Today, September 2nd, Inclusion Ireland will tell an Oireachtas Committee about the reopening of schools, how children with disabilities have coped and the lingering fears their parents have as their children return to full time education. Inclusion Ireland conducted a snap survey of 267 parents to inform its submission the Committee.
“Inclusion Ireland welcomes the re-opening of schools and acknowledges the hard work that staff have put in during their summer holidays to make this happen. Children with disabilities need access to their teachers as 51.5% of parents reported their child’s educational or personal skills had regressed over the prolonged break from school” stated Mark O’Connor, Community Engagement Manager, Inclusion Ireland.
O’Connor continued: “some of the guidance from the Department of Education and Skills is either vague or indicates a possible reduction in supports for children with disabilities. Inclusion Ireland calls on the Department of Education and Skills to properly resource teacher substitute panels to ensure special education teachers are not reallocated as substitutes away from their primary role of supporting children with disabilities.”
“The Department of Education has not properly considered the situation of children with disabilities and complex medical needs. These children will not be back in school with their peers as the risk to their health is so great. These children should have access to the Home Tuition Scheme or another form of support to maintain their education” continued Mark O’Connor.