Schools get 1,000 extra resource teachers
ALMOST 1,000 extra resource teachers will be allocated to primary and second-level schools next year to cater for over 46,600 pupils.
The additional numbers reflect a surge in demand for support for children with complex disabilities, well above an anticipated increase in the pupil population generally.
While school enrolments may rise by about 2-3pc in September, the increase in allocations for resource teachers for pupils with special needs, such as autism or a sight or hearing disability, is up by 12pc.
Some 617 new posts will come onstream in September, bringing the total number of resource teachers to 5,902, the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) has announced.
It will rise further to 6,225 when another 323 posts are made available from October in order to respond to emerging needs.
Last September, there were 5,285 resource teaching posts, growing to 5,721 during the school year, as new cases of need emerged.
Since the 2012/2013 school year, the number of resource teachers has risen by almost 1,000 from 5,265, an increase of 18pc over the period.
The resource teacher allocations for 2014/15 have been welcomed by the Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO).
A spokesperson for the INTO said the announcement of almost 1,000 additional posts would allow schools to plan staffing in time for the next school year and would give parents confidence that schools could meet children's needs.