Kildare Nationalist — 732 Particular-Schooling Wants Kids with no College Place
Kildare North TD Réada Cronin said Ireland was back to the 1950s where children with special educational needs are hidden.
She found that there are currently 732 children in the state with special educational needs who are out of school and sanctioned for home schooling.
The shocking numbers were communicated to the Sinn Fein TD in response to a parliamentary question.
“I’ve been working to get a teenage girl in school in the North Kildare constituency for months and am appalled by the numbers. With 732 children in the same position as this boy, home schooled for lack of a school place, we went back to the 1950s when our special education children were in hiding. The stress for the families is just incredible.
“It is terrifying that our children with special needs are staying. I know from experience that their parents are often afraid to speak up if all help is taken away from them. They are afraid of rocking the boat.
“We need to move to a rights-based system where these children and their families do not receive favors or rely on kindness and goodwill, but access their rights as citizens.
“I contacted the Minister for Special Education and Inclusion for further clarification on these numbers. It is dizzying that we should pat each other on the back – and have created ministers for both – when we abandoned 732 children in this way when it comes to equality and inclusion. We have a seat on the UN Security Council, but no seat in the school for these 732 children. That shows completely wrong priorities of the government here.
“Home schooling is not a substitute for school and these children have a right to attend school that must be respected. This will be vital for Sinn Féin in government. The state treats children and adolescents horribly in the areas that determine or destroy their lives – education, health, housing. We have to do it so much better. “