img_4276In the Dail this afternoon, People Before Profit TD, tackled the Minister for Health about the outrageous threat to the vocational services at St Augustines School in Blackrock.

St Augustine’s School is a successful school for children with learning disabilities with superior vocational services that has served children with special needs, not only in Blackrock but across the south city.

Recently parents and teachers have learned that their funding from the Dept of Health via St John of Gods is under threat.  This could see an end to the vocational development programme which includes Speech and Language Therapists, Psychologists, Social Workers and more.

Richard Boyd Barrett said: “It is utterly unacceptable that these services would be lost to this school.  The services that are currently there are absolutely crucial for the children in this school.  The loss of these services will seriously undermine the life chances of these children.

“I welcome the Minister’s willingness to meet with representatives of the parents group but the rest of the answer was bureaucratic and did not recognise the seriousness of the issue.  The promise of extra SNA’s is not a replacement for the huge cut to the vocational supports in the school.”

Boyd Barrett continued: “I will continue to raise this issue at every level and work with everyone and anyone to try and save these services.”