Deputy Eugene Murphy
Fianna Fáil TD for Roscommon/Galway Eugene Murphy has called on the Minister for Education to extend the July Provision Scheme to all children with Down Syndrome.
Deputy Murphy was speaking in the Dáil this week under Topical Issues. He said: “The July Provision is the extended school year which is not available to the vast majority of children with Down syndrome, leaving them at a huge educational disadvantage. However there was a recent High Court settlement whereby children at the centre of the action who have various educational and social needs now will receive additional schooling. In light of this recent ruling, I am calling on the Minister to now consider extending the July Provision Scheme to all children with Down Syndrome,” said Deputy Murphy.
“At the moment the July Provision scheme allows an extra month of tuition during the month of July for children who have a specific diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder or a severe or profound general learning disability. The scheme is very beneficial as it makes sure children do not regress over the long summer holidays.
"I have been contacted by numerous parents associated with the Down Syndrome Ireland Roscommon branch who feel that the exclusion of their children from the July Provision Scheme is a disgrace and an injustice. How can the Irish education system and the Government leave children with Down syndrome behind, and deny them the right to learn at their own pace? I believe in light of this recent High Court ruling it is imperative that the July Provision Scheme now be extended to all children with Down Syndrome,” said Deputy Murphy.
Deputy Murphy welcomed the response from Government which indicated that the Minister for Education is due to meet with Down Syndrome Ireland next week in relation to the matter.