Thursday, 22 March 2007

Ceisteanna (203, 204, 205)

Jack Wall

Ceist:

202 Mr. Wall asked the Minister for Education and Science if her Department has sanctioned the provision of classroom assistants in any infant primary school within her Department’s remit; if so the location of same; her plans to provide such assistants as requested in documentation (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10885/07]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Jack Wall

Ceist:

203 Mr. Wall asked the Minister for Education and Science the action she will take to overcome the problems at a school (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10886/07]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Jack Wall

Ceist:

204 Mr. Wall asked the Minister for Education and Science if she will sanction the appointment of special needs assistants to a school (details supplied) in County Kildare as requested in a submission; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10887/07]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Education and Science)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 202 to 204, inclusive, together.

The Deputy will be aware that the National Council for Special Education (NCSE), through the local special educational needs organisers (SENOs), is responsible for processing applications from schools for special needs resources such as resource teaching hours and special needs assistant (SNA) support on the basis of applications in respect of individual pupils. These supports are intended to enable schools to meet the needs of pupils as outlined in psychological and other professional reports.

I understand that the school in question had an allocation of 4 SNAs for the current school year. I understand also that the SENO has recently allocated an additional SNA to the school for a junior infant child. This will bring the total support in the school to 5 SNAs. SNA support in schools is intended to address the care needs of pupils with special educational needs. The nature and level of support provided is based on the assessed needs of the individual child having regard to the criteria set out in my Department's circulars and the other resources available to these pupils within the school.

My Department has not sanctioned classrooms assistants, as distinct from special needs assistants, in infant primary schools and I have no plans to do so in the immediate future.