Summer education programme

What is the Summer Programme?

The Summer Programme provides educational supports during the summer to children with special needs and those at most risk of educational disadvantage.

The Summer Programme will run in 2023. Details about the programme will be published in January 2023.

The Summer Programme 2022 included:

  • School-based summer programme for children with special educational needs in special classes, special schools and mainstream schools
  • Home-based provision for children with complex needs (where a school-based programme is not available)
  • Summer camps in DEIS schools focussing on numeracy and literacy

All primary schools and post-primary schools including DEIS schools had the opportunity to provide a summer programme for mainstream pupils with complex needs and those at greatest risk of educational disadvantage.

The Summer Programme is based on July Provision which was delivered to children with special educational needs in previous years by the Department of Education.

The information below describes the Summer Programme in 2022.

Who qualifies for the Summer Programme?

The following children qualify for the school-based programme:

  • Children in a special school or a special class
  • Children in mainstream classes in primary schools who are accessing the highest level of the continuum of support. This includes children with autism, Down syndrome, sensory impairments, and other disabilities

Priority places

Schools will give first place on the school-based programme to students with complex needs in special classes and mainstream classes. The remaining places will be given on the basis of need and availability.

Remaining places

When the priority places have gone, the remaining places may be offered to:

  • Children identified by the school as being most at risk of educational disadvantage and early school leaving
  • Children who did not engage fully in online learning due to their home circumstances
  • Children accessing Special Education Teacher (SET) or Special Needs Assistant (SNA) support
  • Children whose domestic circumstances or home environment are not conducive to online learning
  • Children who have been identified as having poor attendance
  • Traveller and Roma children including children who have recently arrived from Ukraine

School-based programme

All primary schools and post-primary schools have the opportunity to provide a summer programme for mainstream pupils with complex needs and those at greatest risk of educational disadvantage.

All special schools will also have the opportunity to provide a summer programme.

The programme will take place for a set number of weeks in the child’s school during the school summer holidays.

There is information for parents on the primary school-based summer education programme (pdf) and the post-primary school-based summer education programme (pdf).

Home-based programme

The home-based programme is only available if your child’s school is not running a school-based programme or it does not have capacity to accommodate your child in the programme.

The home-based programme funds the employment of care support or a tutor for 10 hours per week for 4 weeks. The four weeks do not have to be consecutive and can take place any time during the summer holidays.

The tutor must be a registered teacher or a special needs assistant (SNA) and meet child protection criteria. Support must be provided one to one.

Where possible, the school will provide details of a teacher or SNA. You can also source suitable tutors through the IPPN Summer Programme Noticeboard and a list that NCSE has provided for the Summer Programme. Parents may also participate in a group arrangement with a private provider (pdf).

The school will contact parents of eligible children and provide an Application Form for Sanctioning. The parent should complete the form with the details of their child and their own contact details and give the form to their child’s school. The school will input the application on the Department’s online portal.

A separate application must be made for each child. If siblings are sharing an allocation, there are maximum hours outlined (pdf).

The Department will send a sanction email confirming eligibility and the number of sanctioned hours to the parents and the school. The school will print a copy of the Grant Application form for the parents.

Parents can engage more than one teacher or SNA. If they engage more than one, they should advise the teacher or SNA. They should also show them the sanction email so they know how many hours are sanctioned. The combined hours should not exceed the total hours sanctioned.

When the programme of hours have been delivered, parents should complete the timetable of hours and checklists on the Grant Claim Form. A separate form should be completed for each eligible child and returned to the Department of Education, Home-Based Summer Programme, Special Education Section, Cornamaddy, Athlone, Co. Westmeath, N37 X659 by 6 September 2022.

Find out more about the 2022 home-based summer programme (pdf) from the Department of Education.

Information on the home-based summer programme is published on gov.ie/summerprogramme. For further queries about the programme, you can email homebasedsummerprogram@education.gov.ie

DEIS schools summer camp

DEIS primary schools may run literacy and numeracy camps for children who are considered by the school to have the greatest level of need. Each camp is for 1 week and provides 4 hours of instruction each day. The summer camps also provide well-being and school engagement programmes for children at risk of educational disadvantage. The camps can be run through English or Gaeilge. Resources will be available in Irish, English, Ukrainian and Russian.

Primary schools can allocate places to children of any age, including sixth class, and can choose children who would most benefit from the programme.

Schools getting DEIS status in September 2022, can also take part in the programme.

Can I get school transport during the Summer Programme?

If you normally use the special education needs (SEN) transport scheme, it may be provided. If SEN transport services are not available, you can apply for grant funding after your child has completed the programme.

The Department’s School Transport Scheme will not run during the summer programme. If your child normally uses the School Transport Scheme, your school may make local transport arrangements. You should contact your school for more details.

Further information

Applications for Summer Programme 2022 are closed.

You should contact your child’s school about its school-based summer programme.

You can find information for parents on the Primary Summer Programme 2022 (pdf) and Post-primary (pdf) from the Department of Education.

You can get more information about the Summer Programme from the Department of Education and at gov.ie/summerprogramme

Page edited: 18 October 2022