Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education, Thomas Byrne, has called on the Minister for Education to ensure that all new and refurbished schools include a provision for children with special needs

His call comes as a parliamentary response provided to Deputy Byrne confirmed that schools are still being built without places for children with special needs.

He said, “All across the country parents and their children with special needs are struggling to find a suitable place for their child. This year alone, we have seen the situation reach crisis point in Dublin 15, Cork and in areas of South Dublin.
“Despite this, schools are still being built or expanded without providing additional places for pupils with special educational needs.

“It’s completely illogical, in this day and age, that the Government are developing education infrastructure that does not have the capacity to meet the needs of all potential students. If schools are allowed to expand or build a new school without places for children with special educational needs, the infrastructure deficit will continue and worsen.

“Fianna Fáil believes that changes should be made to ensure that all new or refurbished schools are provided with a special needs base. If we are truly committed to an inclusive education system, it needs to be in all schools, not just those who are willing.

“The Minister should conduct a review of the circumstances in which a school can be constructed without special needs provision and move to close this gap”, concluded Deputy Byrne.