Inclusion Ireland have described the proposed allocation of special education supports for the 2021/2022 school year – a freeze at the previous year’s levels with no increased allocations, as effectively a cut for children with special educational needs.

Last week the Department of Education informed schools that existing Special Education Teacher Allocations would be maintained for schools for the coming academic year. No school profiling to assess the need for supports will be undertaken this year.

Speaking today, Lorraine Dempsey, interim CEO of Inclusion Ireland, said: “There is serious concern around the allocation of Special Education Teacher Allocations for next year, and we fully support the school management bodies who have raised this issue with the Minister for Education.

“Freezing allocations at existing levels is effectively a cut in support for developing schools – they will be forced to do much more, catering for a new intake of students, with the same resources, and ultimately it’s the children with additional educational needs who will lose out.

“This decision must be reviewed and, at the very least, the process for applying for additional supports must be simplified and fast-tracked. Children with additional educational needs really lost out during the pandemic, and this year will be vitally important for them. Teachers and schools must have every support they need to assist them.”

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