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(Ireland) Laois: Schools to get extra autism classes; 40 places for secondary 40 for primary

June 4, 2024, Laois Live: Laois schools to get extra special classes for children with autism 

Department confirms extra classes for primary and secondary schools

It has been confirmed that a number of Laois schools will get extra special classes for children with autism in the next school year. 

Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley has welcomed the progress he received from the Department of Education on the provision of new special classes for children with autism in Laois.

Deputy Stanley said “I have been lobbying the Department of Education, along with the National Council for Special Education continuously and over a considerable period of time on the need for more Autism Units in Laois Schools.

"Over recent months I have had numerous contacts from parents and teachers across the county regarding the importance of getting extra classes in place for the coming school year, 2024/2025. There is currently a shortage of places at both Primary and Secondary school level in Laois

"Parents and teachers have been under considerable pressure and from my contacts in the sector, there is a need in excess of 40 places at secondary school level and a similar number at primary level. 

"The department have now informed me that for school year 2024/2025 extra ASD classes will be provided in the following Primary Schools; Scoil Padraig Ballylinan, Arles National School, Scoil Mhuire Abbeyleix, Scoil Eoin Phoil Naofa Ballyroan, St. Joseph’s National School Borris in Ossory and Scoil Bhride Rathdowney.

At secondary level the following schools are sanctioned for additional classes; Scoil Chroist Rí Portlaoise will be provided with 2 extra classes, Colaiste Íosagán Portarlington, St. Fergal’s College Rathdowney and the Community School Mountrath will all receive one extra class’’.

 “Separately I was also informed by the Head of Buildings in the Department of Education this week that Shanganamore NS at Barrowhouse will be provided with 2 badly needed modular units, to cater for the existing ASD Classes in the school.

"I have been in regular contact with the Department over the past 18 months regarding the dire situation in this primary school, and the unacceptable conditions that pertain for both students and staff in the ASD classes.

"I am informed that 2 new modular units will be installed, and I have urged the Department, no later than today, to do everything possible, to have them on site for use in September’’.

The importance of providing these additional classes cannot be overstated, as it is a well-established fact that intervention at the early stages of development and learning is crucial in terms of the lifelong experiences of children with autism."



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