Written answers

Thursday, 11 April 2019

Department of Education and Skills

School Placement

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Social Democrats)
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74. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the arrangements that will be made to provide a school place for a child (details supplied); the options being considered in relation to the matter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17066/19]

Photo of Joe McHughJoe McHugh (Donegal, Fine Gael)
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The National Council for Special Education (NCSE), an independent agency of my Department, is responsible for planning, coordinating and advising on education provision for children with special educational needs. This includes taking account of the flow of students from primary into post primary. The Council ensures that schools in an area can, between them, cater for all children who have been identified as needing special class placements.

Individual school boards of management are responsible for the establishment of special classes.  It is open to any school to make application to the NCSE to establish a special class.

From time to time, the NCSE identifies local areas where additional special class provision is required. In those circumstances, Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENOs) work with the schools and families concerned to resolve the issues involved. This process is ongoing and the NCSE are actively engaging with schools in relation to establishing ASD classes where there is an identified need for the 2019/2020 school year.

When the NCSE sanction a special class in a school, the school can apply to my Department for capital funding to reconfigure existing spaces within the school building to accommodate the class and/or to construct additional accommodation. 

Special Education Needs Organisers (SENOs) who are locally based are available to assist and advice parents whose children have special needs.  They also assist and advice schools in making decisions in this area.

As the Deputy's question relates to placement for a particular child, I have referred the question to the NCSE for their direct reply.

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