FIANNA Fail TD Willie O’Dea has welcomed plans by the Department of Education to run a summer scheme to meet the needs of children with additional educational needs.
The provision will be made available to a wide range of students with severe to moderate needs including autism, Down syndrome, and kids with audio and visual impairments.
It will be made available through both participating schools and in the home, with Deis schools also being given the chance to run literacy and numeracy camps.
Mr O’Dea said: “It is welcome that the Minister has progressed plans in this area. In light of the concern which has been expressed by some organisations and parents I particularly welcome the expansion of the scheme to a broader range of students than in previous years. We are all too aware the impact of school closures has had on pupils with special educational needs in particular. There is a clear need to stop and address the learning loss which is taking place.”
It’s anticipated the scheme will be made available to up to 25,000 students arcross the country.
He also believes there is scope to re-open schools in September, despite Irish advice seemingly at odds with World Health Organisation tips on social distancing.
“Students, their parents and teachers all need better clarity,” Mr O’Dea said, urging a quick announcement on the issue.