Newbridge pupils seeking school places have to wait until after holidays

Families of seven school children with special needs seeking answers

Paula Campbell

Reporter:

Paula Campbell

Email:

paula@leinsterleader.ie

Newbridge pupils seeking school places have to wait until after holidays

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The families of seven children with special needs in Newbridge who have no secondary chool place secured for next year will have to wait until January before they get any answers.

“We have to keep the pressure on the government for our children,” said to spokesperson Cecilia Semple, whose 12-year-old daughter Kelly is one of the children affected.

“ e won’t know anything before Christmas and probably the end of January at this stage.”

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.

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 .

“A local school is an absolute necessity for the children as not only do some have ASD but several have special needs ranging from physical disabilities, to intellectual disabilities.”

Local special school, St Anne’s in the Curragh, is not taking any applications for 2018/19 as it is at full capacity.

One option is St Conleth’s, which has plans for a new unit for two ASD classes. An application was made for five out of the seven children to attend this establishment, after a meeting with the school and parents was described as positive. “We have since learned that three children were refused entry as St Conleth’s school policy states that they only accept children with a mild intellectual disability.

A request has been made that the school change their enrolement policy and he matter will come before the Board of Management but not until next January.