18, January, 2021 - Ministers Foley and Madigan commit to continued engagement with stakeholders to bring a phased return to in-school learning for children with special educational needs

Minister for Education Norma Foley TD and Minister of State for Special Education and Inclusion Josepha Madigan TD will continue to engage with stakeholders in order to bring a phased return to in-school learning for children with additional educational needs.

There has been almost daily communication at either Ministerial or official level with the primary stakeholders with the shared aim of finding a pathway to  return to school for children with educational needs.

On Monday, 16,500 teachers and special needs assistants logged onto a lengthy public health webinar attended by Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Kevin Kelleher, Assistant National Director of the HSE, and Dr Abigail Collins, Public Health Consultant, which was hosted by the Department of Education.

Minister Foley said: “We will continue with this engagement to find a shared solution that is in the best interest of children with additional educational needs and their families.

“What is key is that the needs of the most vulnerable children in our education system remain our priority.

“It is vital that we continue to engage to ensure that this cohort of students is properly supported during this critical period.”

Minister Madigan said: ““The priority must be to support vulnerable students at this time, such as those with special educational needs and their families.

“We will maintain our engagement with all the partners in education to ensure that agreement is reached to bring this about.

“Vindicating the educational rights of children with special educational needs is a priority for everyone in the Department of Education and in our education system.”