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To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the reason the deadline dates for appeals to decisions made by the National Council for Special Education during  special needs assistants reviews preceded the date on which some schools were  informed of SNA allocation; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

- Mick Wallace.

For ORAL answer on Tuesday, 26th November, 2013.

REPLY

Minister Ruairí Quinn

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is responsible for allocating Special Needs Assistants to schools to support children with special educational needs. The NCSE published details of its first round of SNA allocations for schools in June of this year. The closing date for receipt of appeals in respect of these allocations was 30th September 2013.

The NCSE made a second round of allocations for schools on 21st October, 2013. The closing date in respect of this second round of allocations was 21st November, 2013. In relation to other applications or allocations which may be made during the school year, the school will be advised of the relevant closing date for any appeal at the time that the allocation decision is notified to the school. The NCSE have placed full details of their appeal process in respect of SNA and Resource Teaching Allocations on their website at www.ncse.ie.

To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the reason the qualification requirements for teachers providing home tuition for children with autism spectrum disorder were recently changed from specialist training in autism to a general primary school qualification; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

- Mick Wallace.

For ORAL answer on Tuesday, 26th November, 2013. REPLY

Minister Ruairí Quinn

Home Tuition is provided to children who are unable to attend school or are awaiting a suitable educational placement and for pre-school children with autism.

The qualification requirements for tutors providing home tuition to children have not changed. It remains the case that Home tutors should be fully qualified teachers. When it is not possible to recruit a fully qualified teacher then alternative appropriate third level qualifications may be acceptable. However, from this year my Department has also required that, in addition to being qualified teachers, tutors must be registered or have applied for registration with the Teaching Council of Ireland.  Tutors with acceptable third level qualifications will be eligible to apply for registration. Accordingly, those whose qualifications were acceptable in the past remain eligible, provided they have applied for registration with the Teaching Council.

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