Cuts in teaching time for special need unacceptable – Cullinane
The decision to cut resource teaching time for special needs pupils by 15 minutes per week, is short sighted and will fail many children in the long run, according to Sinn Féin Senator David Cullinane.
The Waterford Senator, speaking in the Seanad today, said that in making such a cut, the government has clearly shown where it’s priorities lie.
“It’s often said that the measure of a government is how it treats its most vulnerable members. If that is the case, then this government does not measure up to the task.
“The primary criteria for what supports special needs children should receive is educational need, and budgetary concerns should be a distant second.
“We have been told that resource teaching time is to be reduced by 5%, or 15 minutes per week. This would be bad enough on its own however it comes on the heels of a 10% cut, or half an hour last year. Special needs children will now have 45 minutes less resource time than in 2010, and this is no small amount.
“To add insult to injury, we are told that this has come about as a consequence of the government’s desire to meet Troika targets, and the cap of 9,950 SNAs. It is very clear, to my mind, where their priorities lie.
“Many parents are very concerned that their children will not be getting the support they need. It is not acceptable that these children go without the appropriate support to see them through their education.”