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Written Answers - School Staffing

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 760 No. 3

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 205.  Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan  asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  the extent to which urgently required extra facilities at a school (details supplied) have been identified in the wake of meeting special needs provisions; if he will identify the full extent of extra facilities required and as presented by the board of management; if he will indicate a timetable within which provision is likely; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16629/12]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn I understand that the Deputy’s question relates to the provision of Special Needs Assistant (SNA) support at the school referred to by him.

I wish to advise that the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is responsible, through its network of local Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENOs) for allocating SNAs to schools to support children with special educational needs. The NCSE operates within my Department’s criteria in allocating such support, which now includes a requirement for them to have regard to the overall cap on numbers.

[781]The NCSE has advised all schools, including the school referred to by the Deputy, of their SNA allocation for the current school year, taking into account the care needs of qualifying pupils attending the school.

The NCSE has retained a number of SNA posts in order to allocate them over the remainder of the school year in respect of emergency cases or new diagnosis. Should a school seek to have their SNA provision reviewed or make a new application, they should contact the NCSE in this regard. It is expected that schools, before requesting any review of their SNA provision, will be in a position to demonstrate that they have made every effort to manage their allocation of SNA posts to best effect.

Schools have also been advised to make applications to the NCSE for resource teaching and SNA support for the 2012/13 school year by 16th March, 2012. Schools will subsequently be advised by the NCSE of their allocation for the 2012/13 school year, based on the number of valid applications received and in the case of SNA support, the extent of the care needs of qualifying children. It is open to schools to contact their local SENO in this regard, using the contact details available on www.ncse.ie.


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