Written answers

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Department of Education and Science

Special Educational Needs

8:00 pm

Photo of Margaret ConlonMargaret Conlon (Cavan-Monaghan, Fianna Fail)
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Question 398: To ask the Minister for Education and Science the position in relation to the allocation of resource hours to children diagnosed with dyslexia and discalculia. [22623/07]

Photo of Mary HanafinMary Hanafin (Minister, Department of Education and Science; Dún Laoghaire, Fianna Fail)
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My Department has given a very high priority to the provision of resources to address the learning difficulties of children with low levels of achievement in reading and numeracy. As the Deputy is aware, my Department implemented a general allocation system in all primary schools in September 2005 to ensure that every school has learning support/resource teaching support already in place to meet the needs of children with high-incidence special educational needs, including those children with a specific learning disability in the areas of reading, writing, reasoning or mathematics. There are now over 6,000 teachers in our primary schools working directly with children with special educational needs, including those requiring learning support. This compares to fewer than 1,500 in 1998.

The special educational supports provided to second level students vary according to the students' needs. Students with a specific learning disability are normally integrated into ordinary classes. In such situations they may receive additional support from the remedial/learning support teacher, guidance counsellor and individual subject teachers. Over 2,490 whole time equivalent teachers are in place to work directly with pupils with special educational needs in post-primary schools with 560 of these being learning support teachers.

My Department will continue to prioritise educational provision for students with special educational needs.

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