Dáil debates

Thursday, 21 March 2024

Ceisteanna ar Pholasaí nó ar Reachtaíocht - Questions on Policy or Legislation


12:40 pm

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Cork South Central, Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

I think the Deputy is talking about the special education teacher model and its organisation. There are about 14,600 special education teachers supporting mainstream classes in the 2024-25 school year. That is an increase of about 1,000 since the end of the 2021 school year. It is the highest number of special education teachers ever in our schools. The model has been in place since 2017. There has been a limited change to the method since then. I have spoken to the Minister on this. The model makes an allocation on the basis of a number of inputs, including enrolment numbers. Children with complex needs are supported in the model by using school-level data from standardised tests in order to reflect relative levels of overall need. There is an appeals mechanism within the new allocation model. Some 67% of schools have either increased allocation or retained their previous allocation. Of the schools whose allocations have been decreased, about 70% have seen hours reduced by five or less.


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