100. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of plans to extend the July provision scheme to allow more children to qualify, including children with a particular diagnosis (details supplied), in view of the commitment in the programme for partnership Government to examine the adequacy of special education access and funding provision; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18264/18 asked on 25 Apr 2018 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): In 2018, almost €1.8 billion will be invested in Special Education, nearly one fifth of the overall Education budget, and up 43% since 2011.
This funding includes provision for over 13,400 Special Education Teaching posts in mainstream primary and post primary schools for the 2017/2018 school year, providing additional teaching support to pupils with special educational needs, and approximately 1,300 special classes, with 169 new Special...

171. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Education and Skills if a school (details supplied) will be allocated the necessary SNA resources; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52825/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The National Council for Special Education (NCSE), which is an independent statutory agency, is responsible, through its network of local Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENOs) for allocating a quantum of Special Needs Assistant (SNA) support for each school annually taking into account the assessed care needs of children qualifying for SNA support enrolled in the school. The NCSE operates within my Department’s criteria in alloca...

185. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the construction of a unit for children with autism at a school (details supplied); the reason work on this development has stalled; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48722/17 asked on 21 Nov 2017 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The school referred to by the Deputy was approved a devolved grant under my Department’s Additional Accommodation Scheme 2012 to provide a 1 Classroom ASD Unit & 1 SET Classroom.
Building work commenced in mid-2015 but due to difficulties with the appointed contractor works did not progress in a timely manner which resulted in the termination of the contract in May 2017.
Approval was given to the school authority in August 2017 to re-ten...

427. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to allow schools to appeal a decision to refuse an application for extra teaching resources on the grounds of the number of students with special educational needs at a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 46968/17 asked on 07 Nov 2017 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I wish to advise the Deputy that DES Circular 0013/2017 for primary schools and 0014/2017 for post primary schools were published on 7 March 2017.
These Circulars set out the details of the new model for allocating special education teachers to schools. 
The revised allocation process replaces the generalised allocation process at primary and post primary school level for learning support and high incidence special educational needs, and...

131. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to build a primary school for children with autism in the Dublin 15 area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 42878/17 asked on 10 Oct 2017 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): This Government is committed to ensuring that all children with Special Educational Needs, including those with autism, can have access to an education appropriate to their needs, preferably in school settings through the primary and post primary school network.
Such placements facilitate access to individualised education programmes which may draw from a range of appropriate educational interventions, delivered by fully qualified profes...

217. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Education and Skills the eligibility criteria for children to qualify for the July provision; the reason those children with a particular diagnosis (details supplied) do not qualify; his plans to introduce changes to extend the scheme to allow more children to qualify; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 24275/17 asked on 23 May 2017 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The eligibility criteria for the July Provision Grant Scheme 2017 is set out in the Department’s Information Note on the scheme which was published with the application forms and is available on the Department’s website at www.education.ie.  
The Deputy will be aware that the Programme for a Partnership Government includes a commitment to examine the adequacy of current special education access and funding provision.
In addition the Nati...

70. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans for the special educational needs, SEN, model following budget 2017 and the way it will operate; if it will operate any differently to the SEN model that was in operation prior to budget 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 31110/16 asked on 19 Oct 2016 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) has a statutory role under the Education of Persons with Special Educational Needs Act 2004 to provide me with policy advice in relation to matters concerning the education of persons with special educational needs.
The NCSE identified that the current model for allocating resource teachers to schools is potentially inequitable, because access to the range of professional assessments requ...

295. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Education and Skills if there will be no further reductions in the learning support services in schools in Dublin 15; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 10099/16 asked on 17 May 2016 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Since September 2012 the combined resources available for learning support (General Allocation Model at Primary) and language support have been merged into a single simplified allocation process.
The GAM/EAL arrangements for the 2016/17 school year are set out in Circular 0007/2016 and are based on a school’s mainstream classroom posts for the 2015/16 school year. Circular 0007/2016 lists the GAM/EAL allocation for all schools. 
Schools...

117. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Education and Skills if she will consider not proceeding with proposed changes to the way in which children with special educational needs in schools are assessed, following the conclusion of the pilot scheme; if there is opposition to the proposed changes; the consultation process that took place prior to the commencement of the pilot scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7981/16 asked on 21 Apr 2016 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Jan O’Sullivan): The Deputy will be aware that the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) has a statutory role under the Education of Persons with Special Educational Needs Act to provide me with policy advice in relation to matters concerning the education of persons with special educational needs.
The NCSE published policy advice in 2013 which identified that the current model for allocating resource teachers to schools is potentially inequitabl...

725. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Education and Skills to reverse her plans to proceed with changes to the way children with special educational needs in schools are assessed, as outlined in the Delivery for Pupils with Special Educational Needs document; if learning resource requirements will not be assessed based on socio-demographic characteristics of a school’s catchment area and standardised tests; if she will continue to allocate learning supports and resource teaching based on the professionally assessed special education needs of children; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6218/16 asked on 06 Apr 2016 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Jan O’Sullivan): The Deputy will be aware that the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) has a statutory role under the Education of Persons with Special Educational Needs Act to provide me with policy advice in relation to matters concerning the education of persons with special educational needs. The NCSE published policy advice in 2013 which identified that the current model for allocating resource teachers to schools is potentially inequitab...

728. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Education and Skills to ensure that a person (details supplied) in Dublin 15 is enrolled in a special school for children with autism, given that the school changed its admissions policy to prioritise geography over need; if she instructs schools to cease using geographic criteria in enrolment policies; if she will ensure an autism school is established in the Dublin 15 area, where there is currently none; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6221/16 asked on 06 Apr 2016 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Jan O’Sullivan): I wish to advise the Deputy that the policy of my Department is that children with special educational needs, including children with autism, should be included where possible and appropriate in mainstream placements with additional supports provided. In circumstances where children with special educational needs require more specialised interventions, special school or special class places are also available. The enrolment of a child ...