Written Answers. - Special Educational Needs.

John Deasy

Question:

152 Mr. Deasy asked the Minister for Education and Science if the education qualification for special needs assistants is being rigidly applied; if a person who does not have the minimum requirement of junior and leaving certificate through ill health but does have many other adult education qualifications can qualify; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19319/03]

The educational requirements of the conditions of service for special needs assistants state that a candidate must have been awarded grade D, or pass, at least, in Irish, English and mathematics in the junior certificate examination, in the former day vocational certificate examination or in an examination of equivalent standard. Responsibility for the recruitment and employment of SNAs rests with the board of management of the individual school. This responsibility extends to ensuring that all recruitment conditions, including those relating to education and health, are complied with. The Deputy may be interested to know that my Department, in consultation with the education partners, is examining the conditions of service generally of SNAs.

John Deasy

Question:

153 Mr. Deasy asked the Minister for Education and Science if he will appoint a special needs assistant to a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19320/03]

My Department is processing applications for special educational needs support for the 2003-04 school year. The process involves an examination of each application and supporting documentation by the national educational psychological service. Schools will be informed of the outcome at the earliest possible date. An application from the school in question will be considered in this context.