Wednesday 24 April 2019

Waiting lists in two-thirds of schools with special classes

Stock Image: GETTY
Stock Image: GETTY
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

Two in three principals in primary schools with special classes have a waiting list for places, the Oireachtas Education Committee has heard.

The figures emerged from a recent survey by the Catholic Primary School Management Association (CPSMA), which also told the committee that schools with special classes needed more support.

The committee was looking at the provision of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other special classes in mainstream schools. The number of such classes has grown significantly, to about 1,450 next September, mainly for ASD pupils.

The growth in provision has been largely focussed on the primary sector, although not in every community.

Fianna Fáil TD Fiona O'Loughlin said they wanted "to examine the level and impact of apparent shortages, especially at secondary level".

The Irish Society for Autism referred to the disparity between primary and post primary level "even though it can be assumed that all children with autism will require the same supports in post primary school".

Irish Independent

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