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Cork East Fine Gael TD, David Stanton, has welcomed confirmation from the Department of Education that a new special school and increased capacity will be created for the Cork area but has reiterated that a similar expansion is needed in the East Cork area to cater for the needs of local children.

David Stanton said: “The Department of Education has announced that a new special school will in the Carrigaline area will see 48 places special school places created while a change in the designation of St. Mary’s Special School, Rochestown, will see a further 12 new places become available.

“I am certain that the creation of 60 additional special school places in the Cork area will be very welcome news ahead of the 2021/2022 school year in September. However, the strong demand for special school places in the wider Cork area coupled with the lack of local capacity has seen families in East Cork travelling to Cork or further afield in order to secure a place for their child.

“The creation of additional special school capacity is greatly needed in East Cork and I continue to raise the possibility of establishing a new local special school with the Ministers in the Department of Education. I have asked Department officials to examine the possibility of developing a school in a central point in the area and have suggested sites which may be suitable to progress such a project. The Department has assured me that every effort is being made to increase capacity in East Cork and its assessment of potential new school sites remains ongoing in its evaluation of the proposal”, concluded David Stanton.