Workers Party condemns 25% cut in special needs resource hours

The Workers Party has totally condemned today’s announcement by the National Council for Special Education of a further 10% cut in recourse hours entitlement for children with special education needs.

Mary Diskin, Education Spokesperson for the Workers Party stated “Over the last three years the cumulative cuts in the allocation to children with special education needs amount to 25%. That this is happening in the same academic year as the passing of the Children’s Referendum demonstrates the shallowness of the promises made by this government a mere 8 months ago”.


“The exchequer savings arising from these cutbacks hardly amount to one day’s interest payments on our massive national debt. Yet they may amount to a lifetime of disadvantage and deprivation for some of the most vulnerable young people in our society.


“These cuts will have the severest impact in schools that are the most open and most welcoming to children with special needs. In using this crude lazy mechanism for dealing with the cap on allocations the NCSE has in effect created a situation where schools with the highest enrolment of children with resource hours entitlement will take the greatest hit. Many of these will be DEIS schools which have already lost other support teachers over recent years including traveller resource teachers, special class teachers, and language support teachers.


“Today’s announcement makes a mockery of our “inclusion” policy which is supposedly a cornerstone of our education system. The integration of children with special needs dictates that support and resources are in place to facilitate this process. Without these supports inclusion is an illusion.


“It is ironic that this announcement was made on the same day that once again Ireland’s farcical corporate tax rate was making international headlines. The OECD are the latest international body to highlight the reality that our 12.5% corporate tax rate is in fact a 2% rate.  This is but one aspect of an overall inequitable taxation system which facilitates multinational corporations and big business to escape their liabilities. While the wealthy are cushioned against the affects of austerity today’s announcement is another example of how the most vulnerable in our society are expected to carry the burden of our austerity measures.”

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