New Spe­cial Ed­u­ca­tion Model with ben­e­fit Louth

The Argus - - NEWS -

THE new Spe­cial Ed­u­ca­tion Model will help many chil­dren in Louth and East Meath, it has been claimed.

The new model for al­lo­cat­ing Spe­cial Ed­u­ca­tion Teach­ing Re­sources to main­stream pri­mary and post pri­mary schools was an­nounced last Wed­nes­day by the Min­is­ter for Ed­u­ca­tion Richard Bru­ton and will be in­tro­duced from Septem­ber 2017.

The an­nounce­ment of the new plan has been wel­comed by lo­cal Deputy Fer­gus O’Dowd who said it will be ‘a fairer and more ap­pro­pri­ate way’ to al­lo­cate re­sources to sup­port chil­dren with Spe­cial Ed­u­ca­tional Needs and said it will ben­e­fit chil­dren in the Louth and East Meath area.

An ad­di­tional 900 teach­ing posts will be pro­vided to sup­port the in­tro­duc­tion of this new al­lo­ca­tion model.

The ad­di­tional pro­vi­sion will en­sure that up to 1,000 schools will re­ceive ad­di­tional al­lo­ca­tions, where the new model in­di­cates ad­di­tional need and No school will re­ceive an al­lo­ca­tion of re­sources less than the al­lo­ca­tion they re­ceived in the 2016/17 school year.

Deputy O’Dowd said: ‘Over the last num­ber of months I have seen first hand the com­mit­ment Min­is­ter Bru­ton has shown in the ed­u­ca­tional sec­tor to make it a fairer and more com­pas­sion­ate area.

‘We will see bet­ter out­comes for chil­dren with spe­cial ed­u­ca­tional needs in our com­mu­nity and many more chil­dren will now have the abil­ity to progress and ful­fil their po­ten­tials, and we will see the other prob­lems which ex­ist in the cur­rent model slowly erad­i­cated.’

The new al­lo­ca­tion model, which has been de­vised by a work­ing group es­tab­lished by the Na­tional Coun­cil for Spe­cial Ed­u­ca­tion (NCSE) chaired by Ea­mon Stack, Chair­per­son of the Coun­cil, and fur­ther devel­oped by the De­part­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion and Skills in close col­lab­o­ra­tion with par­ents, teach­ers, dis­abil­ity rep­re­sen­ta­tives and other stake­hold­ers, is aimed at pro­vid­ing bet­ter out­comes for chil­dren with spe­cial ed­u­ca­tional needs, and at ad­dress­ing po­ten­tial un­fair­ness in the cur­rent model.

It is be based on the pro­filed spe­cial ed­u­ca­tional need of each school.

The new spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion teacher al­lo­ca­tion model will al­lo­cate teach­ers to schools on the ba­sis of the pro­filed ed­u­ca­tional needs of each school in the Louth and East Meath area.

‘ This will end the un­fair­ness which ex­ists in the cur­rent sys­tem, whereby many par­ents are un­able to ac­cess the as­sess­ments needed to qual­ify for ed­u­ca­tional re­sources,’ said the Deputy. ‘ This had a par­tic­u­larly neg­a­tive im­pact on chil­dren from more dis­ad­van­taged ar­eas.’

He said the main ben­e­fits of the new model are the fact that bar­ri­ers to ac­cess­ing re­sources will be re­moved and chil­dren who need sup­port can have the sup­port pro­vided im­me­di­ately rather than hav­ing to wait for a di­ag­no­sis.

‘Re­sources will be linked with gen­uine need, and chil­dren will not be un­nec­es­sar­ily, or in­ap­pro­pri­ately, la­belled in or­der to ac­cess re­sources,’ he added.

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