Teacher's union refutes 'diagnosis for dollars' claims

Claims that professionals are purposefully misdiagnosing children are "outrageous", says INTO general secretary

Primary teachers' union the Irish National Teachers' Organisation (INTO) has criticised claims that children are deliberately being misdiagnosed to avail of more resources in school.

They have described the claims as a "disgraceful attempt to create a narrative" ahead of a proposed new system for allocating support for pupils with special educational needs.

General Secretary of the INTO Sheila Nunan called the claims "outrageous", saying they had further damaged trust teachers had in the process.

A statement released by the head of the National Council of Special Education (NCSE) Teresa Griffin said professionals were making some children "fit a certain category of disability in order for them to get a resource".

Ms Griffin recently told an Oireachtas Committee that a practice known as 'diagnosis for dollars' in the US was happening here, in which parents pay for private consultations for their children to get a diagnosis.

It comes ahead of the proposed changes in the system for allocating learning support and resource teachers. Work on the new model is ongoing, but it is expected to be rolled out in the new year with a view to introducing it in schools in September 2017.