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...

146. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Education and Skills the steps being taken to provide early intervention classes on the southside of Cork city and in surrounding suburbs such as Douglas, Rochestown, Carrigaline, Passage West and Crosshaven; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14641/18 asked on 29 Mar 2018 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 146 and 147 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 Spectrum Disorder (ASD), in order to ensure that wherever a child is enrolled, s/he will have access to an appropriate education. 
ASD Early intervention classes are available for children aged 3-5 with a diagnosis...

147. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Education and Skills the steps being taken to improve the number of austic spectrum disorders, ASD, appropriate primary school places in Cork city and county; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14642/18 asked on 29 Mar 2018 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 146 and 147 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 Spectrum Disorder (ASD), in order to ensure that wherever a child is enrolled, s/he will have access to an appropriate education. 
ASD Early intervention classes are available for children aged 3-5 with a diagnosis...

150. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the extent to which adequate special needs places exist in mainstream education at primary and second level nationally; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14648/18 asked on 29 Mar 2018 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 150 and 157 together.
Ensuring that children with special educational needs are supported and given the opportunity to reach their full potential is a key priority for this government. 
My Department’s policy aims to ensure that all children with Special Educational Needs can have access to an education appropriate to their needs, preferably in school settings through the primary and post primary school n...

157. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the extent to which the number of SNAs in situ is adequate to meet the demand; his plans to augment the situation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14655/18 asked on 29 Mar 2018 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 150 and 157 together.
Ensuring that children with special educational needs are supported and given the opportunity to reach their full potential is a key priority for this government. 
My Department’s policy aims to ensure that all children with Special Educational Needs can have access to an education appropriate to their needs, preferably in school settings through the primary and post primary school n...

155. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Education and Skills if a special needs unit in a school (details supplied) will open in September 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14335/18 asked on 28 Mar 2018 - 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.
The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is an independent statutory body whose functions include planning and co-ordinating the provision of education and support servi...

158. Deputy Margaret Murphy O’Mahony asked the Minister for Education and Skills the supports in place to help students with dyslexia go to third level education; and the allowances for the condition made in terms of points thresholds. (Question 14385/18 asked on 28 Mar 2018 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): My Department, through the Higher Education Authority (HEA), provides financial support through the Fund for Students with a Disability (FSD) to higher education institutions to ensure that they are adequately resourced to cater for the needs of students with disabilities. 
This Fund provides grants towards the individual needs assessment, provision of services, purchase of equipment and provision of academic supports for students with d...

277. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills if an alternative school placement can be found for a person (details supplied) who has been expelled from school; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14040/18 asked on 27 Mar 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.
Parents/Guardians who may need advice or are experiencing difficulties in locating a school placement, including special class placement, should contact their local Special Educational Needs Organis...

281. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to the difficulties schools are experiencing owing to the deficiencies in the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012 and Criminal Justice (Spent Convictions and Certain Disclosures) Act 2016; if his attention has been further drawn to the practicalities of the employment of substitute special needs assistants in schools; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that these difficulties sometimes result in schools having no choice but to send pupils with special educational needs home due to the fact their welfare cannot be adequately protected; his plans with the Minister for Justice and Equality to address this legislative deficiency; the practical guidance he will provide to schools to address this issue pending the necessary amending legislation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14111/18 asked on 27 Mar 2018 - Special Educational Needs Service Provision)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): In April 2016, my colleague, the Minister for Justice and Equality commenced the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012 to 2016 (the Vetting Act) which put in place statutory requirements for the Garda vetting of persons involved in working with children and vulnerable persons.
The Vetting Act applies not just to schools but to any relevant organisation that employs, contracts, permits or places a person in r...