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14.36 31 Oct 2019


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The number of children with special needs in primary schools increased by 63% over four years, according to a new government report.

The Education Indicators for Ireland report gives an overview for the first time of school and third level education and training.

It highlights the increase in the number of pupils with special needs in primary and post-primary schools from 2014 to 2018.

The figures show a rise of children with special needs at primary level from 3,816 in 2014 to 6,229 in 2018, while another 1,000 places were added for September 2019.

Additionally, the report shows that there are now more than 13,400 special education teachers, while up to 15,950 Special Needs Assistants will be working in schools this year.

The report also provides statistics on access to higher education, and shows that the number of students doing the Leaving Cert rose to 69% in 2018, up from 65.5% in 2014.

The number participating in the Leaving Certificate vocational programme fell by more than 3% over the four years, while the data shows that almost three-quarters of students now take Transition Year.

There has also been a steady increase in students with a disability entering higher education with these students representing 10.6% of new entrants in 2017 compared to 8% in 2014.

Almost 245,000 higher education graduates secured qualifications in 2017, with 67,000 receiving an honours degree.

The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh said: “It is important to constantly review the impact that our policy initiatives are making at each level of the education system and I think these indicators go some way to achieving that.

“Creating a report like this gives us a snapshot of the education system at one point in time. But it also shows us how far we have come in recent years, what commitments we are making and what our ambitions are.”

Additional reporting by Trish Laverty

Main image: File photo by Monika Skolimowska/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa

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