Parliamentary Question for the Miniater for Education (Ruairi Quinn TD)
To ask the Minister for Education and Skills his views on amending the qualifications for tuition providers under the July provision scheme for persons working with children on the autism spectrum where no teachers from the child’s school are available to participate in the scheme, in order that other persons who assist in providing educational supports to the child, such as special needs assistants, and are known the child, may participate in the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
July Provision is available to all special schools and mainstream primary schools with special classes catering for children with autism that choose to extend their education services through the month of July. My Department also provides July Provision for pupils with a severe/profound general learning disability. Where school based provision is not feasible, home based provision may be grant aided.
Where a school chooses not to extend their services for July, eligible children in the school will be granted home based July Provision, on application.
As the home based provision takes place outside the usual school structure it is important that home tutors are qualified to provide an educational programme. It is appropriate therefore that the qualification standard in the Home Based July Provision generally reflects that required in a school environment.
Home tutors should be fully qualified teachers who are registered with the Teaching Council of Ireland. When it is not possible to recruit a fully qualified teacher then consideration will be given to the engagement of a tutor who is registered with the Teaching Council and has a primary degree ( minimum level 7 FETAC) in a relevant area including e.g. psychology. If an SNA meets these standards they can also be considered in this context. Therefore I see no basis for amending the qualification requirements for tutors.