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Written Answers. - Task Force Report on Dyslexia.

Tuesday, 3 December 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 558 No. 4

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 236. Mr. Crowe Information on Sean Crowe Zoom on Sean Crowe  asked the Minister for Education and Science Information on Noel Dempsey Zoom on Noel Dempsey  the progress which has been made on implementing the recommendations of the Task Force Report on Dyslexia; the portions of the report which have not been implemented; the reasons for the failure of the Government to implement those elements of the report; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24377/02]

Minister for Education and Science (Mr. N. Dempsey): Information on Noel Dempsey Zoom on Noel Dempsey The report of the Task Force on Dyslexia is comprehensive and far-reaching. It contains over 60 individual recommendations ranging across a wide variety of issues from identification and assessment to models of service delivery, teacher training and structural reforms. The task force recognised that while some of its recommendations were amenable to short-term action, others would take longer to address.

Since the task force reported, a number of initiatives have been taken in the area of dyslexia. These include:

(1) the introduction of the first ever online training course for teachers catering for pupils with dyslexia,

(2) the appointment of ten new learning support trainers to the primary curriculum support programme specifically to provide in-depth support for the implementation of learning support guidelines for children with dyslexia, and

(3) a reduction from 11:1 to 9:1 in the pupil teacher ratio applicable to special classes catering for children with dyslexia.

In addition to the above measures, significant progress has been made on developing the structural and legislative framework necessary to ensure the successful implementation of the task force's recommendations.

[1067]To date, a key focus of my Department has been on finalising arrangements for the establishment of the National Council for Special Education which will be of central importance in facilitating the development and delivery of special education services, including services for children with dyslexia. The current objective is that the council will be vested by the end of March 2003.

I will also be bringing forward legislation at the earliest possible date, based on the Education for Persons with Disabilities Bill, which will establish the rights and entitlements of children and adults with special needs, including those with dyslexia and provide the necessary framework for effective service delivery.

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