Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Questions (92)

Martin Ferris

Question:

92. Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of special needs assistants who will be allocated to primary and secondary schools in County Kerry from September 2013; the comparable figures for 2011 and 2012; if he will provide a detailed breakdown of the number of special needs assistants per school; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32374/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I wish to advise the Deputy that the National Council for Special Education (NCSE), through its network of local Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENOs), is responsible for processing applications from primary and post primary schools for special educational needs supports including resource teaching and Special Needs Assistant (SNA) support as well as the establishment of special classes in various geographical areas as required. The NCSE operates within my Department's criteria in allocating such support. Details of the resource teaching and SNA allocations which have been made to schools by the NCSE for the 2012/2013 and 2013/14 school years are available on the NCSE website www.ncse.ie and can be viewed on a per county basis. The resource allocation statistics detail all of the SNA allocations by school in County Kerry for these years. The NCSE has advised my Department that they allocated 325 SNA posts to schools in County Kerry for the 2011/2012 school year. The number of posts available to the NCSE for allocation this year has been maintained at 10,575 posts and there has been no reduction to the overall number of posts available for allocation. The allocation that is made to schools annually is based on the number of valid applications received. Where a school enrols new pupils who have care needs in advance or during the school year, schools may apply to the NCSE for additional SNA support or for a review of their SNA allocation. All schools have the names and contact details of their local SENO. Parents may also contact their local SENO directly to discuss their child's special educational needs, using the contact details available on www.ncse.ie.