Fine Gael TD for Wicklow and long-term Autism advocate, Simon Harris, has today (Tuesday) said that the Government’s decision to allocate an additional 500 resource posts for children with special needs is most welcome and will ensure that the planned effective reduction in resource teaching hours in September will now not proceed.
“Figures indicate that more children with special education needs will be entering the school system in September. It is absolutely essential that these children are provided with the supports that they require and I was extremely concerned to hear that this was not going to be the case.
“I commend the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD, for his leadership on this matter and I welcome the decision of the Cabinet to create an additional 500 new posts which will be provided for our mainstream schools by September. This will ensure that resource hours are not cut for children with special needs.
“The Government has recently received the report published by the NCSE which is the most comprehensive review of educational provision for children with special needs in 20 years. The last time special education was reviewed was in 1993.
“During the boom, despite all of the additional resources at its disposal, the previous Fianna Fáil Government did not see fit to look at how we provide special education, and consider what can be done to improve the system.
“It is now imperative that we bring parents and teachers together in a consultative forum to ensure that it is delivering for those who need it. I will continue to work with parents to pursue this matter and ensure that our children with special needs are being given every opportunity available to them.”