Wednesday, 19 December 2018
Department of Education and Skills
Speech and Language Therapy Staff
I wish to advise the Deputy that a demonstration project to provide in-school and pre-school therapy services has been introduced for the 2018/19 school year.
The demonstration project is being developed by a Working Group which includes representatives from the Departments of Education, Children and Youth Affairs, and Health, and the Health Service Executive (HSE).
The project is being managed and co-ordinated by the National Council for Special Education with clinical support also being provided by two HSE Therapy Managers which have been assigned to the project.
It is intended that 19 Speech and Language Therapists will be assigned to the Project, of which 16 are currently in place. It is expected that the remaining 3 Speech and Language Therapists will be in place by January 2019.
It is also intended that 12 Occupational Therapists will be assigned to the Project, of which 11 are currently in place. It is expected that the remaining Occupational Therapist will be assigned by January 2019.
The purpose of the project is to test a model of tailored therapeutic supports that allows for early intervention in terms of providing speech and language and occupational therapy within ‘educational settings’. This innovative pilot will complement existing HSE-funded provision of essential therapy services.
It is designed to provide for a clinical Speech and Language and Occupational Therapy service delivery model of Specialist, Targeted and Universal supports in line with best practice for pupils which will see them receiving supports along a continuum of provision depending on the extent or severity of needs of the child/pupil.