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New learning support centres for Key Stage 2 pupils at Primate Dixon and Christian Brothers’ Primary Schools

24 October, 2008 - by Caitríona Ruane

Sinn Féin Education Minister, Caitríona Ruane, has approved Development Proposals to establish Learning Support Centres for children at Primate Dixon Primary School, Coalisland and Christian Brothers' Primary School, Armagh.

The proposals for primary years 5-7 (Key Stage 2), build on existing provision in both of these schools for children at primary year 1-4 (Key Stage 1) with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The new provision will provide a continuity of specialist support for these and other children with special educational needs and enables parents to choose the type of specialist provision that best meets the needs of their statemented child.

Commenting on the decision, Ms Ruane said:

"These new units will enable children at Key Stage 2 to access small group teaching and periods of individualised support, as well as benefiting from social and curricular integration with their mainstream peers. The classes will complement existing special needs provision in the Southern Board area and increase choice for parents when considering the provision they feel is best suited to their child's need." ENDS


  1. On 17 April 2008, at the request of the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS), the Southern Education and Library Board (SELB) published Development Proposals No 223 and No 224. They proposed to establish Key Stage 2 Learning Support Centres at Primate Dixon Primary School and at Christian Brothers' Primary School respectively, with effect from 1 September 2008, or as soon as possible thereafter. The two-month period during which representations, including objections, could be made to the Department ended on 17 June 2008. It is planned that the centres would open in September 2009.
  2. Primate Dixon is a co-educational maintained primary school situated in Coalisland, County Tyrone.
  3. Christian Brothers' is a co-educational maintained primary school located in the outskirts of the City of Armagh.

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