Written answers

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Department of Education and Skills

Education Schemes

Photo of Jackie CahillJackie Cahill (Tipperary, Fianna Fail)
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134. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the supports that are available for students in cases in which English is an additional language; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23667/22]

Photo of Norma FoleyNorma Foley (Kerry, Fianna Fail)
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My Department makes supports available for children where English is an additional language. These supports are available generally in schools who have large numbers of children for whom English/Irish is not their first language but it has been of particular importance in recent weeks to support the large numbers of children enrolled in our schools coming from Ukraine.

English Additional Language Support (EAL)

Generally the Special Education Teaching allocation provides a single unified allocation for special educational support teaching needs to each school, based on each school’s educational profile and provides schools with a baseline teaching allocation to assist pupils who have learning and literacy difficulties, including those arising from English Additional Language (EAL)

Additional Allocations for Schools with High Concentrations of Pupils that require Language Support (EAL)

Schools where a significant number of the total enrolment is made up of language support (EAL) pupils with less than B1 (Level 3) proficiency can make an appeal to the Independent Primary Teachers Appeals Board for additional resources. Procedures for making an appeal are set out to schools in the annual staffing circulars.

Support for Ukrainian pupils for the remainder of the 2021/22 school year

On Friday 25thMarch 2022 Regional Education and Language Teams (REALT) were established to help ensure good co-ordination and alignment of supports for Ukrainian children arriving in Ireland. These Education and Language Teams are hosted by the 16 regional education and training boards (ETBs) and are staffed by regionally-based education support personnel. These staff work closely with local schools and community services to ensure good co-ordination and alignment of supports for Ukrainian children. The Department is working with the teams to ensure all necessary supports for Ukrainian children are provided as quickly as possible.

The primary role of the REALT is to build on existing regional education support structures and the initial focus will be on assisting families in securing school places. REALT will also support schools in the area to meet the needs of these children as they emerge, to advise and support the Department of Education in developing new capacity where required, and to co-ordinate the provision of education services to schools and families across their defined area.

These teams will ensure that clear, accessible information flows are in place between schools, local education support services and national support structures in relation to people arriving from Ukraine.

The regional teams will be hosted and administratively supported within the ETBs and will lead a network of other key agencies, including Tusla Education Support Service (TESS), NEPS regional personnel, NCSE regional personnel and Management body local nominees working together with local schools. All of the key agencies working together in a holistic manner will bring added value and efficiencies to the process of supporting the Ukrainian children.

My Department is committed to providing every support possible to all those fleeing war in Ukraine and seeking protection in Ireland.

An allocation of English Language Support hours is provided to schools who have recently enrolled Ukrainian pupils as per the table below.

Number of Ukrainian pupils

1 – 4
Number of Hours

5 – 8 10
9 – 13 15
14 – 20 20
21 - 30 25
31 – 40 35
>40 50


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