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(Ireland) New autism school 'expected to grow and expand'; 388 special classes added '23-'24

Sept 10, 2023, Irish Examiner: Cork special school yet to open already has waiting list
Mother of boy with additional needs cannot secure school place

The East Cork Community Special School is set to open in Carrigtwohill in November.

It will do so with 18 primary and secondary-level students.

The Department of Education told the Irish Examiner that there is already a waiting list for the school.

A spokeswoman for the Cork Education and Training Board said: “Cork Education and Training Board is working to a date of Monday, November 6 as the opening day for East Cork Community Special School.

“A principal for the school was appointed this week and Cork ETB is currently in the process of recruiting other staff.”

The school is for students, aged 4 to 18, who have a diagnosis of autism and complex learning needs and for students with complex learning needs, who require the support of a special school setting, according to Cork ETB.

The mother of a 15-year-old boy who has recently been diagnosed with a mild intellectual disability says her son has returned to a unit in a mainstream school elsewhere in east Cork on a part-time basis.

He also has a diagnosis of autism and ADHD and is attached to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and the East Cork Disability Network services.

During the last academic year, he could not cope in mainstream school as he is not on the same level as his peers either emotionally or socially.

Local Fine Gael councillor Anthony Barry said he is not surprised that there is already a waiting list for places in the new school. …

The spokeswoman added: “It is envisaged that the new special school will continue to grow and expand to support additional students over time.”

In addition, 388 new special classes have been sanctioned by the NCSE for the 2023/24 school year, she said….


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