Dáil Question No: 228

To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if he will provide assurances that pupils with special needs, assessed late in the academic yeas as requiring resource hours or a special needs assistant, will have the necessary allocations granted at the commencement of the new academic year; if this cannot be granted, the reason; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Anthony Lawlor

For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 9th July, 2013.
Reference Number: 33392/13


Answered by Minister for Education and Skills Ruairí Quinn

I wish to advise the Deputy that the National Council for Special Education (NCSE), through its network of local Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENOs), is responsible for processing applications from schools for special educational needs supports, including the allocation of resource teachers and Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) to schools. The NCSE operates within my Department’s established criteria for the allocation of Special Education supports and the staffing resources available to my Department.

All schools were advised to apply to the NCSE for resource teaching and SNA support for the 2013/14 school year by 15th March 2013.

The NCSE has now published details of all of their allocations for resource teaching and SNA support for the 2013/2014 school year. These details are now available on the NCSE website, www.ncse.ie, and detail the allocations made for each school on a per county basis.

In relation to SNA support, schools should contact the NCSE if they have enrolled children who were not considered at the time that these allocations were made, or where they are seeking a revision to the quantum of SNA support which has been allocated to them for the coming school year. In general a revision to SNA allocations will only be made in circumstances where schools have enrolled new pupils, or where schools can demonstrate that they do not have sufficient SNA posts to cater for the care needs of all of the qualifying children in their school.

In relation to resource teaching support, I am committed to ensuring that the resources which will be required to ensure that the allocations can be made to schools at existing levels will be provided, including resources required to meet any late demand expected to arise between now and the start of the school year. I have requested the NCSE to advise me by the end of September on the level of additional demand arising from late or emergency applications for the remainder of the school year.

All schools have the names and contact details of their local SENO. Parents may also contact their local SENO directly to discuss their child’s special educational needs, using the contact details available on www.ncse.ie.