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Government must be honest on new Inclusion Support Services – Reilly

22 April, 2015

Today in the Seanad Sinn Fein’s Kathryn Reilly spoke of the need for the government to clarify how they will provide the new Inclusion Support Services within the National Council for Special Education (NCSE).

She said;

“Sinn Fein are generally supportive of the idea of the new Inclusion Supports Services if it improves service delivery, however, we are very conscious that the make-up of this new structure within the NCSE is not fully known. Members of the Oireachtas have not been given full information on this and we do not know what the service will look like when it is established.

“Already we have seen a reform of the allocation of NCSE resources postponed –  we agreed with this and were glad to see the changes being introduced on a trial basis, as Sinn Fein had called for. But still to this day we have no idea when this will trial will conclude.”

“While it may be the correct move to make when we look at evidence based policy, we do not know how this Service is going to be resourced. Any question that is asked about the establishment or resourcing of the Service is followed by a stock answer from the Minister saying that considerations on how the new service will be incorporated and financed are ongoing.”

“This is not acceptable. If the NCSE and this service were going to retain their resources, I am sure the Minister would be hanging out the flags to tell people that was the case in the run up to the election.”  

“The serious issue is that school populations are growing and demographics tell us that the numbers of children who will need to access the Service will grow with that. Therefore, we need to know that it will be resourced accordingly.”

“Sinn Fein is in support of the proposed plans for Inclusion Support Services, but we all require much more information from the Minister of Education and her Department regarding the operation of this service.”

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