Summer education programme


The Department of Education announced that a Summer Education Programme will take place in 2021.

The Summer Education Programme 2021will include the programmes run in 2020 and a number of new programmes:

  • Numeracy and literacy camps in DEIS primary schools
  • School based summer programme in primary schools with special classes and special school
  • Home based provision for children with complex needs where no school-based programme is available
  • All primary schools and post-primary schools (DEIS and non DEIS) will have the opportunity to provide a 2-week summer programme for mainstream pupils with complex needs and those at greatest risk of educational disadvantage

The programme in 2020 consisted of:

  • A modified July Education Programme (or July Provision) for children with significant special education needs - see 'July Education Programme 2020' below
  • A DEIS schools summer camp programme for primary and post-primary schools for students at risk of educational disadvantage - see 'DEIS schools summer camp programme 2020' below

July Education Programme 2020

In previous years, the Department of Education has provided special education in July. In 2020, a modified July Education Programme provided 3 different types of supports:

  1. School-based programme
  2. Home-based programme (where a school-based programme is not available)
  3. Health Service Executive (HSE) programme for children with complex needs

Your access to these programmes depended on what was available in your area and on your child’s individual needs. You could only access one of the programmes.

School-based programme

The school-based programme aimed to help your child re-engage with learning and social activities. It aimed to help to build your child’s relationship and connection with the school and help your child to transition to the new school year.

The programme took place in the child’s school. It ran for a minimum of 2 weeks and up to a maximum of 4 weeks between July and August.

School transport could be provided.

Home-based programme

The home-based strand was only available if the child’s school was not running a programme or it did not have capacity to accommodate an eligible child in the programme.

The home-based programme funded the employment of a tutor by the parent for 10 hours per week for 4 weeks, between 29 June 2020 and 21 August 2020. The tutor had to be a registered teacher or a special needs assistant (SNA).

Where a child with complex needs was unable to access a school-based programme, the HSE provided a home support worker.

As the parent employed the tutor there was detailed guidance from the Department of Education on the home-based programme.

Find out more about registering for the home-based programme.

HSE programme

Due to Covid-19, HSE services including therapeutic interventions, in-home support, day and residential respite for children with complex needs were severely affected.

The HSE provided school-based, summer camp-type supports for up to 1,200 children with complex needs.

Children’s disability service managers engaged with families to identify those in most need of these supports and agreed the number of sessions per week that could be provided. Each session was be for 3 hours.

Who qualified for the Summer Education Programme?

The following children qualified for the school-based or home-based programme:

  1. Pupils with a diagnosis of autism
  2. Pupils with severe and profound learning difficulties
  3. Any child in a special school or a special class in a primary school
  4. Children transitioning into a special class from early years settings to primary school
  5. Pupils in a mainstream primary school class, or who would start in mainstream class next term, who had the following condition: Down syndrome, deaf or had a most severe hard of hearing, blind or had a most severe visual impairment, moderate general learning disability or severe emotional behavioural difficulty
  6. Pupils in post-primary school with Down syndrome

Children’s disability service managers engaged with families to identify those in most need of the HSE-led programme.

Read more about the Summer Education Programme in 2020.

DEIS schools summer camp programme 2020

DEIS primary and post-primary schools could volunteer to run the DEIS summer camp programme in 2020. The summer camps were for students at risk of educational disadvantage and ran for one week between July and August.

Primary school summer camps ran for 22.5 hours over 5 days, from Monday to Friday.

Post-primary programme summer camps ran between 10am and 3pm, Monday to Friday.

The summer camps provided literacy and numeracy, well-being and school engagement programmes for primary and post-primary schools or students at risk of educational disadvantage.

School transport could be arranged for students who were already on the School Transport Scheme.

Who qualified?

Schools identified the pupils most in need of support and contacted parents directly.

Students most at risk of educational disadvantage, school disengagement and early school leaving were considered a priority.

The school could support up to 10 percent of their students enrolled in September 2019 and kept a waiting list for students to fill any vacancies.

Page edited: 13 May 2021