Following the Minister for Education and Skills comments on record in the Dail regards July Provision on 13/05/20 we contacted the Department of Education and Skills (DoE) for clarification and specifically we raised the following points with them…
1) The current situation is difficult, but could you (DoE) offer any specifics on for example when could we expect application forms to be released and what is the most likely time frame for the scheme to take place e.g. prior to kids returning to school.
2) Is the Minister planning on offering both School and Home based and has he given due consideration to the implications for physical distancing within schools?
5) We’d also like to suggest the minister extends the run time for the home provision scheme, by spreading the 40hrs over 8 weeks instead of the usual 4.
3) If the school based goes ahead we’d also suggest extending it over a similar time frame maybe with reduced daily hours applicable in an effort to keep it within some sort of manageable fiscal budget. Alternatively split hours across the day could facilitate smaller pupil numbers for better physical distancing.
3) If the school based is not an option on health grounds the home based is certainly an option. With home based there are always issues regarding available teacher numbers. Should the JP school population wish to access the home based scheme and we have no doubt that large numbers will, teacher numbers will be a major concern.
4) An issue that is raised with us by teachers every year is the waiting time for payments. If the minister was to reduce the wait times for payments to within a closer time frame on completion of the scheme this would help alleviate a potential deficit in teacher numbers.
7) A question was raised about including children with Down syndrome in the scheme and the Minister responded in the positive. Could you (DoE) offer commentary on whether it is likely this year or next?
As soon as we receive any updates we will post them on our social pages, but in the meantime if you have any questions please do Contact Us and we’ll be happy to assist you further.
The Support Team
Connecting Parents and Teachers for any educational needs.