What bad news did our government release this Friday?

As we know, there is a tradition in this country (and elsewhere) of releasing bad news and damning figures on a Friday evening, usually in time for the 6pm or 9pm news. Late enough for people to be otherwise distracted with week-end activities or simply inert from crippling fatigue. Late enough to slip it under the radar.

Post here when this week’s Friday evening unsavoury news is announced.

irishtimes.com/newspaper/ire … 66982.html

Some (most?) of the requirement for language teachers has diminished as immigration has fallen, so this was already in process by natural wastage.

Explains why the Sunday papers always make for such depressing reading.

The government senate nominees. The same old tired quangocrats moving from one teat to another. Utterly depressing.

Martin McAleese! WTF!? Completely inappropriate

Why is he always called Dr.? He’s not a medical doctor. He doesn’t have a Doctorate.

Are dentists not doctors?


and the ASA agree

telegraph.co.uk/news/3329907 … ed-Dr.html

What the teeth pullers fail to acknowledge is that in Italy and other countries the title Dottore or whatever is given to anyone with a university degree; and in France it’s given to Vets, Pharmacists .

I guess it’s the white coats and ability to charge exorbitant fees that leads to the confusion.

this is not well known but medical doctors are generally only called doctors by tradition, primary medical qualifications granted are normally 2 bachelors degrees. Medical doctors with an MD doctorate would technically be doctors but this qualification is more common in the US. Dentists are normally bachelors or masters and not doctors unless they have a DOrth specialist degree or equivalent specialist qualification.

Oi, think on Yog -some - most the need for language assistants diminished ?

Not so and difficulties with the use of any language is not and never has been confined to immigrant children. In many of our modern ghettoes innumeracy and illiteracy go hand in hand with difficulties in producing intelligible speech. Existing provision was already inadequate in many locations.

I know, you know your shalotts but you might be aware that I know my onions in this regard. And I am specifically aware of various circumstances were provision (and the lack of it) was directed by direct political influence rather than on objective criteria of need.
Ruairi Quinn’s decision is disgraceful and indefensible.

I agree with you, but the current rules are that language assistance is provided for non-english native speakers for a maximum of two years. It is purely to assist the learning of english. Other language, literacy and numeracy skills are covered by SNAs, the hours of which are assigned on a needs basis. AFAIK this doesn’t affect that provision having been elsewhere cut…

The local primary school I am loosely involved with hasn’t had a non-english applicant for the last two years so language support is gone. On the other hand, there is still, despite the funding for the pre-school scheme, a wide range of abilities on entrance to junior infants - from those that can read to those that don’t know the alphabet. I believe this gap in abilities (more a training issue?) remains through school life and beyond.

Personally, I’d double up on all the teachers in junior and senior infants (a teacher and a language teacher) to try and raise the lower ability level more quickly. I think the cost of this would be more than repaid in later schooling years.

Apologies no intention to intrude with respect to your own private and genuine interest in provision at primary level.

Thing is, while immigration numbers have indeed dropped, the immigrant families I have contact with-seem to be producing larger families than the average Irish couple and these kids are coming on stream. Regrettably the continuing isolation many of these families experience is still giving rise to very substantial need for language assistants. It is of course a mixed picture.
I think those teaching in schools in and around say Dublin 15, will be horrified.

this is what irritates me - and the contrasting lack of respect for those with research PhDs - no wonder the points system is so skewed (towards non-exporting careers)

True story - during heavy rains a relative (with a scientific PhD) had water encroaching on his front door step because of poorly maintained/blocked drains (in a provincial town) - repeatedly called the council and begged them to send someone out - nattin. Finally called up and said “This is Dr. XXXX XXXXXXX - I want you to send someone out before my house floods” - council crew arrived pronto

Was this not announced months ago when they said some 1100 teachers would be redeployed. They abolished Traveller and Lanugage support schemes from the end of the current school year. My youngest is in a class with 2 SNAs and one is being taken out and allocated to a new school entrant in ‘greater’ need next year. This is OK with his parents ( i.e. me) … as it happens…because one SNA per class is quite enough. However the parents of the child ‘losing’ the SNA are threatening to sue . and have a case however weak.

They also ringfenced SNA quotas by schools meaning a secondary school may not inherit a SNA for a severely disabled pupil once they transfer from primary if they have no SNA allocated at present. Some secondaries have an entrance policy *‘subject to the transfer of currently allocated special needs resources’ *now and the process is a bloody Kafkaesque nightmare for the childrens parents whether they speak english or not.

laughinglawyer will probably PM me for a client reference…how is your Irish LL …it is a Gaelscoil . They never got Language support hours anyway. :smiley:


Oh no I bloody wont be pm’ing you for a client reference (I know I am going to regret saying this). I once found myself arrested INSIDE the Department of Education for refusing to leave before having my points heard.

Add to this my ‘robust’ attitude with respect to SNA provsion once drew a complaint from within the Department to the Law Society (later withdrawn).

Some things are so fundamentally important that half-measures will not do. No 2pack I dont need the business, but thank you !

You’re right about the EAL being English language support for children of families where English (or Irish) is not the spoken language, but it’s not the SNAs that look after other difficulties, it the learning support and resource teachers who do that, as you say, allocated on the basis of assessed need.


All Infant classes should have a reduced pupil to teacher ratio 15:1 as opposed to the usual 30:1.

The SNA freeze is appalling, even if there was massive growth in SNA numbers over the last 10 years (from 800 to 10,000) that is cold comfort if the actual need is for 15,000. Those additional 5,000 families are going to lead very hard lives indeed without this essential support. Quinn is a complete scumbag for trying to suggest otherwise.

Faced with a choice between reducing public pay or services, most politicians are going to choose services.

Yep. And they’ll start by cutting the services of those least able to resist.

i.e. least organised. Presumably funding to anything with a quango or a union will be resisted. It’s not that they are more (or indeed less) deserving, it is that they are able to pay to make a case - usually ‘pay’ that comes from the state in the first place.

First thing I would advise is that you FOI all circulars , guidance notes and other instructions given to NEPS by DES

Then FOI all circulars , guidance notes and other instructions given to NEPS regions and NEPS employees by NEPS management.

Finally find out WHY NEPS implement a quota in all schools irrespective of size and have done for some years.

No matter how large the school NEPS will not assess more than 2 children a year in ANY school, the odd time they might do 3 as a special favour. In other words the special needs and resource hours for ordinary children are restricted by quota and not in any way related to actual needs at that time.

As a very very very special favour I know a principal who took a child in to their school , got them assessed by NEPS and then transferred them back to their original school with the quote of 2 or 3 ( whatever the max is) hours of special needs tuition packaged in. That principal had no special needs issue in their school that one year and had a slot available.

Finally, one could investigate disgnoses of autism spectrum by HSE region and county which may show a statistical anomaly or two and which may correlate to special need resource preallocation before the children even get to school :nin

In other words certain families with HSE connections are getting autism spectrum diagnoses at pre school, pocketing the carers allowance they then get and gaming the special needs system for kids who do not need special needs education.

This together with the quota system is denying genuine cases their just entitlements.