Schools to get 1,000 extra special needs assistants
SCHOOLS across the country are set to be assigned almost 1,000 additional special needs assistants by the end of the year.
This will bring the current number of SNAs working in schools up to 15,000, an increase of over 40% since 2011. The announcement will see 800 extra SNAs allocated to schools for the beginning of the next school year, with a further 140 due to be allocated between September and December.
Around 36,000 pupils will have access to SNA support following yesterday’s allocation, compared to 22,284 in 2011.
Education Minister Richard Bruton said that SNAs played a major part in ensuring that children with special needs can fully participate in school and fulfil their potential.
‘Special needs assistants have continued to play a key role in helping children with special educational needs who have additional care needs to attend school and participate in education,’ he said.
‘The extra posts I am announcing today will ensure that every child that needs access to SNA support can receive this support.’
In September 2016, the National Council for Special Education was directed to review the Special Needs Assistant Scheme to recommend what could be done to provide better outcomes to students with special needs. The report was submitted to the Department of Education.