Wait over for students as Kildare special needs unit set to open next Monday

Issues due to be resolved

Niamh O'Donoghue

Reporter:

Niamh O'Donoghue

Email:

niamh.odonoghue@leinsterleader.ie

Wait over for students as Kildare Special Needs Unit set to open next Monday

File photo: the site at St Conleth's Community College, Newbridge

The opening of the new Special Needs Unit at St Conleth's Community School is to take place on Monday. 

Kildare South TD, Fiona O’Loughlin said she received the news from the Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh.

“The opening of the ASD unit is well overdue with the six children waiting over 9 weeks to commence school in their new school. I raised this matter with the Minister for Education last week and again today during my meeting with him and Department officials. I emphasized my concern for the children’s education and how the delay was impacting on the children’s development," she said.

“The Minister advised me today that Kildare County Council signed off the building and that the children will be accommodated in their classroom as of Monday morning.

“All children, including children with special educational needs have a right to an education which is appropriate to their needs. Education should be about enabling all children, in line with their abilities, to live full and independent lives so that they can contribute to their communities, cooperate with other people and continue to learn throughout their lives."

A statement is due soon from the Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board (KWETB).

UPDATED 17.12: The KWETB said it is delighted to confirm the council has today validated the necessary building certification for the new extension to St. Conleth’s Community College, Newbridge.

"This means that the final steps to formally hand over the building to KWETB can be completed. Importantly, the school will now be able to avail of the new building’s Special Needs Unit, access to which has been delayed," it said.

"KWETB is mindful of the difficulties the delay in commissioning the building has caused to students, parents, and staff and is pleased to be in a position to open the extension on a phased basis. The priority area for opening is the Special Needs Unit and it is anticipated that the school will be able to welcome students to the new unit on Monday 5 November 2018."

KWETB said it would like to thank all involved in the delivery of this project and to thank all those affected by the delay for their patience.