Written answers

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Department of Education and Skills

Special Educational Needs

Photo of Seán FlemingSeán Fleming (Laois-Offaly, Fianna Fail)
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105. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding the July provision; when this is expected to commence; if all information has been provided to deal with the issues to enable it be provided; the level of take-up of the scheme compared to previous years; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13192/20]

Norma Foley (Kerry, Fianna Fail)
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My Department published details of Summer Provision 2020 – Reconnecting with Education including a programme for children with complex special educational needs.

The programme is a significant expansion on the July Provision programme of previous years with the eligibility criteria widened to include approximately 9,000 additional primary aged children with complex needs.

To date 231 schools have indicated that they intend to run a school based programme involving approximately 3,700 children.  9,781 families have registered for the home based summer programme involving 9,820 children.

In-school or home-based supports by teachers and SNAs will help to prevent regression among children with complexspecial educational needs. 

The eligibility criteria includes the following categories of children:

1. Pupils with a diagnosis of Autism

2. Pupils with severe and profound learning difficulties

3. Any child in special schoolor a special class in a Primary School

4. Children transitioning into a special class or special school from early year’s settings

5. Pupils in primary school mainstream classes who present with the following disabilities:

- Children with Down syndrome

- Children who are Deaf or most severe hard of hearing

- Children who are blind or have a most severe visual impairment

- Children who have a moderate general learning disability

- Children with severe emotional behavioural difficulties

Funding for summer provision is not available to in respect of children who are not covered by the programme criteria. A child must meet at least one of the eligibility criteria.

If a Parent is in doubt about their child’s eligibility, they should consult their child’s school or contact my Department. Contact details are available on my Departments website

All special schools and primary schools with special classes are invited to provide the school based summer provision for their students.  This programme will run for a minimum of two weeks and can extend up to four weeks where the schools, teachers and Special Needs Assistants are willing to participate. 

Home-based provision will be available where a child’s local school is not providing a programme or does not have the capacity to accommodate a child in a planned programme this year. In this situation my Department will provide grant funding towards the engagement by Parents of a registered teacher / SNA to provide home based support for 10 hours a week for 4 weeks.

A dedicated online registration system for families of children with complex special needs to access Summer Provision is now available on Gov.ie/summerprovision

Parents are asked to register their participation online, providing some outline information of the extent of their participation in the programme e.g. number of weeks.

Once registered, the parent or the school is free to plan and organise the programme in accordance with the Departments guidance. There is also some flexibility on the timing of the running of the programme. 

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) has published information to assist Parents in sourcing the services or a Tutor or SNA for the 2020 Summer Provision The information is available on the NSCE website at

A programme for DEIS schools for this Summer was also announced.

Full information on summer provision and its various strands, including guidance information for parents, is available at Gov.ie/summerprovision

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