Important Information for Parents of Children with Special Needs at Second Level.

Resources that have been assigned to a child at primary school do not move with the child to second level school. A current (less that two years old) educational psychologists report is needed by the school to apply for extra resources to meet your child’s needs and must be sent to the school at least 6 months prior to the child’s start date at second level.

A report with recommendations from an educational psychologist, regardless of it being prepared by the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) or a private psychologist, does not entitle a child to additional help at second level. The report simple acts as a recommendation that such assistance is required, at this time the Department of Education and Science (DES) is not obliged to provide extra teachers to meet these special needs.

If DES does not provide extra teachers it in at the discretion of individual schools to decide what help if any they can and will give to each child.

Parents need to be made aware that they may need to fight for any additional help that their children may need in second level.

An educational psychologists report is not needed to apply for “reasonable accommodation” for Junior Certificate examinations. Second Level schools can apply for special consideration using the child’s educational history as evidence of the need. There is no requirement for an educational psychologist report and such a report does not automatically result in any special entitlements.

Where an accommodation is approved for Junior Certificate, it does not automatically follow that approval will be granted for Leaving Certificate. A fresh application will be required in respect of the Leaving Certificate and each will be considered on its own merits. Application is made through the school with the parents/guardians permission. An up-to-date (less that two years old) psychological report is not a prerequisite but should be included if available. All requests will be reviewed by NEPS, who may look for further information and request to meet the student, before a decision will be made. Statistics over the last few years do show that fewer numbers of considerations are given at Leaving Certificate.

If the student has received an exemption from Irish at primary level the exemption is accepted at second level and the student will be excused from having to study Irish. A copy of the “Certificate of Exemption” will be requested by the second level school before the student is excused from Irish classes.