15 September, 2015 - Pilot project to support the development of a new model for allocating additional teaching resources to schools for pupils with special educational needs

Pilot project to support the development of a new model for allocating additional teaching resources to schools for pupils with special educational needs

The Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan TD, today announced that a pilot of a new model for allocating additional teaching resources to schools to support children with special educational needs, as recommended by the National Council for Special Education, will take place in 47 schools during the 2015/16 school year.

Following a selection process designed to ensure that as full a range of schools as possible would be represented, to take account of disadvantaged classification, gender mix, school size and sector,47 Schools (28 primary schools and 19 post primary schools) have agreed to participate in the pilot project on a voluntary basis.  An initial training and orientation day for these schools is taking place in Athlone today.

Details of the schools which will participate in the pilot project are attached at Appendix 1.

The pilot will include schools from various parts of the country of different types and sizes.

The Minister said today that: “while there has been broad support for the proposed new allocation model among the school sector and parental and disability representative organisations, there had not been time to address all of the outstanding issues in time to fully implement the new model for 2015.  

“In order to maintain momentum behind the NCSE proposal, I have established a pilot which will take place in the 2015/16 school year. Reform of the allocation system is needed and I am committed to achieving that goal. 

“This pilot has therefore been developed in order to test the model in a number of schools and to allow for the practical effect of the application of the new model in pilot schools to be gauged, while also taking into account the learning experiences of schools, principals, pupils and the views of parents.”


Note for Editors:

In 2012 the Department of Education and Skills requested the National Council for Special Education (NCSE), to provide policy advice on how students with special educational needs should best be supported in schools.

The NCSE was asked to consider the existing model of allocating resources to schools to support children with special needs and to consider if improvements could be made.

In May 2013, the NCSE published its Policy Advice on ‘Supporting Students with Special Educational Needs in Schools.’


This paper found that the current model for allocating more than 11,000 additional learning support posts required improvement, because the current model is based on the availability of a diagnosis which may be hard to source, and risks children being diagnosed as having a special educational need for resource allocation purposes rather than for health reasons.

It was recommended that a revised model of support be developed which would also give schools greater flexibility to allocate support to pupils taking into account their learning needs as opposed to being based primarily on a disability diagnosis of category of special educational needs

The NCSE were requested to set up a Working Group to develop a proposal for a better way to allocate these supports.

In June 2014, the NCSE Working Group report, which was led by Mr. Eamon Stack, recommended a new model for allocating resource teaching support to schools based on the profiled needs of each school, rather than on the diagnosed disability of individual children.


It proposed that the allocation of additional teaching supports to schools be in future based on two components:

·        A school educational profile component; and

·        Baseline component provided to every mainstream school to support inclusion, prevention of learning difficulties and early intervention.


In May of this year, following consultations with Education Partners, the Minister announced that a Pilot of the New Model would be put in place for September 2015, in order to test the application of the model in a number of schools prior to the full implementation of the model.

The pilot is designed to test the allocation model and how under the new model, schools manage to deploy resources in accordance with identified needs of students, taking into account their level of need, regardless of any particular disability diagnosis, as envisaged by the NCSE Working Group Report.

Appendix 1:Schools Participating in Pilot Project

 Primary Schools


Roll NumberName of SchoolCountyDEISSchool Gender
20231HSt Benedict's National SchoolDublin Mixed
19583ISt Josephs Senior NS, BallymunDublinDEIS 1Mixed
15046ISt Stephen's National SchoolWaterfordDEIS 2Boys
18057FScoil MhuireOffaly Senior Girls
20292EMaynooth Educate TogetherKildare Mixed
16928BScoil Náisiúnta Naomh PhilomOffalyDEIS 2Girls
198460Reath na MaidineKerry Boys
15948CClologue National SchoolWexford Mixed
20309SMary Mother of HopeDublin Mixed
03936CScoil Náisiúnta (Scoil Mhuire)West-meath Mixed
17493URosenallis National SchoolLaois Mixed
19490BScoil MhuireDublinDEIS 1Mixed
17840PSN Bheinin NaofaMeath Girls
19837NDrimnagh Castle CBS NSDublin Boys
17903NCornamaddy NSWestmeath Mixed
13632LAnnalitten National SchoolMonaghan Mixed
18246ISN Baile MhuineCork Mixed
17920NDonard National SchoolWicklow Mixed
16829WScoil Eoin Pól (Lough an Iubhair)DonegalDEIS RMixed
18350DScoil Náisiúnta Na HinseTipperary Mixed
18598QEarnain Mxd NSWest-meath Mixed
15257VQuignamanger National School/St Oliver PlunketMayo Mixed
19418QCastlerahan Central National SCavan Mixed
19817HSt Marys NS LucanDublin Mixed
02413LScoil Naomh Eoin, BirrOffaly Mixed
16289QSt. John's NSMayo Mixed
14625TDoon Convent NSLimerick Mixed
20260oGaelscoil ChluaininLeitrim Mixed

Post Primary Schools

Roll numberName of SchoolssectorCountyDEISSchool Gender 
70250SMarino CollegeVocationalDublinYesMixed
60480GDrimnagh Castle Secondary (Meanscoil Iognaid Ris)SecondaryDublinNoBoys
71450IMullingar Community SchoolVocationalWestmeathYesMixed
65370BSt. Joseph's C.B.SSecondaryTipperaryNoBoys
91505TSt Wolstan's Community School (Girls).Comm/CompKildareNoGirls
60400FSt VincentsSecondaryDublinYesBoys
70620CColáiste Cois SiúireVocationalKilkennyYesMixed
60710UMuckross Park CollegeSecondaryDublinNoGirls
70960DCoachford CollegeVocationalCorkNoMixed
64971WOur Lady Of Mercy Secondary SchoolSecondaryWaterfordNoGirls
62000WMary Immaculate Secondary School(SecondaryClareNoMixed
91500JLoreto Community SchoolComm/CompDonegalNoMixed
64610NSt. Colman's CollegeSecondaryMayoNoBoys
61340SSt Bridgids Secondary SchoolSecondaryKerryNoGirls
70400LBorris VocationalVocationalCarlowNoMixed
61320MColáiste BhréanainnSecondaryKerryNoMixed
76102KGaelcolaiste an EachreidhVocationalGalwayNoMixed
72020LMoyne College Ballina VocationalMayoYes Mixed
68077SArdscoil na TrionodeSecondaryKildareNoMixed