Children entering primary school for the first time this year will be the first to experience the full effects of the cuts to the education system enacted by the government.
This is according to the president of the Irish National Teachers' Organisation Noreen Flynn, who warned pupils with special needs may be among the hardest hit.
"This group of new entrants to primary school will get reduced resource teaching and limited access to an SNA [special needs assistant], if at all," she stated.
Ms Flynn added the impact of these cuts will be felt throughout their school life and urged the Minister for Education to strongly resist any calls to make further cutbacks, as those starting school this year should not be asked to pay for the mistakes of those responsible for the recession.
Meanwhile, it has been reported today (September 2nd) that nine children with special needs have been told by St Gabriel's school in Bishopstown, Cork that the establishment will be unable to provide them with a place due to a shortage of teachers.