In the aftermath of the controversial announcement of planned Special Education Centers by the Department of Special Education, AsIAm launched a snap survey. While our statement about which the planned centers can be read here, AsIAm is ready to disclose the survey results. The responses highlight the scale of children with additional needs currently being denied an appropriate school place. These responses, gathered in the past week, are just a snapshot of a nationwide crisis, with less than half of respondents based in Dublin
AT LEAST 267 children do not have an appropriate school place for September 2022.
- AT LEAST 112 children between 1-6 years old are currently awaiting an appropriate school place.
- 241 of respondants DO NOT expect to receive an offer of an appropriate school place before September 2022
Article 24 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, details the obligation on the Irish State to ensure that “Persons with disabilities are not excluded from the general education system on the basis of disability, and that children with disabilities are not excluded from free and compulsory primary education, or from secondary education, on the basis of disability.”
The responses speak to desperate parents seeking all options to secure a suitable education for their children. Some respondents reported receiving as many as 20 rejection letters from schools. The responses to our survey indicate that the shortage of places is the result of systemic barriers and proposed special education centers, rather than serving as an emergency measure, may serve to replicate these barriers. While these plans seem to be delayed, the Department has yet to confirm whether these measures are still being considered. Every child deserves and is entitled to an appropriate school place, in their locality, which meets their needs in agreement with their parents and psychologists report.
While we believe this crisis was foreseeable and preventable, through better planning, communication and a rights-based approach, we believe an emergency response is needed in an emergency situation,”
To read the survey results you can download them here or read them below: