VEC seek the abolition of quangos

Four schools in Leitrim received additional hours for resource teaching last month, but the complicated process of applying for extra hours was criticised by Leitrim VEC this month.

Four schools in Leitrim received additional hours for resource teaching last month, but the complicated process of applying for extra hours was criticised by Leitrim VEC this month.

Carrigallen Vocational School, Ballinamore PP, Drumshanbo Vocational School and St Clare’s Comprehensive received extra resource teaching time in the November allocations.

Acting Principal of Drumshanbo Vocational School Sean Wynne satirically “commended” the Department of Education for the “complicated process” of applying for resource hours.

He said that it was not good enough that half way through the school year, schools were only just receiving extra allocations. Mr Wynne said schools should not have to deal with “quangos” to get the extra hours, Mr Wynne said there is too much “form filling” and information searching to receive just one hour. Mr Wynne said schools must deal with the National Council for Special Education which then has to seek approval from the Department of Education.

The NCSE is a statutory body established under the Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act 2004. The group says they “provide a timely and efficient service to schools in sanctioning teaching and Special Needs Assistant (SNA) resources to support children with special educational needs.”

Acting CEO of Leitrim VEC Martin Fallon said as a former Principal he knows the frustration involved in dealing with these groups. He said the NSCE is a “middle man” for the department.

Senator Paschal Mooney said a letter should be sent to the Minister for Education asking him to consider abolishing quangos. The VEC said they would write to the Minister and to Dail Deputies to seek how much it costs to run the NCSE and their accountability.