Wednesday, 26 May 2010
Dáil Éireann Debate
253. Deputy Richard Bruton asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills the number of special needs assistants employed in each primary and second level school in Dublin 3, Dublin 5, Dublin 9 and Dublin 17 in the 2006-07 to 2009-10, inclusive, academic years. [22132/10]
Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Mary Coughlan): The information requested by the Deputy on the number of special needs assistants employed in schools in the Dublin area is not readily available in the requested format. As the Deputy will be aware, the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is responsible, through its network of local Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENO) for allocating resource teachers and special needs assistants to schools to support children with special educational needs. The NCSE operates within my Department’s criteria in allocating such support.
The allocation for any school and any adjustments to that allocation depends on a number of factors such as the number of pupils with care/medical needs leaving, the number of new pupils, the changing needs of the pupils and any surplus identified. Furthermore, schools can make applications at any time with the result that the individual situation of any school can change and allocations are not static. The Deputy may wish to liaise directly with the NCSE in the context of his enquiry.
I want to take this opportunity to emphasise that children with special educational needs will continue to receive an education appropriate to their needs. The NCSE will continue to support schools, parents, children and teachers and resources will continue to be allocated to schools to meet children’s needs in line with my Department’s policy.
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