19 January 2017

Fitzgerald welcomes new model for allocating resource teachers to schools

Local TD, Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald, has welcomed the announcement today that a new model for allocating Special Education Teaching Resources to mainstream primary and secondary schools will be introduced from September 2017.

“I receive a lot of queries from parents who want to know what resources are available to support their children with Special Educational Needs in our mainstream schools. A new model has been announced today that will see an additional 900 teaching posts provided to support the introduction of a new Special Education Teaching Resources allocation model, which will remove barriers in children accessing resources.

“This new model will allow schools allocate resources to pupils, taking into account their individual learning needs, as opposed to requiring a particular diagnosis of disability. It will also remove the barrier of having to wait for a specific diagnosis to access resources and instead allow schools to cater to that child’s need immediately, allowing early intervention and supporting inclusion in our schools,” confirmed Fitzgerald.

The provision of up to 900 additional teaching posts will ensure that no school receives an allocation of resources less than those received in the current school year. Furthermore, up to 1,000 schools will receive additional allocations, where the new model indicates additional need.

“Re-investing the benefits of the economic recovery into services in order to build a fair and compassionate society is my focus in Government. Education is the best means of delivering a fairer society, breaking down cycles of disadvantage and ensuring that all our people, in particular those with special educational needs, are able to participate in that progress and fulfil their potential.

“Special Education Needs provision accounts for one fifth (€1.5billion) of the overall education budget. This investment demonstrates the commitment to improving services and supporting children accessing education. Government has agreed to provide additional resources to implement this model including €18 million in funding and 900 extra resource teachers.

“The model which has been carefully worked up is aimed at ensuring that we can deliver better outcomes for children with special educational needs, and eliminate unfairness and other problems which exist in the current model.

“This model has already been postiviely received in a number of pilot schools throughout the country. I hope that parents in Lucan, Clondalkin, Newcastle, Rathcoole, Saggart, Palmerstown and Brittas will also reap the benefits of the new model from September onwards,” concluded Fitzgerald.