Fine Gael TD for Cork East Constituency, David Stanton, has received confirmation from the Department of Education that a new special school will be established in Carrigtwohill for the 2023/2024 school year.
The Department has confirmed that the new special school for Carrigtwohill is one of two new special schools being established nationally ahead of next year’s school term. It is envisaged that the school will provide for the enrolment of children and young people with autism and complex learning needs up to the age of 18 years of age under the patronage of the Cork ETB.
Although exact details on the school’s location, admission policy and number of places remain to be finalised, it is intended that places will be prioritised for those who do not have an offer of a special school place for the 2023/24 school year. The NCSE will work closely with the families of the children concerned to assist them in accessing these new places.
Speaking after being notified of the Department’s decision, David Stanton said: “I am absolutely delighted to learn that at long last a special school has been confirmed for East Cork. The need for a special school in the East Cork area is something that I have been raising on a regular basis with the Department of Education for some time and thankfully Minister Madigan and Minister Foley have now agreed to its establishment in Carrigtwohill.
“There has long been a strong demand for special school places in the wider East Cork area. I have been contacted by a number of families over the years that have accepted places for their children in schools in Cork city, in Waterford or further afield due to a lack of local capacity. These families have taken the decision to accept places knowing the long distances that the parents and child will have to travel each day as a result. The creation of special education services in a point as central in East Cork as Carrigtwohill is therefore fantastic news for the families of children and young people with special educational needs, allowing them to be educated locally.
“While we await finer details such as the site of the new school and the number of places to be made available in the first year, which the Department expects to announce in the very near future, staff recruitment and school policy development will begin immediately.
“This marks a pivotal step in the road for special education provision in East Cork and I would like to thank all involved in the constituency, Ministers Madigan and Foley, Department officials, and the NCSE in finally ensuring the school’s establishment. I have no doubt that once opened, the special school will prove to be of great benefit, and I look forward to confirmation of the outstanding points as soon as possible”; concluded David Stanton.