General Teaching Council Northern Ireland

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New autism centres for western board primary schools


08/01/2008 :: Northern Ireland :: Department of Education

Education Minister Caitríona Ruane has announced the establishment of autism support units at two schools in Derry and Enniskillen.

Key Stage 1 Autistic Spectrum Disorder Units will be established at St Brigid's Primary School, Carnhill, Derry and Holy Trinity Primary School, Enniskillen. Key Stage 2 Learning Support Centres will also be established at each school, to provide for children who require continuing support.

Commenting on the decision Caitríona Ruane said: "These new units will enable children to access small group teaching and periods of individualised support, as well as benefiting from social and curricular integration with their mainstream peers. They offer parents another choice in the type of provision they feel is best suited to their child's need."

These proposals are part of an overall Western Education and Library Board strategy to provide support for autistic children, ranging from special school to mainstream with support. They will provide support for children with a diagnosis of autism who cannot cope in a mainstream classroom situation on a full- time basis, but could benefit from being placed in an autism specific class, attached to the mainstream school.



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