I propose to take Questions Nos. 239 and 240 together.
In 2016, in the region of 12,900 Special Needs Assistant (SNA) posts were allocated to schools by the end of the year. This increased to 13,015 posts by the end of 2017.
Funding provision for SNA posts, by way of the normal estimates/budget process, has been undertaken, on the basis of a Government decision, since Budget 2018.
Budget 2018 provided for 1091 additional SNA posts, bringing the total number of SNA posts available for allocation to 15,000 in 2018.
Budget 2019 provided for a further 950 SNA posts. To date, over 900 of these posts have been allocated with the remainder expected to be allocated by the end of 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.
Budget 2020 has provided for 1,064 additional SNAs posts, for allocation in 2020, which will bring the total number of SNA posts in schools to over 17,000 in 2020, an increase of over 60% since 2011.
The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is responsible for allocating 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 publish statistics on SNA allocations, including allocations by county, for each school year and this information is available on their website, www.ncse.ie.