We recently issued a survey to all members aged between 5 and 18 to get a picture of the situation in relation to the summer provision programme, both school and home-based, for summer 2021. 296 responses were returned and we are very grateful to all the members who participated. The following information will give you an overview of the situation nationally, as it was when the survey closed on June 7th.
Almost everyone who completed the survey would like a summer provision programme for their child.
78% of people would prefer their child to have a school-based programme, though 64% would also find a home-based programme acceptable.
Your comments showed us that many people would be happy with either home or school-based programmes, but for some students, it would work better at home, while for others it would be difficult at home. Some families simply don’t have space. There was a call for flexibility so that parents could decide what would work best for the child and family.
‘I would like to avail of July Provision, however, as our school & no other local school is not opening for it, I will not benefit from it, as home-based does not work for my 12-year-old child.’
‘Would like to choose home-based but cannot as school providing this year. No flexibility.’
Another issue was the late notice. This needs to be organised earlier in the year so that families can plan ahead.
‘The school have offered a programme, the first time they have done so. I am not sure if it is going ahead. If I had been sure of the school dates I would have availed of it, but not knowing the dates makes it impossible balancing work and trying to get a family holiday.’
‘Only found out by accident tonight that school is doing it. Holidays booked already.’
Overall, you told us that only 28% of schools are offering a programme. This puts pressure on families to try to organise something themselves.
‘It is very difficult to access a teacher for the home-based service provision for the summer. The programme over Easter was unable to be provided to our son as there was no teachers available. The issue also is that the work to find and link in with a teacher is left completely up to the parents, requiring time, access to information about teachers, and credit for the phone.’
Finally, in relation to the home provision programme, there was lower availability of home tutors for students who are enrolled in special schools (46%) than those enrolled in mainstream schools (52%), highlighting the difficulties parents experience in finding a tutor for their child with more complex needs.
‘It is very difficult to get a tutor for a child with a severe intellectual disability. Just because a teacher has a council number does not qualify them to teach a child with an intellectual disability. My child needs someone that understands her needs. This is why I would prefer a school-based programme’
Summary of results:
- Interested in Availing of Summer Provision Programme
- Yes: 97% | No: 3%
- Preference for School-Based Programme.
- Yes: 78% | No: 22%
- Acceptance of Home-Based Programme in the absence of School-Based Programme ( including children transitioning to Primary School in September).
- Yes: 64% | No: 36%
- A School-Based Programme is available.
- Yes: 28% | No: 72%
- Tutor available for Home-Based Programme.
- Yes: 50% | No: 50%
We are continuing our engagement with officials from the Department of Education in an effort to resolve the shortcomings of the programme for this summer. We will be in touch with you when we have any updates.