Minister for Education Norma Foley TD and Minister of State with responsibility for Special Education Josepha Madigan TD today announced the provision of expanded summer education programmes for pupils with complex special educational needs and those at greatest risk of educational disadvantage, including all children with Down syndrome.
As you are aware, we have been actively advocating for our members, and have been in regular communication with Minsters and Department of Education officials to ensure that children with Down syndrome are not left behind.
Following the announcement today from Minister Foley, we are now able to give you some positive news. The Summer Provision Programme this year will be broader than it was previously, with five key strands:
- Numeracy and literacy camps in DEIS primary schools.
- School based summer programme in primary schools with special classes and special schools.
- Home based provision for children with complex needs where no school based programme is available.
- All primary schools (DEIS and non DEIS) have the opportunity to provide a two-week summer programme for mainstream pupils with complex needs and those at greatest risk of educational disadvantage.
- All post-primary schools (DEIS and non DEIS) have the opportunity to provide a two-week summer programme for mainstream students with complex needs and those at greatest risk of educational disadvantage.
The programmes for mainstream students in primary and post-primary schools are new programmes for 2021, building upon previous summer programmes in DEIS schools and the programmes for pupils with special educational needs last year.
We have been assured that all children with Down syndrome will be eligible due to the complexity of their educational needs.
Full details are available here.
We hope that teachers and schools are able to make this work for every child who needs it. We look forward to receiving further details on accessing the programme which we have been assured will be available on the website of the Department of Education shortly www.education.ie.