Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Ceisteanna (165)

Jennifer Whitmore

Ceist:

165. Deputy Jennifer Whitmore asked the Minister for Education the process for the allocation of SNAs for 2021-2022; when the guidance circular is due to be issued; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [25040/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

In light of the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the introduction of the new Frontloaded Allocation Model for Special Needs Assistants for students in mainstream classes in primary and post -primary schools is to be deferred for a further year to the beginning of the 2022/23 school year.

The disruption prevented the delivery of the necessary training and information workshops to support the roll out of the new allocation model which had been planned for earlier this year.

The training and workshops are designed to help school leaders and teachers in their in-school planning for the new model and their engagement with parents. These sessions will now be rescheduled to take place during the 2021/22 school year. Further information will be issued by the NCSE in due course.

SNA allocations for 2021/22 school year will be based on the actual number of SNAs employed by a school on 30 April 2021 and the allocation on that date will be rolled over into 2021/22. No school will receive a reduced allocation.

As in previous years, there will be provision for schools to apply to the NCSE for additionality where exceptional circumstances give rise to new care needs that cannot be catered for within existing allocations. These posts will be met from within the existing Budget 2021 allocation.

SNA allocations for 2021/22 will be published later this month as in previous years.

SNA allocations for special classes and special schools are not affected by this arrangement.

My Department will also be publishing a circular this month to advise schools of the arrangements for the allocation of SNAs for the 2021/22 school year.