SNPA was invited to make a written submission to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Education and Skills followed by an oral presentation on Thursday 30th May, 10.30am in Committee Room 4, Leinster House to consider the use of Reduced Timetables in schools.
Click here to read our submission
There is no clear, compulsory and uniform process for dealing with students on reduced timetables, nor a mechanism to ensure that all steps are taken and appropriate resources available to both schools and external agencies so that in collaboration with parents we can avoid the use of reduced timetables.
There is no consideration as to how parents/carers will be supported during the time when their child is not in school and considering the pressures this may place on home life, family income and employment.
The UNCRPD states that, ‘Persons with disabilities receive the support required, within the general education system, to facilitate their effective education’ and that Ireland should ‘ensure that children with disabilities have equal access with other children to participation in play, recreation and leisure and sporting activities, including those activities in the school’.
We are concerned that children with special educational needs are being further disadvantaged by enforced reduced timetables which can range from a child accessing only 30 minutes a day to only a few hours out of the whole school day primarily for reasons of behaviour or medical needs.
SNPA is requesting that the use of reduced timetables should be; of last resort, time bound, reported to the Department, monitored, trigger a multi-agency response and involve a holistic review and response to the impact and risks associated with a reduced timetable for both the child and family.