Thursday, 17 October 2019

Questions (108)

Richard Boyd Barrett


108. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Education and Skills when a child currently has access to a SNA but is told that reassessment is required to continue to qualify for access, but the assessments are not within six months due to resource and staff shortages, the way in which the child is to be supported in school; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42653/19]

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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, in order that students who have care needs can access SNA support as and when it is needed.  

It is my Department's policy that every child assessed as requiring SNA support will have access to such support.

In considering applications for SNA support for individual pupils, the NCSE take account of the pupils' needs and consider the resources available to the school to identify whether additionality is needed or whether the school might reasonably be expected to meet the needs of the pupils from its current level of resources.

SNAs are not allocated to individual children but to schools as a school based resource.

SNA allocations to all schools can change from year to year as children with care needs leave the school, as new children with care needs enrol in a school and as children develop more independent living skills and their care needs diminish over time.