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"Urgent Action for Children With Special Needs Awaiting Support or Assessment" - Brolly

Aontú Education Spokesperson Gemma Brolly welcomes the recent Special Needs Provision announcement by the Education Minister but urges similar and urgent action for children with special needs awaiting support and/or assessment.

Gemma Brolly, a parent, teacher and Special Needs Co-ordinator herself welcomed the move by Michelle McIlveen, explaining "This is a huge and hopeful step in the right direction. Improving the provision within mainstream education for children with a statement of special educational needs is vital and we look forward to seeing this implemented within our schools."

Brolly siad "Working within this system and experiencing it first hand, this will only address those few within schools who have been assessed and therefore have a statement. At present, we have huge numbers of children struggling within our classrooms, many of these children will not even reach assessment stage as they are placed in a hierarchy of who has the most prevalent/urgent/number of needs and will meet the approximate 1 in every 100 children ratio to be assessed by the school educational psychologist." 

"We have children with literacy difficulties who cannot access intervention and so schools are implementing all they can with limited resources and accessing 'advice and guidance' from the Literacy Support Service. We have a complete absence of Dyslexia Specialist Provision and if our children have significant difficulties in Mathematics,school staff will strive to do what they can with NO Mathematic support service available through our Education system."

"Recently I have spoken with some of the fantastic RISE team in whom schools depend for early intervention, and they too have stretched beyond their maximum, as are Literacy Support Teachers and Education Psychologists. Each and every branch within our education system is reporting the same issues- the supply of human resources does not meet demand, in fact it is nowhere near it."

Brolly concludes "Whilst we realise long term investment and commitment is what is necessary to rebuild our education system, the most practical and urgent solution now is to increase supply of staff where possible, therefore improving the pupil to educational staff member ratio and improving the standard of education across the board. For some time now Aontú have worked to implement permanent learning support for pupils, similar to that in the South. We will continue to work to improve our education system, to create a system where NO child is left behind."




By Aontú Press | 4 July, 2022

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