The recommendation by the National Council for Special Education that schools must facilitate children with special needs is welcome but challenging, especially at this time.
Among the key recommendations, which have been endorsed by Education Minister Ruairi Quinn, are that every child with special needs be guaranteed access to their nearest school, with the resources to meet their needs, regardless of enrolment policies, and that a school must enrol a student with special needs if directed by officials, on the basis that the school will be provided with resources.
There, of course, is the rub. No matter how well-intentioned, no matter how desirable initiatives like these are, they will not succeed unless their ambition is matched with resources.
Nevertheless, let’s hope that reservation is misplaced and that the report leads to real change.
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