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Approval for Ballycurane National School to open ASD Classroom

Class which caters for students with additional needs will open for the 2025/26 academic year

Waterford Fine Gael Senator John Cummins has welcomed the news that Ballycurane National School has been approved to open an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) class for the academic year 2025/26. The news was confirmed to Senator Cummins by his Fine Gael party colleague Minister of State with responsibility for Special Education & Inclusion, Hildegarde Naughton TD in a letter dated 17th April.

Senator Cummins said “I’m delighted to announce that Ballycurane National School has been granted approval to open an ASD class for the academic year 2025/2026. Ballycurrane NS is an excellent school, catering for a mainly rural population and this news will enable the school to provide adequate supports and resources to students with ASD which is so important”.

“I want to compliment the principal and the entire school community for prioritising the provision of an ASD classroom in their school which is much needed for the surrounding population. I’m delighted to have worked with previous Minster Josepha Madigan and now Minister Hildegarde Naughton on this matter”.

Senator Cummins continued: “As someone who comes from an educational background, I have seen first hand the benefits which flow from having ASD classrooms within the school community. Not only is it a really positive thing for students with additional needs, it’s also important for the wider school population in teaching empathy, understanding and inclusion”.

“I am on record as saying that I believe every school at primary and post primary level should have specific provision for students with additional needs. ASD classrooms provide a smaller classroom environment where students can learn and flourish. While we still have a way to go to get to that point, we have made positive strides towards ensuring more families in Waterford are able to get an appropriate place close to home”.

He concluded by saying “I also have to acknowledge the advocacy groups whom I have worked with in this area. I share their passion and drive to ensure we have adequate resources and school places for their children and I will continue to work collaboratively with them in the time ahead”.

Minister Hildegarde Naughton said “I would like to thank Sen. Cummins for his ongoing representations for the delivery of Special Education facilities for children across Waterford. I was very happy to confirm to him that a special class has been sanctioned for Ballycurrane National School for the academic year 2025/2026.”

“I know that John and I share the same vision for an inclusive education system that works for all children and young people. I would like to convey my deep gratitude to the entire team at Ballycurrane National School, particularly parents, for all that they do for their community. I look forward to continuing our work together on behalf of the people of Waterford in the weeks and months ahead.”

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