Special education recommendations must be implemented – Jonathan O’Brien TD
Responding to today’s launch by the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) of a review into special education, Sinn Féin’s education spokesperson, Jonathan O’Brien, TD, said the challenge was for Minister Ruairí Quinn to implement the key recommendations of the report.
Deputy O’Brien said: “I would like to commend the NCSE for carrying out the first comprehensive strategic review into special education in 20 years. The findings contained in the publication of their report: Supporting Students with Special Educational Needs in Schools must not sit on a shelf to gather dust.
“One of the key recommendations put forward by the NCSE is that the link between allocation based on category of disability, must be changed to one of allocation based on need.
“This is absolutely essential if we are to improve the level of supports for children with special educational needs, particularly where the emphasis is on integrating students into mainstream education.
“In recent weeks I have been dealing with parents of children who have Autism and Down Syndrome whose education is suffering because of the way Home Tuition and Resource Hours are allocated. We need a change of emphasis to a system that prioritises the needs of the child instead of allocation based on category of disability.
“I also share the NCSE’s concerns at the length of time many parents have to wait for a diagnosis to assess their child’s individual needs and learning capacity.
“It is essential we have in place a robust regulatory enrolment framework so as to ensure all children with special educational needs can access a school placement quickly.”