Minister Bruton announced that the new model for allocation of resource teachers would be implemented from next September. This post is a quick overview of the new model and how it will differ from the current model.

Current model

  • Child receives diagnosis of special educational need from an educational psychologist
  • School applies to the Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator for low incidence teaching hours for the child
  • Child receives resource hours

The process can be lengthy and child only officially gets access to resource teacher once these hours have been sanctioned by the SENO.


General Allocation Model

  • Learning Support hours that have been granted to the school based on the number of mainstream classes (to support children with English as an additional language, children in receipt of learning support (usually dependent on STEN scores), and students with high incidence special educational needs.)

Problems with the current model

  • Access to diagnosis – some parents can afford to have their child assessed privately. Some parents cannot afford private assessments and therefore have to wait for public assessments.
  • Spectrum of disability – current model grants all children with the same diagnosis the same amount of hours e.g. a child with an A.S.D. diagnosis is entitled to 4.25 resource teaching hours however one child may have a greater need for resource time than another child (even if they have the same diagnosis.)
  • Level of need; currently learning support allocations are based on the number of mainstream class teachers and not on the level of need of the children in a particular school.

New model

  • Additional teaching supports are allocated to schools based on their educational profile. The school then uses these supports to suit the needs of their pupils.
  • Whole school approach is used to cater for the needs of all pupils (programme planning, implementation of early intervention and prevention programmes)

Resources are allocated to the schools and the schools decide how best to use these resources within their particular contexts. This enables schools to be more inclusive as children will not be required to have a diagnosis/professional report to access resources they need. 

Schools educational profile

Additional resources will be allocated to schools based on the schools educational profile. The educational profile is made up of 3 parts;

  • Number of students with complex special educational needs
  • Number of students with a Sten score of 4 or below in Maths and English
  • Social context of the school

I hope this post sheds some light on the new model effective from September 2017.

Useful documents;

NCSE – Supporting Students with Special Educational Needs

Review of the Pilot Scheme

DES New Model Announcement (Press Release)