05 Jul 2022

'Shameful' not to have a Special Needs Education Organiser in Laois

'Shameful' not to have a Special Needs Education Organiser in Laois

A Laois Offaly TD says a Special Education Needs Organiser will be hired for the constituency next month. 

Deputy Carol Nolan described as “shameful” the fact there is currently no dedicated Special Education Needs Organiser(SENO) in place within the constituency.

“SENO’s provide a critically important service as they have responsibility for specific schools, primary, post primary and special, within their area. The role of the SENO also ensures that a child with special educational needs receives the supports they are entitled to,” Deputy Nolan said.

“That is why I want to welcome confirmation from the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) that the vacant SENO role is going to be filled in the next few weeks. It is long overdue,” Deputy Nolan said.

“I had raised the matter in February with Minister of State with responsibility for Special Education and Inclusion, Josepha Madigan, but she effectively informed me, in an astonishing reply, that the matter was nothing to do with her and that I needed to take the issue up with the NCSE,” she continued. 

“Parents of special needs children in the constituency and indeed, schools, have been left deeply frustrated by the absence of a dedicated SENO for our area as it made the complex work of identifying and responding to needs even more challenging than it already is,” she remarked.

Deputy Nolan said the NCSE confirmed the  position will be filled in early July at the latest. “I will be watching closely to ensure that this commitment is followed through and that the children and families of Laois Offaly get the level of educational supports that they need and deserve, including a ramping up of the number of SNA’s available to each school,” she concluded.

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