Tuesday, 17 November 2009
Dáil Eireann Debate
496. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Science the educational opportunities available for a person (details supplied) in County Kildare, including speech and language services, back-up support, respite and dental treatment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41905/09]
Minister for Education and Science (Deputy Batt O’Keeffe): Section 29 of the Education Act 1998, provides parents with an appeal process where a Board of Management of a school refuses enrolment to a student. A Section 29 appeal recently took place in respect of a refusal to enrol this child to a school in Leixlip. This appeal was not upheld. Only where an appeal under Section 29 is upheld can the Secretary General of my Department direct a school to enrol a pupil. A further appeal has been received, regarding the refusal of a school in Celbridge to enrol this child and the appeal has been scheduled for early December.
The National Educational Welfare Board (NEWB) is the statutory agency which can assist parents who are experiencing difficulty in securing a school place for their child. The NEWB will try to help parents to find an alternative school placement if their child has been unable to secure a placement to date. I understand that in this instance that the NEWB are actively assisting the family in pursuing applications to other schools. I also understand that a home tuition grant has been sanctioned for the child in question and that the National Council for Special Education are in contact with the family in question. The Deputy will be aware that the Health Service Executive funds speech and language services, respite and dental treatment.
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