Independent TD Mattie McGrath has written to the Minister for Education, Joe McHugh, seeking the immediate reversal of his departments decision to withdraw approval for the delivery of an additional autism support unit at the CBS High School in Clonmel. Deputy McGrath was speaking after he visited the school this morning:
“Last June the school received an initial letter of approval to enable the delivery of an additional ASD Unit.
However, by the end of that month approval was withdrawn. It was then reinstated in July.
It was on that basis that the children were enrolled in September.
We now have a scenario where the school is trying desperately to accommodate 24 children in a Unit originally designed for 12.
This is absolutely outrageous, and it will be not tolerated.
The ASD Units that already exist with the High School provide excellent and professional support.
They are vitally important as they enable the staff to target a variety of teaching approaches to promote greater peer interaction and to assist children with ASD’s to leave school with the skills necessary to participate to the level of their capacity in an inclusive way.
The parents, pupils and staff are all profoundly upset and concerned about this withdrawal of support from the Department of Education, as is to be expected.
I will be making every effort to ensure that that the commitments that were provided to the High School are honoured in full and that the Unit becomes operational as soon as possible,” concluded Deputy McGrath.