Senator Aisling Dolan welcomed the opening of 2 new classrooms at St Teresa’s Special School which is dedicated to the education of children with moderate, severe and profound special needs and or autism.
Senator Aisling Dolan stated
This is a great day for children, parents and staff of St Teresa’s Special School in Ballinasloe. The children are so excited to see their new classrooms.
Places in this school for children with moderate to severe special needs are in such demand and just not enough space. This school started with 11 students a decade ago and now has 36 children enrolled this year.
I made representations and raised the need for additional accommodation for St Teresa’s Special School last year in the Seanad with Ministers Norma Foley and Josepha Madigan who also visited the school last year. It was clear that St Teresa’s is a phenomenal place for children with an incredible staff and advocates such as Principal Anita O’Reilly, Vice Principal Geraldine Clarke and the school board of management. Multi-disciplinary healthcare teams and Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) look after the children and provide excellent care.
A new 4 acre site has been secured by the Dept of Education through the HSE also been announced for St Teresa’s Special School on the existing grounds at Parkmore Creagh and we need further progress on this build.
We are fighting for school buildings in Ballinasloe and capacity to cater for children all over our region. Scoil An Chroí Naofa in the town-centre with close to 300 students have had a 25 year wait and the school board of management are now working closely with the Design Team and the Department of Education to submit plans shortly to Galway County Council for review. Due to the demand an extra 3 classrooms have been added to the original build specification.”
For St Teresa’s Special School. this is crucial investment from the Department of Education and the Special Education Needs Organiser (SENO) who supported the school in receiving funding for these classrooms and toilets. Also to acknowledge the contractors who have delivered a fantastic new space for children as well as the board of Ballinasloe Area Community Development (BACD) who freely gave permission for land.”
Children now have the space the need to develop and with additional supports to help manage complex needs.”
Principal Anita O’Reilly stated
“We have the keys and the classrooms are open. Children and staff are delighted and there will be a lot of interest in our newest classrooms.
“We have so many parents looking for spaces for children and it’s been a difficult time especially during Covid-19 lockdown.
“I have engaged with Department for years to show why this was such an important project for our school. We have parents who travel long distances across Galway and Roscommon to come to our school. Now we have the classrooms for access to excellent teaching and healthcare teams and to give children everything they deserve ”
Dolan 086 3690719
Anita O’Reilly – 087 205 4428