The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) has a statutory function to plan and co-ordinate the provision of education and support services to children with special educational needs, in consultation with the relevant education partners, Department of Children and Youth Affairs and the Health Service Executive (HSE).
This includes the establishment of special class and special school placements in various geographical areas where there is an identified need.
The NCSE ensures that advance planning is in place to ensure that schools in an area can, between them, cater for all children who need special class and special school placements
The NCSE engages with schools in each school community to ensure that specialist provision is sanctioned in schools in a timeframe that allows schools to re-configure existing spaces within the school building and/or to construct additional accommodation.
When an identified need to expand provision in special schools is established, taking into account existing and future needs, the NCSE sanctions this provision and schools can then apply to my Department for capital funding to accommodate additional placements.
With regard to the special school referred to by the Deputy, the NCSE is satisfied that the new school currently under construction is large enough to cater for the special needs requirements in the area.