Thursday, 4 November 2010
Department of Education and Science
Special Educational Needs
Question 101: To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills if there has been an instruction from the regional special educational needs organiser to reduce special needs assistance to fifth and sixth class pupils in County Meath; the level of reduction of special needs support on a school by school basis in County Meath, in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [40840/10]
Question 104: To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills if there has been a reduction in resource and learning support services in primary and post-primary schools in County Meath for the 2010-11 academic year; if she will provide a list of primary and post-primary schools in County Meath that have had a reduction in hours for special needs assistants and resource-learning support teachers; the number of schools in County Meath that have lost a special needs assistant for the 2010-11 academic year; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [40929/10]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 101 and 104 together.
As the Deputy will be aware, the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is responsible, through its network of local Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENOs), for allocating resource teachers and Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) to schools to support children with special educational needs. The NCSE operates within my Department's criteria in allocating such support. Additional teaching and SNA supports are allocated as necessary by the NCSE in line with my Department's policy to support children with special educational needs. Schools, which have enrolled pupils with special educational needs that are eligible for such support, apply to the NCSE for the allocation of the necessary resources.
I have arranged for the issue raised by the Deputy in relation to any instruction from the SENO in Meath to be forwarded to the NCSE for their attention and direct reply in this regard. The specific information requested by the Deputy in relation to County Meath is not readily available in my Department.