Written Answers - Special Educational Needs

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 723 No. 1

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  54.  Deputy Deirdre Clune  Information on Deirdre Clune  Zoom on Deirdre Clune   asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills  Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan   if she will ensure that relevant exam supports are in place for a leaving certificate student (details supplied) in County Cork; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44347/10]

Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Mary Coughlan): Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  The State Examinations Commission has statutory responsibility for operational matters relating to the certificate examinations including organising the holding of examinations and determining procedures in places where examinations are conducted including the supervision of examinations.

I can inform the Deputy that the Commission operates a scheme of Reasonable Accommodations in the Certificate examinations. Applications for such accommodations are submitted by schools on behalf of their students. A range of accommodations are provided to enable students with special needs to access the Certificate examinations. For example enlarged print, Braille translation, modified questions, use of a scribe, a reader, a personal assistant, a tape recorder or word processor, or exemptions from areas of assessment, may be allowed depending on needs.

In view of this I have forwarded your query to the State Examinations Commission for direct reply to you.

  55.  Deputy Finian McGrath  Information on Finian McGrath  Zoom on Finian McGrath   asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills  Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan   the number of children with a mild diagnosis of disability who do not receive resource hours and the provision for these pupils. [44360/10]

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  56.  Deputy Finian McGrath  Information on Finian McGrath  Zoom on Finian McGrath   asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills  Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan   if she will ensure that children with a mild diagnosis who attend mainstream schools receive their own resource hours and not from the general allocation. [44362/10]

Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Mary Coughlan): Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  I propose to take Questions Nos. 55 and 56 together.

The National Council for Special Education has advised my Department that additional teaching supports were in place in post-primary schools in the 09/10 school year in respect of over 3,600 students who had been assessed as having a mild general learning disability.

At primary level, pupils with a mild general learning disability, and who do not attend either a special class or special school, receive additional teaching support through the teaching staff already in place in all primary schools. The Deputy is aware that all primary schools have been allocated learning support/resource teaching support through the General Allocation Model specifically to support pupils with a high incidence special educational need, including pupils with a mild general learning disability. This model of teacher allocation is not in place at post-primary level and therefore the NCSE allocates additional teaching supports to post-primary schools in respect of students with a mild general learning disability.

My Department does not retain information on the number of children who receive support through the general allocation system.


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