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Special Educational Needs Staffing

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 18 September 2013

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Ceisteanna (322)

Michael Creed

Ceist:

322. Deputy Michael Creed asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will clarify the situation regarding recently established panel rights for special needs assistants; the way this operates on a geographical basis; if he will clarify the discretion allowed to local Boards of Management to recruit outside the panel; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37720/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

As the Deputy will be aware, a new set of proposals for a public service agreement were put forward by the Labour Relations Commission which now form the Public Service Stability Agreement 2013-2016 (the Haddington Road Agreement). One aspect of this Agreement relates to supplementary assignment arrangements for Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) and as both Unions that represent SNAs namely, SIPTU and IMPACT, have signed up to the Haddington Road Agreement, the Department has implemented supplementary assignment arrangements for SNAs for the 2013/2014 school year.

The detailed arrangements are set out in Departmental Circular 0037/2013 which issued on 1 July 2013 and which is available on the Department's website at the following address: http://www.education.ie/en/Circulars-and-Forms/Active-Circulars/cl0037_2013.pdf

With effect from 1 May 2013 once an SNA with a minimum of one year's service is notified by his/her employer that he/she is to be made redundant then he/she shall be deemed to be a member of a Supplementary Assignment Panel for SNAs.

In respect of the specific queries raised in your question I can confirm that an SNA who is a member of the SNA Supplementary Assignment Panel is free to apply for any vacancies as they arise, and no geographical limitations have been imposed.

Finally, the position in respect of recruitment outside of the panel is as outlined in section 26 of Circular 0037/2013 which outlines that "If an employer does not receive an application for a vacancy from an SNA who is due to be made redundant and who furnishes the employer with a certified copy of a completed Special Needs Assistants Supplementary Assignment form within the time-period specified in the advertisement or if having interviewed all such applicants, it has been established that no such applicant can meet the essential qualifications that are required to fill the vacancy in addition to all specific competencies and/or requirements to meet the special educational needs of the pupil(s) then the employer can fill its vacancy in the normal manner from all the other applicants for the vacancy."

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