Special classes are to be introduced in a number of private schools in Dublin for the first time.
The Department of Education says it has reached an agreement with the Spiritan Education Trust, which is the patron of six secondary schools and three primary schools, including Blackrock College and St. Mary's College.
A working group has now been set up to establish timelines and if any infrastructure changes are needed. Students attending the special classes will not have to pay the fees.
The Department has also announced a new special school in Cork and more special school placements in both Dublin and Cork from next year due to rising demand.
Minister for Special Education, Josepha Madigan, says having classes in private schools in Dublin will be significant;
"There has been a shortage of special school places in the Dublin area in the last two years. Many students who should have a special school place were unable to secure one. This has impacted on their lives and the lives of their families. This expansion will increase the number of places available for students in the area and allow students to receive a full education appropriate to their needs."
The new provision announced today will see additional capacity at the following special schools in Dublin;
- Casa Caterina School, Cabra
This school will expand its enrolment by 6 children for the 2022/23 school year.
- Danú Community Special School, Dublin 15
A building project to facilitate the school’s relocation to Rath Dara Community College Campus, Blanchardstown is nearing completion and will facilitate the provision of 6 additional places at the school.
- Our Lady of Hope School, Crumlin
This school opened in autumn, 2021 following a major refurbishment project. Additional capital investment is planned which will provide for 7 additional places at the school in September 2022.
Planning is also underway for the provision of new school buildings for a number of special schools in Dublin under the patronage of St. Michael’s House. This will provide additional capacity in both the North and South Dublin areas.
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