It’s said that school days are the best days of your life. Try telling that to the children with special needs and their parents. Due to the cutbacks most, if not all, of the children that had full-time SNA’s (Special Needs Assistants) now have to share them or in some cases only have ‘access’ to them. I have heard of one child with Special Needs only being offered an hour of schooling a day.
Some of you may know that my son Jono has Asperger’s Syndrome, Dyspraxia and kyphoscoliosis. He was lucky enough in that he did have a full-time SNA. Which was all down to the head mistress of the school organising one for us. At no time did we meet the SENO (Special Education Needs Organiser). Jono just would not have functioned in school without his SNA. As his back problem was so severe it affected his ability to write so she did this for him. She also carried his back and books, helped with all his lessons, organised his timetable, took him for a walk if his pain was too much. On the rare occasions where she had to go for a meeting he ended up with school friends having to carry his bag for him…..and we all know how heavy one bag is, let alone two.
So who in their right mind has decided that these children do not need SNA’s. Yes I know the country is in a recession and cutbacks to need to be made, but why are the most vulnerable people in our society being targeted. Why not get rid of the free pre-school places first? I’m not even going to start about the high salaries and expenses the politicians get.
I hope that people realise the SNA cutbacks don’t just impact on those children with special needs, they effect the whole class. To read more about this matter have a look at this great blog.
Also Prime Time did a programme about it last night which is here.
Do our special needs children not have a right to an education?