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New Autism Centres for Western Board Primary Schools

1 February, 2008


Sinn Féin Education Minister, Caitríona Ruane, has approved the establishment of Autistic Spectrum Disorder Units at two Western Board Primary Schools.

Key Stage 1 Autistic Spectrum Disorder Units will be established at Omagh County Primary School and Londonderry Model Primary School. Key Stage 2 Learning Support Centres will also be established at each school, to provide for children who require continuing support.

These proposals 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.

Commenting on the decision, Ms 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, as part of a planned framework of intervention. They offer parents another choice in the type of provision they feel is best suited to their child's need." ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS:

The Western Education and Library Board published Development Proposals, numbers 200 and 201 week commencing 22 October 2007. They propose the establishment of Key Stage 1 Autistic Spectrum Disorder Classes to be followed by the development of Key Stage 2 Learning Support Centres within Omagh County Primary School and L'derry Model Primary School, with effect from 1 September 2007, or as soon as possible thereafter. The two-month period for objections ended on 27 December 2007.

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