IASLT recently met with the Secretary General in the Department of Education. While we support and advocated for the return of Speech and Language Therapists to Special Schools we were also clear that it should not impact on the resourcing and service provision to Community Disability Network Teams.
Equality of access to speech and language therapy services is required for all children who need services whether in special schools, classes or in mainstream schools.
We have significant concerns about the resource issues facing CDNT’s including challenges recruiting and retaining speech and language therapists. We call for an immediate workforce planning review to be published and implemented in full.
Given that SLTs in special schools will be recruited through CDNTs and will be aligned to CDNT governance it is crucial to be cognisant of IASLT’s recent statement on the roll out of Progressing Disability Services. This statement highlights significant professional concerns in relation to clinical governance, scope of practice and the absence of specialist pathways and clinical specialist posts.
You can read IASLTs statement here: https://www.iaslt.ie/media/0l1b2os3/pds-statement-final-version-august-22.pdf
We need urgent action, comprehensive workforce planning and a long term plan to support all children who require our services.