Friday, June 05, 2020

By Jess Casey

Plans to provide summer tuition to thousands of students who need additional support are expected to get the green light in the coming days.

Education Minister Joe McHugh

This follows concerns that limitations were to be put on summer schooling for children with special educational needs, which would see thousands of children excluded this year.

On Friday, Joe McHugh, the Minister for Education, confirmed that a summer education programme will take place. “It gives us an opportunity to provide vital additional support for some of the children with significant special educational needs and those who have been at risk of educational disadvantage since schools closed in March,” he said. 

Following a briefing with officials in the Department of Education this week, Inclusion Ireland said the department seemed set on “narrowing” the scheme, by limiting it to children who currently attend special schools and special classes only. 

A spokesman for Mr McHugh said it will not be the case that only children who are in special classes or special schools will be able to avail of the programme, or attend any service offered as part of the programme.

The scheme will be similar to previous years, and anybody who has been eligible in previous years will be eligible again, he added.

Students are still set to return to their classrooms at the beginning of autumn despite an “acceleration” on exiting the lockdown.

Teaching unions, principals and school management bodies met on Friday to discuss the logistics of returning to classrooms in August.

Further details on reopening schools are expected to be published next Friday. 

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