St. Joseph's N.S. Ballymitty

Information about our new ASD building and places for pupils with autism

28-June-22
Information about our new ASD building and places for pupils with autism

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Some information about our new building for pupils with Autism.

We opened our first class for pupils with Autism in Sept. 2018 and our second class in Sept. 2019.

In one ASD class, these are the staffing and pupil ratios - as decided by the Department of Education:

There are only 6 pupils, 1 Teacher and there are 2 Special Needs Assistants (SNAs).

Because we have two classes we have 12 pupils, 2 Teachers and 4 SNAs.

I have been asked recently about when we will enrol our pupils for our new ASD building.

For the purpose of clarity - we have the maximum of 12 pupils already enrolled. Each year if there are pupils in 6th class leaving it opens places for other enrolments.

The enrolment process begins each year when the schools are directed by the Department of Education to put up their Admission Policy online (usually January) which gives a timeframe for parents to apply for places in our mainstream classes or our ASD classes.

Going forward into next year, there are already pupils on our waiting list. And in June of next year we are not losing any pupils in 6th class. This, for now, means that there will be no ASD places available in our school for Sept. 2023. Obviously, this can always change if parents move area, house etc.

Unfortunately, for parents who are in the process of getting their child assessed or in the process of applying for places, it is never easy. It is heartbreaking to tell a parent that in their local school there is no place in an ASD class.

Unfortunately, the demand for places far outweighs the availability throughout the country.

Opening this new ASD building gives the 12 pupils who are already enrolled a purpose built space and a place to be. It is shaping to be a wonderful space and we do hope there will be no delays in the next two months.

The benefit of having a new purpose built ASD space is that all pupils in our school can avail of it. For example, the sensory room can be used for pupils in the mainstream classes and there is often reverse integration where the pupils in the mainstream go into the ASD classes. Also, the methodologies, practices, equipment and resources are always available to other staff and pupils in our school to use.

If anyone ever has any queries about places for the ASD classes, please contact us here at the school and it is always good to go to your local NCSE Special Educational Needs Organiser (SENO) by accessing this page: https://ncse.ie/

Kind regards,

Audrey

Jun 30
2022
School closes for Summer Holidays
Hilltown, Ballymitty, Co. Wexford, Y35 YW81.
051 561324
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