New special school confirmed for Limerick

Chief Executive of Limerick and Clare Education and training Board, George O'Callaghan. Photo: Brian Arthur

LIMERICK city is set to get a new special school for the 2024/2025 school year, it has been announced.

The Department of Education confirmed on Wednesday (December 6), that Limerick is to get one of four new special schools to cater to the increasing number of students with Special Educational Needs (SEN).

While there is no exact location chosen for the new school in Limerick, the Department have said that it will be in Limerick city.

Established under the patronage of Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board, (ETB) the new schools will be the first under this patronage.

The announcement comes after analysis by the National Council for Special Education (NSCE) and the Department found that the level of need in these particular areas could not be catered for by expanding places in existing special schools.

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Enfield in Meath, Gorey in Wexford and South Kildare will also benefit from this week’s announcement, gaining a special education school in their areas.

The four new schools add to the 130 existing special education schools nationwide, and come as part of the Budget 2024 package for SEN.

Education Minister Norma Foley said: “This announcement reflects the very strong emphasis on forward planning and roll-out of provision for children and young people with special educational needs.”

“I am pleased that we are making real progress in meeting the needs of our young people and collaborating in new ways to ensure every child has access to a welcoming and inclusive environment to learn and flourish,” the Minister said.

Limerick Fianna Fáil TD Willie O’Dea has welcomed the announcement, saying: “It is absolutely excellent news that a new special school has been announced for Limerick. It will cater for young people with autism and complex learning needs up to 18 years of age, helping Limerick pupils with special educational needs and their families achieve the best possible outcomes.”

“I want to recognise the efforts of everybody in Limerick involved in supporting the continued establishment of special classes and special schools. Having an education system that works for all and ensures that every child has access to a welcoming and inclusive environment to learn and flourish is a top priority of Fianna Fáil in Government,” Deputy O’Dea said.
“Details in relation to the precise location of the new special school, the admission process and the number of places to be offered for the 2024/25 school year will be confirmed very shortly by my party colleague, Minister for Education Norma Foley, and her Department,” he concluded.
George O’Callaghan, Chief Executive, Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board said: “As the state education and training authority for the region, we are committed to working with all relevant stakeholders on behalf of children with special educational needs and their families to provide the best possible learning environments in which the students can excel.”