Meeting to discuss lack of school places for seven primary school students in Newbridge

Minister for Education

Paula Campbell

Reporter:

Paula Campbell

Email:

paula@leinsterleader.ie

Newbridge concerned parents to meet with the Minister over lack of school places

Six of the seven children who are affected

The Minister for Education will meet with a Kildare South TD to discuss the plight of seven primary school pupils with special needs from Newbridge, who have no school place when they start secondary school next September.

The meeting will take place in early February.

The seven children are due to finish primary school at Scoil Na Naomh Uilig in June 2018, but to date none of these children have been able to secure an appropriate or suitable place locally, according to spokesperson Cecilia Semple, whose 12-year-old daughter Kelly is one of the children affected.

Five out of the seven children, including her daughter Kelly have ASD — Autistic Spectrum Disorders — leaving them with complex and severe educational needs arising from their diagnosis .

“This is a serious problem for our children and an extremely distressing situation for our families,” she added.” One option available is to attend a special school in Dublin or Carlow. However, this will mean a two hour bus journey for the children.”

The meeting has been arranged by Kildare South TD Fiona O’Loughlin.

Deputy O’ Loughlin, who is also Chair of the Oireachtas Education Committee, has spoken about this situation in the Dáil last year and the Minister committed to meeting with her to discuss further.

“I contacted the Minister over Christmas," she said.

“These parents are trying to plan a future for their children which will ensure that they achieve their full potential. I believe that this is a right of every student and child and that places in suitable schools and classes should be available within reasonable proximity. The meeting is scheduled for the start of February and all TDs in Kildare South will be invited to attend.”