08 February 2011

FF Cap on SNAs MUST Be Challenged

Fitzgerald lashes out at cuts to the most vulnerable in Lucan schools

Local Fine Gael General Election candidate Frances Fitzgerald has lashed out against Fianna Fail and Green policy on special needs education and the impact cutbacks are having on special needs children in Lucan and Clondalkin.

“I have been fighting for the rights of special needs children since I first became involved in politics. I have fought this outgoing government against special needs cutbacks every inch of the way. I firmly believe that the Fianna Fail cap on SNAs must be challenged,” said Frances Fitzgerald.

“I met a woman yesterday on the campaign trail whose six year old blind child who suffers from a serious disability has been told their SNA hours will be halved. It’s just one of many stories I am hearing from distraught parents of special needs children. In Lucan one schools special needs class is under threat of closure while another local primary school has a waiting list of 50 children with Autism and Aspergers,” said Frances Fitzgerald.

“Special needs children need help, support and resources. We cannot leave them and their parents high and dry just because we’ve bailed out banks. Fine Gael’s priority is the frontline and this includes protecting existing SNA supports,” continued Frances Fitzgerald.

“As spending levels are reduced across Government Departments to meet our commitments to reduce the national deficit, Fine Gael’s priority is to protect the quality of the educational experience received by our children including special needs supports. To ensure we can deliver on this commitment, we will work with education partners to seek further possible efficiencies in work practices,” concluded Frances Fitzgerald.