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519 Schools have appealed their allocation under the new resource allocation model – Nolan

5 April, 2017

Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson on Education and Skills Carol Nolan has said that it is shocking that 519 schools have appealed their special needs teaching allocation under the new resource allocation model.

Teachta Nolan received the figures through a Parliamentary Question response and raised the issue in Leinster House this afternoon during questions to the Minister.

Teachta Nolan said:

“The fact that 519 schools have appealed their special needs teaching allocation under the new resource allocation model is of huge concern and is an indictment of the Government’s approach to this issue.

“While Sinn Féin fully supports the principle underpinning the reform, that resources are provided based on need rather than diagnosis, there are a number of issues with the government’s implementation of the model.

“A number of features of the original design have not been put in place, including the inclusion support service and the model for the identification of future complex needs.

“These measures were specifically designed to capture those pupils whose needs are identified subsequent to the allocation being made to schools and are particularly important as the resource allocation is fixed for two years under the new model.

“I am aware of a number of cases where parents have been told that the school they wish to send their child to does not have sufficient resources to deal with the child’s needs. This completely contradicts the principle in the upcoming admissions legislation which is supposed to ensure that children with special educational needs can attend their nearest school where possible.

“In a recent motion regarding special education in Leinster House, Sinn Féin put forward a number of safeguards for schools and parents of special educational needs, including a mechanism to ensure that children with complex needs who have not been captured under the new model would be supported.

“Unfortunately, this was voted down by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, who were more interested in serving party political interests than the needs of vulnerable children.

“I have again called on the Minister for Education Richard Bruton to ensure that schools and parents are provided with the reassurance that children with complex needs will be supported and to immediately put in place the necessary infrastructure to achieve this.” 

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