22nd July 2021, 20:45
The Special Needs Action Group says it's both shocked and pained to hear the Minister for Education describe the relationship with the parents of St Martin's School children as never having been closer.
The Group says this is not the case, and for John Cortes to claim otherwise in Parliament is pure misconception.
SNAG says the parents of Early Birds, St Martin's School and the wider disability community are not happy, and this was clearly demonstrated during May's protest.
It says it's also not true to say the school has been build with the considerations of the parents in mind, when most of them haven not seen the plans.
During lockdown, SNAG says parents were very much left to fend for themselves with therapy stopped, schooling halted, routines shattered and parks closed.
It says it's an insult to the families who have struggled through this, to hear those who failed to provide, claim anything different.
The Group welcomes the opening of the new school, but says this is long overdue.
While mainstream schools have been refurbished, it says their children as always, have been left until the very last.
It also reminds the Government parents are still waiting to hear about an Early Birds placement in September.
While the Group welcomes the introduction of new therapy areas, it says without employing additional therapists, children will continue to be failed by a service that offers them the bare minimum in terms of therapy provision, and no proper Special Needs strategy.
SNAG calls on the Government to work with wider groups, as well as the newly formed Gibraltar Disability Rights Federation, to have truly representative discussions in a clear and transparent manner.