Concerns raised about July Provision in special needs schools

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Galway East TD Seán Canney has expressed concerns that the July Provision is not being made available to all Special Needs Schools.

The July Provision programme was set up to support kids with special educational needs, essentially extending the school year for those pupils.

Deputy Canney says that a committee has heard that 26 of 126 special schools have advised parents that they will not run the July Provision this year.

He said that the Government has also delayed issuing guidelines for the programme to schools, meaning even more schools will not provide the summer programme.

“The National Council for Special Education has highlighted the fact that home provision is not the solution as home tuition lacks any social dimension and requires further monitoring and regulation,” said the Independent TD.

“The Department of Education needs to ensure funding and resourcing are put in place. There needs to be a recognition that SNAs need to be paid at a level that reflects the work they do. Guidelines should be issued, and delays cannot be tolerated.”

He said that the Department also needs to set out plans for addressing the issue of regression for schools that do not participate in the July Programme.

“We need to support children and their families throughout the year. Special Needs children and their families have suffered enormously during the COVID lockdown and we must ensure that the July Provision is made available to all children.”