Friday, 6 September 2019

Ceisteanna (493)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

493. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of special needs assistants in the education system; the overall pupil-to-SNA ratio; his plans to improve the ratio; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36752/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I announced on 27 May that 792 additional SNA posts will be allocated to schools for the beginning of the 2019/20 school year, with almost 130 additional posts expected to be allocated by December 2019.

By the end of this year, there will be up to 15,950 SNAs working in our schools, an increase of over 51% since 2011.

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.