Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (614)

Joan Burton


614. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Education and Skills the progress to date on the establishment of a new school for the provision of autism specific education in the Dublin 15 area; when the school will officially open; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34161/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Dublin and Dún Laoghaire ETB have agreed to act as Patron for this start-up special school and it is progressing recruitment and other arrangements with a view to ensuring the school opens in September. Temporary accommodation has been secured to facilitate the school's starting up in September.

DDETB have appointed a school Principal and the recruitment process for other staff is underway.

I am anxious that the Principal, teachers and SNAs in the new school are appropriately supported. My Department, through the NEPS, the NCSE and with the input from the Middletown Centre for Autism are developing a programme of professional learning for school staff that will be available early in the next school year. 

This will include up-skilling before the students commence school on a phased basis and ongoing mentoring, coaching and in-school support during the challenging start-up terms.

The enrolment of students is underway and a plan is being finalised for the opening at the commencement of the 2019/20 school year. The NCSE is keeping in regular contact with the parents of the children concerned and will continue to advise them of progress.