Tuesday, 18 October 2005
Dáil Eireann Debate
767. Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Education and Science if, with regard to the special needs of a person (details supplied) in County Mayo and in view of the fact that the parents have sourced a school outside of the State, the funding which is available in the USA or Britain to assist the family to get the child educated as these facilities are not available here. [29550/05]
Minister for Education and Science (Ms Hanafin): I assure the Deputy that I am most anxious that children with disabilities should have their educational needs addressed within the jurisdiction. Decisions to place children in facilities outside the State have only been taken in exceptional circumstances and would usually have arisen because of the very specialised educational or health care-medical needs of the children involved.
As the Deputy is aware the National Council for Special Education, NCSE, which was established recently, and which has been operational since 1 January 2005, is responsible for processing applications for special educational needs, SEN, supports.
My Department officials have been informed by the NCSE that the matter has been referred to the local special educational needs organiser, SENO. The SENO is currently examining the issues raised by the Deputy and will be in direct contact with the relevant parties in the near future.
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