Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Questions (77)

Mick Wallace

Question:

77. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Education and Skills if there were errors in the publication of the special needs assistant allocations to schools for the 2018-2019 school year; if all 474.97 SNA allocations announced for County Wexford on the NCSE website will be fully funded and each position filled for the 2018/2019 school year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25774/18]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is responsible for allocating a quantum of Special Needs Assistant (SNA) support for each school annually taking into account the assessed care needs of children qualifying for SNA support in the school.

I have been advised by the NCSE that the total number of SNA posts allocated in Co. Wexford for September 2018 is 475.97 posts. The NCSE have confirmed that one post was omitted from the published list due to error.

The NCSE have also confirmed that in the case of the identified error in the published SNA allocation for a Co. Wexford school, the NCSE notified the school and informed the school of the correct allocation as soon as the error came to their attention. A decision statement with the correct allocation for 2018/19 issued to the school in question. The NCSE notified my Department of the correct allocation for the school in question to ensure full funding provision is made. The NCSE website list will be updated to reflect the correct SNA allocation for the school in question.

It is a matter for each individual school to recruit SNAs to fill the posts allocated by the NCSE to support the students in the school.

My Department’s policy is to ensure that every child who is assessed as needing SNA support will receive access to such support. In line with this policy, I announced last month that 800 additional SNAs will be allocated for the beginning of the next school year, with a further 140 expected to be allocated by the end of the year.

By the end of this year, there will be a total of 15,000 Special Needs Assistants working in our schools, a 42% increase on 2011.