The Department of Education has been accused of ‘failing’ children with special educational needs.



A new report highlights discrimination and a lack of planning when it comes to special education.

It estimates 15,500 children currently have to travel outside their local school-catchment area, with 72-thousand euro a day being spent on transport for children in Dublin alone.

It recommends the Department gather data on how many children need supports in order to help forecast future needs.

Ombudsman for Children, Dr Niall Muldoon, says all schools should be providing places for children with special educational needs.

‘Four and five year lead in’s should be enough time for any Department of Education to provide for those children and it leaves the child with autism who needs routine, who needs certainty ,who needs to know what’s going to happen in their life the next day, it leaves them very distressed and bewildered and their parents are pulling their hair out and are exasperated by the fact that they’ve had a child go the whole way through primary school and there’s still not a space for them in secondary school.  That’s a real damning indictment of how the state has provided for those children.’