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Support hours for special needs students cut

Posted by SchoolDays Newshound on 20/06/2013. Tags: Education And Politics Parenting

text re imageDue in an increase in demand, the National Council for Special Education has announced that support hours for children with special needs are to be reduced by 10%. While the level of resource teachers and special needs assistants at primary and post primary level will be maintained at last year’s capped levels for the 2013/2104 period, there is an increase of some 10 per cent in children entitled to support, with 4,100 more children receiving teaching supports than last year.

There will be 42,500 children receiving additional teaching supports against some 38,400 last year. The net result is that children with special educational needs will receive just three quarters of the additional teaching resources they are entitled to from this September.

The ASTI President has described as “unacceptable” the reduction in supports to students with special educational needs for the third year in a row. “It is disingenuous to claim that no cuts have been made to the overall level of staffing allocated to schools to support students with special educational needs when the demand for such supports has increased by 10%. The reductions announced today will mean that a student who two years ago would have been allocated 5 additional resource teacher hours will now just get 3 hours and 45 minutes.”

A spokesperson for the Irish Primary Principals' Network, Enda McGorman, has said there is a sense of absolute bewilderment in primary schools .
Speaking on RTÉ's News, Mr McGorman said it was a 25% cut relative to last year and even more so in his school in Dublin. He said the Department of Education had made a clear decision that the people who would bear the cuts are the children on the ground.

The INTO has also strongly condemned large cuts in resources for special needs children and is organising a demonstration outside Leinster House at 6pm on Wednesday next, 26th June, for schools affected by the latest cuts. A list of SNA allocations by county can be viewed here


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