Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Ceisteanna (595)

Kathleen Funchion


595. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills further to Parliamentary Question No. 169 of 18 June 2019 and the reply of the NCSE, the clarification made by the SENO in question with a school (details supplied); if the SNA allocation decision is being reviewed; his views on whether the decision should be reviewed in view of the fact that the school management was seeking an immediate review of the decision for cutting the number of SNAs from the school from 3.5 to 3.2 for September 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33877/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is responsible for allocating a quantum of Special Needs Assistant (SNA) support for each school annually taking into account the assessed care needs of children qualifying for SNA support enrolled in the school.  

The NCSE allocates SNA support to schools in accordance with the criteria set out in Department Circular 0030/2014, which is available on my Department's website at www.education.ie, in order that students who have care needs can access SNA support as and when it is needed.  

In considering applications for SNA support for individual pupils, the NCSE take account of the pupils' needs and consider the resources available to the school to identify whether additionality is needed or whether the school might reasonably be expected to meet the needs of the pupils from its current level of resources.

SNAs are not allocated to individual children but to schools as a school based resource.

SNA allocations to all schools can change from year to year as children with care needs leave the school, as new children with care needs enrol in a school and as children develop more independent living skills and their care needs diminish over time.

The NCSE Appeals Process may be invoked by a parent or a school where it is considered that a child was not granted access to SNA support because the requirements outlined in Circular 0030/2014 were not complied with.  Schools may also appeal a decision, where the school considers that the NCSE, in applying Department policy, has not allocated the appropriate level of SNA support to the school to meet the special educational and/or care needs of the children concerned.

Where a school has received its allocation of SNA support for 2019/20, but wishes new enrolments or assessments to be considered, which were not taken into account when the initial allocation was made, they may continue to make applications to the NCSE.

The closing date for receipt of appeals in regard to SNA allocations is Friday 27 September 2019.

I have been advised by the NCSE that an appeal has been received in this case and will be processed in due course.  

As this question relates to a particular school, I will once again refer the question to the NCSE for their direct reply. I do not have a role in making determinations in individual cases.