Irish Vocational Education Association (IVEA)
On behalf of the Irish Vocational Education Association (soon to be Education and Training Boards Ireland), I welcome Minister Quinn’s decision today to allocate a further 500 posts for Special Needs in first and second level schools.
The most vulnerable in our schools are those who need the most help and assistance to realise their full potential, and this cohort of students should never have their life chances diminished.
I wholeheartedly welcome also that Minister Quinn has fast-tracked the recommendation of the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) to review the present allocation model governing Special Needs resources. On the basis of some evidence from schools, there is a need to adopt a more transparent model which is seen to provide a more equitable distribution of Special Needs resources. We need a system which is more obviously underpinned by the principles of equity and fairness, and the current allocation model does not inspire full confidence in this regard.