Written answers

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Department of Education and Skills

Special Educational Needs Expenditure

Photo of Tommy BroughanTommy Broughan (Dublin North East, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

379. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills further to Parliamentary Question No. 436 of 25 November 2014, the reason a request (details supplied) submitted to her Department on 21 March 2011 by a preschool registered as a charity, which was established by parents of children with autism and which requested that the funds relating to the home tuition scheme would go directly to the pre-school, was completely ignored by the Department even though the Department already had such an arrangement in operation with a private commercial organisation at that time. [46801/14]

Photo of Jan O'SullivanJan O'Sullivan (Limerick City, Labour)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

The details supplied by the Deputy refer to a comprehensive proposal to the Department to fund an Academy for Children with Autism for children aged 4 – 14 as an alternative to State funded placements in State funded schools. A decision was taken not to provide the funding to support the proposal as it was not in line with departmental policy on educational provision for children with autism and the applicants were advised accordingly. The applicants were informed of this decision in writing in June 2011.

A section of the rejected submission related to pre-school services and suggested that the Academy would rely on home tuition funding to fund this element of provision if three significant changes could be made to the scheme.

The Deputy is aware the Home Tuition scheme is intended to provide support for children for whom State funded school placements are not available, as an interim measure pending placement. My officials could not consider favourably, as proposed by the applicants, removing this core eligibility criterion by providing Home Tuition funding for children who were ineligible for Home Tuition under the terms of the scheme. Similarly, my officials could not agree to a proposal to guarantee continued funding for such children until the age of 6.

Having rejected the application on these grounds , the third change, which related to direct payment arrangements to the applicants to support the proposed venture did not arise.


No comments

Log in or join to post a public comment.