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It should not have taken public outcry to ensure educational resources: O’Brien

25 June, 2013 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD

Sinn Féin education spokesperson, Jonathan O’Brien TD, spoke today about the announcement made last Wednesday by the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) of a ten per cent reduction in teaching hours for children with special needs and said it amounted to a serious failure of government policy.
“The incredulous claims by the Education Minister that a reduction in resource teaching did not equate to a cut were never credible”, he said.
“Today the minister announced an about-turn similar to past reversals that he was forced to make after trying to implement cuts to DEIS schools and the pupil-teacher ratio in further learning.
“The announcement of 500 additional teaching posts to schools in September to cope with the increasing demand for resources, whilst welcome, should have been made much earlier, when the Department had sight of the figures and ample time to analysis their implications.
“For weeks the minister and his officials have been aware of the increased demand for resource hours and as far back as the 20 May the Department told the NCSE not to inform schools of cuts to resource hours.
“It should not therefore, have taken a public outcry to force the minister to act and ensure additional resources, albeit with the caveat that the current system for allocating resources is ‘unsustainable’.”

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