Written Answers. - Special Educational Needs.

Thursday, 2 December 1999

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 512 No. 2

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  161.  Mr. Bradford  Information on Paul Bradford  Zoom on Paul Bradford   asked the Minister for Education and Science  Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin   if his attention has been drawn to the fact that Britway national school, County Cork, has no remedial teaching service; his views on whether his Department's offer of a grant of £15 per week to secure this service is not adequate; if he will provide the necessary service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25793/99]

Minister for Education and Science (Mr. Martin): Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin  From September of this year, I have extended the remedial teaching service to every primary school in the country with a pupil teacher ratio of 10:1 or above. Schools with a pupil teacher ratio below 10:1 are free to make a case for support to my Department.

This development has resulted in the allocation of an additional 165 full-time remedial teacher posts or post equivalents in part-time hour allocations. Wherever possible, the extension of the service was achieved through the allocation of full-time posts to individual schools or to groups of schools on a shared basis. However, in some cases involving smaller schools, including the school in question, it was not possible to arrange a local clustering arrangement. In these cases, an allocation of part-time hours was made to the school. The level of allocation in each case reflected the size of the school and was based on the recommendations of the special education review committee.

In the case of the school to which the Deputy refers, my Department has approved the appointment of a teacher to deliver three hours remedial tuition per week. The present rate of payment in respect of this service is £17.40 per hour. My Department also funds any employer's PRSI contribution involved in such cases.

The school has not notified my Department of any difficulty in respect of its remedial teaching allocation.

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