School psychological service not fit for purpose says TD

Dromleigh NS

CORK North West TD, Aindrias Moynihan has said that it is very disturbing that schools in the county are unable to access services from the National Educational Psychology Service. Dromleigh NS, and neighbouring schools in the Mid Cork area have been without access to the NEPS service for the entire school year. 

“The Scheme for the Commissions of Psychological Assessments is inadequate and the majority of psychologists are unavailable when contacted.

“The National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) is chronically under-resourced. There are numerous schools where children have no access to a psychologist service. This is extraordinary when you consider the extreme stresses that many children undergo as they grow older.

“Schools, such as Dromleigh NS, that do not have an assigned educational psychologist are severely disadvantaged in terms of delays to assessments for special educational needs or behavioural difficulties. Overall children in these schools have limited access to psychological supports and counselling services when a crisis presents.

“What’s alarming is that the Government know there aren’t enough psychologists working in the Irish education system, yet Minister Bruton has only seen fit to hire an additional 10 educational psychologists under his flagship, programme, the Action Plan on Education.

“Schools are struggling to provide adequate support for children with special educational needs. It’s time that Minister Bruton adequately funds the service, and ensures that all schools can assess an education psychologist in a timely manner,” concluded Moynihan.