Deputy Carol Nolan
THE National Council for Special Education (NCSE) has confirmed to Independent TD Carol Nolan that the vacant position of Special Education Needs Organiser (SENO) for Laois-Offaly will be filled by early July at the latest. Deputy Nolan raised the matter in the Dáil with Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan, who was substituting for Taoiseach Micheál Martin during Leaders Questions.
Deputy Nolan had highlighted the fact there is currently no dedicated Special Education Needs Organiser in place within the constituency; a situation she described as “shameful”.
“SENO’s provide a critically important service as they have responsibility for specific schools, primary, post primary and special, within their area. The role of the SENO also ensures that a child with special educational needs receives the supports they are entitled to,” Deputy Nolan said.
“That is why I want to welcome confirmation from the NCSE that the vacant SENO role is going to be filled in the next few weeks. It is long overdue,” Deputy Nolan said.
“I had raised the matter in February with Minister of State with responsibility for Special Education and Inclusion, Josepha Madigan, but she effectively informed me, in an astonishing reply, that the matter was nothing to do with her and that I needed to take the issue up with the NCSE.
“Parents of special needs children in the constituency and indeed, schools, have been left deeply frustrated by the absence of a dedicated SENO for our area as it made the complex work of identifying and responding to needs even more challenging that it already is.
“I will be watching closely to ensure that this commitment is followed through and that the children and families of Laois Offaly get the level of educational supports that they need and deserve, including a ramping up of the number of SNA’s available to each school,” Deputy Nolan concluded.
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