Wednesday, 19 December 2018
Department of Education and Skills
Home Tuition Scheme
225. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the number of children aged between three and five years, inclusive, and six years or over who are in receipt of the home tuition grant for the 2018-19 school year nationally and in west County Dublin, respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53851/18]
My Department’s Home tuition Grant Scheme provides funding towards a compensatory educational service for children with special educational needs seeking an educational placement, as an interim measure until a placement becomes available.
The Home Tuition Grant Scheme also makes provision for early educational intervention for children with ASD aged 3–5 years seeking an ASD early intervention placement who meet the scheme’s criteria.
Over the course of the 2017/18 school year, 60 children with special education needs over the age of 6 availed of this interim provision (20 in Co. Dublin).
Over the course of the 2017/18 school year, 804 children aged 3-5 years availed of home tuition provision. (330 in Co. Dublin).
In the current school year to date, 43 children with special education needs over the age of 6 have been approved for this interim provision (27 in Co. Dublin).
In the current school year to date, 539 children aged 3-5 years have been approved for this interim provision. (282 in Co. Dublin).
Applications can be made at any point of the school year, based on when the child receives a diagnosis and recommendation for a specialised placement. As such, Statistics for the current school year will not be finalised until the end of the school year.
The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is responsible, through its network of Special Needs Organisers (SENOs), for the development and delivery and co-ordination of education services to children with Special Educational Needs, including the establishment of special class and special school placements.
160 new special classes have been opened for the 2018/19 school year, which means there are now 1,459 special classes in place, compared to 548 in 2011. 1,196 are Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) special classes. 124 special schools also provide specialist education for those students with very complex special educational needs.
From time to time, the NCSE identifies local areas where additional provision is required. In those circumstances, Special Education Needs Organisers (SENOs) work with the schools and families concerned to resolve the issues involved.
My Department is aware that the establishment of special provision in some schools and communities can be challenging.
The Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018 will assist in addressing this issue in areas where the NCSE is of the opinion that there is insufficient education provision for children with special educational needs.
Section 8 of the Act, which commenced on Monday 3rd December 2018, provides the Minister with a power, after a process of consultation with the NCSE, the board of management and the patron of the school, to compel a school to make additional provision for the education of children with special educational needs.