Dáil debates

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Ceisteanna (Atógáil) - Questions (Resumed)

Cabinet Committees

1:10 pm

Photo of Richard Boyd BarrettRichard Boyd Barrett (Dún Laoghaire, People Before Profit Alliance) | Oireachtas source

The fundamental principle in supporting children and families with special needs should be that they get support based on their needs, but that is not what is happening. What is actually happening is the rationing of resources, and then inadequate resources that are not based on the actual needs of children in schools are stretched to the point that they do not provide the support that is necessary. It is not acceptable to treat SNAs with the contempt they have been shown during the period of the pandemic. At one point, SNAs were just informed they were going to work in nursing homes. It was as if the virtual supports they were giving to children with special needs were somehow irrelevant and then there was back-tracking on that plan. The pay is pathetic. We need to treat SNAs with respect and we need to have supports for children with special needs that are based not on the rationing of inadequate resources but on the needs of children and providing schools with supports, and of course to address the shocking backlogs in assessment, which are especially acute in particular areas. The people who are protesting outside would like to know that the Taoiseach is taking seriously their issues and the hardships they are suffering.


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