Clare Daly TD has denounced the government and Labour Minister Ruairi Quinn’s failure to remove the cap on special needs staff for schools in the coming year. The move would essentially mean a 10% cut to services for children with Down syndrome, autism, visual, hearing and other disabilities.
Speaking about the issue, Clare said, ‘these cuts are of the most reprehensible nature. To essentially cut resources for some of the most vulnerable members of society is beyond disgusting”.
The move will also represent a reduction in hours of about 25% since 2011 levels, in spite of the fact that the Department of Education has allocated an extra 900 regular teachers to start from September. The problem has been exacerbated by higher enrolments in the coming years and a rise in the number of students eligible for special needs and resource teaching.
The fact that these cuts come under the remit of a Labour Minister, is all the more cause for outrage given Labour’s election rhetoric of defending the most vulnerable. It would seem that Labour hold no shame in abandoning the very people they said they would protect be it students, pensioners, single parents and children.
Clare noted that by now it should, unfortunately, come as no surprise the depths that Labour will sink to and that “they have long turned their backs on any of the guiding principles espoused during the foundations of the party”.