Carrigy: 'Children with special needs in Longford to benefit from new summer programme'

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Micheal Carrigy

Fine Gael Senator Micheal Carrigy

A new programme dubbed 'Summer Provision' will provide much needed benefit to children and young people with special needs in Longford, Senator Micheál Carrigy has said.

Senator Carrigy said: “Traditionally known as ‘July Provision’, summer education has been hugely important to children with special needs in Longford. 

The Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh TD, has confirmed the initiative will happen this year but as a significantly expanded programme for children with special needs and students in DEIS schools.

“This is positive news for many families in Longford," he said.

"All through this COVID-19 pandemic, the Government has consistently acknowledged the additional challenges faced by children with special needs at this time, and I know many families here locally who were concerned at their children missing out on school. 

"I am really pleased to see the Government follow through on the commitment to do something for this vulnerable group of students who rely so much on their annual summer programme.

“A wide range of children with special needs will benefit from Summer Provision this year, including those with severe and profound and moderate needs, to those with autism, Down syndrome, and those with severe visual or hearing impairment.

“Teachers and special needs assistants are being given the opportunity to offer provision in-school or in the home. DEIS schools are also being offered the chance to run educational summer camps on literacy and numeracy, wellbeing and re-engagement with school. In addition, the HSE aims to provide summer camp type supports to up to 1,200 children with complex needs.

“I am informed that if possible, school transport will be provided to support the programme where appropriate. The Government is also finalising plans to provide the Schools Meals Programme for schools taking part in Summer Provision 2020.

“I encourage anyone who wishes to register their child for Summer Provision to do so via the dedicated online registration system for families of children with special needs, at gov.ie/summer provision”, Senator Carrigy said.