The special reading schools are full-time national schools, provided by the Dept. of Education and Skills and so are free of charge. The regular school curriculum is followed, with the exception of Irish.
The current Pupil-Teacher ratio is 11:1 in these classes, though it is to be reduced to 9:1 shortly. Children usually attend for one to two years only and then return to their own school. It can be difficult to secure a place in these schools. Application must be made by the psychologist who assessed the child, supported by a recommendation from the child's own school.
The usual criterion for admission to a special reading school is average/above average intelligence, and a significant discrepancy between intellectual ability and literacy levels. The pupil should have completed 2nd class or be at least 8 years old and not more than 12 years old. Applications should normally be made before March.
The Reading Schools are as follows: