1 July 2022
By Tom Collins
Minister for Education Norma Foley TD and Minister of State with responsibility for Special Education and Inclusion Josepha Madigan TD have confirmed that the new special school in Rochestown which was recently announced will operate under the patronage of Cork Education and Training Board (Cork ETB).
This new special school will provide for the needs of students with autism and complex learning needs and for students with complex learning needs who require the support of a special school up to eighteen years of age.
The new school will cater for an enrolment of up to 30 students when it is established and, on a phased basis, is expected to grow its capacity to provide up to 64 school places, pending a new permanent school building being provided.
The Department, together with the National Council for Special Education (NCSE), has been working with parents, schools, patron bodies and other stakeholders in Cork to address the current shortage of specialist school placements for children with special educational needs in the Cork area. The establishment of this school was announced on 30th June 2022 by Minister Foley and Minister of State Madigan.
Minister Foley and Madigan have both welcomed the strong commitment of Cork ETB to this new school and have reiterated their commitment to ensuring that work proceeds to make these places available as soon as possible.
There are currently 34 special classes in 15 schools of which Cork Education and Training Board is the patron.
Commenting on the announcement, Minister Norma Foley said: “I am delighted to be able to confirm Cork ETB as the patron body for the special school in Rochestown. I know that the establishment of this school is of massive importance to the Cork area and it demonstrates our commitment to providing the best facilities for all of our students with special educational needs.”
Minister Madigan said: “As Minister for Special Education I am committed to ensuring that every child has a school place that is appropriate for their needs. Today’s announcement is another step in ensuring this goal. This special school in Rochestown will provide for the demand in special school places in the area for September 2022 and I want to wish Cork ETB every success as patron of this new school.”
Commenting on the announcement, Chief Executive of Cork Education and Training Board Denis Leamy said: “Cork ETB is delighted to have been granted the patronage of Cork’s newest Special School. We look forward to working with the Department of Education and other stakeholders in delivering a school which will provide high quality education and care for all our pupils. The new school will be based on an interim basis in Rochestown.
“Work has already begun to ensure that everything is in place for the opening of our new school in early 2023. We at Cork ETB will continue to provide a pathway for every learner and to improve educational resources and facilities for our primary schools, post primary schools and our Further Education colleges across the city and county,” Mr. Leamy added.