Denis Naughten is encouraging parents of special needs students to submit their application for a 20-hour supplementary education support scheme which will provide in-person tuition or care by teachers and SNAs in the home over a four-week period.
The programme was launched earlier this month to support the education and/or care needs of students with complex needs at both primary and post-primary level. Parents eligible to apply should have already been made aware of the scheme by their child’s school.
“This interim support measure is an acknowledgement of the difficulty of remote education for many students with complex needs and this supplementary programme will also provide a real benefit for students over the coming weeks as they adjust to returning to school,” stated Denis Naughten.
The following categories of students are eligible:
- All pupils enrolled in special schools and special classes at primary and second level.
- Pupils in mainstream classes in primary and second level schools who are accessing the highest level of the continuum of support. This will include pupils with autism, Down Syndrome, sensory impairments and other disabilities.
- Pupils who were eligible for the summer programme of 2020.
- Pupils identified by their primary or secondary school as requiring the highest level of support at any given time. This will ensure that pupils presenting with exceptional needs due to the current school closure period can participate in the scheme.
The scheme is available to primary school pupils from 11th February last and for second level pupils from 22nd of February and can be used by families at any time up until the end of April, including over the Easter break.
This scheme is intended to supplement, and not replace, the remote teaching provided by the student’s school and can be provided by a teacher or SNA in a student’s home outside of school hours, at evenings and weekends.
These hours supplement existing school provision provided remotely, therefore they cannot be delivered during the school day. They can however be delivered outside of the normal school day and/or at weekends or the Easter break if necessary.
As this will be a supplementary programme, it is voluntary for teachers and SNAs to participate. Similar to the Department’s home-based summer programme, parents will engage tutors/SNAs directly in a private arrangement.
Details of Second Level Support Scheme:
Details of Primary Level Support Scheme: