It is to be profoundly welcomed that cuts to special-needs teaching for more seriously disabled children may now be unnecessary. The Department of Education can let 100 extra teachers be employed in this area.
Instead of sharing special-needs teaching hours among a rising number of pupils next year, as had been feared, the department is also instructing schools to contact other schools in their area to see if they have any spare resource teaching hours. Thus, where spare special teaching resources arise, these will be shared among neighbouring schools.
There are still fears, however, that this might be at the expense of resources for other pupils with more common difficulties, such as dyslexia. They were catered for under the general allocation model, introduced in 2005. It is now to be reviewed.
The need for economies must not be at the expense of the education of children with learning difficulties. It seems like there has been no limit to the money being provide to support the banks, which got us into our current difficulties. There should be even more determination to provide for the proper education of children with disabilities.
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