It is now just days before schools close for the summer – and 106 children are still without a class for next year
Minister for Special Education Josepha Madigan must clarify if she misrepresented the position of four schools she claimed had not engaged with the Department about special education classes, according to Social Democrats Education Spokesperson Gary Gannon.
“On Saturday, Minister of State with Responsibility for Special Education Josepha Madigan named four schools and claimed they had refused to open classes for children with special educational needs. The Minster claimed the schools had not engaged with the Department and were ignoring correspondence.
“Those schools, all based on the north side of Dublin including two Déis schools, have said those claims are untrue. In fact, a number of the schools have produced voluminous correspondence they exchanged with the Department – up to as recently as the end of last week. The Minister must now explain if she was incorrectly briefed or if she wilfully misrepresented the position of these schools.
“Schools should not be made scapegoats for the Department’s failure to plan. If schools have additional capacity, then they must make every effort to make that available for special classes. Equally, the Department must make the requisite resources available to schools to allow them to properly support children and provide appropriate education.
“It is essential that the Department and the wider school community work together, at an early stage, to properly plan for the provision of special educational classes. It is now just days before schools close for the summer – and 106 children are still without a class for next year. This is not good enough. Children are being failed and their right to education is being thwarted by the State.
“I welcome the news that the Dáil will now sit on Friday to pass emergency legislation to speed up the process by which special education classes are provided. It should be noted, however, that this could and should have been done long ago.”
27 June, 2022