Houses of the Oireachtas

All parliamentary debates are now being published on our new website. The publication of debates on this website will cease in December 2018.

Go to

Madigan, Josepha

Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.

Autism Support Services

I propose to take Questions Nos. 435 and 436 together.

  Ensuring that every child has a suitable school placement is a key objective of this Department. Significant resources a...More Button

I am not aware of an issue with the inclusion of students enrolled in special classes in mainstream classes in the school referenced by the Deputy. More Button

Special classes are part of a continuum of educational provision that enables students with more complex special educational needs to be educated, in smaller class groups, within their local main...More Button

Students enrolled in special classes should be included in mainstream classes to the greatest extent possible, in line with their abilities.More Button

This should continue, however in a Covid-19 context the number of mainstream classes with which each special class student integrates should be minimised, in order to maintain pod grouping to the...More Button

At primary school level this may mean each special class pupil integrating with one mainstream class only whereas, at post primary school level, this may mean special class pupils attending only ...More Button

DEIS Scheme

DEIS is the main policy initiative of the Department of Education to address educational disadvantage at school level.

  The Department is in the final stages of refinement of ...More Button

Special Educational Needs

I propose to take Questions Nos. 439 to 441, inclusive, together.More Button

Enabling children with special educational needs to receive an education appropriate to their needs is a priority for this Government. Currently, almost 20% of the total Education Vote or €1.9bn...More Button

Notwithstanding the extent of this investment, there are some parts of the country, including South Dublin, where increases in population and other issues have led to concerns regarding a shortag...More Button

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) has responsibility for coordinating and advising on the education provision for children nationwide. NCSE is continuing its engagement with schoo...More Button

Normally, special class and special school places are established with the full cooperation of the schools in areas where they are required. However there are some parts of the country where the...More Button

As Minister, I have a power under Section 37A of the Education Act 1998 (as inserted by Section 8 of the Education (Admissions to Schools) Act 2018), to direct a school to provide additional prov...More Button

The legislation was used for the first time in 2019, in respect of the Dublin 15 area. Significant progress has been made in that area on foot of action taken under Section 37. A new Special Scho...More Button

A Report from the NCSE, prepared in accordance with Section 37A (2) of the Education Act 1998 (as inserted by Section 8 of the Education (Admissions to Schools) Act 2018), confirming the need for...More Button

Statutory notices under the Act were subsequently issued on 26 June, 2020 to 39 schools identified by the NCSE. The issue of the notices is but the first step in a very transparent multi-step pro...More Button

It would not be appropriate for me to comment further at this stage on the legislative process which is currently underway.More Button

Ensuring that every child has a suitable school placement is a key objective of my Department. Significant resources are allocated each year to ensure that appropriate supports are available for c...More Button

Children with special educational needs are supported through placement in mainstream classes, special classes and special schools. At school, they receive a range of supports provided by teacher...More Button

NCSE has responsibility for coordinating and advising on the education provision for children nationwide; has well established structures in place for engaging with schools and parents; and seeks...More Button

It is open to any school to make an application to the NCSE for the establishment of a specialised provision and where sanctioned, a range of supports, including capital funding, is made availabl...More Button

The school to which the Deputy refers opened as a 24 classroom school in September, 2019. While specific special class accommodation was not provided in the school, 8 Special Education Teaching (SE...More Button

Special Educational Needs Staff

The NCSE has responsibility for planning and coordinating school supports for children with special educational needs including the allocation of SNAs and reviews. My Department does not have a rol...More Button

The Special Needs Assistant (SNA) scheme is designed to provide schools with additional adult support staff who can assist children with special educational needs who also have additional and sig...More Button

SNAs are not allocated to individual children but to schools as a school based resource. The deployment of SNAs within schools is a matter for the individual Principal/Board of Management of the ...More Button

It is a matter for schools to allocate support as required, and on the basis of individual need, which allows schools flexibility in how the SNA support is utilised. More Button

Schools were notified of the arrangements for the allocation of SNA support in respect of students in mainstream classes for the current school year. The arrangements include the following provi...More Button

- 2019/20 mainstream class SNA allocations were frozen, from the date of issue of Circular 0030/2020, and have automatically rolled over into the current school year. This means that no school wi...More Button

- A diagnosis of a disability, or a psychological or other professional report, is not be necessary for this process.More Button

- The role of the SNA to support the care needs of students in mainstream classes, as set out in Circular 0030/2014, remains unchanged.More Button

It is expected that schools will review and reprioritise the deployment of SNAs within mainstream settings and allocate resources to ensure those with the greatest level of need receive the great...More Button

Schools may apply to the NCSE for additionality where they can demonstrate that the current allocation does not meet additional care needs within the mainstream classes in the school. Application...More Button

In relation to Clonbonny National School, he NCSE have confirmed that the school submitted a request for an exceptional review of their SNA allocation for 2020/21 school year as they were of the ...More Button

The Roadmap for the Full Return to School published in July and significant funding was provided to schools along with a range of supports and guidance to enable schools to plan for their reopening...More Button

School Management

The matters referred to by the Deputy are being considered. My Department continues to engage with the school directly in relation to the matters raised, including the submission referenced by the...More Button

Home Tuition Scheme

The purpose of the Home Tuition Grant Scheme is to provide funding towards the provision of a compensatory educational service for children who, for a number of specific reasons, are unable to atte...More Button