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Special Educational Needs

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 7 July 2020

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Questions (434)

Robert Troy


434. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Education and Skills her plans for SNAs to transfer to classroom assistants; when this will occur; and the processes that will be involved. [14231/20]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The role of the SNA continues to be one to support the care needs of students and to assist classroom teachers, and special education teachers, to ensure that the student is able to access education, as set out in Section 5 of DES Circular 30/2014. There are no plans to change this role.

SNAs are recruited specifically to assist in the care needs of pupils with disabilities in an educational context. SNAs therefore do not have a teaching/pedagogical role and it would not be appropriate for pupils with special needs to be taught by unqualified personnel.

A new model for allocating Special Needs Assistants to primary and post primary schools for students in mainstream classes only was to be introduced in the 2020/21 school year as part of the phased roll out of the School Inclusion Model (SIM). In light of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis the Frontloaded Allocation Model for Special Needs Assistants has been deferred until the beginning of the 2021/22 school year. Part of the review of this model will be review SNA training needs and development outcomes.