Connolly calls for clarity on re-opening of special schools

'The absence of routine and structure has been particularly difficult for children affected, and some, despite the best efforts of parents, have regressed'

TD Catherine Connolly. Photo:- Mike Shaughnessy

TD Catherine Connolly. Photo:- Mike Shaughnessy

The continued closure of special schools "cannot be tolerated or accepted any longer", and the Government must give parents of pupils with "clarity as to when the special schools will reopen".

This is the view of Independent Galway West TD, Catherine Connolly, who has tabled a question on this issue to the Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh.

Dep Connolly said she is "in constant receipt of correspondence" from constituents about the impact the ongoing closures are having on their children. She said these are "a very vulnerable group" who have been "overlooked in the State’s response to Covid-19".

'Dep Connolly described the situation as "heart-breaking" and said Minister McHugh "needs to recognise what is happening" and provide clarity'

"The absence of routine and structure has been particularly difficult for children affected," she said, "and some, despite the best efforts of parents, have regressed. As one parent succinctly put it, 'it is a grim indictment of us as a nation that these children's education and welfare appears to have been cast aside for six months without a document rationale or justification for an intended larger good. For some of these young people and their families it is nothing short of a disaster.'"

Dep Connolly described the situation as "heart-breaking" and said Minister McHugh "needs to recognise what is happening"; provide clarity regarding reopen; and in the meantime, make available "all necessary supports".

 

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