Dáil debates

Thursday, 21 March 2024

Ceisteanna ar Pholasaí nó ar Reachtaíocht - Questions on Policy or Legislation


12:40 pm

Photo of Mattie McGrathMattie McGrath (Tipperary, Independent) | Oireachtas source

I go back to the same issue, which is huge. The Tánaiste has mentioned the figure of 1,300 several times. There are huge concerns in my constituency about the lack of ASD school places. Parents contact me daily expressing huge concerns about the lack of a school place for their child in September. Some are applying to up to ten schools to see if they can get a place. Many are not getting one. Some intend to leave their five-year-old children in preschool for the year so that they will be in some sort of a school setting. There is a massive problem here and talking about all the teachers who have been appointed is not good enough. There must be some major change.

As I said, people are considering leaving their five-year-olds in preschool, which will also cause blockages. The level of demand for these classes is growing massively. What the Tánaiste talked about is not keeping pace with that. We know there are so many. Some of the SENOs are good but they are significantly overworked. Some of them do not like getting representations from us at all, but the problem is there for parents who are tearing their hair out not knowing where their children will be. It is crazy to keep a child back a year at preschool until they are aged six.


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