The Department of Education and Skills has announced its Summer Provision for 2020, which will provide children with an opportunity to continue or re-engage with learning, at school or at home, following school closures during the pandemic.
The Summer Provision will provide for children with complex needs, within defined categories, and is broken down into three different programmes – a School-based Programme, a Home-based Programme, and a HSE-led Programme which will be based in community settings such as schools.
The School-based Programme
The School-based programme will be similar to the typical July Provision, and will take place in the child’s school. It will run for a minimum of two weeks and can extend up to four weeks during July and August, where schools, teachers and SNA’s are willing to participate.
All special schools and mainstream schools with special classes have been invited to participate, but please note that participation is voluntary, and schools may choose whether to participate or not.
Schools choosing to participate will contact parents directly.
The Home-based Programme
The Home-based Summer Programme, also similar to what is usually July Provision, will take place in the child’s own home. It will only be available where the child’s school is not running a programme, or it does not have the capacity to accommodate an eligible student in the planned programme. In these situations, the Department funds the employment of a tutor by the parent/guardian for up to 10 hours per week for up to 4 weeks during July and August.
The tutor must be a qualified teacher who is registered and vetted with the Teaching Council of Ireland to provide tuition in your home. Alternatively, the tutor can be an SNA who meets the schemes qualification and child protection criteria, and has also been Garda Vetted.
Parents/Guardians wishing to avail of the Home-based programme are asked to register their interest here.
Please note that parents/guardians will be asked to submit the following information in order to register:
- The Childs Name, date of birth, and PPSN
- The Parent’s name, address, and PPSN
- The School’s name, address, and roll number
- You will also be asked to outline the intended duration that you wish your child to participate for (Max 10 hours per week – Minimum of 2 weeks – maximum of 4 weeks).
Once registered, parents/guardians can plan and organise the programme for their child. The following steps will need to be taken:
- Consult the child’s school to firstly establish your child’s eligibility, and secondly to confirm if the school intends to run a programme.
- Secure the services of a registered teacher or SNA who meets the above-mentioned criteria.
- Get information from the school on the child’s Student Support File to pass to the tutor or SNA.
- Keep a record of hours (up to 10 hours per week for up to 4 weeks maximum).
On completion of the programme the parent/guardian must submit the payment claim form, and any other necessary completed documentation to the Department of Education and Skills to claim grant funding.
As HSE services for children with complex needs have been severely curtailed during the pandemic, the HSE-led programme aims to provide short respite breaks for families, while facilitating children with complex needs to begin the transition from their homes to re-engaging with their communities and schools.
The HSE will provide school-based, summer camp-type supports for up to 1,200 children with complex needs, subject to the availability of school premises and SNAs.
Staff in children’s disability services will provide direction and support for SNAs to deliver activity-based “summer camps” for a number of three-hour sessions per week. Activities will be tailored to the needs of the children, with clinicians’ input.
The timing of the programme in each area will be flexible, and will be dependent upon the availability of school premises and SNAs.
Children’s Disability Service Managers will engage with families to identify those in most need of these supports, and agree the number of sessions per week that can be provided.
Full Programme details, including eligibility criteria, for the Summer Provision 2020 Programme can be found on gov.ie here.
Additional information can be found in the Summer Provision 2020 Parent Information Leaflet, and the Home Based Summer Provision 2020 Information & FAQs for Parents leaflet.
The Department of Education and Skills has also put together COVID-19 guidance for the provision of the Home-based Summer Programme to Support Children with Special Educational or Care Needs, which can be viewed here.
The following two pages which were set up by tutors and parents may be of some help in sourcing a tutor for Home Tuition:
- julyprovision.com has numerous forums/notice boards that are broken down by province, which allow parents and tutors/SNA’s to connect. For more information see here.
- Similarly, the Facebook Page ‘Home Tutors for those on the Autism Spectrum Ireland‘ allow parents and tutors to link up.