St Joseph’s, Bessbrook to get Autism Specific Learning Support Centre

Date published: 22 June 2016

Education Minister, Peter Weir, has given the go ahead for a Autism Specific Learning Support Centre at St Joseph’s Primary School, Bessbrook.

St Joseph’s Primary school currently has three general learning support centres and it has been decided to change one of these to become autism specific.

Commenting on his decision, the Minister said:

“My decision will allow further expansion of the specific provision at St Joseph’s Primary School in which children will be able to access their education at a mainstream setting through an autism specialised classroom environment.  

“The specialist provision, along with the skilled expertise of staff already in place, will help support pupils at Foundation and Key Stage 1. The provision will support pupils in their educational experience as well as catering for the growing demand to meet the needs of children with special educational needs in the South Down/South Armagh area.”  

Concluding, the Minister said:

“Over the coming months, the Education Authority will work closely with St Joseph’s Primary School to support them in establishing this autistic specific provision. I want to take this opportunity to wish the school well as it continues to support the needs of its children in the area.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. St Joseph’s Primary School is a co-educational Catholic-maintained school situated in the village of Bessbrook in County Armagh. The school operates as a 12 class-base school with a double nursery unit. The school currently has three general Learning Support Centres and an Autism Specific Class.
  2. The Education Authority published Development Proposal No 461 on 22 March 2016 proposing to change one of the three general Learning Support Centres to an Autism Specific Learning Support Centre from 1 September 2016 or as soon as possible thereafter.
  3. The proposal envisages catering up to eight children at Foundation and Key Stage 1 age in a specialised autism specific setting.
  4. Media queries, contact the Department of Education Press Office on 028 9127 9701. Out of hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.


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