At a meeting last week in Cork TDs expressed concern when told of the effects of cuts to special educational needs services on children and parents, but offered little by way of promises to act. By Diarmaid Ó Cadhla.
A packed meeting organised by the Cork Special Needs Assistants and Parents (SNAP) campaign last week heard upsetting stories from hard-pressed parents, teachers and Special Needs Assistants (SNAs). Contributions from the floor explained that current arrangements for shared access were not working and were exposing children to actual danger. Unjustifiable hardships, anxiety and uncertainty face children, parents, families, SNAs and teachers. Insufficient hours with SNAs and a lack of continuity going into second level were highlighted as particular difficulties.
One of the most shameful aspects of the cuts must be that children now face regression rather than continued progress, as one should expect. The frustration of service users with existing schemes, and the inefficiencies within them, were also highlighted. The disconnect between parents and officials (SENOs) mean decisions are being made about children's futures without contact with those affected, including parents and SNAs.Add a comment