Written answers

Tuesday, 2 November 2021

Department of Education and Skills

Special Educational Needs

Photo of Chris AndrewsChris Andrews (Dublin Bay South, Sinn Fein)
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507. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if she will make it mandatory for all primary school to use dyslexia friendly workbooks for primary school dyslexic children, as without the use of these workbooks, the way in which schools will provide appropriate education for all pupils if schools are not ensuring there is a variety of learning materials available for diverse learners; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [52467/21]

Photo of Josepha MadiganJosepha Madigan (Dublin Rathdown, Fine Gael)
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In general, the Department of Education does not have a role in approving, commissioning, sponsoring or endorsing any content in any educational textbook or workbook. The current policy within the Department of Education is not to endorse any particular product or publication, including textbooks and workbooks.

Apart from a small number of prescribed texts at post-primary, determined by the NCCA, the decisions on which textbooks and workbooks to use in primary and post-primary schools are taken at school level.

For the most part, textbooks and workbooks are commissioned and published by educational publishers, and schools select their books and workbooks from those available from a number of publishers. The Irish Educational Publishers Association (IEPA) meet with the NCCA in order to discuss the curriculum and to be made aware of any requirements in the curriculum. However the content of any individual textbook and workbook is determined by the publisher themselves, and therefore any queries regarding specific content in any particular textbook and workbook should be directed to the publisher.

The only requirement from the Department, on any resource used in a school, is that it covers the curriculum. Ultimately, the decision on which textbook and workbook, if any, most appropriately supports the curriculum, rests within the school itself.

There are no plans to make any particular kind of learning resource or work book compulsory for schools.

There is guidance and opportunities for professional development available from the National Council for Special Education which may be helpful for schools in deciding on the appropriate levels of additional education support for pupils.


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