Written answers

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Department of Education and Skills

Special Educational Needs

Photo of Mark WardMark Ward (Dublin Mid West, Sinn Fein)
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25. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if there is a delay in opening the ASD unit in a school (details supplied); the provisions available for students who were intended to attend the school in 2021; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [25991/20]

Norma Foley (Kerry, Fianna Fail)
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The school building project to which the Deputy refers has been approved funding under my Department's Additional Accommodation Scheme to enable the school to build a two classroom SEN base.

The project has been devolved for delivery to Dublin and Dún Laoghaire ETB (DDLETB) and a Design Team has been appointed in that respect. The project is currently in Architectural Design. Site surveys and investigations have commenced and a pre-planning meeting has been held with South Dublin County Council in advance of preparing the Stage 1 Preliminary Design Report. This is expected to be with my Department before the end of this year.

Officials from my Department will review the Stage 1 submission once it has been received and a meeting between Department officials, DDLETB, the Design Team and the School Authority may be required in that regard.

Given that the project has to progress through design and obtain planning permission it is not possible at this stage to provide an accurate timeframe for the completion of the project.

The SEN base in question is being provided to meet demands in the area generally. Once the unit is completed, a decision will then be taken as to the children who will be offered a place in it.

In general in terms of provisions that are available for children with special educational needs, the NCSE's local Special Education Needs Organisers (SENOs) are available to assist and advise both schools and the parents of these children. Parents may contact SENOs directly using the contact details available at:

In circumstances where no placement is available for a child in a special educational needs class, they can be catered for in a mainstream setting with appropriate supports until a suitable placement is available. Alternatively, the Department can provide Home Tuition grant funding towards the provision of 20 hours home tuition per week as an interim measure until the NCSE confirms that a placement is available.

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