Concern about YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH brings out so much hypocrisy, especially in education policies. If they really cared, they could scrap the Leaving Cert. And restore the many cuts affecting young people – to youth services, to jobseekers’ allowance, to mental health services. Educational opportunities are still weighted heavily in favour of the better off – all the stats show it. And what about young people on apprenticeships? Covid has had a huge impact on supports they need. I spoke about this in the Dáil yesterday

 

There’s been an attempt by Norma Foley and the Department to pit parents of vulnerable children against teachers and SNA’s when the blame lies squarely at the feet of the govt. We all recognise the need for vulnerable children to access the services and the schooling that they need. But largely due to the failure of this government and previous FF/FG governments to adequately resource schools has led to this fiasco. Teachers and SNA’s have been fighting for better resources and services for years. Let’s hope this stance by teachers not to return to school until it is safe will finally make the government get their act together and provide schools with the funding and resources that they need – for the sake of the children and the teachers/SNA’s.

 

A quick clip of myself on Virgin Media News yesterday talking about Norma Foley’s plan to reopen schools for students with special education needs on Thursday. This cannot be rushed, proper consultation with the schools, teachers and SNA’s is crucial!

 

MÍCHEÁL MARTIN HAS SOME NECK. I tackled him today about the abuse of student nurses – 13 hour shifts, emptying bed pans, bathing and caring for people who can’t care for themselves – hard work! “SHOULD N’T HAPPEN” he says, all shocked and angry. Too right it shouldn’t! But it does. AND ON HIS WATCH. What bloody snakes we have in government; pretend outrage, blame someone else, and suggest the claims are unfounded. That the best you can do Taoiseach?

Parents involved with Dublin 12 campaign 4 ASD specific school &Inclusion, really want to progress the opening of the ASD special facility in Crumlin, and they really want, and need, Ministers Norma Foley and Josepha Madigan to visit as promised, in order to do so. C’mon Ministers, theses families have been waiting long enough!

 

I spoke today on the language Bill, as Gaelige, but I also made a plea for the campaign, as Bearla, that People Before Profit Cllr Hazel De Nortúin, have been a prime mover in. Hazel has succeeded in getting a Naíonara opened in Ballyfermot, but we need proper #gaelscoileanna for D10 and D12, that have none. Though this is a Dept of Education issue I called on Catherine Martin the Minister for the Irish language to support our campaign.

Topics discussed were the long-awaited ‘Programme for Government’, and the future for the FF/FG/Greens coalition; racism in Ireland, masking up to beat Covid and the issue of education in the context of Covid

Special Needs Assistants do amazing work. The challenges of helping children with special needs through school, are immense. But these skilled, essential workers are undermined, underpaid and undervalued by the very organisation that should cherish them – the Department of Education itself.

Special Needs Assistants do amazing work. The challenges of helping children with special needs through school, are immense. But these skilled, essential workers are undermined, underpaid and undervalued by the very organisation that should cherish them – the Department of Education itself.