Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (570)

Niamh Smyth


570. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Education and Skills if consideration will be given to the provision of post-primary specialised units for students in counties Cavan and Monaghan with Down's syndrome similar to that provided to children with autism; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33609/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

The policy of my Department is to ensure that all children with special educational needs, including children with Down syndrome, can be provided with an education appropriate to their needs.

Where possible, provision is made for the inclusive education of children with special educational needs.

Department policy is that children with special educational needs should be included where possible and appropriate in mainstream placements, with additional supports provided.

In circumstances where children with special educational needs require more specialised interventions, special school or special class places are provided for.

The majority of pupils with Down syndrome are educated in mainstream settings, with additional teaching or care supports provided where necessary.

Some pupils with Down syndrome, particularly those who have additional needs or co-occurring conditions, are educated in special class or special school settings, and this is provided for.

However, as the policy of the Department of Education and Skills is to provide for inclusive education where possible, it is not proposed to seek to establish specialised units for the education of pupils with Down syndrome in mainstream secondary schools.