For Oral Answer on : 23/11/2021
Question Number(s): 109 Question Reference(s): 57232/21
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Education if her Department has carried out research into the need for a special school in east County Cork; if so, the details of same; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
Enabling children with special educational needs to receive an education is a priority for this Government.
It is also a key priority for me as Minister for Special Education & Inclusion.
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.
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.
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.
Throughout 2020 and 2021 the Department and the NCSE have worked closely on a more streamlined and joined up planning process which has ensured a targeted approach to meet demand for SEN placements ahead of the new school year. This intensive intervention has seen an additional 269 special classes already opened nationwide for the 2021/22 school year.
Two new special schools, one in Cork and one in Dublin also opened for the 2021/22 school year.
This targeted approach will continue in identifying demand for future SEN placements throughout the country, including the area referred to by the Deputy.
Families who need support or advice should contact their local SENO.