Carol Nolan TD
Offaly Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson on Education and Skills Carol Nolan who has been appointed Rapporteur on behalf of the Joint Committee on Education and Skills to commission a report on the National Education Psychological Service (NEPS) has called for submissions from stakeholders on the issue.
“I am delighted to be appointed as Rapporteur on behalf of the Joint Committee on Education and Skills to undertake a report on the NEPS," Nolan said. "As a former learning support teacher and acting principal, I am only too aware of the importance of this critical service in supporting our children," she added.
“I am aware that there are 619 schools across the state who do not have access to a NEPS psychologist for the purposes of assessment and the availability of assessments is very constrained meaning that children from privileged backgrounds, who can access private assessment, can bypass the system."
“While I am aware that the new resource allocation model will allow schools to provide supports to pupils in the absence of an assessment, the Education of Persons with Special Educational Needs 2004 provides a statutory right to an assessment and it is important to provide guidance to schools and parents of the child’s needs," she continued.
“I plan to undertake meetings with stakeholders and carry out a survey of a sample of schools in order to get a clear picture of the experience in dealing with the service and the views of stakeholders on any improvements that need to be made. I am asking that interested parties submit their views to me either in writing or via email before April 28, 2017."
“Further details of the consultation process will be available on the Sinn Féin website this afternoon.”
GET IN TOUCH
Carol will be conducting meetings with relevant stakeholders and carrying out a survey of a sample of schools as part of the data gathering for this report. In order to help guide your submission, she has provided questions below, although stakeholders are welcome to submit their views in any manner they wish to do so. "I look forward to engaging with stakeholders on this important issue and presenting the findings to the Joint Committee on Education and Skills," Nolan said.
1. What is your experience of the NEPS service?
2. Do you feel that the current service provides sufficient supports to schools in the area of wellbeing, critical supports, assessments and consultative work with school staff?
3. Which areas of the NEPS service do you think are positive and work well?
4. What improvements, if any, would you make to the service in order to ensure the service can appropriately address the needs of schools.
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