Country information for Ireland - Financing of inclusive education systems

Special schools and mainstream primary and post-primary schools are generally funded in the same manner. Their capital and current costs are predominantly funded by the state.

However, additional funding and support for learners with special educational needs (SEN) enrolled in both mainstream and special schools is provided under a variety of headings, as follows:

  • Enhanced capitation grants for learners with defined levels of learning disability enrolled in special schools, classes or services.
  • Special transport schemes to support the transport to and from school of learners with SEN, having regard to available resources. Learners are eligible for transport where they have SEN arising from a diagnosed disability and are attending the nearest available recognised mainstream school, special class or special school or unit that is or can be resourced to meet their SEN.
  • Resource Allocation Model is a system of allocating funding to schools to support learners with SEN and additional learning needs.
  • Reduced learner-teacher ratios in special schools and in special classes attached to mainstream schools.
  • Special needs assistant (SNA) support for learners with significant care needs arising from a disability in special and mainstream schools.
  • Grants for special equipment, such as hearing and radio aids, Braillers and computers.
  • Grants for specialised seating and other furniture.
  • Start-up and annual grants for special class teachers, Special Education Teachers (SET) for the purchase of equipment and materials.
  • Payment of travel and subsistence expenses to visiting teachers.
  • Payment of travel expenses to learning support and resource teachers who visit clusters of schools.
  • Funding of specialist teaching services to special schools.
  • Funding of Home Tuition Schemes for learners with SEN who are unable, through illness, to attend school or who are awaiting a suitable educational placement.
  • Payment of salaries of SNAs employed in mainstream and special schools.
  • Payment of salaries of concessionary teachers in schools located in areas designated as disadvantaged.
  • Payment of supplementary grants for equipment and materials to schools located in areas designated as disadvantaged.

For further information about additional funding and supports, please visit the websites of the Department of Education and Citizens Information.


Last updated 23/09/2020


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