Dáil Éireann - Volume 642 - 04 December, 2007
Written Answers. - Special Educational Needs.
Deputy Joe McHugh Deputy Joe McHugh
Deputy Joe McHugh asked the Minister for Education and Science the reason a pupil (details supplied) in County Donegal has only been getting learning support, despite a detailed assessment stating that they need special resource teaching; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32140/07]
Deputy Mary Hanafin Deputy Mary Hanafin
Deputy Mary Hanafin: As the Deputy is aware, a new  general allocation system was introduced in May 2005, under which schools have been provided with resource teaching hours, based on their enrolment figures, to cater for children with high incidence special needs such as dyslexia and those with learning support needs.
The general allocation system means that rather than schools having to make individual applications to this Department for resources for such pupils, resources are provided in advance to the school. The school attended by the pupil referred to by the Deputy has been allocated 0.9 teaching posts (22.5 hours) to provide for the educational needs of the pupils with high incidence special needs and learning support needs.
The board of management may decide how these hours are divided among the pupils in the school, to ensure that all their needs are met. Research shows that some pupils with special needs will respond better with one-to-one tuition. Others, however, do better when taught in small groups. Often it is best for resource/learning support teachers to work with pupils in the classroom rather than taking them away to a separate room, as the pupils then have to catch up on work done by the rest of the class in their absence.
My Department issued a comprehensive circular, SP ED 02/05 to schools which provides guidelines on the manner in which they should use the resources that have been allocated to them to best effect. As the pupil in question has been diagnosed with dyslexia her special educational needs should be catered for within the general allocation granted to the school.
Dáil Éireann 642 Written Answers. Special Educational Needs.