Written answers

Tuesday, 4 April 2006

Department of Education and Science

Special Educational Needs

9:00 pm

Photo of Dan NevilleDan Neville (Limerick West, Fine Gael)
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Question 496: To ask the Minister for Education and Science the appeals procedure for allocation of hours for children with special needs in primary schools. [13162/06]

Photo of Mary HanafinMary Hanafin (Minister, Department of Education and Science; Dún Laoghaire, Fianna Fail)
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The Deputy will be aware that the National Council for Special Education, NCSE, through the local special educational needs organiser, SENO, is responsible for processing applications from schools for special needs supports such as resource teaching hours for pupils with low incidence special educational needs, SEN, and special needs assistant, SNA, support for pupils with high and low incidence SEN on the basis of individual pupil applications.

In the event that an application for these supports for a pupil is unsuccessful, the relevant SENO will be prepared to re-examine the application should additional documentation, not available at the time of the original decision, be submitted to him or her by the school. The Deputy will also be aware that my Department implemented a general allocation system of learning support-resource teachers to schools with effect from September 2005. The system is intended to cater for children with learning support and high incidence special educational needs.

It is a matter for each school to determine the pupils with learning support and high-incidence special education needs that will receive supplementary teaching support. Each school will have enough resource teaching hours to provide its pupils with a level of support appropriate to their needs. The school can use its professional judgment to decide how these hours are divided between different children in the school, to ensure that all their needs are met.

It is intended that a review of the general allocation model will be undertaken within three years of operation.

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