Written answers

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Department of Education and Skills

School Staff

Photo of Pádraig O'SullivanPádraig O'Sullivan (Cork North Central, Fianna Fail)
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163. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if consideration will be given to increasing the number of teaching posts in second-level special schools to allow students avail of a full curriculum; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23358/22]

Photo of Josepha MadiganJosepha Madigan (Dublin Rathdown, Fine Gael)
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The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is responsible for determining the appropriate staffing levels in relation to the support of pupils with special educational needs in special schools, in accordance with the policies of my Department.

Since 2012, special schools are provided with teaching staff on the basis of individual pupil profiles and disability categories of those pupils, as opposed to being based principally on school designation, in accordance with my Department's Circular 0042/2011. Special school staffing allocations are reviewed and updated each year by the NCSE and schools are staffed on the basis of each year’s current school enrolments.

In addition, some special schools are in receipt of part-time specialist teaching hours which were originally allocated to provide for specialist subjects for post primary aged students. The provision has been maintained by the special schools in receipt of same, but no expansion of the provision has been provided for in recent years.

The NCSE is currently finalising policy advice on the educational provision that should be in place for students educated in special schools and special classes.

This policy advice is due to be completed later this year. There will be no change to the staffing arrangements currently in place in special schools, pending the receipt of this policy advice.

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