Waterford Fine Gael Senator John Cummins welcomed his party colleague Minister of State for Special Education and Inclusion Josepha Madigan to Waterford on Monday to see the excellent work which is being done to improve the provision of special education.
Senator Cummins said “Education is the bedrock of our society. This government is committed to ensuring education is accessible to everyone and the fact we now have a dedicated ministry for Special Education and Inclusion marks a step change in the priority which is rightly being given to this area. At present, there is major investment happening across the country in special education but we need to continue this to ensure any gaps in provision are closed as quickly as possible.
“It is with this in mind that I took the opportunity to organise a visit for Minister Madigan to visit Waterford today. During her trip to the constituency she visited three schools St Martins, St Pauls and St Angela’s. It was great management, staff and some parents had the opportunity to meet with the Minister and talk through the excellent work which is being done, the challenges that exist and the opportunities for the future.
He added “It was fantastic for Minister Madigan to see the exceptional work being done for students with additional needs at the three schools. In particular it was great for the Minister to engage with management and staff at St. Angela’s who are taking the step to develop an ASD class for September. I want to commend St. Angela’s for taking this proactive move and I certainly hope that more secondary schools will embark on this journey in the time ahead.
Minister Madigan said “I was delighted to be down in Waterford today to visit three schools who are doing fantastic work in the area of Special Education. St Martin's Special School is a magnificent example of what can be achieved with passionate staff with such ambition for their children. It's what every special school should be. St Paul's have developed a "Hub" with three ASD classrooms with an emphasis on integration with the mainstream school setting which is great for all students. St Angela's will be opening their first Special class in September and I'm delighted they are, we need more schools to take this step.