The NCSE has responsibility for planning and coordinating school supports for children with special educational needs including the allocation of SNAs and reviews.
As part of that responsibility, applications for the exceptional review process for SNA support are made directly to the NCSE. I will forward the Deputy’s question to the NCSE for their direct reply.
It is expected that schools will review and reprioritise the deployment of SNAs within mainstream settings and allocate resources to ensure those with the greatest level of need receive the greatest level of support. Providing access to SNA support continues to be based on primary care needs as outlined in DES Circular 0030/2014.
Schools may apply to the NCSE for additionality where they can demonstrate that the current allocation does not meet additional care needs within the mainstream classes in the school. Applications for additionality arising from significant new or emerging additional care needs, which cannot be catered within existing allocations, will be dealt with by way of an exceptional review process.
The exceptional review process for mainstream allocations will be available to schools throughout the 2020/21 school year.
Detailed information on the NCSE exceptional review process is published on the NCSE: website www.ncse.ie.
A school can appeal the outcome of an exceptional review and details of how to do this are here: https://ncse.ie/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/GuidanceSchoolAppealing-Exceptional-Review-outcome.docx
The NCSE received applications during the lockdown period. These applications were received before and after the 22 May 2020. The NCSE have provided the information below regarding applications received for exceptional review.
The number of applications for exceptional review received by the NCSE at 26 August 2020 was 1080 and over 1060 applications has been processed. The number of schools who had received an increased SNA allocation was over 550. As part of the exceptional review process, SENOs will be making visits to schools which commenced with schools reopening.