Kildare South Fine Gael TD and Minister Martin Heydon has welcomed confirmation that a new special school is to be established in South Kildare next year to cater for Kildare students with Special Educational Needs (SEN), following an announcement from Minister of State for Special Education and Inclusion Josepha Madigan TD and Minister for Education Norma Foley.

“This is a positive development for families and students throughout Kildare who have been aware of a shortage of services and school places for children with special educational needs.

“The new special school to be established for the 2024/2025 school year will be located in South Kildare and will operate under the patronage of the Kildare Wicklow Education and Training Board (KWETB). This was after analysis by the National Council for Special Education (NSCE) and the Department found that the level of need in Kildare could not be catered for by just expanding places in existing special schools.

“The school will cater for young people with autism and complex learning needs up to 18 years of age. I have been in touch with my Fine Gael colleague Minister Josepha Madigan to discuss possible options for a location in South Kildare and I hope this will be confirmed as soon as possible.”

“It is anticipated that the school will initially take around 120 students in total next September and gradually increase numbers over the coming years. Today’s advance announcement of the new schools is an important milestone because it allows more time for the planning of school admissions, recruitment of staff, staff training and completion of any necessary building works.”

“The establishment of a new special school in South Kildare is not just an investment in infrastructure; it is a testament to Fine Gael’s belief in the best start for every child, the right to an education that celebrates their individuality and equips them for a fulfilling life”, concluded Minister Heydon concluded.