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Written Answers - Special Educational Needs

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 762 No. 1

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 40.  Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett  asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  if he has had any reports on the impact of the cuts to special needs assistants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19491/12]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn I wish to advise the Deputy that there has been no reduction in the overall number of Special Needs Assistant (SNA) posts available for allocation to schools this year. 10,575 Whole Time Equivalent (WTE) SNA posts have been made available for allocation to schools by the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) throughout the school year, subject to qualifying applications being received. [153] This figure represents a modest increase in the number of SNA posts allocated in recent years from 9,824 in 2007 to 10,442 in 2008, 10,342 in 2009 and 10,543 in 2010. It is considered that with equitable management and distribution of these resources that there will be sufficient posts to provide access to SNA support for all children who require care support to attend school, in accordance with my Departments criteria.

It should also be noted that no reduction has made to the overall number of SNA or Resource Teaching posts which will be available for allocation to schools for the 2012/13 school year. This is representative of the Government’s commitment to protecting services for children with special educational needs, at a time when there has been a requirement to make savings across a range of expenditure areas. Schools have 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.

Question No. 41 answered with Question No. 32.

Question No. 42 answered with Question No. 23.

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