NEPS Service ignored in Budget 2017 – Nolan
Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson on Education and Skills Carol Nolan spoke during Leader’s Questions in the Dáil today and criticised the lack of additional funding for the National Educational Psychology Service in Budget 2017.
Teachta Nolan said:
“Under the current system, assessments provided by NEPS, are critical in order for children to access the necessary supports and resources to pursue the best education.
“Since 2010, we have seen a cut in funding to the service from €22.5 million to €18.25 million in 2016.
“It was ironic that we had Deputy Michael Martin in this chamber yesterday crying crocodile tears about the funding for NEPS when it was the Fianna Fáil Government that slashed the budget in the first place.
“And it is Fianna Fáil that, despite all their spin and bluster, will facilitate the ongoing lack of investment by supporting Budget 2017.
“We have a cruel situation where parents and schools that can afford it send children for private assessment, while children from disadvantaged communities are left behind, in some cases waiting years for the proper supports.
“I have raised this issue on a number of occasions, most recent as last week in this chamber.
“Your Budget supported by Fianna Fáil allocates no additional funding to this service for 2017.
“The Programme for Government states a clear commitment to increase funding for the NEPS service yet there is no mention of it in this Budget.
“Sinn Féin proposed an investment of €3.5 million in our alternative budget and I am calling on the Minister to ensure that this service is adequately resourced so that pupils can access the basic supports they need.”