Know your rights: Summer Education Programme for children with special needs

My child is in primary school and has special education needs. What supports are available during the summer holidays?

There is a summer education programme for children with special educational needs called Summer Provision. It is similar to the July Education Programme, sometimes called the July Provision that operated in previous years. There are 3 types of support available – in school, at home and a HSE-led programme for children with complex needs.

Your access to these programmes depends on what is available in your area and on your child’s individual needs. You can only access one of the programmes.

The school-based programme helps your child to re-engage with learning, build friendships with other children, take part in social activities and build their relationship with school. The programme runs for 2 weeks and up to 4 weeks between July and August. School transport may also be available.

A home-based programme is offered only if there is no school-based programme available for your child because or it cannot accommodate your child.  The programme funds a tutor for 10 hours per week for 4 weeks between June and 21 August.  The tutor must be a registered teacher or special needs assistant and will be employed by you.  You can get detailed guidance on the home-based programme on the Department of Education website.

Your child can qualify for the school-based or home-based programme, if he or she:

  • Has a diagnosis of autism or has severe and profound learning difficulties
  • Goes to a special school or a special class in primary school
  • Is moving into a special class in primary school from an early years setting
  • Is in a primary school mainstream class and has one of the following disabilities: Down syndrome, is deaf (or is more severely hard of hearing), is blind or has a more severe visual impairment, has a moderate general learning disability or severe emotional behavioural difficulty

The HSE-led programme is for children with complex needs. Children’s disability service managers will engage with families to identify those in most need of these supports. The programme provides short respite breaks for families and therapeutic interventions.

You can read FAQs for parents about the programme on the Department of Education’s website  


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