June 23, 2022
Government confusion over school places is failing families – Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education, Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD, has warned the government must end ongoing confusion around availability of school places.

Speaking today, Teachta Ó Laoghaire, said:

“There is ongoing confusion within the government about whether there will be a sufficient number of school places available for the children who need them. This is causing unnecessary stress and confusion for families.

“There are hundreds of children across the state who are still waiting on a school place, which is putting parents in an impossible position.

“This should not be happening. We know how many children are in post-primary in particular, and how many classes are needed in special schools so there is no excuse for this situation which should have been anticipated and prevented.

“Unfortunately, the government has added to families’ confusion through mixed messages. It is clear that emergency legislation is needed here and that is what Sinn Féin has been advocating for, along with parents. The government has agreed with the need for emergency legislation at times, but we have only three weeks left of the Dáil, we need it now.

“This followed the debacle of separate special education settings being floated as an idea by Minister Madigan but later denounced by her own government. This confusion and lack of co-ordination is adding to the stress felt by families.

“We need a clear, co-ordinated plan to be put in place. We need urgent action to ensure these school places are secured as soon as possible and that families get much needed certainty without any more delays.

“Sinn Féin will work with the government to deliver this. As well as emergency legislation, it is clear that long-term planning needs to be reviewed to end the cycle of this issue emerging every year. These decisions should be made the September prior at the very latest, but ideally before, to ensure every child who needs one has a place in a special class.”

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