Cuts to resource hours harming pupils
CUTS in resource teaching hours for students with special educational needs are affecting all pupils in a class because schools cannot give them the individual attention they deserve.
In some cases, the cuts are causing immediate and long-term damage to the life chances of all students, not just those with identified special needs, according to a new report. This is because of the potential for disruption by some students who don't have the capacity to cope with the demands of school, and for whom schools don't have enough staff time.
The huge difficulties facing second-level schools as a result of the 15pc cut in the allocation for resource teaching since 2010 are detailed in the report, published today.
Schools are "at breaking point" as they struggle to cope with growing numbers of students with special needs, while resources have failed to keep pace.
The survey was carried out by the Joint Managerial Body (JMB), the representative body for management in the voluntary sector. It found that, on average, schools have lost 17 hours' resource teaching a week. JMB general secretary Ferdia Kelly said: "What existed before the cuts began was inadequate. The current position is unsustainable, either morally or operationally."