Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Questions (424)

Thomas Pringle

Question:

424. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Education the number of schools that have changed the number of SNAs by county; if the reason and reports are sent to her Department on the matter; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11294/21]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The provision of education for children with special needs is an ongoing priority for Government.

The numbers of special classes, special education teachers and Special Needs Assistants are at unprecedented levels.

My Department will spend approximately €2 Billion, or over 20% of its total educational budget on making additional provision for children with special educational needs in 2021.

This represents an increase of over 50% in total expenditure since 2011, at which point €1.247 Billion per annum was provided.

Following Budget 2021, it is expected that a total of 18,000 Special Needs Assistant (SNA) posts will have been allocated to primary, post primary and special schools by the end of this year..

This will represent an increase of increase of 70% in the number of SNAs provided since 2011 at which point 10,575 SNAs were available.

The NCSE has responsibility for planning and coordinating school supports for children with special educational needs including the allocation of SNAs and reviews. The Department does not have a role in making individual school determinations.

The NCSE publishes statistics on SNA allocations to primary, post primary and special schools in tabular form, by county, for each school year, this information is available on their website, www.ncse.ie .