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(Ireland) "Many of these kids have been waiting years for a school place"

May 28, 2022, Irish Examiner: Minister to issue orders to compel schools to provide special education places https://www.irishexaminer.com/news/politics/arid-40883033.html

Parents of children with disabilities, who campaigned for new school in Carrigaline, say they proved 'it can be done'

Josepha Madigan, the special education minister, will move to use legal powers to compel schools to provide Irish Examiner places as soon as Monday, the special education can reveal.

Government sources have confirmed that Ms Madigan is planning to use her powers under Section 37A of the Education Act to issue a binding direction to schools to establish additional classes for children with special needs.

Sources have confirmed there are a number of schools being looked at under Section 37A.

Around 130 children are without a place in school, with the creation of five special education centres proposed as an emergency response to the shortage of appropriate school places for children with special educational needs. There are 80 children without a place in Dublin, 30 in Cork, and the rest spread across the country.

Parents have slammed the proposed plans, which included five centres for Dublin, where the shortage is most acute. Each centre would take in 24 children and would be run by the Education and Training Board (ETB)….

“Why is the shortage of school places only being addressed in May?

"Josepha Madigan spoke about children in home tuition already being segregated. Why are words like ‘segregated’ even being used?

“We need support not further segregation."…

Carrigaline Community Special School was set up within months. …

Many of these kids have been waiting years for a school place. This comes down to a complete lack of planning, year after year

“How do they keep getting it so wrong?

“They know years before how many children will need a school place. “If there had been proper planning from day one, no one would be in this situation but vulnerable kids are always left down.”

Ms Madigan is to meet advocacy groups again on Tuesday to discuss their views on the proposal, after an initial meeting last Thursday, amid sustained public outcry about the plan….

Proposals

"It is absolutely essential that we do everything we can to boost the number of special classes. Remember, these are children who have been assessed to attend mainstream school with special additional supports put in place and I welcome that Minister Madigan is going to use the legal power she has to increase the number of classes.”

Alison Murphy, Douglas, Cork, with her son Darragh, who has autism. Ms Murphy asks: 'Why is the shortage of school places only being addressed in May?' Picture: Dan Linehan