Responding to today’s Budget 2020 announcement, Fianna Fáil Education Spokesperson, Thomas Byrne said, “I am pleased that the Government has finally listened to the multiple motions put forward by Fianna Fáil in relation to special needs education.

“This budget provides for an additional 1,000 special needs assistants and over 400 additional teaching posts to support those with special educational needs – something which Fianna Fáil have pressed for on numerous occasions in Dáil Éireann. It’s important to remember however, that with our rapidly growing young population, this too will need to be enhanced and added to.

“Under the confidence and supply arrangement, in 2018, Fianna Fáil secured smaller class sizes in schools right across the country. Ensuring this reduced class size was maintained was a key commitment which Fianna Fáil sought and I am glad to see it remains.

“Last year, the Department committed to getting retirement forecasting under control. Through the budget we again see they miscalculated retirements leading to another overspend of €50million which has a direct impact on our children’s’ education.

“Delivery is key here and for the remainder of this Government we will hold them to account of their commitments”, he concluded.