Mayo Fine Gael TD Michelle Mulherin has welcomed the announcement by the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) that three new classes for children with special needs are opening in mainstream primary and post-primary schools this September in Co. Mayo.
The new special needs classes are in the Holy Family NS, Newport, where an ASD Early Intervention class is starting, and Balla Secondary School and Jesus & Mary Secondary School, Gortnor Abbey, Crossmolina, to cater for students with special needs.
Deputy Mulherin said that these new classes bring the total number of special classes in mainstream schools in Co. Mayo to 15.
“It allows mainstream schools to enroll children with significant difficulties, and for those children to benefit from teaching in a small class setting, but also from social interaction with the typical children in mainstream classes, ” Deputy Mulherin explained.
“Special classes in mainstream schools are one of the options available to parents of children with significant needs who cannot be educated in a mainstream class, for example, some children with autism or a specific speech and language disorder. These classes have lower pupil-teacher ratios than mainstream classes, ranging from one teacher for six pupils to one teacher for eleven pupils, Deputy Mulherin said.
Deputy Mulherin has also welcomed the publication by the NCSE of a helpful booklet to support and inform parents when making decisions about where to enroll their child with special educational needs.
“The booklet gives information on what supports are available in schools and identifies some key issues to guide and assist parents in their decision making. It also advises parents on the importance of advance planning for children with special educational needs to ensure that the necessary supports are in place when the child enters the school. The booklet can be downloaded from the NCSE website,” Deputy Mulherin said
The full list of special classes, in both primary and post-primary schools in Mayo, is as follows:
S N Cnoc Ruscaighe Westport – ASD Early Intervention 1
Holy Family NS, Newport -ASD Early Intervention 1
Behymore NS, Ballina – ASD 1
S N Cnoc Ruscaighe, Westport – ASD 2
Bunacurry NS, Achill – ASD 1
Holy Family NS, Newport, Co Mayo ASD 1
Swinford NS, Swinford – ASD 1
Glencastle NS, Bunahowen, Ballina – Moderate GLD 1
St. Patrick’s BNS, Castlebar, – Specific Speech & Language 1
Scoil Iosa, Convent Hill, Ballina – Specific Speech & Language 1
Balla Secondary School, Balla – ASD 1
Jesus & Mary Secondary School, Gortnor Abbey, Crossmolina – ASD 1
Our Lady’s Secondary School, Belmullet – ASD 1
Swinford PP, Swinford – ASD – 2
Colaiste Acla, Achill Sound – ASD 1
Rice College, Westport – Moderate GLD 1