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State schools 'are best for special needs'

Posted by SchoolDays Newshound on 08/12/2009. State schools 'are best for special needs'Tags: Primary School News Secondary School News Education And Politics

State-run schools and those in disadvantaged areas tend to cater better for special needs students than fee-paying establishments, it has been reported.

According to the Irish Times, figures released by the Department for Education show that many of the county's top private schools are "close to the bottom of the table" when it comes to provision for students with learning difficulties.

Peter MacMenamin, general secretary of the Teachers' Union of Ireland (TUI), told the publication that some fee-paying schools appear to be operating an "educational apartheid".

The TUI is calling for the government to withdraw financial support from schools that have selective admission policies.

Ireland's fee-paying schools received around €100 million from the state last year, the newspaper noted.

Writing for the Irish Times, Ann Heelan, executive director of Ahead, the Association for Higher Education Access and Disability, warned that educating youngsters with special needs is vital for the economy.

Cutting back on spending in this area will lead to problems in the future, she added.

Written by Donal Walsh


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