Galway West Senator Seán Kyne has called for the immediate re-opening of Special Needs Schools across Ireland.
Senator Kyne said that he was very pleased to see the original government decision to re-open the special needs school sector.
But the Fine Gael senator said he was ‘very disappointed’ that Unions decided to tell their members not to turn up for work which gave the government no choice but to reverse the decision to re-open.
“We all learned lessons last year when children with special needs suffered particularly during the schools’ closure and there was a determination that that shouldn’t happen again,” he said.
“I am calling on both the Dept of Education and especially the unions concerned to continue discussions until this issue is solved and special needs schools are reopened.”
“The sacrifices everyone has made over the past year have been real and deep. It would mean a lot to everybody if those with the greatest need got the help and support, they require at this very difficult time.”
Senator Kyne said that he has spoken with Minister for Special Education Josepha Madigan, who is ‘engaging with stakeholders to reopen schools’ as soon as possible.
“Regular testing of students and teachers in special needs schools could help alleviate the concerns of the teachers and their unions. I hope this can be considered by the Department,” he added.