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Written Answers. - Dublin Schools Counselling Service.

Thursday, 28 March 1996

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 463 No. 5

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 37. Mr. Gregory Information on Tony Gregory Zoom on Tony Gregory  asked the Minister for Education Information on Niamh Bhreathnach Zoom on Niamh Bhreathnach  if she has received a submission on behalf of three primary schools, St. Michaels, St. Raphaels and St. Gabriels, in Ballyfermot, Dublin 10, regarding their urgent need for psychological counselling and speech language services; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [4121/96]

Minister for Education (Ms Bhreathnach): Information on Niamh Bhreathnach Zoom on Niamh Bhreathnach A submission has been received by my Department from the chairperson of the management boards of the three schools, mentioned by the Deputy, in relation to the matters to which he refers.

As far as the psychological service is concerned, a limited further extension of this service to primary schools serving disadvantaged areas in Dublin is being considered at present, as a continuation of the deployment of psychologists recruited in 1995. This consideration includes the three schools mentioned in the question. When this matter is finalised in the near future, the management authorities of the schools concerned will be informed.

[1404] With regard to further counselling services, a pilot programme involving the introduction of teacher counsellors to 31 primary schools serving disadvantaged areas in Dublin has been initiated by my Department during the current school year. This programme is being monitored by my Department. Consideration of the extension of the programme to other primary schools, including those mentioned in the question, will be based on the outcome of this pilot programme.

The provision of speech and language therapy services is a matter for the Eastern Health Board. The provision of educational facilities for children having such difficulties will be considered by my Department when details of their particular needs are provided.

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