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Mar 27, 2019

When one looks at the number of agencies involved in education, one has to ask why there are so many and what do they actually do. The NCSE is the National Council for Special Education. Back when they started in 2003, there was very little work done in the area of special needs in education. It had a range of functions which were very necessary, and over the years, it was able to establish lots of research and lots of systems for allocating schools with resource hours and additional staff, in the form of SNAs.

Back in the day, if I needed an SNA, I would make a call to my local NCSE officer (the SENO) and he or she would come to my school and allocate an SNA for a child that might require it. My resource hours were calculated on the number of children in my school who had particular needs – 5 hours per week for autism, and so on.

Then the recession came. Then the cuts. Then the bureaucracy.

What we now have is an organisation that is no longer needed. It has basically become a place where paper is pushed around. Children with additional and complex needs now beginning primary school are unlikely to get additional support for several months because so much red tape has been put in the way.