Thursday, 1 February 2018

Questions (22)

Martin Heydon

Question:

22. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the provision of special needs places for persons at secondary level in the Newbridge, County Kildare, area when they graduate from ASD units at primary level in the area in 2018 and for future years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4891/18]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

My Department provides for a range of placement options and supports for schools, with students with special educational needs, to ensure that wherever a child is enrolled, s/he will have access to an appropriate education. 

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) plans and co-ordinates the provision of educational support services to children with special educational needs, in consultation with the relevant education partners and the Health Service Executive (HSE).

The NCSE has assured parents of the students who are due to leave primary school in Newbridge that they are continuing to progress the planning process to ensure that each child has a post primary placement appropriate to their needs for the 2018/19 school year.

My Department continues to work with the NCSE to ensure that there is appropriate planning in place to ensure that all children in Kildare who will require special class placements can access such placements in schools within their communities.

In this regard, Special Needs Units (SNUs) are currently under construction at 2 post primary schools in Kildare South including St Conleth’s Vocational School, Newbridge and Ard Scoil na Trionoide, Athy. The SNU in St Conleth’s is expected to be completed and ready for occupation by September 2018 at the latest.

Major building projects for a number of Post Primary schools in Kildare are included on the Department's 6 Year Construction Plan, and Special Needs units (SNUs) are planned to be included in these Developments.