FG seeks director of remedial education

 

Fine Gael has called for the appointment of a national director of remedial education following claims that many children who need remedial support for maths and English are not receiving it.

The party's education spokesman, Mr Richard Bruton, cited a study by the Educational Research Centre at St Patrick's College, Dublin, which shows that 85 per cent of children in disadvantaged primary schools who need remedial support in maths are not receiving it, as well as 30 per cent of children who need remedial support in English.

"It is equally worrying to find that the Department of Education has failed to provide continuing in-service training for remedial teachers, that best-practice models are generally not being implemented on the ground, and remedial teachers are under-resourced and overstretched."

Although the remedial programme in primary schools involved more than 1,300 teachers at an annual cost of £30 million, it was not being systematically monitored or evaluated, he said.

Mr Bruton called for the appointment of a national director of remedial education, who would set up properly resourced in-service training programmes for teachers; ensure that the selection of pupils for remedial programmes was "properly related to objective need"; develop "best-practice models" with a greater emphasis on parental involvement; and establish a proper monitoring and evaluation process.