Kinlough mother fights for her son’s education

WORRIED Kinlough mother Angela Connolly confronted Education Minister Ruairi Quinn on the future of her child’s schooling at the INTO conference in Sligo last week.

WORRIED Kinlough mother Angela Connolly confronted Education Minister Ruairi Quinn on the future of her child’s schooling at the INTO conference in Sligo last week.

WORRIED Kinlough mother Angela Connolly confronted Education Minister Ruairi Quinn on the future of her child’s schooling at the INTO conference in Sligo last week.

The Government’s decision to cap all new applications for Special Needs Assistants and indications that there may be more cuts in the current SNA numbers will greatly affect those with learning disabilities who rely on them to gain an education. The number of resource teachers has been capped at 9,950 for 2011 – however, early indications show that the demand for special needs support is already nearing that target after just a few months into the year.

Angela Connolly and her ten year old son Jack, joined other parents who travelled with their children to the Into conference where Minister Quinn was giving a speech. They confronted the Minister with a first hand account of the difficulties and uncertainties their children face.

Jack Connolly was born with Down Syndrome, but despite his learning and physical difficulties, “he has come on leaps and bounds” over the last two years at Four Masters NS Kinlough. Jack is in third class, he has a full-time special needs assistant and also receives five hours a week in resource teaching support.

“He just loves school,” Angela told the Leitrim Observer.

To read the full story see this week’s Leitrim Observer.