Wednesday, 29 September 2004

Ceisteanna (424)

Eoin Ryan

Ceist:

605 Mr. Eoin Ryan asked the Minister for Education and Science the reason a person (details supplied) in Dublin 2 with special needs who has availed of part-time special needs assistants has not been granted a full-time special needs assistant; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22822/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Education and Science)

I can confirm that an application for the upgrade from 23.3 hours per week to full-time special needs assistant, SNA, support for the pupil referred to by the Deputy has been received by my Department.

The position is that it has been my intention for some time to carry out a general review of support levels and deployment in mainstream national schools. Bearing in mind the view expressed by schools that any such review should have regard to the actual situation on the ground, I have decided that the process should involve a visit to each school which has SNA support. Arrangements are being made for this review to commence at an early date and a further communication will issue to schools in this regard. Decisions regarding the appropriate level of SNA support in individual schools will be based on the outcome of this review. Pending notification of the outcome, schools have been advised by my Department that, if they have surplus SNA capacity, they may retain the excess up to the level of applications made to the Department for which a response is awaited.