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Co Armagh school given go-ahead for ‘autism specific’ learning support centre

Plans for a specialised unit to support children with autism at a Co Armagh primary school have been given Ministerial approval.

A development proposal for the provision of an autism specific learning support centre at St Joseph’s Primary School in Bessbrook had been submitted in March.

St Joseph’s Primary school currently has three general learning support centres.

It has been decided to change one of these to become ‘autism specific’.

Education Minister Peter Weir approves of the plan and has given the go-ahead for the change.

He said: “My decision will allow further expansion of the specific provision at St Joseph’s Primary School in which children will be able to access their education at a mainstream setting through an autism specialised classroom environment.

“The specialist provision – along with the skilled expertise of staff already in place – will help support pupils at Foundation and Key Stage 1.

“The provision will support pupils in their educational experience as well as catering for the growing demand to meet the needs of children with special educational needs in the South Down/South Armagh area.”

Mr Weir said that, over the coming months, the Education Authority would work closely with St Joseph’s Primary to support them in establishing this autistic specific provision.

“I want to take this opportunity to wish the school well as it continues to support the needs of its children in the area,” he added.

The new autism specific centre should be in place from September 1.

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