I got a letter home from my son's school today - and a text asking me to read the letter.
It was important you see.
The school has been told that it will lose two more teachers under cutbacks in the Budget. This is on top of two teachers lost last year. And there are only a small number in total.
My son attends a 'disadvantaged' school (a DEIS school). Not because we are disadvantaged. We're not. But because the school has an excellent asperger outreach unit and these all seem to be attached to disadvantaged schools. Funny that. The school also takes lots of other children with a variety of special needs and many with none. It also works miracles. Yes we have hit a few speed bumps in the last 18 months, but aspie boy is now attending mainstream classes regularly, on his own.
Just two years ago he was out of control and causing constant disruption in his previous school, even with the support of an SNA. And I was really worried about where he would end up. As a school drop out? Or worse if his anger issues could not be addressed? Now I am looking for a suitable mainstream secondary school for him and I have a good story to tell when I ring them.
How has this been achieved?
With a lot of intensive work by a highly trained team in very small classes: the asperger classes have 6 pupils, a teacher and 2 SNAs.
All this work that is helping my son and others will be put at risk by these proposed cuts. These are children with huge potential. They just need a bit of extra help to get there. It is in the DEIS schools that this extra help is provided. And so they have a higher pupil- teacher ratio. And perhaps the Government thought they were another soft target, perhaps the Government thought the parents did not vote and would not protest. Well they were wrong.
We love our children and we want the miracles to continue.
We won't let these cuts happen.