Fine Gael Senator Maura Hopkins the news that the Government is to provide 900 extra resource teachers and an extra €18 million to implement a new model for the allocation of resource teachers to support children with special educational needs “is very positive”.
Commenting on the issue Maura Hopkins said, “Minister Bruton has informed me that he is introducing this new model which will be a fairer and better way to allocate resources to support children with special educational needs. This means that up to 1,000 schools will receive additional allocations while no school will receive an allocation which is less than received in the 2016/17 year.”
“This new model of allocation will ensure that barriers to accessing resources will be removed and children can receive that support immediately without having to wait for a diagnosis. Resources will be linked with genuine need and children will not be inappropriately labelled in order to access resources while places will be allocated on the basis of the individual learning needs rather than requiring a particular diagnosis of disability.”
Senator Hopkins concluded, “I have spoken with many parents and teachers who have welcomed the introduction of this new model following a trial in 47 schools in the 2015/16 year. It will ensure that we can deliver better outcomes for children with special educational needs, and eliminate unfairness and other problems which exist within the current model.”