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Special Needs Education now paying the price for the failures of bankers and the Government

14 June, 2011

As the government informed the Seanad today the restrictions of the IMF/EU deal means that there will be a reduction in Special Needs Education provision, Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Youth Affairs Senator Kathryn Reilly said:

“Language Support Teachers provide services to those most in need. They are not niche interest on or luxury addition to existing services in our education system. They are an essential part of the Education System.

“The previous government planned to reduce the total number of language support teachers by 500 over four years. This government, that promised so much change, will now implement half these cuts by September with a loss of 250 posts.

“These changes will affect about 2,500 students, all of whom have already received two years support.

“The changes will impact, directly on children who require language support and also taken with the other education cut backs will impact on all students.

“These cut backs are a direct outworking of the EU/IMF deal. Special needs pupils are now paying for the failures of bankers and the inability of the government parties to place the needs of our children to the fore.

“Reducing the number of language support teachers from an already ailing education system is not in the interests of our children nor is it an acceptable way to balance the budget.

“I call on the Government to listen to the voice of educationalists, to listen to the advocates of children and to reconsider these cutbacks.” ENDS

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