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(Ireland) Dublin: Number of special ed classes more than doubles in 5 yrs

June 25, 2022, Independent: Four schools that won’t provide places for special needs pupils named and shamed by Government

The Government has named and shamed four schools that were not “forthcoming” in opening special classes for pupils this September. ...

It comes as 106 children have been left without a place in a special class for the coming school year.

Junior minister Josepha Madigan, who has responsibility for special education, told RTÉ Radio 1’s Saturday with Katie Hannon that 14 schools had been written to the department about the need to establish places for children with special educational needs and four of them have not responded.

“We decided to publish a list of schools who hadn’t been forth coming in opening special classes come September, in specific circumstances where we know that they have capacity,” she said.

“Out of the 14 schools whom we sent a letter to, 10 of those, there is a very intense engagement going on with those at the moment, so there is a willingness of their part at the moment.

“If it arises by next week that they are not going to be in a position or refusing to open a special class then we will publish the names of those schools.

“It’s not about embarrassing schools or shaming schools but at the same time we have to put them in the spotlight because its just not acceptable anymore that a child with additional needs doesn’t have a special class place, so I am going to be relentless in my pursuit to open these special classes no matter what it takes.”

She said the four schools that were named are currently making little engagement with the department in moving forward with change.

“They are not saying anything at the moment, they are just ignoring correspondence, that is not good for us, it’s a bit of a red flag so if we don’t hear from them with a willingness to open a special class then we will move to section 37A process.”

“We are also engaging very closely with the attorney general in relation to his advice in terms of emergency legislation, as I think at this point of time, we should have no child with additional needs who doesn’t have special class place.”…

"It was confirmed on Thursday that 43 new special education classes will open this September in Dublin, with the number of special classes in Dublin’s primary schools more than doubling in the last five years from 158 in June 2017 to the 340 which have been established for the coming school year….

Junior minister Josepha Madigan, who has responsibility for special education,


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