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It's 'vital' the govt prioritises teachers at special needs schools, says NEU boss
1 February 2023, 21:27
National Education Union boss suggests the government has neglected special needs children
It's crucial for children with special needs that their teachers get better funding from the government, says National Education Union boss Niamh Sweeney.
Regarding Wednesday's teacher walkouts, Deputy General Secretary of the National Education Union, Niamh Sweeney told Shelagh Fogarty that support workers for special needs schools are like "gold dust" and the government need to 'get back to the table' to discuss their pay.
The phone-in came as striking teachers descended on central London, as the city ground to a halt on 'Walkout Wednesday' with workers in several industries walking out on the same day.
Niamh told Shelagh that the decision to go on strike was "difficult" and the government need to "listen" to that.
She claimed: "We know that working in a special school takes a whole different level of skills and it takes a whole different level of funding and we know the local authority budgets for special educational needs has been absolutely decimated in recent years and they have got to come back to the table for special educational needs and disabilities."
Niamh continued to tell Shelagh that one of the "biggest" things in special schools is the teaching assistants.
She said: "We know that one-to-one teaching assistants and additional support with physical care and personal care is vitally important.
"Our support workers have lost earnings of up to 27% in the last 10 years, they are like gold dust, they are so difficult to get hold of and to recruit."