Update on Summer Programme 2021


In relation to school-based provision, officials from the Department of Education are continuing to engage with management bodies of schools and with teacher unions to encourage uptake of the scheme. Many of the barriers for schools experienced in previous years have been removed for school provision this year.


  • Schools have flexibility to run the programme at any stage over the summer and they can break the weeks up if that better supports staffing supply.


  • The staffing allocations (teachers and SNAs) for special class and special school programmes are unchanged and are the same as those provided during the school year.


  • Schools running a programme for mainstream students with complex needs can form groups of ‘up to’ 12 students supported by 1 teacher and 1 SNA. Schools can apply for additional teaching and SNA support where there are more than 6 children with complex special educational needs. The process to seek that additional support is outlined in the guidance documentation and through the online registration process.


  • Staff will be paid faster than other years but this will be dependent on when the schools run their programmes and how quickly the required paperwork is returned to the Department.


  • SNAs cannot receive the same rate of pay as teachers since they are clearly two different roles. All staff will be paid on their personal rate of pay which is on the pay scales for their job. These staff are already paid throughout the summer so if they do more work (and get extra pay), there is a possibility that their tax will be higher – the normal rules of taxation apply. The Department cannot unilaterally change the tax rules for a summer programme.


Updated – Thursday the 3rd of June 2021

A video has been produced by the Department of Education to give an overview of the Summer Programme for 2021 at primary level. The video can be viewed at the following link and will also be circulated to primary schools shortly.

Confirmation will also be issued by the Department to primary and post-primary schools that the closing date to register an expression of interest has been extended to June 25th.

As always, we will update you on our social media and here on our website if and when we have any new information.

Latest News

Changes to SET hours – DSI, AsIAm and Inclusion Ireland call for pause

22 Feb 2024

Down Syndrome Ireland gravely concerned by Dept. of Education circular

12 Feb 2024

Down Syndrome Ireland expresses concern on proposed changes to SET hours

09 Feb 2024