11th May 2021
Over the last number of months, the INTO has engaged with the Department of Education to secure additional support for summer programmes in schools. We welcome today’s confirmation that our recommendations have been taken onboard, including early payment of staff, the allocation of a paid coordinator, the expansion of the scheme to include more pupils and grant assistance for schools hosting the scheme. These measures will provide the opportunity for more of our members, who wish to do so, to participate in the scheme this year and we commend the department and the Minister for Education for listening and taking onboard our feedback.
We await official guidance and practical details for schools and will share that information with members when it becomes available. While we welcome today’s announcement, our members would appreciate if they were communicated with directly before press releases are issued. Clear communication with schools would ensure that school leaders and school staff are properly informed, when queries start to come in from interested parents. We urge parents to await next week’s official publication of guidance on summer provision before reaching out to your school.
Key features of the new support for summer provision will include:
- A doubling of funding from €20 million to €40 million.
- Enhanced participation in the scheme with all students in special schools and those with special educational needs in mainstream primary schools being included.
- Supports to facilitate more schools to provide in the summer programme, with concrete financial and administrative support being provided.
- Home based provision will again be supported for children with complex needs where no school based programme is available.
- Numeracy and literacy camps in DEIS primary schools will be supported.
Welcoming the enhanced support for the scheme, INTO General Secretary John Boyle said:
Every year many of our members have supported summer programmes, ensuring our most vulnerable students get the support and structure they need. Following the two month period of remote learning in January and February, we engaged with the Department of Education to examine the supports and resources necessary to ensure more of our members were able to participate in the scheme. I’m delighted the department has heeded all of our suggestions and confident that this year will see another successful delivery of this important resource for parents and pupils.
On the need to ensure schools have ready access to SNAs, John Boyle has today called for
The extra SNAs announced in Budget 2021 to be allocated as soon as possible and for all schools to receive clarity on this matter. It is imperative that the department ensures a more user-friendly exceptional review process to ensure that schools which are appealing their SNA allocations receive early responses from the NCSE.
Further details on the schemes and how schools can apply will be made available over the coming period at gov.ie/summerprovision