Written answers

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Department of Education and Skills

School Curriculum

Photo of Gary GannonGary Gannon (Dublin Central, Social Democrats)
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587. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the way that her Department has acted on a report (details supplied) specifically in relation to the merit in a policy providing enhanced opportunities for career guidance training for teachers in special needs schools and in enhancing the access of such schools to wider career guidance supports; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32819/22]

Photo of Norma FoleyNorma Foley (Kerry, Fianna Fail)
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I can advise the Deputy that the Indecon report on career guidance tools and information was published in 2019.  Since then, the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science (DFHERIS) has been established and both it and the Department of Education have been dealing with the impact of Covid-19, so work on implementation of the recommendations set out in the Indecon report was delayed.

Nevertheless, much work has been done by both the Department of Education and DFHERIS.  In early 2022, I established a National Policy Group for lifelong guidance to develop a coherent strategic framework for lifelong guidance as recommended by Indecon.  The National Policy Group comprises my Department, DFHERIS the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, The Department of Social Protection and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.  The Department of Education has also established a working group which is currently considering the key priority areas and objectives for a strategic framework. 

As part of this work, the Department of Education is looking at the recommendations in Indecon in relation to inclusion.  Under Action 1.5 in the Comprehensive Employment Strategy, the Department has already committed to ensuring that all students with disabilities have access to guidance counselling reflective of their needs from 2025.  The Department has also committed to undertaking a review of the current provision of Guidance for learners in special schools and to undertake a review of current  training for guidance counsellors to ensure they are equipped to provide guidance for all learners in the school sector.

The Department is currently  progressing a project in support of the Comprehensive Employment Strategy (CES) for people with disabilities. The project focuses on transitions from school for young people with complex needs.  The aim of the project is to develop and demonstrate an approach to transitions for young people with disabilities to improve access to, and opportunities for, post-school options.

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