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(Ireland) Co Cork to open special autism school: "severe shortage of special school places"

A new 48-pupil special school to open in Carrigaline, Co Cork, will operate under the patronage of Cork Education and Training Board (Cork ETB). The school will provide for the needs of children with autism and general learning disability up to 18 years of age. There is a severe shortage of special school places in Cork and the additional capacity will cater for students who do not yet have an offer of a place for September 2021. The school was announced some weeks ago and Education Minister Norma Foley and Junior Minister for special education Josepha Madigan confirmed the patronage today. There are currently 33 special classes in 15 schools of which Cork ETB is the patron but this is the new school in Carrigaline is the first special school under its wing. The ministers also recently announced a 12-pupil expansion of St. Mary’s Special School, Rochestown, Cork to also cater for children with a dual diagnosis of learning disability and autism with 12 from September 2021. Minister Foley said the ETB had “a strong commitment to inclusion and I am pleased that they will bring this tradition and approach to the leadership of the new school”. Parents in the area have fought a long-running campaign for additional specialist school places and Cork North Central Fianna Fail TD , Pádraig O’Sullivan acknowledged the “persistence of the 23 families who had found themselves with no school place for September for their children with special needs


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