Kilkenny mother set for Dáil protest over schools access for children

Parents extremely stressed and frustrated if their children require access to special schools and ASD classes

Sam Matthews

Reporter:

Sam Matthews

Email:

sam.matthews@kilkennypeople.ie

Education

'It is totally unacceptable that children with disabilities are required to apply to schools up to 30km away or further, rather than have equal access to local schools'

A Kilkenny mother of four is among a group of parents set to travel to the Dáil at the end of the month to seek equal access to education for children with autism and special educational needs.

Linda Comerford, who is the spokesperson for the Enough is Enough campaign, says that hundreds of parents are left extremely stressed and frustrated if their children require access to special schools and ASD classes for children with autism or complex needs.

“It is difficult to acknowledge the parts of the country where there has been improvements, when for many people who will be protesting on April 30, it feels more comparable to the national lottery when being allocated places,” said Ms Comerford.

“This is not restricted to education when we access the larger demographics accessing disability services. It is totally unacceptable that children with disabilities are required to apply to schools up to 30km away or further, rather than have equal access to local schools that need to be resourced to meet their needs.”

The protest will take place on April 30 between 11am and 1pm and the campaign is inviting everyone to attend.

“Although this can be perceived as an issue for parents whose children are just starting primary education, it is also a huge issue for parents of children who are transitioning from primary to secondary level education, as even fewer secondary schools have attached ASD classes,” said Ms Comerford.