INTO Welcomes Special Ed Allocations for Developing Schools

Following notification of the 2021-22 special education teaching hours to schools last month, the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO) sought early clarity for developing schools and for schools whose special education profile had changed significantly.

The union welcomes today’s early announcement of Provisional allocations for Developing Schools or Schools which have Rapidly Expanding Enrolments in the 2021/22 School Year, which sets out allocations for the coming school year. 

The INTO understands that the provisional additional allocations of special education teaching hours will be based on schools’ projected enrolments, where schools have been allocated developing school posts to teach mainstream classes next year. Schools have received an explanatory note from the Department of Education today. Provisional extra SET allocations will be confirmed when enrolment returns are provided in October.

The notice sets out the following caveat in respect to the provisional allocation:  

  • Provisional allocations therefore cannot be used to create or adjust existing Special Education Clusters. Revisions to clusters cannot be made as a result of a provisional allocation, as these allocations are temporary allocations, which are required to be confirmed in October.
  • The additional hours being provided is a provisional allocation, which is dependent on confirmation of September 2021 enrolments and on the consequential allocation of the additional mainstream developing posts.
  • Where the projected enrolments are realised, no adjustment will be required. In the event that the projected enrolments differ from the actual enrolments, a necessary adjustment to the allocation will be made. 

The note provides guidance for developing schools or schools which have rapidly expanding enrolments for the coming school year. The guidance states:  

  • It is acknowledged that there are circumstances which may arise in schools, which fall outside the appeals process put in place by the NCSE to support the new special education teaching model. 
  • These include circumstances where the school profile significantly changes following the allocation process e.g. a developing school where the net enrolment numbers significantly increase year on year.
  • Schools who qualify for additional mainstream developing school posts in accordance with these criteria will also qualify for additional Special Education Teaching Allocations to take account of this developing status, as follows:
  • an additional 3 hours of SEN teaching support will be provided for schools which have one developing post, or for a schools first developing post where they have more than one developing post.
  • and 5 hours per each post thereafter, for each school which has two or more developing posts. 

On the issue of retained allocations, the INTO understands that where a school has such an allocation, any additional allocation they receive on the basis of qualification for developing posts will be a net allocation, less any retained element of their existing school profile allocation.  

The INTO understands that the allocation of the additional hours will be made, effective from 1 September and retained pending the confirmation of enrolments at 30 September 2021. 

Any additional hours being provided as a provisional allocation will be dependent on confirmation of 30 September 2021 enrolments, and on the consequential allocation of the additional mainstream developing posts.