Thursday, 29 April 1999
Dáil Éireann Debate
Minister for Education and Science (Mr. Martin): My Department's psychological service does not, as yet, provide a service to primary schools in County Cavan. However, I have made inquiries and I understand that the name of the child mentioned by the Deputy is to be assessed by the clinical services of the North-Eastern Health Board within the next week.
I am concerned that students, parents and teachers in all areas of the country should have ready access without any undue delay to the support of educational psychologists. The expansion of provision is one of my priorities as Minister. I shall shortly be establishing the national educational psychological service agency. As a first step in the implementation of this measure, my Department will shortly be recruiting 25 additional psychologists, who should take up their appointments during the school year 1999-2000. It is envisaged that, at the end of the five-year period, every school in the country will have access to an educational psychological service.
The national educational psychological service will be organised in close collaboration with the services provided by the clinical agencies of the health boards. This is in order to minimise delay and to ensure efficient co-ordination of the assistance to be offered to children and their families.
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