160. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of additional resource teacher posts provided in 2017. (Question 18916/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Special Educational Needs Staff)

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 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 support and high incidence special educational needs, a...

175. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Education and Skills the way in which a person is placed on a supplementary special needs panel (details supplied). (Question 17439/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Special Educational Needs Staff)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions 175 and 176 together.
The supplementary assignment arrangements for Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) were established on foot of proposals brought forward by the Labour Relations Commission when the Haddington Road Agreement was being agreed. These supplementary assignment arrangements for SNAs continue to operate under the Public Service Stability Agreement 2018 - 2020, and both unions representing SNAs, name...

176. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Education and Skills the way in which a special needs assistant who was made redundant in 2017 can apply to be placed on a supplementary panel. (Question 17440/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Special Educational Needs Staff)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I propose to take Questions 175 and 176 together.
The supplementary assignment arrangements for Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) were established on foot of proposals brought forward by the Labour Relations Commission when the Haddington Road Agreement was being agreed. These supplementary assignment arrangements for SNAs continue to operate under the Public Service Stability Agreement 2018 - 2020, and both unions representing SNAs, name...

177. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Education and Skills when the 950 jobs for special needs assistants will become available. (Question 17441/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Special Educational Needs Staff)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): 975 additional SNAs posts were made available for allocation to schools from September 2017 which was a 7.5% increase to meet the demands for the 2017/18 school year. This brought the total SNA posts available last September to 13,990.
Financial provision for some 1091 additional SNAs was made in Budget 2018. Of these 130 have been made available for allocation from January to June 2018.  The remaining posts will be required to meet qua...

11. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on the immense work carried out by resource teachers with special needs children at a school (details supplied) under very difficult conditions; if following his sanctioning of a grant to build two new resource rooms, consideration will be given to covering the shortfall in actual costs in order that the staff and students can secure the learning environment that they need and deserve; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14260/18 asked on 29 Mar 2018 - Special Educational Needs Staff)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The school to which the Deputy refers was approved a devolved grant under my Department’s Additional Accommodation Scheme 2016 to provide 2 Resource Rooms.   This project was devolved to the School Authority for delivery.  
The School Authority recently submitted a request for additional funding based on the tender report and supporting documentation which was assessed by my Department.
I am pleased to inform the Deputy that a decision t...

285. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Education and Skills if the SNA allocation for a school (details supplied) will be retained; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14249/18 asked on 27 Mar 2018 - Special Educational Needs Staff)

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.
The ...

218. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Education and Skills when a decision on an application for an exceptional teaching post, ETP, position for a school (details supplied) will be made; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 12125/18 asked on 20 Mar 2018 - Special Educational Needs Staff)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The National Council for Special Education (NCSE), which is a separate independent statutory agency, is responsible through its network of local Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENOs), for planning and coordinating the provision of education and support services to children with special educational needs. Each SENO works in an assigned local area with parents, schools, teachers, psychologists, health professionals and other staff ...

124. Deputy James Lawless asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of an application by a school (details supplied) in respect of the provision of a special needs assistant; if his Department will award additional SNA services to this school; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 10986/18 asked on 08 Mar 2018 - Special Educational Needs Staff)

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...

129. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to offer permanent or semi-permanent contracts to SNA bus escorts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 11096/18 asked on 08 Mar 2018 - Special Educational Needs Staff Contracts)

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy John Halligan) (Deputy John Halligan): School transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department.
Currently over 116,000 children, including almost 12,000 children with special educational needs, are being transported in over 4,500 vehicles on a daily basis to primary and post-primary schools throughout the country covering over 100 million kilometres annually at a total cost of almost €190 m...

96. Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Education and Skills the options available for a person (details supplied) to get onto the SNA panel to be considered for a permanent position; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8832/18 asked on 21 Feb 2018 - Special Educational Needs Staff)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The supplementary assignment arrangements for Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) were established on foot of proposals brought forward by the Labour Relations Commission when the Haddington Road Agreement was being agreed. These supplementary assignment arrangements for SNAs continue to operate under the Lansdowne Road Agreement, and both unions representing SNAs, namely SIPTU and IMPACT, have signed up to that agreement. As set out in th...

174. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason a child with epilepsy is being denied an SNA from September 2018. (Question 5328/18 asked on 06 Feb 2018 - Special Educational Needs Staff)

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...

178. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Education and Skills the schools in County Wexford that do not have a NEPS psychologist assigned to them in tabular form. (Question 5352/18 asked on 06 Feb 2018 - Special Educational Needs Staff Data)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): As the Deputy may be aware my Department’s National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) provides educational psychological support to all primary and post-primary schools. This involves direct support in the event of a critical incident, access to national and regional support and development work to build school capacity to support students, access to a NEPS psychologist for responses to queries arising, and access to individual p...

231. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to recruit an extra ten full-time special needs organisers; the estimated cost of this recruitment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 4185/18 asked on 30 Jan 2018 - Special Educational Needs Staff)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is responsible, through its network of Special Needs Organisers (SENOs), for fulfilling the functions of the NCSE Council within a designated area in relation to the identification of and delivery and co-ordination of education services to children with disabilities.
The NCSE employs SENOs to provide a nationwide system of local services. Locally based SENOs consult widely with parents/g...

389. Deputy Fiona O’Loughlin asked the Minister for Education and Skills if the case of a person (details supplied) will be reviewed and the reinstatement of a SNA considered. (Question 55192/17 asked on 16 Jan 2018 - Special Educational Needs Staff)

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...

85. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Education and Skills further to Parliamentary Question No. 186 of 21 November 2017, when his Department will correspond with the school in question; if the status of the school will change; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52445/17 asked on 07 Dec 2017 - Special Educational Needs Staff)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I wish to advise the Deputy that further enquiries have been made with the NCSE regarding the staffing position in the school in question. 
There are 26 students currently enrolled. There are five teaching posts allocated to the school for five classes.  
There are three classes designated for students with Severe - Profound General Learning Disability.  There are two classes designated for students with Autism and Moderate - Severe Gen...

31. Deputy Margaret Murphy O’Mahony asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on concerns being expressed that there are more special needs assistants than members of An Garda Síochána; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52199/17 asked on 06 Dec 2017 - Special Educational Needs Staff)

Deputy Margaret Murphy O’Mahony: Does the Minister agree with concerns being expressed that there are more special needs assistants than members of An Garda Síochána, and will he make a statement on the matter?
 ...

148. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills the estimated full year cost of restoring temporary English as an additional language post to pre-2012 levels. (Question 51122/17 asked on 29 Nov 2017 - Special Educational Needs Staff)

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 7th March 2017. 
These Circulars set out the details of the new model for allocating special education teachers to schools. 
The new Special Education Teaching allocation provides a single unified allocation for special educational support teaching needs to each school, based on each school’s educational pr...

186. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he has given consideration to granting administrative status to a person (details supplied) in a special school; if he will request the NCSE to review the staffing ratio applied to the school in view of the number of children attending the school who have complex needs; if he has examined correspondence sent by a person outlining their concerns; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48724/17 asked on 21 Nov 2017 - Special Educational Needs Staff)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Since 2012 special schools are staffed based on their actual current pupil profiles and the disability category of each pupil, as opposed to primarily by school designation, in accordance with Department Circular 0042/2011.
Currently the awarding of Administrative Principal in special schools is governed by the Report of the Special Education Review Committee 1993 (SERC Report).  Under the SERC report, Administrative Principal is warrant...

208. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Education and Skills if a school (details supplied) will receive administrative status; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 49019/17 asked on 21 Nov 2017 - Special Educational Needs Staff)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Since 2012 special schools are staffed based on their actual current pupil profiles and the disability category of each pupil, as opposed to primarily by school designation, in accordance with Department Circular 0042/2011. 
Currently the awarding of Administrative Principal in special schools is governed by the Report of the Special Education Review Committee 1993 (SERC Report).  Under the SERC report, Administrative Principal is warran...

147. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding pay for special needs assistants on the days that schools were closed on 16 and 17 October 2017 due to Storm Ophelia; his plans to ensure that SNAs are not left without their pay for these dates; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 47690/17 asked on 14 Nov 2017 - Special Educational Needs Staff Remuneration)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Primary and Post Primary Schools including special schools across the country were closed on October 16th and 17th due to Storm Ophelia.  Teachers and Special Needs Assistants who were scheduled to undertake duties in a school on 16th and 17th October will be paid as normal for these dates.
 ...

88. Deputy Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Education and Skills if special needs assistants (details supplied) employed at the start of a school year do not have hours reduced in the course of the school year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 47402/17 asked on 09 Nov 2017 - Special Educational Needs Staff Contracts)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The number of Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) employed in a school depends on the allocation given to the school by the National Council for Special Education (NCSE), based on its assessment of the special educational needs of pupils in the school. My Department has no control over the allocation process to schools and is not in a position to influence the allocation process in light of the fact that the NCSE is an independent statutory...

94. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the procedure to be followed to return to their former position as a special needs assistant teacher in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 47563/17 asked on 09 Nov 2017 - Special Educational Needs Staff Contracts)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): When an employer has an SNA vacancy to fill, they must undertake the recruitment process in accordance with the provisions outlined in Circular 0042/2017 “Recruitment of Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) –Supplementary Assignment Arrangements for the 2017/18 School Year” - https://www.education.ie/en/Circulars-and-Forms/Active-Circulars/cl0042_2017.pdf
The supplementary assignment arrangements for Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) were estab...

120. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to the issues raised by a school (details supplied) in relation to the number of teachers provided to it; if an appeal from the school can be considered on the basis of the high number of enrolled students with special needs; if he will review the appeal criteria outlined in circular 0017/2017 and consider the inclusion of specific provision for the number of children with special needs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 47156/17 asked on 08 Nov 2017 - Special Educational Needs Staff)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The criteria used for the allocation of teaching posts is published annually on the Department website. The key factor for determining the level of staffing resources provided at individual school level is the staffing schedule for the relevant school year and pupil enrolments on the previous 30 September.
The staffing schedule operates in a clear and transparent manner and treats all similar types of schools equally irrespective of loc...

123. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will examine the reduction in hours for a person (details supplied) at a school; if this reduction is a breach of contract; the reason this reduction has occurred when there has been no change in circumstances at the school; if the full-time hours will be reallocated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 47199/17 asked on 08 Nov 2017 - Special Educational Needs Staff Contracts)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The number of Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) employed in a school depends on the allocation given to the school by the National Council for Special Education (NCSE), based on its assessment of the special educational needs of pupils in the school. My Department has no control over the allocation process to schools and is not in a position to influence the allocation process in light of the fact that the NCSE is an independent statutory ...

403. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to the problems in a school (details supplied) in respect of the allocation of resources applied to this school; the reason for the allocation of resource hours to this DEIS band 1school; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 46684/17 asked on 07 Nov 2017 - Special Educational Needs Staff)

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): The criteria used for the allocation of teaching posts is published annually on the Department website. The key factor for determining the level of staffing resources provided at individual school level is the staffing schedule for the relevant school year and pupil enrolments on the previous 30 September. 
The staffing schedule operates in a clear and transparent manner and treats all similar types of schools equally irrespective of lo...