As the Deputy may be aware, the National Council for Special Education is responsible, through its network of local Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENOs), for allocating resource teachers and special needs assistants (SNAs) to schools to support children with special needs. Applications for SNAs may be considered by the NCSE where a pupil has a significant medical need for such assistance, a significant impairment of physical or sensory function or where their behaviour is such that they are a danger to themselves or to other pupils.
The NCSE operates within my Department's criteria in allocating such support. An SNA may be allocated to meet the care needs of a younger pupil. For some pupils, as they mature, their care needs may diminish over time. For example, an incontinence difficulty in a 4 year old pupil may be fully addressed by the time the pupil is a teenager. In such situations, the NCSE will review and adjust the overall level of SNA support in the school concerned. This may mean that some pupils who had previously been supported by a full time SNA may have their needs met through the shared support of an SNA or perhaps they may have no need of SNA support.
All schools have the names and contact details of their local SENO. Parents may also contact their local SENO directly to discuss their child's special educational needs, using the contact details available on www.ncse.ie.
I have arranged for the details supplied by the Deputy to be forwarded to the NCSE for their attention and direct reply.