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(Ireland) Since 2011, 386 percent increase in SPED classes

Aug 31, 2021, Connaught Telegraph: Record number of special class places as schools return https://www.con-telegraph.ie/2021/08/31/record-number-of-special-class-places-as-schools-return/

Irish Government Press Release: https://www.gov.ie/en/press-release/5ee1f-minister-josepha-madigan-welcomes-a-record-number-of-new-special-class-places-as-students-return-to-school/

Minister of State for Special Education and Inclusion, Josepha Madigan, has expressed her best wishes to students returning to school, particularly those with additional needs or facing disadvantage. Minister Madigan has also welcomed the record number of special classes that are opening in Irish schools this September. Minister Josepha Madigan said: “I want to send my best wishes to all the students and their families as they return to school after the summer holidays. I want to particularly acknowledge those children who are starting school for the first time. “This September there will also be a record number of special class places available in schools across the country…. “I am particularly pleased to see 269 new special classes being established this year to provide an additional 1,600 places across the country. I want to pay tribute to all our schools, particularly the schools who are establishing special classes for the first time. “In order to support special education in all Irish schools, an additional 990 SNAs are being added this year. All of this is backed by funding of €2 billion[$3B U.S.] which was secured for the special education budget this year. Since 2011, the number of special classes in mainstream schools has increased by almost 386% from 548 to 2,118 for the 2021/2022 school year. … “Throughout Ireland, the number of special classes continues to grow year-on-year. This is another step on the road to strengthening support and inclusion in our education system for the benefit of all students, and will ensure that students have the supports needed to reach their full potential.”