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  • Southside

Dalkey kids launch cuts campaign

Wednesday, 13th November, 2019 1:00pm
Dalkey kids launch cuts campaign

Lola Toner and her 5th class school mates are pictured with Miriam Hurley, Principal, Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett, Cllr Ossian Smyth and Rachael Prendergast. Spollen are pictured as Dalkey School Project marked over 40 years of inclusive education.

Dalkey kids launch cuts campaign

Lola Toner and her 5th class school mates are pictured with Miriam Hurley, Principal, Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett, Cllr Ossian Smyth and Rachael Prendergast. Spollen are pictured as Dalkey School Project marked over 40 years of inclusive education.

DALKEY School Project – Ireland’s first Educate Together School – celebrated over 40 years of inclusive education recently.

In addition to a tree planting ceremony with founders of the school and local supporters on Friday, October 25, parents and the wider school community officially launched the ‘Meet the kids behind the cuts’ campaign.

The campaign seeks to highlight the ongoing challenges for children within the additional needs model.

Parents are calling on the Government to provide one Special Needs Assistant (SNA) per classroom and a fair, transparent and support system for children with additional needs.

The campaign focuses on real stories of children and parents who are directly suffering as a result of an inadequate provision of resources by the Department of Education and Skills.

The campaign also shines a light on the wider State system that they say is failing in its responsibility to support children with additional needs.

Rachael Prendergast Spollen, parent and Chair of the campaign, explained why parents were driven to start the campaign.

“Dalkey School Project National School has always been about inclusivity,” she said. “Special needs assistants are an invaluable part of the teaching teams here.

“They make an incredible difference in our children’s lives and recent cuts in the school added to the struggles parents face to access support services from the HSE has now reached crisis point.

“Too many children and parents are continuing to suffer and our children deserve better. We are asking for support from schools, the local community, advocacy groups and our local political representatives so all children can finally get the support they are entitled to.”

Parents and the whole school community are calling on the Department of Education and Skills to deliver various needs as a matter of urgency.

They want a Special Needs Assistant (SNA) in every classroom and transparency in how applications for SNAs are processed.

They also pointed out that Dalkey School Project National School is waiting 12 years for appropriate and safe environments for children to learn in.

“As a result, children are being taught in corridors,” they added. “We need immediate resources to eliminate Assessment of Need waiting lists (for Early Intervention and School Age Team assessments.

“And National Education Psychological Service (NEPS) psychologists to be resourced properly to provide a working service for our children.”

They are also demanding that clinical recommendations from professional practitioners are fulfilled and are calling for a fair and transparent policy regarding allocation of SNAs for children with additional needs, one that is child centred with the safety and protection of all children at its core.

They say that urgent reform/action is necessary as too many children and parents have and are continuing to suffer

Principal Miriam Hurley outlined the importance of inclusivity in education.

“Looking back at the success of Educate Together nationally, we can see how instrumental the founders of Dalkey School Project were in changing the face of education in Ireland,” she said.

“Every school in Ireland now strives to be an inclusive and welcoming environment yet inadequate resources means this is not true for all children.”

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here