142. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Education and Skills the arrangements which will be made to accommodate a child (details supplied) in Dublin 9 with a place in an autism specific unit in a mainstream school in their locality; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19640/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): It is the policy of my Department 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 professional...

148. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a school (details supplied) which provides special services for autistic children is oversubscribed; his views on whether the new school that is being built in 2019 can cater for that oversubscription; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19656/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 148 and 149 together.
My Department provides for a range of placement options and supports for schools, which have enrolled students with special educational needs, including those with Autism in order to ensure that wherever a child is enrolled, s/he will have access to an appropriate education. 
Such placements facilitate access to individualised education programmes which may draw from a range of appr...

149. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a child (details supplied) has been denied a place in a school; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19657/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 148 and 149 together.
My Department provides for a range of placement options and supports for schools, which have enrolled students with special educational needs, including those with Autism in order to ensure that wherever a child is enrolled, s/he will have access to an appropriate education. 
Such placements facilitate access to individualised education programmes which may draw from a range of appr...

91. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills when a full-time special needs assistant will be reinstated for a person (details supplied). (Question 19157/18 asked on 02 May 2018 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) are provided to assist recognised schools to cater for pupils with disabilities, who have additional and significant care needs, in an educational context and where the nature of these care needs have been outlined in medical and other professional reports as being so significant that a pupil will require additional adult assistance in order to be able to attend school and to participate in education. 
Th...

124. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Education and Skills the schools in County Dublin which have an ASD unit; the number of children attending each; the number of pupils awaiting access to an ASD unit in those and other schools, respectively; and his plans to address the shortfalls in available places for children with needs that can be catered for by an ASD unit. (Question 18560/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): It is the policy of my Department 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 professional...

129. Deputy Louise O’Reilly asked the Minister for Education and Skills the funding that has been allocated to schools in north County Dublin by catchment area for the provision of ASD units; the amount of this funding that has been drawn down by school; the amount each school will spend in the next five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18616/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): My Department’s policy is that children with special educational needs including those with autism, should be included in mainstream placements with additional supports provided, unless such a placement would not be in their best interests or in the interests of the children with whom they are to be educated, as is provided for under Section 2 of the Education of Persons with Special Needs Act 2004. The National Council for Special Educ...

130. Deputy Louise O’Reilly asked the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the funding allocated to a school (details supplied) for the provision of an ASD unit has not been spent; the reason these funds have not been utilised; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18617/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): My Department provides for a range of placement options and supports for schools, which have enrolled students with special educational needs, in order to ensure that wherever a child is enrolled, s/he will have access to an appropriate education. 
Such placements facilitate access to individualised education programmes which may draw from a range of appropriate educational interventions, delivered by fully qualified professional teache...

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...

135. Deputy Margaret Murphy O’Mahony asked the Minister for Education and Skills the way in which a child (details supplied) diagnosed with autism and currently attending an interactive early intervention class in Skibbereen could be moved to a junior ASD class in Dunmanway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17147/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): My Department provides for a range of placement options and supports for schools, which have enrolled students with special educational needs, in order to ensure that wherever a child is enrolled, s/he will have access to an appropriate education.  
Such placements facilitate access to individualised education programmes which may draw from a range of appropriate educational interventions, delivered by fully qualified professional teache...

136. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to fund a purpose built ASD unit at a school (details supplied); and when funding will be made available. (Question 17170/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Funding has been approved to provide a two-classroom ASD unit at the school to which the Deputy refers.  The project has been devolved for delivery to the school authority.  The project is in the design stages.  My Department’s Professional and Technical staff visited the school recently and are assisting the school with design options.
Funding is committed to the project.  The first tranche of devolved project funding (70%) is drawn dow...

139. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to facilitate an additional specialised educational unit as a part of a campus (details supplied); if the existing units will be extended to accommodate additional pupil needs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17177/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is responsible for organising and planning provision for children with Special Educational Needs, including the establishment of special classes in mainstream primary and post primary schools.
Special classes offer a supportive learning environment to students with ASD who are unable to access the curriculum in a mainstream class, even with support, for most or all of their school day. Sp...

140. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to provide an autism unit (details supplied) for the Maynooth area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17179/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is responsible for organising and planning provision for children with Special Educational Needs, including the establishment of special classes in mainstream primary and post primary schools. 
Special classes offer a supportive learning environment to students with ASD who are unable to access the curriculum in a mainstream class, even with support, for most or all of their school day. S...

327. Deputy Fiona O’Loughlin asked the Minister for Education and Skills if the hours of special needs assistants in a school (details supplied) will be reviewed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14992/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 327 and 405 together.
I wish to advise the Deputy that DES Circular 0013/2017 for primary schools and 0014/2017 for post primary schools were published on 7th 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 ...

333. Deputy Marc MacSharry asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the provision of a specialist autism unit for a school (details supplied); if it will be ready for the academic year commencing in September 2018; if not, when it will be available for use; the number of places it will have; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15095/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I wish to advise the Deputy that my Department has recently become aware that the National Council for Special Education has sanctioned a special class for pupils with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) at the schools in question. To date, my Department has no record of receiving an application for additional accommodation from the schools referred to in respect of this sanction. 
Any application received will be considered and a response ...

341. Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Education and Skills if a student (details supplied) who has provided evidence of a need for a SNA will be considered for such support while waiting for formal diagnosis in order to provide equal opportunity to fulfil their potential. (Question 15166/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) are provided to assist recognised schools to cater for pupils with disabilities, who have additional and significant care needs, in an educational context and where the nature of these care needs have been outlined in medical and other professional reports as being so significant that a pupil will require additional adult assistance in order to be able to attend school and to participate in education.  
Th...

405. Deputy Fiona O’Loughlin asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to review special needs assistant hours at a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15773/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 327 and 405 together.
I wish to advise the Deputy that DES Circular 0013/2017 for primary schools and 0014/2017 for post primary schools were published on 7th 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 ...

423. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Education and Skills the steps he is taking to ensure the awareness of dyspraxia amongst teachers in publicly funded schools. (Question 16076/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 423 and 424 together.
My Department provides for a range of services and supports to ensure that children of school going age with Special Educational Needs, including children with Dyspraxia, can have access to an education appropriate to their needs. These supports include additional teaching and care support, enhanced capitation, specialist school transport arrangements, assistive technology and/or sp...

424. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Education and Skills the supports provided to schools and teachers to enable them to support children and students with dyspraxia. (Question 16077/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 423 and 424 together.
My Department provides for a range of services and supports to ensure that children of school going age with Special Educational Needs, including children with Dyspraxia, can have access to an education appropriate to their needs. These supports include additional teaching and care support, enhanced capitation, specialist school transport arrangements, assistive technology and/or sp...

466. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason for the decision to cut funding to a centre (details supplied) resulting in its likely closure; if the decision will be reversed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16519/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Ensuring every child is supported and given the opportunity to reach their full potential is a key priority for this Government. 
The Department is committed to improving educational outcomes for members of the Traveller and Roma communities.  
St. Thomas’s Clonshaugh is a school with Special School designation dating from a period when separate education provision for members of the Traveller community was the norm.    
The phasing out ...

474. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Education and Skills if further consideration will be given to an application for a special class by a school (details supplied) in view of the enrolment of children for September 2018 that have particular educational needs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16735/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is responsible for organising and planning provision for children with Special Educational Needs, including the establishment of special classes in mainstream primary and post primary schools. 
Special classes offer a supportive learning environment to students with ASD who are unable to access the curriculum in a mainstream class, even with support, for most or all of their school day. S...

2. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills the timeframe for the review of autism spectrum disorder, ASD, places available to children in both primary and post-primary schools in counties Carlow and Kilkenny, as promised on 1 February 2018. (Question 14557/18 asked on 29 Mar 2018 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Deputy Kathleen Funchion: What is the timeframe for the review of ASD places available to children in primary and post-primary schools in my constituency, Carlow-Kilkenny? On the previous occasion on which he took questions, the Minister promised a review in the area and I want to know the progress made in respect of it.
 ...

22. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Education and Skills the steps his Department is taking to provide sufficient ASD units and class places in County Wexford; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14263/18 asked on 29 Mar 2018 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): My Department provides for a range of placement options and supports for schools with students with special educational needs, to ensure that wherever a child is enrolled, s/he will have access to an appropriate education. 
The National Council for Special Education is responsible, through its network of Special Needs Organisers, for the development and delivery and co-ordination of education services to children with Special Educationa...

33. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Education and Skills further to Parliamentary Question No. 35 of 6 December 2017, if the rebuilding of a school (details supplied) is still a priority for him. (Question 14297/18 asked on 29 Mar 2018 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): This project is included on the 6-year construction programme announced on 17th November 2015. The building project will provide a new 350 student post primary school with an MDVI (Multiple Disability and Visual Impairment) unit, on the site of existing school building.  
Notification of Decision to grant planning permission for the school was received 18th Aug 2017 from Dublin City Council. A third party planning appeal to An Bord Plea...

56. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Education and Skills if immediate funding will be provided for a school (details supplied) for necessary appointments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14268/18 asked on 29 Mar 2018 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is responsible, through its network of Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENOs) for determining the appropriate staffing levels in special schools.
Enhanced pupil teacher and Special Needs Assistant (SNA) ratios are provided to special schools to support them in dealing with pupil’s educational and care needs.
In accordance with Circular 0042/2011, special schools are staffed based on...

67. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to the delays in assessments for children attending school who have developmental issues and may require specialised support; the efforts being made to clear this backlog; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14389/18 asked on 29 Mar 2018 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I can inform the Deputy that my Department introduced a new model to support pupils with special educational needs in our schools following a pilot which demonstrated strong support from principals, teachers and parents.  The new model differs significantly from the old Resource Allocation Model, as schools are now front-loaded with additional resources based on the profile of each individual school.  This means that the Department has a...