Written answers

Thursday, 16 December 2021

Department of Education and Skills

Special Educational Needs

Photo of Holly CairnsHolly Cairns (Cork South West, Social Democrats)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

407. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the steps she is taking to address the shortage of ASD units in west County Cork; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [62808/21]

Photo of Josepha MadiganJosepha Madigan (Dublin Rathdown, Fine Gael)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

Enabling children with special educational needs to receive an education is a priority for this Government. 

Next year, my Department will spend in excess of €2 Billion, or over 25% of the Department’s budget on providing additional teaching and care supports for children with special educational needs. 

This includes funding for a wide range of schemes and supports including special classes, special school places, SNAs and teachers.

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) has responsibility for coordinating and advising on the education provision for children nationwide.

The NCSE are aware of an identified need for ASD classes at primary level and post primary levels in the West Cork area.

Currently, a network of 56 primary school special classes, including 6 Early Intervention classes provide specialist ASD placements for students in West Cork who require such a place.  Of these, 8 were newly established for the 2021/2022 school year

Through ongoing consultation with schools and parents at local level the NCSE is aware of students who will be seeking placement for the 22/23 academic year and will continue to engage with schools regarding the establishment of additional special classes in West Cork for 2022/23 and beyond.

It is open to any school to engage with the NCSE to establish a special class.

My Department works in close collaboration with the NCSE to ensure that the necessary provision is put in place on a timely basis throughout the country. 

Parents seeking special class placements for their children are advised to contact their local SENO so that their needs can be taken into account for planning purposes.


No comments

Log in or join to post a public comment.