We spend more on special needs education than higher education

Discussion in 'Letting Off Steam' started by cremeegg, Nov 20, 2017.

  1. cremeegg

    cremeegg Frequent Poster

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  2. Purple

    Purple Frequent Poster

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    Is there any measure for what impact these SNA's have?
    My own son had one for a year before funding was re-allocated to pay rises for his teacher and it seemed to have a very positive impact for that year but where's the overall measure for what we get for that half a billion Euro?
     
  3. Ceist Beag

    Ceist Beag Frequent Poster

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    On what basis do you say that cremeegg? As Purple said, do we have any way of measuring the success or otherwise of SNAs? It would also be good to know what teachers think in terms of whether they see an improvement, how do they get on with the SNAs, are there any difficulties in terms of working together in the same classroom and knowing what is expected of each other, etc. Inevitably more SNAs will mean less funding for teachers pay so it would be interesting to know if/how that plays out on the ground.
     
  4. Leper

    Leper Frequent Poster

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  5. blueband

    blueband Frequent Poster

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    If we don't look after children with special needs now it will end up costing us a lot more in the long run..
     
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  6. Purple

    Purple Frequent Poster

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    How do we know we are looking after them properly and how do we know we are getting any value for money?
    I agree that we have to look after them, nobody will disagree with that, but where's the evidence that what we are doing is working as intended? Do we even know if there is a "as intended"?
     
  7. blueband

    blueband Frequent Poster

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    I don't know what standard they work to but I guess there has to be one, the evidence of whether what they are doing is actually working would first be seen by the teachers and parents of the children. anyone I know who is in that situation seem to speak highly of the work they do..
     
  8. Betsy Og

    Betsy Og Frequent Poster

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    Isn't it just the educational aspect of the "care in the community" philosophy. i.e. we don't put people in the big house with the high walls (or as many special schools), so we look after them more so in mainstream educational and health care. That takes manpower. Overall I'd like to think it works, making the mainstream more tolerant as well as hopefully bringing on the weaker kids, hard to know of course. But there's a big mantra that the early years are the most important, that we spend way less that the European average etc.

    Re Uni - the academic community always whining about worldwide league tables. If they're that great why dont these academics go off to the Ivy League - I've no great interest in funding their vanity. Keep pumping out quality graduates and get over yourselves.
     
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  9. Leper

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    If the Special Needs Assistants were not doing their jobs properly the parents of the special needs children would be (and rightly so) complaining and our media would be full of such.

    What more evidence do you need?
     
  10. Purple

    Purple Frequent Poster

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    I was in that situation and it was a great help. All I can offer is my specific unqualified opinion. That's not an empirical measurement and says nothing about value for money.
     
  11. Purple

    Purple Frequent Poster

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    I agree; I'd also like to think it works. I'd like to think we are getting value for money. I'd like evidence and a system in place controlling the spend and making sure that children in question are getting the absolute best possible care and education. That can only be don't if we are measuring and controlling waste.

    Fixed that for you ;)
     
  12. Purple

    Purple Frequent Poster

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    My sons SNA was cut because resources were reallocated into pay increases for teachers so it was a relatively short lived experience. As a parent I am not trained or experienced enough to know if the SNA was good or excellent or just okay. I know that having one was significantly better than not having one but that tells me nothing about whether they were meeting their potential and helping my son reach his.
    It all seems very loose. I know there is a criteria for allocation of SNA's but how is their quality and the outcomes they generate measured?
     
  13. cremeegg

    cremeegg Frequent Poster

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    I was surprised by the way his thread turned. My concern was not about the quality of special needs education, though that of course is a very important issue. I would think that some comments to the effect that all is well are complacent.

    Irish language teachers are demonstrably not doing their jobs properly, yet there is no public outcry.

    My concern is that we are failing to support third level education. A 20 year old who is not working gets €100 a week from the state, a 20 year old in third level education is expected to pay €57.69 a week to the state for her education. Spending less on third level than special needs education, prioritises present needs over investment for the future. Strange priorities I think.
     
  14. odyssey06

    odyssey06 Frequent Poster

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    "prioritises present needs over investment for the future" ... this just sums up government policy for the last 10 years I'm afraid :(
     
  15. Purple

    Purple Frequent Poster

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    The 20 year old in third level education may be contributing €57.69 a week towards their education but it comes nowhere near covering the cost of that education. If they are doing something like an engineering degree it's only a fraction of the cost. If it's an arts degree it comes closer but when they are finished they'll cost the State €100 a week anyway ;)
     
  16. Leper

    Leper Frequent Poster

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    1. If our Special Needs Assistants fall down on the job the progressive effects can be catastrophic to the education for everybody in the classroom. Furthermore, this manifests itself outside of school hours. SNAs are probably the most important contact in schools to parents of the special needs child. If this were not the case, do the parents of the special needs child (a) Give complete trust to the teacher (b) Give complete trust to the principal (c) Give any kind of trust to the education system? Take the SNA out of the situation and look at what is left. Hint:- For a start it is likely we would have one parent working instead of two. Repeat:- And that's only for a start.

    2. (a)Our teachers don't educate. Forget about whatever they call it, or you call it, or what the students call it etc. Our teachers are there to assist on the maximum amount of points a student can achieve for entry to university. If you believe anything else you are deluded. And if you think you're not deluded, then you are in a worse state than I am suggesting.
    (b) Despite our years in school, we are not all fluent in Irish. So what! At least we know Irish is an option if we want. History, Geography, English, Maths, French, Spanish, German are also options. If as Cremeegg says teachers are doing their jobs, then we would all be making fortunes on The Chase or Tipping Point. I'm thinking points for university again.

    3. What do all schools have nowadays? Answer:- Masters Degrees in this and that. When did anybody ever attend an Information Night about schools. The amount of teachers with Masters Degrees are advertised like they should be working in NASA moonshots. Universities advertise Masters Programmes like chainstores advertise at Christmas.

    I'm rambling on and on . . . .but take the Special Needs Assistant out of the system . . . . . then look at what is left. Oh! the least paid person in the education system is the Special Needs Assistant. What does this say? Answers on a postcard please . . . .
     
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  17. cremeegg

    cremeegg Frequent Poster

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    If that is your experience of teaching in recent years I think you are lucky. Most teachers engage in crowd control and social care. This is policy. "Wellness", has more hours timetabled at junior cycle than any other subject.


    So Irish language teachers are useless.
     
  18. Purple

    Purple Frequent Poster

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    I think it would be more correct to say that the way in which we teach Irish is not fit for purpose.
     
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  19. Leper

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    1. First I heard of it.

    2. You're entitled to your opinion. You're wrong, but entitled to your opinion.
     
  20. cremeegg

    cremeegg Frequent Poster

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    I had considered expressing it in terms like this. However teachers are central to the entire system of teaching Irish. I think absolving them of responsibility by referring to “the way in which we teach Irish” is missing the point.