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(Ireland) Despite emergency law, many SPED kids will still not have a place this fall

July 1, 2022, Irish Examiner: Education minister to engage 'intensely' with schools on special needs places Labour TD Duncan Smith said that the legislation would 'probably not' mean suitable school places in September for the 100 children who are currently without https://www.irishexaminer.com/news/politics/arid-40908590.html

The education minister says that she will engage "intensely" with schools in a bid to open up new special needs schools places.

Norma Foley was speaking as the Dáil debated on Friday emergency legislation that will cut the legal process available to the minister to compel a school to open a special educational needs class if they do not agree to do so.

Ms Foley said just over 100 children remain without an appropriate special educational need placement for the coming school year. She said that there was a large amount of work being done to solve this.

"However, despite all efforts, there has been an inability to deliver the final number of places required as the number of children with special educational needs continues to increase. …

Labour TD Duncan Smith said that the legislation would "probably not" mean suitable school places in September for the 100 children who are currently without.

"All this is happening as an emergency piece of legislation at the start of July 2022 because we are and have been failing when it comes to providing special needs education. I am not just talking about pupils who do not have spaces for the coming September.

"There are 15,500 children and young people forced to leave their catchment areas, some travelling over 100km, to access education. We heard of a number of different cases over the past number of weeks."

The Minister for Education Norma Foley said: 'Despite all efforts, there has been an inability to deliver the final number of places required as the number of children with special educational needs continues to increase.' Picture: Gareth Chaney/ Collins Photos