Brendan Kenny 0

SOS - Save Our Special class - Nenagh CBS Primary

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We are a school of approximately 240 boys in an urban setting and cater for pupils from the Nenagh area. Within this group we have travellers, foreign nationals and children from varied socio-economic groupings. For the past thirty-nine years there has been a special class in the school. In fact until three years ago we have had two such classes, which were divided into junior and senior groupings. One class was suppressed leaving us with just one class to cater for all these pupils both junior and senior. Some pupils come to this class from outside the Nenagh catchment area also. These pupils find it very difficult to cope in mainstream classes but really make great progress in the small class where they can work at their own level and pace. Presently we have nine pupils in this class and next year we will have six. While technically this is less than the required number to hold on to this class we feel it would be a very backward step to deprive the children in this grouping of a learning environment which is tailored to cater for their needs. Furthermore this is the only mainstream school in North Tipperary which caters for such a grouping. It is available to others in the region who may need to have a child educated in a suitable environment. We earnestly request that the school are allowed keep this class as these children need maximum support and this is provided in their current class. We also have received notice that we are to lose two Special Needs Assistant positions in September. We currently have four Special Needs Assistants in the school. We had six such positions up to two years ago. Two pupils who are assigned S.N.A. support are leaving the school and this is why these two positions are being suppressed. In September we will have 6 pupils who require S.N.A. support, however we will be applying for at least four other pupils who badly need S.N.A. access. If these two positions are not left in the school the support will not be available to these pupils, who will suffer as a result. We feel that it is vital that these pupils are supported, as it is during these formative years they will make most progress. If they miss out now it is quite possible that their ability to engage with the educational system will be greatly impaired thus leading to greater problems in the future. We are seeking that the decision to take these positions from the school be reversed. We earnestly request that you do everything in your power on our behalf to ensure that the educational needs of our most vulnerable children are not dismissed by the stroke of a pen. Please sign our petition!

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