Dáil Éireann - Volume 641 - 08 November, 2007

Written Answers. - Special Educational Needs.

Deputy Chris Andrews asked the Minister for Education and Science the way, when and by whom the decision was made to refuse to allow private junior schools to have special needs assistants; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [27825/07]

  Deputy Mary Hanafin: I wish to advise the Deputy that my Department provides resources to State recognised schools to ensure that children have access to an appropriate education with additional supports as necessary. These resources [552] are provided through the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) and the local Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENOs).

The State recognises the rights of parents and guardians as primary educators and respects their right to send their child to a school of their choice. Should parents choose not to avail of State recognised schooling and select a private school, this is of course entirely a matter for them. My Department does not however provide special educational needs supports including special needs assistant supports to private primary schools or fund teaching resources in these schools.