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Quinn U-turn is just a drop in the ocean

THE DECISION by Education Minister Ruairi Quinn to reverse a cut to special needs resource teaching hours is welcome – but is just a drop in the ocean.

The minister's embarrassing reversal took place yesterday as he was flanked by Labour Party backbenchers, a move that reflected the fury that erupted among party rank and file when the cuts were originally announced.

While senior Labour Party figures may have learned a valuable lesson, the families of those with special needs don't believe the reversal goes anywhere near far enough.

The reversed 10pc cut only applied to resource teaching hours. But the number of special needs assistants simply does not meet demand.

So children with special needs and their parents still find themselves under-resourced and planned protests on the issue will go ahead.

This week has seen calls for tax cuts in the upcoming Budget. It is hard to argue for such cuts when vital resources are not available to those who badly need them.