Cuts to Resource Cannot be Tolerated15th June 2012
Arising from Government cutbacks the National Council for Special Education have this week brought forward a range of cuts to learning supports in school, and in particular to resource teaching support hours. The NCSE have been tasked with managing the number of resource teachers and SNA’s that can be employed in the state. They have this week announced that resource teaching allocations are being reduced by approximately 5% for the academic year 2012/2013.
This cut to resource teaching and resource hours will have a hugely negative impact on schools and on vulnerable students. While a 5% cut might seem like a relatively small amount it must be examined in light of the cut backs that have taken place to date. Last year there was a 10% cut in the allocation of teaching support for individual children. This totals a 15% cut since this Government has come to power. Effectively this means that a child who has been assessed and has a recognised need for these support hours with 5 hours allocated support a week will now have this support cut to four and a quarter hours per week. Indeed this cut is made all the worse when you discover that the number of valid applications for resource and learning support is higher than the number received last year. Essentially demand is increased while supply is reduced.
This cut is a despicable one and one that will have a negative effect on countless children throughout the country. Resource is a vital support for pupils in our schools it seeks to help those who find school that little bit more difficult to further their learning. It is unacceptable that such a vulnerable group who have already experienced significant cut backs should face continued cuts and such an uncertain future. These continued cuts cannot be permitted and immediate action must be taken to protect our young pupils who cannot speak up for themselves.