Written Answers. - Special Educational Needs.

Tuesday, 27 June 2000

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 522 No. 2

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[537]

  455.  Ms O'Sullivan  Information on Jan O'Sullivan  Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan   asked the Minister for Education and Science  Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods   if he will sanction a resource teacher, special needs assistant for inclusion in the national educational psychological service for a school (details supplied) in County Limerick in view of the fact that a special needs pupil has been enrolled in the school since 1997; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18078/00]

  493.  Mr. Noonan  Information on Michael Noonan  Zoom on Michael Noonan   asked the Minister for Education and Science  Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods   if he will sanction the services of a resource teacher and special needs assistant for a school (details supplied) in County Limerick; if he will consider the inclusion of the school in the national educational psychological service; if he will proceed with the completion of the extension which has been sanctioned for the school as quickly as possible; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18334/00]

Minister for Education and Science (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  I propose to take Questions Nos. 455 and 493 together.

I am pleased to inform the Deputies that 2.5 hours per week resource teaching support and a full time special needs assistant post have been sanctioned to the school in question to cater for the special educational needs of the pupil to whom the Deputy refers. The school authorities will be informed of this allocation in the very near future.

My Department is fully committed to the extension of educational psychological services to all schools on a national basis. The national educational psychological service, NEPS, was established as an agency by my Department on 1 September 1999. At present NEPS psychologists serve 30 primary schools in the Limerick city and county area. I recently announced that 50 additional psychologists have been selected for appointment to NEPS. These appointments will bring the total number of psychologists in the agency to nearly 100. Further appointments will be made over the next few years to increase the number to 200 psychologists. The increased establishment will allow for an additional number of primary schools in the County Limerick area to be covered by NEPS in the near future.

Architectural planning for the building project in question is proceeding as quickly as possible having regard to the large number of school building projects on hand within my Department.


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