Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (250)

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire


250. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Education and Skills the estimated cost of an additional SENO or SNA. [34702/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

My Department's policy aims to ensure that all children with Special Educational Needs can have access to an education appropriate to their needs.

In 2019, in the region of €1.9 billion is being invested in Special Education, nearly one fifth of the overall Education budget.

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE), through its network of local Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENOs), is responsible for the provision of a range of educational services at local and national level for students with special educational needs.

SENO responsibility includes planning and co-ordinating the provision of education and support services to children with special educational needs. Each SENO works in an assigned local area with parents, schools, teachers, psychologists, health professionals and other staff who are involved in the provision of services in that area for children with special educational needs. The SENO is available to parents to discuss any issues they have about the present or future educational needs of their child and to offer support and expertise.

The cost of employing a new Special Educational Needs Organiser on the first point of the salary scale is €34,981 per annum.

The Special Needs Assistant (SNA) scheme is designed to provide schools with additional adult support staff who can assist children with special educational needs who also have additional and significant care needs. Such support is provided in order to facilitate the attendance of those pupils at school and also to minimise disruption to class or teaching time for the pupils concerned, or for their peers, and with a view to developing their independent living skills.

The unit cost of employing a new entrant Special Needs Assistant  is €27,674 per annum.

Both of the above figures are inclusive of Employers PRSI.