I have expressed concern that the July Provisions is not being made available to all Special Needs Schools.

“The committee have received feedback from parents indicating that 26 of 126 special schools have advised parents that they will not run the July Provision this year.

The Government have also delayed the issuing of guidelines for the programme to schools and this means that even more schools will not provide the July Provision”.

The National Council for Special Education have highlighted the fact that home provision is not the solution as home tuition lacks any social dimension and requires further monitoring and regulation.

“The Department of Education need to ensure funding and resourcing are put in place. There needs to be a recognition that SNA’s need to be paid at a level that reflects the work they do. Guideline should be issued, and delays cannot be tolerated”.

The Department also need to set out plans for addressing the issue of regression for schools that do not participate in the July Programme.

“We need to support children and their families throughout the year. Special Needs children and their families have suffered enormously during the COVID lockdown and we must ensure that the July Provision is made available to all children”.