I met Ms Ford and some members of the school staff outside Leinster House with the Deputy, who has been a strong advocate for the school. At my request, the NCSE met the school on Friday to discuss the issues of concern. At the meeting, the SENO explained the basis for the allocation of SNA support. The SENO will engage further with parents in this regard.
SNAs have to be deployed by schools themselves in a manner that best meets their needs and care supports. As I told Ms Ford, an additional 1,165 SNAs have been allocated for distribution this year via budget 2022. We are targeting and prioritising new and expanding schools. Notwithstanding that, if there is a genuine need - Ms Ford is of the view that there is a genuine need in her school and has made that strong case to the NCSE - we will be examining front-loading allocations over the next few weeks and I hope there will be consideration given in that context. The allocations for next year are under consideration and a decision will be made shortly. We want to support those schools that have been hardest hit by the freeze, for example, developing schools.