Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Questions (120)

Kathleen Funchion

Question:

120. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills the yearly process and timeline for setting and agreeing the national allocation of special needs assistants, SNAs; the person or body who leads the process; and the reason for the delay and the change of date for the announcement of the allocation of SNAs for 2019-2020. [22799/19]

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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 enrolled in the school.

The NCSE allocates SNA support to schools in accordance with the criteria set out in Department Circular 0030/2014, which is available on my Department's website at www.education.ie, in order that students who have care needs can access SNA support as and when it is needed.

Each year the NCSE publish guidelines for schools setting out the key dates for the SNA allocations process and these are available on the NCSE website, www.ncse.ie .

I gave a commitment that the SNA allocations would be published before the end of May to provide certainty, at the earliest opportunity, for schools, SNAs and parents in relation to the posts that will be available for the coming school year.

I was very pleased to fulfill this commitment yesterday when I announced that almost 800 additional SNA posts will be allocated to schools for the beginning of the next school year, with up to 130 additional posts expected to be allocated by December 2019.

By the end of this year, there will be up to 15,950 SNAs working in our schools, an increase of over 51% since 2011.

The National Council for Special Education published the allocations for the coming school year yesterday and they are available on their website, www.ncse.ie.