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(Ireland) Cty Cork: Principal: providing for ASD kids is 'moral issue'; to meet increased demand

June 15, 2018, (Ireland) County Cork, Southern Star: Kinsale principal hits out at schools not offering autism places KINSALE Community School has been given the go-ahead for a fourth class for students with autism, or who have an autistic spectrum disorder. Principal Fergal McCarthy described it as a ‘moral issue’ that the school felt compelled to respond to, and criticised other schools for not making such places available. ‘We have to meet the needs of parents who are not being supported in their own communities,’ he said. The school’s existing autism classrooms each comprise six students, and the new class coming on stream next September will be of a similar size. Fergal described the new class as good news for the school, and the entire community. ‘Parents struggle to find appropriate places as there are not enough ASD units on the second level education landscape. We felt morally duty bound to request another one due to demand,’ he told The Southern Star. … Scores of other schools throughout West Cork were given additional resources for existing ASD units and will benefit from some of the 800 additional Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) announced for the beginning of the next school year, in order to meet the increased demand. A further 140 SNAs are expected to be allocated over the period September to December 2018, which is an over 7% increase on last year.

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