Seanad debates

Thursday, 8 February 2024

Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters

Special Educational Needs

9:30 am

Photo of Seán FlemingSeán Fleming (Laois-Offaly, Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

I agree with the Senator's remarks on the feeder school. The child is attending a school that is not in his locality and when it comes to secondary school it becomes an issue. I am aware of that issue myself. Much of the focus in recent years has been on primary schools and the focus now needs to be on secondary schools as well because we have lots of children leaving primary school and there is not a place for them in secondary school. This particular issue is being experienced at both school levels.

Along with the two new special schools that I mentioned, 390 new special classes, 254 at primary level and 136 at second level, have been sanctioned for the current school year. A total of 71 of these are in County Dublin; 48 primary and 23 post-primary. That is a significant number in the Dublin area.

I note the Senator's reference to the pressure on parents of families. It is phenomenal. With this in mind, the number of SENOs will increase from 73 to 120, and this will increase the number of teams available to parents and schools throughout the country from ten to 20. This will result in all SENO grades assigned to a county undertaking caseloads and working directly with parents as well.


No comments

Log in or join to post a public comment.