Five hundred additional posts are to be created in schools to cope with a substantial increase in demand for resource teaching hours.
Fine Gael Galway East TD Paul Connaughton has welcomed the decision by the Education Minister Ruairi Quinn. However he was critical of the manner in which the decision was flagged, as it caused “huge worry and upset for parents of children with special needs in recent days”.
Dep Connaughton said now that the decision has been made, there needs to be “a much wider discussion” about the services available to children with special needs, in particular young people waiting for speech therapy, occupational therapy, and other key services.
He is also calling for further research into the causes of this “unprecedented rise in applications for resource teacher support”.
According to the Galway East TD, this year will see a 1.3 per cent increase in the number of students attending school, but a 12 per cent rise in applications for resource teacher support.