Children with Down syndrome have been granted additional teaching hours by the Department of Education, following a long campaign by parents.

Announcing the move, the department said the supports were being granted in recognition of the fact that children with Down syndrome experienced a cluster of difficulties relating to the condition.

The decision has been welcomed by parents.

Until now many children with Down syndrome were granted no dedicated additional teaching hours to help them deal with the specific difficulties they encountered.

Parents and groups representing them argued that this was necessary and that some children with Down syndrome were being discriminated against as a result.

The Department of Education has now agreed to give all children with the condition an extra two-and-a-half hours of resource teaching per week.

This is pending the overhauling of special needs provision and the introduction of a new model.

Parents told RTÉ News that they are happy with the move.

They say they are giving the news a cautious welcome and look forward to the revision of the entire system of special needs support.