Wednesday 17 January 2018

U-turn on resource teaching cuts shows a welcome flexibility

THE reversal of the cuts in resource teaching time available from next September for 42,500 children with the most complex disabilities, such as autism, is welcome. It offers some relief to parents of these most vulnerable children, although, even retaining allocations at current levels, it is a 15pc cut on what pertained in 2011.

Not for the first time, Education Minister Ruairi Quinn has shown a willingness to respond to public outrage at a cut too far, although the anticipated additional €21m annual cost will have to be found elsewhere in next year's education budget.

The minister is concerned at the level of growth in demand for resource teaching support, which is ahead of the increase in pupil numbers generally. He also describes the current system for allocating available resources as flawed, working to the advantage of pupils in better-off areas, and one that would become unsustainable if demand continues to grow at the present pace.

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