The Minister for Education has today announced an expansion of summer education programmes for pupils with complex special educational needs and those at greatest risk of educational disadvantage.
Funding has been doubled to €40 million for the 2021 programme.
The programme’s aims are to support pupils to re-engage with education, to build their confidence and increase their motivation, promote wellbeing and for some who are at key transition stages, help to ensure they can move on to their planned educational placement next September along with their peers.
For the first time ever, all schools (primary and-post primary) are encouraged to provide summer programmes and the eligibility criteria have been extended to include post-primary children with complex needs and children at risk of educational disadvantage.
Prior to this expansion summer programmes were only available to special schools and pupils in special classes in primary schools and in DEIS schools.
A home-based summer programme will continue to be available for children with complex needs where their schools are not providing a school based programme.
Minister Norma Foley said: “I encourage school communities to take full advantage of this opportunity and to provide this valuable programme to their students. We have also listened to concerns of school stakeholders as to the challenges in running summer programmes and have taken significant steps to enhance those supports for schools. Across the country, our children and young people with complex needs, or at risk of educational disadvantage will benefit hugely from today’s decision.”