Thursday, 17 November 2022
Department of Education and Skills
I would like to thank the Deputy for the question. Please find a table attached with information on the number of special classes available in primary schools in the Dublin region for the school years 2018/2019, 2019/2020, 2020/2021 and 2021/2022. The vast majority of these classes provide for 6 children.
Enabling children with special educational needs to receive an education is a priority for this Government.
For 2022, my Department will spend in excess of €2.3 Billion, or over 25% of the Department’s budget on providing a wide range of schemes and supports for children with special educational needs.
For 2023, this spend will be substantially increased by over 10%, meaning that for 2023 my Department will spend over €2.6 billion on special education.
This level of educational funding and support is unprecedented and represents in excess of 27% of the Department’s total allocation for 2023.
This includes additional teaching and care supports. It also includes funding for the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) for an additional 54 psychologists to provide services to special schools and special classes.
In 2022, funding for an additional 980 teachers and 1,165 special needs assistants was provided. For 2023, the number of teaching and SNA posts in our schools will increase with an additional 686 teachers and a further 1,194 special needs assistants in our schools next year.
For the first time ever we will have over 19,000 teachers working in the area of special education and over 20,000 Special needs assistants. Together we have almost 40,000 qualified and committed people in our schools who are focused wholly and exclusively on supporting children with special educational needs.
The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) has responsibility for coordinating and advising on the education provision for children nationwide.
My Department and the NCSE continue to work very closely in planning for the delivery of new places required to meet forecasted demand.
I am satisfied that this approach is delivering. We have seen 393 new special classes open, bringing the total of special classes to 2,545 opened nationwide for the 2022/23 school-year. The 393 new special classes for 2022/23 is broken down by 260 at primary level and 133 at post primary level.
Information on the list of schools with special classes, the types and locations of these classes is published on the NCSE website and is available at www.ncse.ie
2018/2019 School Year
2019/2020 School Year
2020/2021 School Year
2021/2022 School Year