Fianna Fáil TD for Kerry John Brassil has slammed Fine Gael for failing to ensure that pupils with special needs have places in schools.

It comes after the Education Minister last week ordered six schools to open special classes to cater for children with special educational needs. However, resources for these classes have not been allocated.

Deputy Brassil said, “Fianna Fáil has been flagging the serious gap in school places for children with special needs for months. Earlier this year we brought a specific motion before the Dáil to address the shortfalls in special needs education – and this was unanimously accepted. However, the school term has started and there are children who still don’t have a school place.

“The issues go further than that. There are children who have been granted a school place but who have reduced timetables. This is deeply unfair. Each and every child has a right to education to enable them to live a full life and to realise his or her potential. We know that for some, this hasn’t been the reality.

“This last-minute attempt by Minister Joe McHugh is deeply disingenuous. Not only has it come too late in the day for many families, he has failed to allocate the resources or training necessary to enable the roll out of these classes.

“Children with special needs are being treated appallingly by this Government, which is more concerned with optics than delivery”, he concluded.