Thursday, 15 October 2020
Department of Education and Skills
Special Educational Needs
199. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the educational provision available for a person (details supplied); and her plans to make additional specialist placements available at the person's school. [30825/20]
Ensuring that every child has a suitable school placement is a key objective of this Department. Significant resources are allocated each year to ensure that appropriate supports are available for children with special educational needs.
The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) has responsibility for co-ordinating and advising on the education provision for children nationwide; has well established structures in place for engaging with schools and parents; and seeks to ensure that schools in an area can, between them, cater for all children who have been identified as needing special education placements.
The NCSE is actively engaged in planning a further expansion of special class and special school places nationally to meet identified need for this school-year and beyond. This process is ongoing.
It is open to any school to make an application to the NCSE for the establishment of a specialised provision and where sanctioned, a range of supports, including capital funding, is made available to the school. My Department works closely with the NCSE in this regard.
The NCSE's local Special Education Needs Organisers (SENOs) are available to assist and advise both schools and the parents of children with special educational needs. Parents may contact SENOs directly using the contact details available at: .
In circumstances, where no placement is available for a child with special educational needs, 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.
Home Tuition will not however be available where a school placement has been identified by the NCSE. Similarly, failure to enrol a child in school will not give rise to eligibility under this scheme.
The parents of the child referred to by the Deputy are encouraged to continue to liaise with their local SENO in relation to securing a suitable placement for their child.