Lucan WP protest latest Special Needs cuts

Lucan WP protest 21.06.13
Lucan Workers' Party protest on Special Needs cuts

Education – Special Needs Pupils Cut
Government slashes most vulnerable - again
The Workers Party held a protest in the centre of Lucan village yesterday (June 21st) against the latest cuts in supports to Special Needs children.
For three years in a row special needs education has been cut. This is the provision of special needs assistants and additional teaching support given to children with speech and language disorders, hearing impairment, autism etc.  Condemning the cuts, local Workers Party representative and Party President Michael Finnegan said,  "In 2011 – there was a cut of 10%, in 2012 a cut of 5% and this year – 2013 – it is proposed that 10% be cut. This amounts to a quarter of all the essential supports needed now cut".
"The number of needy children has grown by 4,000. Schools applying for additional resources for the extra pupils have been refused. The government say that schools will have to make do with what they have. The reality is that these children will be given a much shorter extra teaching time. Also, all children benefit from the presence of special needs assistants but now many classes will have to do without.  Children only get one chance – they will never recover what is now taken from them. This is a savage attack on the most vulnerable children", said Michael.
This government is reversing the steady progress towards equality which the Education Act of 2004 (EPSEN Act) provided. This Act gave
  • the same rights to education for special needs children as others The right to be educated inclusively
  • The right to education appropriate to needs in order to reach full potential
  • The right to leave school with the skills necessary to participate in society and live independent and fulfilled lives (as far as their capacity allows).
Michael Finnegan concluded, "These cuts represent a steady erosion of the rights of special needs children.  Surely a tax or levy on those earning more than €100,000 would be a fairer approach than destroying the lives of children forever?".  He urged people to contact the offices, clinics or Dáil offices of the local TDs and the  TDS, to email and contact information can be got from Lucan Newsletter or TDs websites. Demand that they be reversed. Make your voice heard as this issue impacts on all of society. They are
Frances Fitzgerald, Minister for Children
Joanna Tuffy, Chair of Education Committee. On being appointed Joanna said, “Ireland’s resilience in previous recessions has in past decades been attributed to our education system. Amid current difficulties, the Committee will have a role in ensuring our education system benefits all of society and helps everyone reach their best potential”.
Robert Dowds , former teacher and high profile backbencher
Derek Keating received many votes in last election because of his stand on education. Now is his chance to prove that this was not just opportunism but that he was actually genuinely committed to defending the weakest within the education system.
For more info on the campaign contact Michael Finnegan on (087) 263-1524.

Peace, Work, Democracy & Class Politics