Education Minister John O'Dowd has approved the establishment of an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) centre for children at Key Stage 1 and a general Learning Support Centre (LSC) for Key Stage 2 pupils.
Commenting on his decision, the Minister said:
“My decision will allow children with Special Educational Needs the opportunity to access their education in a mainstream setting in their local area.
This specialist provision will have long-term benefits for pupils in the East Belfast area. It will help to enhance pupils’ educational experience, particularly at this crucial early stage of their school life. I expect other schools to benefit from the professional expertise which will be provided, particularly in relation to supporting pupils with Autistic Spectrum Disorder being taught in mainstream classes.
Concluding, the Minister said: “Over the coming months, the Education Authority will work closely with Harding Memorial Primary School to get this provision established. I want to take this opportunity to wish the school continued success.”
Notes to editors:
- Harding Memorial Primary School is a controlled school located on the Cregagh Road in east Belfast. Its current enrolment is 198 pupils.
- The Education Authority published Development Proposal No 227 on 2 April 2015 proposing the establishment of an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) centre for children at Key Stage 1 and a general Learning Support Centre (LSC) for Key Stage 2 pupils at the school from September 2015 or as soon as possible thereafter.
- The proposal envisages that in the first year of operation, up to eight children will be placed in the KS1 ASD centre and in the second year up to twelve children will be placed in the KS2 LSC.
- The Department of Education’s ‘Education Works’ campaign promotes the value of education. This year’s campaign aims to ensure that parents have information on schooling and that they are aware of the steps they can take to ‘Get Involved’ and support their teenager in achieving good outcomes at school. Watch out for the ads on television, radio and outdoor locations. The campaign highlights the vital role families can play in helping children do well at school and improve their life chances. Visit nidirect for more information or watch the TV ad on the Department’s YouTube channel.
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