THE minister of State for special education and inclusion, Josepha Madigan, praised the ‘state-of-the-art’ special education facilities at Carrigaline Community Special School after a visit last Monday.
The Department of Education made an investment of €2m to convert the previous 10-classroom primary school into a fit-for-purpose special school, including associated clinician and educational support rooms.
Ms Madigan said she was highly impressed with the resources and facilities at the school, which opened in September 2021.
“This special school is already playing a vital role in the area by supporting young people and families who may not have had access to a special school place previously,” she said.
“I was delighted to approve the opening of this new school, and I want to acknowledge the efforts of students, parents, and the wider school community who have worked towards this for many years.
“Building a new school community takes a lot of work, and I can see clearly the positive effects of this work to date. Our special schools are vital parts of our education system, and perform a crucial role. I am determined to continue to support the work of special schools and to ensure they are protected for years to come. The opening of new special schools, such as this one, is a testament to this,”
Principal Colm Manley said the school was “very happy” to welcome Ms Madigan.
“There is clearly great demand and much appreciation of specialist education provision of this type,” he said.
“We are especially appreciative of how well an existing building has been modified to provide a space appropriate to our students.
“The dual diagnosis of autism and learning disability is a unique one, and parenting a child with this diagnosis presents an array of challenges.”
Cork Education and Training Board chief executive of Denis Leamy also extended a warm welcome to the minister.
“We look forward to working closely with the Department of Education and other stakeholders to continue to provide high-quality special education and care for all our pupils,” he said.
Carrigaline Community Special School has the capacity to provide 48 school places and can provide for the needs of children with autism and general learning disability up to eighteen years of age.