Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Questions (94, 95)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

94. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of hours a permanent special needs assistant in a primary school is required to work on a weekly basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32377/13]

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Charlie McConalogue

Question:

95. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Education and Skills whether the total number of hours a permanent special needs assistant in a primary school works is inclusive or exclusive of tea breaks and lunch breaks; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32379/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 94 and 95 together. The working week for SNAs is defined in their contract (Department of Education and Skills Circular 15/05). SNAs are required to work normal classroom hours including class break periods and in addition to attend before and after school in order to help with the preparation and tidying up of classrooms, reception and dispersal of children etc. The exact hours of work will normally be specified by the Board of Management in the SNAs contract of employment. Full-time SNAs are required to work for the normal school hours in the school that they are working in, and in addition to be available for a period of time before and after school in order to help with reception and dispersal of children and preparation and tidying up of classrooms etc. These times are outlined locally by the school management and will vary from school to school depending on the requirements of the school. Furthermore, all SNAs were required to be available for a number of days at the start and finish of each school term not exceeding 12 in total. Under the Croke Park Agreement it was agreed to introduce greater flexibility to the use of these 12 days. These 12 days will now equate to 72 hours (pro-rata for part-time SNAs) to be used by schools as an additional bank of hours to be utilised and delivered outside of normal school opening hours and/or the normal school year. In terms of breaks staff are entitled to statutory minimum break periods as set out in the Organisation of Working Time Act.