provider is suitably qualified to provide the optimum intervention. My Department’s qualification preference is for a fully qualified teacher. Where parents cannot recruit a fully qualified teacher, then certain alternative qualifications are acceptable including particular montessori qualifications and details in this regard are published on my Department’s web site. Conscious that some parents occasionally encounter difficulties in securing the services of a qualified tuition provider, my Department will be considering, in line with the Programme for Government commitment, how best to provide a central database of suitably trained personnel seeking employment as home tutors.