In September 2019, St Patrick’s Boys’ National School and Ringsend Girls’ National School made a joint submission to the Department of Education requesting to open ASD/special classes on our shared campus. We are delighted to announce that the Department of Education has now approved our project to demolish our existing PE hall and rebuild to include 4 ASD/special classes with a new PE hall on top. This will be 2 ASD/Special classes for the boys’ school and 2 ASD/Special classes for our school. and Anne (Principal of the Girl’s school) and Ian (Principal of the boys’ school) are now working to appoint a design team to include an architect, a civil engineer, a quantity surveyor and a building services engineer. We will keep the community up to date with progress re our joint project.
In 2019 the Archbishop wrote to all Catholic Primary Schools in the Dioceses to open units in the schools if there was suitable room to establish units for children with ASD diagnosis. To date 39 Catholic Primary schools in the Dioceses have been identified by the Department of Education and Skills and the National Council for Special Education. 36 schools are ready to open ASD units and the remaining 3 schools are in the final stages of planning.
Fr Tonge P.P. St Patricks as the trustee of the two primary schools along with the school principles Ms Smith and Mr Lane following discussion with both Boards of Management and school staff applied in 2019 to open an ASD unit for girls in St Patricks Girls School and a unit for boys in St Patricks Boys School.
The Department of Education worked with both principals and the Department has offered to open two ASD units in both schools. The units for both Girls School and Boys School will be at the site of the School Hall that will have to be demolished. The Department’s plan is to build the four units on the ground floor and to build the school hall over the ASD units. As the Department grant will cover the full cost of the building, work on the site will commence as soon as final approval is given by the Department of Education and Skills.
It will mean that 24 children of the Parish and area who have an ASD diagnosis will be educated in their own area with their family and friends.
ASD units are also opening in Scoil Mhuire, Star of the Sea BNS and City Quay.