10% rise in the number of children taking extra summer tuition

There was an increase of 10% in the number of children taking on extra tuition this summer under the July Provision scheme, according to figures from the Department of Education.

10% rise in the number of children taking extra summer tuition

Separate figures also show that the number of school-based extra tuition programmes available in July also increased this year.

The home-based scheme provides funding for an extended school year for children with a severe or profound general learning disability or children with autism.

According to the department: “There was an increase of 356 this year in the number of students taking part in the home-based July Provision — 3,470 children last year, up to 3,826 in 2014.”

The department received a total of 4,046 applications for this July’s home-based scheme, with 94 applications refused and another 126 applications returned to parents seeking further clarification or details.

The department said it was not aware of any cases in which the application ‘timed out’.

The department also revealed that the number of schools participating in the school-based programme has also increased, from 151 schools in 2012 (when 2,521 students were involved), to 167 schools in 2013 (involving 2,791 students) and 180 schools this year.

The numbers of students for 2014 has to be finalised as it needs information to be returned from schools.

Kevin Whelan, the CEO of Irish Autism Action, welcomed the increases in the amount of support available to families around the country, but stressed that most applicants would prefer school-based programmes where available.

He said one of the key requirements for children with autism was consistency which was easier to provide in a school setting rather than at home.

He added that some families contacted IAA to say that the home-based July Provision programme had broken down and that school-based programmes also benefited children when it came to socialisation with peer groups.

“Obviously, the people that are on home-based programmes, we would sooner see them in a school-based provision, but that is down to local boards of management,” he said.

He welcomed the increase in provision at both school and domestic level but said the IAA had been made aware of some cases in which families with more than one child with autism were provided with just one tutor.

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