Special Episode on Special Education

This week, I focus on the significant challenges within special education. I cover recently published inspectorate findings, testimonies from school principals, and a detailed report by a group of parents on the deteriorating state of special education. I discuss the lack of adequate resources, bureaucratic hurdles, and the ineffectiveness of new initiatives, emphasizing the dire need for proper support and funding. I also and, finally, how a 13-year-old girl is most likely to be the one to save us.

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Hello? Hello. You're very welcome to if I were the minister for education from anseo.net, a regular podcast, where I look at the Irish primary education system and let you know what I would do if I were the minister for education, this is Simon Lewis.

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On this week's show in a fortnight where the inspectorate publish their findings on special education. How a group of principals had to go to the Dole to tell the politicians about how it's crumbling and how a group of parents have published a massive reports. On the, a crumbling nature of comms. I delve into the world of special education with a special episode on us and how we might all be saved by a 13 year old girl. If you are interested in subscribing to this podcast and I would love you to do so you can do so on Spotify, apple podcasts, Google podcasts, or your favorite app, whatever that might be. And you can also watch along on my YouTube channel anseo.net and you can click on subscribe and get received notifications for that. It really helps other people to find the podcast. And I hope this one will be in particular of interest to any teacher, any parent or anyone involved in education. If we're looking at special education, If you are also interested in some of my other thoughts in education, I run a newsletter. Where I talk about some other thoughts on the primary education system such as this week, I'll be looking at Doreena Allen's quest for cooking. In schools that she does every year. I'll also be looking at some exceptional posts on Twitter and there's some mini CPD at the end of every episode. And this week I will be looking at an end of year countdown game using chat GPT. You can read all of my thoughts on the education system on my Feedly account, where I have a number of stories I found interesting in the various media sources.


And as this is a special episode about special education. I also want to alert you to an interview that I did in the last couple of weeks with Debbie O'Neill, who is the principal of a special school that school owned in Kremlin in Dublin, where I talked to her about special education in her school and her own thoughts about the way special education is going. I'm just going to play a very short clip of that to set the scene.

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you know, it's the amazing staff that we have here, but we are absolute experts in mild general learning disability. We are excellent at the retention that we have here of children. The achievements that we have, you know, the way that our kids will do their leaving Certified and go on to the world of work. I mean, mild schools in general, there was a survey done a little while ago, and it's, it's 70 percent of children who come from mild schools have a job, whereas the average. The national average of people who hold down the job with an intellectual disability is six percent, you know, so we're doing things enormously well and we need to be listened to.


You can listen to the entire interview with me on Debbie as a separate podcast episode, which you can find on anseo.net or on your favorite podcasting platform.

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So without further ado, let's get on with things. I'm going to start off with this article that has nothing to do with special education, but I want to set the scene and because after spending millions on the school. Miele scheme. And I would where every child in the country by 2030 is to be getting a hot meal in school every day. There are questions over there. School lunches. Nutritional value. And. Apart from the fact that I know I need to say this apart from the fact that this scheme. Is every other scheme, the department of education. Put in to schools where every school has to source its own provider. And we see this with everything that comes into school, whether it's your insurance policy, whether it's nerdy, the bus transports, whether it's. Nobody seems to organize anything centrally and everything is done privately by every single school. So every school, I don't know if people know this and I'm sure they do. If they hear this podcast, Our public education system. Is really strange because every school is actually a private school funded by public money. And this is why we don't actually have a free education, technically a free education system and the department of education provide for education. And because of that, they can't have these wide ranging initiatives. So for example, with the school lunch scheme, every school has to try and find their own provider. And those providers have to provide to individual schools. There's no sort of em system where a lot of schools come together to get their hot lunches. It's all individual and the can't even come together really on. Unless there's some schemes I don't know about. It's the same with everything. School book scheme, for example, every school has to source their own school books. There isn't a centralized version of that. And no two schools are the same, but anyway, The reason I bring this up is not for that. The reason is that the department of education has said after hearing reports that the nutritional values in these lunches, aren't up to scratch the responsibility for monitoring that is the schools, because of course the schools are sourcing these companies to bride, and I'd like to start this episode by thanking the department of education for adding the new. Role that I have on top of all the other roles that I have the principle as a nutritionist. So if you need any nutritional advice from me, Ah, because I'm suitably qualified, according to the department of education, you just come to me with your diet plan and I'll let you know if it's any good, but the reason I'm starting the episode with this is because the government not only have provided me with this wonderful title of being a nutritionist. They've also bestowed a wonderful title. On to teachers. And S and A's and they have announced the establishment. I have a support service and educational therapy support service. Now. Just the important word here is support, not therapy. Because I think what the press release from the government is that people will think parents will think that schools will now provide therapists and specifically occupational therapy and speech and language therapy to children, the school. But no, remember the word is support. And let me scroll down this article, this press release. She has provided, she has managed to secure. Two and a half million Euro. In funding. After 39 therapists and oh, they also have behavior practitioners, five of those. And what these people will do is that they will provide support to teachers on destinies to provide occupational therapy, speech, and language therapy and behavioral therapy to children. Now, what they aren't doing is providing any extra resources to the schools for this. And what these 39 people will do for the five. What is it? 550,000 children in the in the country. Let's say 10% of them will need as speech, language therapy, occupational therapy, which has probably so 39 therapists would provide all this for 55,000 pupils. They won't see them. They won't even talk directly to them. What they will do is they will advise teachers and SNS. Things to do and they will focus mainly on movement breaks. Because movement breaks are all the children with speech and language therapy. Speech and language and occupational needs we'll need all they need is a bit of movement. I'm sure schools wouldn't have a clue how to do that. Would they? So ultimately. Another initiative without any substance and teachers and SNS are going to add occupational therapists, speech, and language therapists and behavior therapists to their ever growing role of in the costume. There are no extra resources I said, which means that. Essentially this isn't going to work really? Is it. It's it's interesting how it was reported in the media. As a sort of Almost a copy of the press release in a way. But in reality. We can't expect. We can't expect this to work. If we don't fund these things properly they're not going to work and we're going to, we're just essentially putting a sticky plaster over a situation. That's just going to cost even more money if we don't solve it. When I look at some of the countries I've visited or I've had teachers visiting where they have these services on site there's in Finland. Almost every school has a S a site, a school psychologist on site. In Valencia and Spain, where as some of my staff went to visit to learn about what they don't. They have. It's funny. I'm laughing because I can't believe these things have to be able to happen. They have an on school psychologist and they also have a senior psychologist available when the onsite psychologist is, has a more complex case. It's just. It's amazing. There's other countries are doing and it's these wraparound services that we're lacking and we are absolutely piling on. Piling on all this stuff. Onto schools. Who don't have the expertise. We are really, I'll tell you what we're really good at. We're really good at educating children. We are really good at caring for children and as much as we can, but we aren't therapists. We aren't specialists in occupational therapy in speech and language therapy and behavioral supports in. Dietician work, but it seems that all these things are just being landed on schools. And based on I think, and I could be wrong on this based on the public perception that we've nothing bad like that we're that this is an easy job. This is just a job. That we can land it on because we barely work. This idea that sharp. What are they doing all day? They only work half days. So they just pile on this sort of extra stuff that we're not qualified for. And it's not. It's not going to work. And we can see why it's not going to work because. Parents are saying it's not working. We're seeing a huge rise in mental health issues with a young people. And this group here, families for the reform of comms have essentially been working. For the last few years, trying to insist. That better services are given to children with mental health issues and they have provided this wonderful report which is the experience of comms, a family perspective. And I'm just going to go through and their executive summary. It's a really big document, 117 pages long. And I just. I don't have the time to go through it with you on this podcast, because we have so much to cover, but in their executive summary, they've gone through the results. And it basically says, some of the key facts here, 92% of all of the respondents said that they have felt their child's mental health deteriorated during the referral process to comms alone and 43% took additional steps to try and get their child's referral to comms existed. And steps included getting a private diagnosis, seeking political support from local politicians, going to AA and E and not mentioning an existing diagnosis. That's generally awesome. Just for those of you who don't know. One of the unwritten rules for parents who need mental health support for their child is not to mention autism because if you have, or if you have a diagnosis for autism, You can forget. Being supported by cons. It's a bizarre kind of thing because most children with a diagnosis of autism will, at some point have mental health needs. And comms is the only public service that will give that to you. It's absolutely shocking. And obviously the last thing they're going public with their experience at the fight for services has to continue hot to continue in the time period subsequently spent on the waiting list where 69% of people saw private support. 39% of respondents had to bring their child to AA. It's just shocking. It makes terrible reading. And if you couldn't afford to go private. You were in serious bother on the article goes on and on. I have a link to the entire article. Which is on the newsletter or in, on the website on chart dot Nash. But it's awful. It's really awful. And it's a shot. It's a, it's an off suit. It's a scandal. Really? I think this is special. Education is going to be the scandal of our times in much the same way. The scandal of the 20th century was the abuse of the Catholic church on children. And I think the 21st century, we're going to look back at the abuse we have that the services. The lack of services for children with additional needs and how we are failing. So many our children. With additional needs. And no spin doctoring and no. Press release is going to rescue. The government from what they've been doing for the last decade and a half to children, traditionally, it's a service that started off. Quite well. Is being turned slowly, but surely. Into this megaliths of bureaucracy, where children, with addition to where they're spending more money stopping services for a dish for additional needs than they are at on actually helping the children. It's an absolute shambles and we know this even at the very basics of levels when children come to school. They are already set up to fail because let me move on to the next article to show you this. I remember when I started off in teaching. Sorry. As a principal, even that if you had a child coming into junior infants who needed extra support, you could get that support before they started. You would guess that they would get their diagnosis from a psychologist or from a service. And if it recommended SNA or recommended support hours, they would be in there. They would be in place when the child landed in junior infants, but in 2017, This completely changed. In fact, I'd go as far back as two times a year before that, when it comes to special ed special needs assistance, things changed that you didn't automatically. I get a special needs assistant, but definitely in 2017 at the very basic level for what we're known as resource hours A child. A child would no longer be entitled to resource hours or support hours at when the model changed. The sat allocations model changed where school was given a bulk of hours based on some. Random algorithm, which nobody quite understands and nobody quite gets big, but we do know as schools. That it certainly isn't enough hours. And essentially, unless the hours are based on data, that was to was in 2017. So if you were a developing school you certainly aren't getting enough hours. Even now but even then you were still, it was cementing a 15% cost that was made in 2011. So essentially 90, over 90% of schools and probably more now are not receiving enough support hours for children because of this model. And this year it was exacerbated further dash a, the department of education. Weren't getting data on complex needs of children, whatever complex needs means. It's a word that it's a term that's coming to the. Parlance at the moment. And I'm not quite sure exactly what it means. But my guess is it's children with the diagnosis of something, but children are not getting are not getting the supports if they have complex needs. Certainly at least until second class. And even then that's that's pretty shaky. In terms of very shaky data, because that's just based on their scores of their literacy and numeracy tests, which again are very shaky tests because they only tell us they only tell a small story about where a child is at, but effectively every child in this country is now is now getting sorry, every school in this country is getting the re. What were known as the resource hours or the support hours based on really re not even shaky data junk data is what I would say. And it is no wonder not. It took me a while to get to this, that hundreds of schools appealed their cuts to their learning support hours. And I don't understand why. Is it Carla, Brian, I assume it's Carta. Brian who's written yet. Carla Brian who wrote this article. Coats is in inverted commas because it's certainly was cots. And of the hundreds and hundreds of schools that applied at appealed for their coats and 120 of them. 120 to go to. A thousand additional hours now. Look at that. That sounds oh that, that might, again, you have to look at spin. You have to look at headlines. You have to examine them a thousand additional hours between 120 schools is less than 10 hours a school on average. That's not a lot. At all, by any stretch of the not changing that's not even two fifths of a post. That doesn't mean that many teeth, that, that doesn't mean that many children are getting very much as a result of that. And it also does. And. How many schools appealed, especially now how many schools didn't appeal, because they didn't see the point, because if you look at the data and the data is out there because. The national principal's forum have questioned schools about this, and they've got the dot on it and you can find that on principal's forum.org. Most schools didn't bother appealing because of the bureaucracy and arduous nature of the appeals process. And I'll tell you a little bit about the appeals process, because we know a little bit more about it. And this is what you have to do. If you want to appeal your cost. In inverted commas, I don't even why I did the quotation marks cause they are codes. But I think it was 75% of schools didn't bother because they didn't think they'd be successful. And they're good. And they're very good. Reason after that, because statistically less than 10%. Of appeals are successful, but let me go through the process because we know what it is now for these appeals. So let's say your school, that feels they got caught and they. Gotta cost or don't have adequate hours for the growing needs of their children. You go onto this portal. NCSC dot. IE. And you go to the portal and you fill in a form and not form. In my case was 26 pages long. The bigger the school, the more, and the more pages will be, but anything between 10 and 35 pages where you have to charge every single child. Child's needs and how your school is trying to cover them in the small amount of hours that you get. And you feel like that form, it took my school five days to do that. Other schools reported, we took around the same amount of time and you upload that. To some portal. At the NCSE. Okay. And. Dash form. Is examined by somebody. We don't know who the somebody is. They don't know your school. They don't know the children because you're not allowed to say who the children are. You have to code those. And they look at it and they, their job is to try and find any reason to not. Except your appeal. Any reason whatsoever. And it's really easy to find a reason not to give that appeal. And I won't go into all the reasons because there's so many of them, it's set up to help. It's set up to help you fail it. Isn't there to help you. It's set up to help them fail or they don't know your school. They don't care what your school is. They're looking for any reason to say. You have not provided sufficient evidence to support your appeal. And that's what most schools, gosh. And in some ways, They're really lucky that they were told, off you go. Because we're not bothered at looking at your school ready because if you take, if you were successful, What you then. I got as a prize. For being successfully. Showing that you have been under resourced is. You will get a full desk review. So that would mean that you would have to spend another five to 10 days. Doing getting proving that you're under under resourced and you would, might get it. You. I think you might get a visit. I think you did get a visit from someone in the NTSC who would re would comb through your application and then determine that you might need a couple of. A couple of extra hours a week. It's almost like it's. Not that it's almost that it is exactly what is happening here is they're doing everything in their power to put people, to put schools off from applying for additional. Hours for the children and their school, they make it so difficult. So as to make it. To make it just, you don't have time. We don't print schools do not have time to spend 10 days of their school year trying to prove that they don't have enough resources. We know we should be trusted. To be able to say, here's what we need. And I, my, my. Belief. Is that these ad. These things are being deliberately pot in place to effectively discourage schools from applying. For the supports that are needed for schools, because it's just. It's just impossible. To satisfy them. And it's depressing. For schools. And as I said, car, Carla Brian's article here just goes through the information. And it's interesting. To see. Dosh, car people like as I am, or they're saying that they are they also are critical lavish. But again, the department of education, they just have the. They just have the spin to say, Ah, there's no perfect model. What can we do? Do you know if they spent the amount of time and money? That they are spending on stopping these resources from coming in. This is really easy. Aren't it is a very small country. They have over 3,200 members of staff in the NCSC. Now there are five sorry. There's only 4,000 schools in the country. And 3 8, 3, 3 and a half thousand of those are primary skills. And they have 200 NTSC people who could gash. I don't know, whatever 30, 40, 50 schools each other, and they could. Easily determine what needs are there or they could trust that schools it's. I mentioned this before I was on the hard shoulder. With Kira and Coda, he and we talked and he talked to, he said, he mentioned the whole idea about tax returns. You're trusted to put in your tax returns properly. And if something looks a bit funny a little red light will appear in your tax office and someone will come and do an audit on you. The same could be done for special education, but the truth is. They know. They know, they can't afford the amount of money that will be needed to support children with additional needs. And therefore it might be cheaper to run systems like this that prevented children from getting the support they need. They're only fooling themselves because of course, as we know, if we don't. Provide early intervention here. The, this is going to come back at them when the children become adults and require the supports of adult therapeutic services. And so on. But anyway, I'll move on because. What are we doing about it? Some might say even the inspectors, RM aren't too happy. And this article is actually, the headline doesn't really tell you much about the report, but even the inspectors are critical of how we're doing special education. This report is basically saying we don't have enough special classes which is which we have the perennial story of the family who sit on the cover of a newspaper of UGA. Eh, one of the newspapers and with their child who's every day is saying, when am I going to go to school? When am I going to school? Parents saying, oh, I, Y I wish. I just dream of a day that I can put on my child's school uniform and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But he doesn't have a place and I'm trying to explain it to him and all the rest of it. And we hear this story every single year and we get the same results where a local politician will come to the rescue of that particular family. And. Last minute things are done. Children are thrown onto buses to travel for hours every day to get into a special school or a special class. And it's just a mess every single year. And that's just warden mess. Really. And then we have to look at the idea of special classes and are they the solution that we're supposed to be doing is this is a very kind of Irish solution to an Irish problem where we pretend to have an inclusive education system, because we allow children into the same school building. But don't provide any supports that are needed for children with additional needs. And then who's to blame only the schools, because obviously they can't add, they can't work miracles. Either, if we're going to be doing things, we need to do things properly. And unfortunately. We're not doing things properly, getting a diagnosis as this parent says is only half the battle and the inspectors are quite critical of how we're doing special education. And, it's just not great. It's not great at all. And not only are the inspectorate claiming that special education is falling apart. A group of principals went to the doll and they spoke to what I hear was the largest group of politicians to ever grace, the AAV room. And what they did was they outlined a number of issues, including funding, including the workload of teaching principals and principals in general. But I'm going to go to focus on the briefing document. They provided here on special education because we're focusing on special education, but basically I just wanted to go through the points here and it's the Chronicle under resourcing of special education needs. I'll be a bit of repetition here. The number of children with special needs in primary level has increased by 56% since 2017. That's shocking. And yet very few. I would say fewer than 10% of schools have increased their special education. Provision in their schools. Special needs assistance and sat allocation has been frozen since then. Before 2011 resource allocation for special education was based on individual need. Since 2017, Don Iceland, the case. In 2010, 15% of special education teaching resources where coach they've never, ever been restored. In 2022. A new allocation model was introduced. And essentially it got rid of complex needs as a model. Sorry, that should be 20, 24. I think. From this year. And. It effectively. The only measure of a child's need is how they perform in a very. Niche test the just the English and maths ability on a particular day. And it doesn't, it's just as it's junk data. It's now a requirement that children with diagnosed needs are obliged to be given support from those allocations, which has a say. May they may not even fall under just because you have an additional need doesn't mean you're not good at literacy and numeracy. And I've said. This. I know some of the support groups would agree that just because you have a complex need or an additional need doesn't mean that you're not good at English and maths. In some ways, I just feel it's really disrespectful that the that's the way they're measuring these things. There's a chronic lack of availability of professional staff to undertake testing and diagnoses. And I just, at the moment, if you want a private assessment, you could be waiting up to a year for a private assessment. These. That's how bad things will become. The department is claims that cannot measure current need requirements because they don't have any of the data they're refusing to take the data because you don't have the data. If you don't have the information. How are you supposed to provide for us? You can't, you can claim ignorance. We didn't know. We don't have the data. It's very clever in some ways. However school leaders do know the needs in their school, but access the resources required we could, and schools could report these needs on the department for the departments are using the primary online database system, but the departments are unwilling to collect data in that manner. The purpose of the allocation models to distribute special education teaching hours across mainstream classes in 4,000 schools, to ensure that resources are allocated at the right time to the right place so that these hours are available to schools to match their identified, need to support their pupils. We know that's not happening. The allocation criteria is have changed from the five criteria, which one of those was complex needs. One of those is gender, which is a good thing at that. They've got rid of that, but there's a, but it's down to three under. Which is Baffling. And none of the mainstream. Special education and as pupils can be recognized until at least second class, because that's the first time that you put in their literacy and numeracy scores. To seek additional support. I've said this to you, this exceptional appeal or a whole school. SNA review their arduous and largely on successful schools are obliged to request a review of their set allocation in light of exceptional circumstances. So you have to, you ha essentially, if you want an increase in your resources, which every school I would argue probably needs. They have the data here. 360 schools applied for an exceptional review in 2022 only 60 were put forward for review and 39 were actually application for an increase. So by 10% of schools were successful and I would guarantee you that 99% it needed it of the 78 special needs appeals that were made. And the reason why. By the way some of you might go, why aren't he 78? Because schools are petrified. Petrified that they will actually be decreased. And if they apply for a special needs assistance appeal and that that Petra fication is very real because schools are already working. An absolute skeletal staff staffing. And I know that before you make an appeal, you can request the scene as to coming. Coming to your school to see. Should you go for an appeal. So before you even put the appeal in, you go in and from personal experience and I'm from listening to other people's experiences, you're pretty much told. Yeah. There's not a hope in hell. So that's why 70 H is the low number. But even though 78 people as schools that did appeal. Only 16 of those were old pals. A tiny percentage. And the reality is that schools in schools as a case, loads are fluid. So you don't, nothing is ever solid here. And teachers do prioritize and the needs as they need as they're needed. There isn't a child that comes in every day with exactly the same needs. You're constantly shifting and flowing. Around the needs that are there at the time. And it's just, it's hugely problematic. And this is going on. I feel it's worth carrying on with this. This is possibly the most important briefing documents that has it. That is in any politician's hands right now. So I am going to carry on with it, even though I've gone over the 30 minutes, the government don't have the data to quantify the scale or store shortage. Of Sam provision in primary schools, it could easily be rectified by using this pod system. And I, if nothing else happens, I think this is it. This is a solution naps which is a psychological service. Remember I said in Finland, every school has access to a psychologist. Even the smallest schools have a psychologist, one to two days a week, bigger skills. And when I say big schools, I'm looking at 300 pupil schools, have an onsite psychologist, an onsite social worker, an onsite nurse to deal with with these wraparound services. And this goes into a bit of detail on us. In January, 2024. It's only a few months ago, school principals are still being charged with completing the sole education component of the assessment of me process, which we are absolutely not. Qualified to do. And it makes. It really is questionable about how legal it is for us to be determining. The needs, the educational needs of children to the HSE. We are not psychologists. We are not psychiatrists. We are teachers and we have absolutely no qualifications to say what the we work from the Advice of psychologists, if we can even get them and very few of the children go drawing. Phew. Number of children who present to us in special education in schools do not have a diagnosis. In fact, we have the system the continuum of support, where we have costumes support at the first level, which doesn't require anything other than that, this child needs a little bit of extra help in the costume school support, which is when a child might need the input of a special education teacher. They definitely don't need an. A diagnosis for that again, most children don't. And then you have the school support pulse, which is where external agencies are involved in the child. And given that most of those services don't exist, essentially. It's not really very much different to school support. And effectively, most of the children that are getting support in schools aren't are being. Are being done through Goodwill and gastric, as I always say. And once the data is gathered and quantified. They say here. If we gave them the data, you would have an accurate Sam profile for each school where the HSC and NCSC provide the support strategically at. For those children and it could be done without, and unfortunately all the money is being put into the NCSC who have no data on children on affect you. What they're just basically a bunch of. I don't know, consultants. Yeah, for want of a better word. As I said, at the very start they put in these tertiary nine therapy support, people who won't even look at the children won't even see the children. They're just going to advise teachers how to do random movement breaks on children. They're pumping the money into the wrong places, and it's really terrible. This act comes from a briefing document that was given to all the politicians that went. Two. The to, to the room and. I think. I'd like to hope that something will come from us. It's that the politicians have the information now. And that's every party. And in fairness, Holly, Karen's the leader of the social Democrats as spoke in the doll about watch what her advisor had learned from this. And, it was terribly depressing. And to hear the response from me, whole Martin, the Tanisha. Who I would argue is still probably the best minister for education we've hired in the last 20 odd years. But as the response was really depressing, he decided, rather than actually, tackle the issues, he decided to play it political football with it and start slagging off Holly Karen's for being doomsday. And yet. Do you know? Sure. You don't see the other side of the coin and started listing school lunches as I don't know how great everything is. It's really depressing. We have a massive problem. Every body recognizes it. We've seen it from the parents. We've seen it from the inspectors. We've seen it from the principles and we even see it from. A 13 year old girl, Kara Dermody, who has been campaigning for the last couple of years. For better services for autistic children, she has two brothers who are autistic. And her family have been fighting. For services for her brothers, but not only for her brothers for all children with additional needs. And I know the focus for Kara and her family is autism, but I think they've expanded that to children with additional needs in general and. Look. Is it going to be the case? That. Kara Dermody. A 13 year old girl who I'm sure has enough to be doing in her life. Being a 13 year old girl without having to go to the trouble of being the face. Of saving the education system of saving special education. I don't, I think she's a wonderful young woman. Who. I would imagine it doesn't want to be standing outside the door. Doesn't want to be going on the radio. Talking to very kind I've listened to some of the interviews and people are very kind to her. I sure she doesn't want to be repeating herself over and over again. I'm sure. At some point, it's going to get depressing for her, where she's going in. Where all these politicians want to have a photo with Carra Darmody. Who have had her Assurant. great. Aren't you wonderful. Effectively patronize the the patronized her and say, oh, we will. I don't give tokenistic stuff. I'm very interestingly, one of the tokenistic stuff. Things that we're doing on it though, actually in fairness to car's dad. He called it out. The family were actually privately given money by the HSE for the two the two brothers there. And he called it out saying that I didn't know that I was getting a privilege here, and this is essentially to get me and my family to shut off essentially. And he's called it out and it was reported. But Is it. Is it, that is it the fact that our special education system rests on the protests of a 13 year old girl, instead of the principals who have very well. At outlining the solutions to this issue, to the inspectors who have shown the shortcomings of the system to the parents who are talking about the mental health supports. And these are only three things that have just come in the last fortnight. There are so many other groups out there who have gone in to talk about special education. I didn't include inclusion Ireland who had who had a meeting or briefing as well in the last couple of weeks. I do. You know what? I, wasn't going to mention them because it nearly feels pointless because it was pointless. I know the representative bodies also went in the IPP and the ITO. Probably part of each other on the back for a job. Well done. It, they've, they're not seeing what's going on Kara and her family and the principals and the inspectors and the families who are out there who have to fight this every single day on the ground. And do we have to, as I say, Is Cara Darmody. Somebody's going to be the equivalent of the gratitude Thornburg for the climate catastrophe or the Malala use of, for the for the plight of Muslim girls in education. Do we have, does it, do we have to have a poster child? To save us. At to save special education Ahrens. I don't think it's fair that's going to be the case. And what I salute Kara for everything that she's doing. I just wish. I wish it didn't have to be that way. It's not right. That all rests on a 13 year old girl. And for children with additional needs to gash what they require and what they're entitled to. Because. If we don't. We know what the issues are. We know. What the solutions are. And it shouldn't take something like this. To solve it. And if I were the minutes for education, And even fives the T shock. I would I be very happy to meet this wonderful 13 year old girl and shake her hands and have a photo with her and tell her how wonderful she is and how. And my aunt, all the things are going to do. I'd be doing it. I'd be actually listening to all the voices that have been talking to you for the last few weeks, for the last few years. And solve the problem. It's as simple as that. I just don't understand why they won't. That's all I'm going to say this week, and this is we're coming to the summer holidays for most people. It's ironically in the, in July we are moving into the summer provision, which was set up in a way after COVID. It used to be just for special classes in schools. It's now expanded. To children with complex needs, as a number of children will be getting an extra few weeks of scooting as ironically as a reward for that, the department of education. In their wisdom decided to make a cot to the funding for that. It just tells its own story and sums everything up. Anyway. I hope you've enjoyed I don't know how you've enjoyed this one. Ah, but I hope you've enjoyed listening to this and sort of summary of the last two weeks in special education. And as I said, please subscribe to the podcast on your favorite podcast, please tell a teacher about. And do you know, what would you mind reviewing it as well? Look, thanks so much for listening. All the very best take care. Bye bye.

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