Sunday 17 December 2017

Emer O'Kelly: We must speak out against these contemptible cuts

'Special needs' sounds almost cute but it is not, and such children face huge obstacles in life.

Emer O'Kelly

IT'S PROBABLY difficult to understand unless we ourselves have been there . . . or will be there. Next September, when children return to primary school, or when some of them go there for the first time, the little ones with 'special needs' will have the resources devoted to them reduced from the current 85 per cent of what the Department of Education actually recommends (but doesn't supply) to 75 per cent.

To parents battling cuts to the education budget for fully able children, as they see the curriculum reduced to a piece of social engineering rather than being a powerful educational force, (such as the abandonment of history for the Junior Certificate), it may merely raise an eyebrow.

But for other parents, it is a ghastly blow and will make a profound difference to their lives and, more importantly, to the lives of their children.

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