Inclusion Ireland, the National Association for People with an Intellectual Disability, has today (23/09/19) welcomed the proposal by Minister for Education, Joe McHugh T.D, that schools will be required to give formal notification of the use of reduced timetables.
“Today’s announcement by the Minister on proposed guidelines aimed at limiting the use of short school days, is a welcome step in the right direction, given the impact the practice is having on children and their parents” said Enda Egan, CEO of Inclusion Ireland.
“We understand that the proposals include a requirement to notify TUSLA Educational Welfare Service when a reduced timetable is being put in place and that TUSLA Educational Welfare Service will use the notifications to record and monitor the use of reduced timetables. Schools should only impose short school days in very exceptional circumstances and never in hidden and informal ways. Monitoring of this practice is the first step towards ensuring that this is the case”, Egan continued.
“Following the consultation period, the guidelines should be implemented without delay. The guidelines should be followed by actions on training and support for classroom teachers, including improvement in the teacher-education curriculum and the availability of behaviour therapists to parents and teachers”, added Egan.
The report, “Education, behaviour and exclusion: The experience and impact of short school days on children with disabilities and their families in the Republic of Ireland”, is available at this link
About Inclusion Ireland
Inclusion Ireland is a national rights-based advocacy organisation that works to promote the rights of people with an intellectual disability. The organisation provides a central forum to identify priorities and formulate nationally agreed policies to present to government, statutory bodies, other relevant groups as well as the general public. Inclusion Ireland campaigns for changes in services and legislation that will improve the quality of life and participation of people with an intellectual disability in Irish society in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.