390 New Special Needs Assistant Posts in 2014

309571_10150479627744623_284566681_nI warmly welcome the announcement by the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn T.D., that there will be 390 additional special needs assistants (SNAs) posts appointed shortly and into 2014.

This is excellent news. I’m acutely aware from constituents’ representations of the number of children who have an assessed need for an SNA. It’s important that these pupils get the support they need.

170 SNA posts will be made available immediately, with a further 220 posts available in 2014.

With the addition of 390 new SNA posts, there will be almost 11,000 SNAs working in primary and secondary schools across Ireland. The National Council for Special Education will allocate the new SNA posts on the basis of assessed need.

The role of SNAs in our schools is essential. They ensure that every student with an assessed need has the support available to reach their full potential. It is the Government’s policy to ensure that every child who is assessed as needing SNA support will receive access to such support.

The previous Government capped the number of SNA posts. With both the number of pupils in schools and the demand for SNAs increasing – the decision was made at Cabinet level to end this cap.

I’d like to commend Minister Quinn for all of his hard work in securing these 390 new SNA posts.