Dáil debates

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Other Questions

Special Educational Needs

4:05 pm

Photo of Richard BrutonRichard Bruton (Dublin Bay North, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I wish to reassure Deputy Wallace. There has been a 41% increase in the number of resource teachers since 2011, a 23% increase in special needs assistants and a 100% increase in the number of autism spectrum disorder classes in schools. Substantial investment is ongoing. I agree that parents need a better say. That is why we are introducing a parents charter Bill, the heads of which will go to the committee for evaluation. We have instituted an inclusion support service through the National Council for Special Education. This will help schools to implement the new approach.

Deputy Wallace is right to point out that complex challenges arise in the mental health area. Some of the earlier questions dealt with that. We need to enhance our role in this area. The roll-out of the National Educational Psychological Service, the well-being programme in the junior cycle and the restoration of guidance counselling are all part of an approach to try to put greater emphasis on the mental health of young people in schools as well.


David Maher
Posted on 19 Jan 2017 12:46 am (Report this comment)

According to the International Journal of Inclusive Education in 2013, the identification of children with special educational needs (SEN) has not been placed on a statutory basis in the Republic of Ireland. This is another significant barrier that needs to be addressed.

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