Clare schools are set to benefit from the lowest pupil teacher ratio ever, according to Fine Gael TD Joe Carey.
And he says that additional Special Need Assistants (SNAs) will ensure extra supports for local children who need them most.
“I am delighted that children here in Care will benefit from the lowest pupil teacher ratio ever of 26:1, ensuring better opportunities and a fairer chance for all children in classrooms across our local community.
“Fine Gael is also committed to ensuring that children with special educational needs are given the opportunity to reach their full potential.
“The Government is investing over €1.7bn for special education needs in the coming year. This means that over 1,000 additional Special Needs Assistants can be recruited in time for September 2018, bringing the total number of SNAs to over 15,000.
“This will ensure extra support for children who need it most, ensuring they have a fair chance and the best opportunities.
“In 2018, we will also see 230 new teachers in special classes and special schools and 100 new Special Education teachers.
“A further €5.5 million will be allocated to provide support for a range of new policy measures including the foreign languages strategy, STEM education policy, digital learning strategy and the Government’s Creative Ireland initiative.
“Ensuring the wellbeing of students is a key priority of government. The equivalent of 100 additional guidance posts will be provided next September and ten new NEPS psychologists will also be hired.”
Deputy Carey said families with older children will also welcome the funding announced for the third level sector.
“An additional €310 million has been allocated out to 2021 to address the infrastructure needs of the higher and further education sectors. This will also support the development of Technological Universities across the country. It is the Department of Education’s intention to have this Bill passed by Christmas.
“I am delighted that we are responding to the increasing demographics and are providing an additional 2100 student places in higher education. The opportunity now exists for more students to avail of further education,” he added.
ABOVE: Deputy Joe Carey engaging with young pupils at Ennis National School with Principal Ray McInerney.