About this plan
Where an accommodation centre is being opened, the Department of Education and Skills works closely with the Department of Justice and Equality to plan for school provision for any children resident in the centre.
Asylum seeking children living in accommodation centres are educated within the mainstream education system and can access free primary and post-primary education in the same way as other children in Ireland.
How it works
A Department of Education and Skills (DES) official is seconded to the Department of Justice and Equality to act as a liaison between both Departments and with schools, and the TUSLA Educational Welfare Service (EWS).
The TUSLA Educational Welfare Service (EWS) is responsible for assisting with school enrolment and attendance.
Following the opening of a new accommodation centre, contact is made with local schools and a meeting is held with the centre manager, TUSLA Educational Welfare Service and the Department of Education and Skills to discuss and agree issues relating to the enrolment of the pupils.
Children are then linked with local schools. If there is a high concentration of children of school going age in the one centre, children are linked to a number of schools in the surrounding area.
When the numbers and age ranges of the children from the centre are identified, the Department of Education and Skills will ensure that:
- Where the increase in the numbers of students entitles the school to an additional teaching allocation, this will be provided as soon as possible.
- Where the enrolment of the children resident in the accommodation centre entitles the school to an additional teaching allocation for English as an Additional Language (EAL), this will be provided as soon as possible.
- Where the increased enrolment requires an increase in the school’s special educational needs teacher profile, they will receive, as soon as possible, 5 additional Special Education Teaching hours for every 25 additional pupils who are enrolled, or a proportion of five hours if less than 25.
- Additional SNA provision for identified additional care needs.
- A DES representative is available to advise schools on specific queries arising, including on the range of supports available to schools and on how to access supports.
- In order to ensure additional provision is made to schools without delay, schools who are enrolling children from accommodation centres will be invited by the Department to apply for these supports in advance of those children beginning school.
- Following the enrolment of pupils in local schools, contact is made with Bus Éireann, who operate the School Transport Scheme on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills.
- All residents with children of school going-age are advised of the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance.
Adult residents are linked with English language classes run by the local Education and Training Board.
Further engagement with local schools and the local Education and Training Board is facilitated through a number of channels, i.e. by direct contact with the centre manager, the DES secondee to the Department of Justice and Equality or the local Educational Welfare Officer.
Representatives are also invited to attend Friends of the Centre meetings and interagency meetings chaired by the Department of Justice and Equality.