Children, Education, Forsa, Norma Foley, School, Simon Harris, Snas, Special Needs, Special Needs Children

Children, Education

'We can't leave them behind again': Harris asks everyone to 'dig deep' to get children with special needs back to school

“I was Minister for Health during the first lockdown of this country and it broke my heart that we didn’t address this properly the first time,”said Harris.

18/01/2021 19:21:00

'I was Minister for Health during the first lockdown of this country and it broke my heart that we didn't address this properly the first time,' Minister Simon Harris said today

“I was Minister for Health during the first lockdown of this country and it broke my heart that we didn’t address this properly the first time,”said Harris.

Speaking to reporters at Government Buildings, Harris said:“I was Minister for Health during the first lockdown of this country and it broke my heart that we didn’t address this properly the first time.“I can argue that perhaps we couldn’t have because we were dealing with things coming at us very fast for the first time.

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“But it is not acceptable to me, it is not acceptable to government, and I don’t think it is acceptable to people in this country, that we leave them behind again – we just can’t. They don’t get this time back,” he said.Talks are continuing with unions about the reopening of schools for students with special educational needs, after the union representing Special Needs Assistants said an agreement on the issue has not been finalised.

The statement from Fórsa came after the Department of Education published interim arrangements last week, stating that an agreement on reopening for these students had been reached with unions.Leading advocacy organisations representing students with additional needs, Down Syndrome Ireland, Inclusion Ireland and AsIAm, have said that the Government u-turn over the re-opening of special schools left families of children with special educational needs “devastated”.

They welcomed the news that work was being done to get the children back into the classroom, but have said the mixed messages about whether this can happen are “cruel”.While Harris said he did not wish to be unhelpful at this moment in time while talks are ongoing, he urged all parties to work together to find a resolution.

#Open journalism No news is bad news Support The Journal Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to youSupport us nowHe said he’s “acutely aware” of the challenges families with children with additional needs face when those children need to remain in the home.

“Imagine what it must be like today for a mum with profoundly autistic children, non- verbal, and additional needs, imagine how difficult that is,” he said, adding “imagine how damaging that is to the welfare of that child, and the welfare of that family”.

The minister said there have been warnings from advocacy groups as well as the Children’s Ombudsman about the negative impact this is having on children with special needs, stating that “lots of people in the educational family shares the desire to try and make this happen”.

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Photoshoots and spin. The pro-active stuff. Yeah right. He addressed nothing properly, using children now to keep his job Gobshite. On Zara Kings programme about Covid-19 he said they did EVERYTHING they could PROPERLY 🙄🙄 Unconscionable, he is using children with special needs for government agenda. As in he can't leave them behind again not we !!!

The Minister with the Mickey Mouse portfolio seems intent on discussing any brief other than his own. The only member of Cabinet without a 3rd level education seems to have the concentration of a goldfish. Those 2 observations might be connected. AnalysisBrexit Making it up as he goes along. He has no qualifications to be in the position he's in.

Harris putting on his usual vaudville act - I am so terribly sorry....its an act You didn't do anything.full stop Broke my heart, gimme a fookin break. Did sweet fook all to help student nurses, threatened nurses when they striked for a paltry pay rise they never got. You're a god damn snake SimonHarrisTD. This is making a play for leadership of FineGael. He's coming for u LeoVaradkar 😂

I think Min Harris ,on the day on which you don't deem it necessary to social distance at a huge daily cost to the state in Convention Centre, well then it may be safe enough for a teacher to teach 30 + children squashed into a small classroom. In a real democracy Harris would be before the criminal courts for abandonment of those most vulnerable in nursing homes. Not in Ireland. As we see once the most privelaged are getting the vaccine before most needy. This also happened with early covid testing.

Christ I hate Harris like no other 🙄 Um.. that who didn't address it properly, Simon? That was you buddy. And you were told by very many people to close airports, require masks, not have 1m (yes, 1m - check the pamphlets they sent out) social distancing, etc.. Oh strap yourselves in for this one lads, this is going to be good.

Grade A chancer . What like taking a pay cut ? Or maybe withholding ppe from nursing homes that led to deaths ? I could go on but I'm too busy listening you and your ilk taking up the airwaves with utter tripe ! We we we ... YOU were the minister !! Will someone in this bloody government accept responsibility for something!!!

These children thrive on routine. To go back to an empty school Thursday without their teacher and friends is not acceptable. Children in mainstream see the support teacher for maybe 30 mins a day and rest of day with their class. Their class won't be there. How is this a return? Helps to have a heart if it's going to be broken.

johnjoechad I couldn't help laughing ... It broke my heart but we did fuck all. Unreal. Fine Gael always leaves people behind & always will. EmptyPromises Admitting he ballsed up then! First honest thing he's ever said! He is unreal It was a far better job than this attempt Ur old news simon 👍👍 We? You were in charge, Ratweasel.

In a pandemic sometimes there are no solutions or workarounds . Yes the former minister for health SimonHarrisTD that refused to implement restrictions on travel when it could’ve prevented deaths. So sad! Is the minister working from theDáil? Or isn’t there enough room for social distancing?Are your colleagues masked? Does someone have to accompany the Min for his intimate care needs? How many are in ICU? Is there an increased transmissibility in young people with the new variant?

Simon, throwing petrol on the situation isn’t helpful SimonHarrisTD I think harris has speical needs himself.