Written answers

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Department of Education and Skills

Home Tuition Scheme

Photo of Kevin O'KeeffeKevin O'Keeffe (Cork East, Fianna Fail)
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167. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if home tuition will be continued for a child (details supplied) until they are assessed and the services required put in place in school for them; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the child did not attend school until January 2019 having received home tuition since reaching school age; and if his attention has been further drawn to the fact that they are severely traumatised in school. [9023/19]

Photo of Joe McHughJoe McHugh (Donegal, Fine Gael)
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My Department provides funding for home tuition support to children under two main categories.

Firstly, where a child is temporarily without a school place, is without an offer of a school place and is actively seeking a school placement in a recognised school; my Department may approve a grant to engage a suitable qualified tutor to provide up to 9 hours home tuition per week for that child.

This home tuition grant scheme is operated by my Department with the assistance of the Educational Welfare Service (EWS) of the Child and Family Agency (Tusla) and in order for an application for a home tuition grant to be considered by my Department the local Educational Welfare Officer (EWO) must first confirm that the child’s circumstances meet the criteria of the scheme.

A local EWO can provide application forms for this home tuition scheme and they can be contacted through the office of the Educational Welfare Service, Child and Family Agency, Block C, Heritage Business Park, Bessboro Road, Mahon, Cork, phone 021-2428611.

My Department has not to date received an application in respect of the child referred to by the Deputy, for Home Tuition under this category.

The purpose of the second category of my Department’s Home Tuition Grant Schemes is to provide funding towards the provision of a compensatory educational service for students who, for a number of reasons such as chronic illness, are unable to attend school.

In exceptional cases, my Department will consider home tuition applications on behalf of students with diagnoses of school phobia and/or associated depression/anxiety which has caused, and is likely to continue to cause, major disruption to their attendance at school.

This exception will only apply where a continued absence from school is required to facilitate appropriate medical or therapeutic intervention with a view to the re-integration of the student in their school.

The principle that Home Tuition cannot be provided as an alternative to school applies.

Eligibility in exceptional cases is assessed having regard to, although not limited to, the following criteria:

- The student’s attendance levels during the previous school year.

- Psychologist’s/psychiatrist’s report which should

- Clearly confirm a diagnosis of school phobia and/or associated depression/anxiety.

- Provide details of medical or therapeutic intervention plans in place with a view to reintegrate the student back into his/her school.

- Details of engagement with the relevant support agencies (e.g. School, National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS), Education Welfare Officer (EWO), Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), TUSLA (Child and Family Agency), HSE, NCSE).

My Department has not to date received an application for home tuition under this particular category in relation to the child referred to by the Deputy.

Further information on both categories of Home Tuition funded by my Department and how to make an application is available on my Departments website at the following link:


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