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FOI Request reveals emails sent by parents of children with special needs to Minister for Education - Tóibín

“Families should have option of extra year of education for children in special schools” – Tóibín

Several documents have been released by the Department of Education to Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín TD under the Freedom of Information Act. These documents consist of heartbreaking emails sent by parents of children enrolled in special schools, to the Minister for Education in the past month.



Commenting on the release of the documents, Deputy Tóibín said:



"The documents released to us from the Department of Education, under the Freedom of Information Act expose the reality of what is being experienced by families of people in special education around the country as a result of the closure of special schools. We know that special schools are due to reopen in the coming days, but serious questions remain, specifically regarding students whose conditions have regressed or who have lost ground as a result of the closures. I have many parents reporting to me that their son or daughter was able to get up, get dressed, go to the toilet and feed themselves before the closure of special schools, but as a result of the closure have now regressed to a position where they are no longer able to complete ordinary daily tasks. We need to have extra supports in place for people in that position, including, if necessary, an extra year of special education. It is not fair to kick these people out of the system once they reach the age of 18 having lost a year of that education. Families need to have the option of an extra year at a special needs school. There needs to be a transition period for people between special education and adult education. We also need extra staff to help make up the lost ground for these individuals. We know the waiting lists for various multi-disciplinary intervention therapies have increased by tens of thousands. Covid-19 contact tracing is very important, but the government was wrong to take staff from these services and redeploy them as contact tracers. We cannot abandon family carers"


ENDS


NB: If anyone wishes to access these documents please contact Luke on 085 223 96 20
By Aontú Press | 11 February, 2021



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