Donegal TD Joe McHugh has announced an extra 29 Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) will be working in schools across the county when the new school year starts.
Mr McHugh, Government Chief Whip, said: “More and more children with special educational needs are learning and taking an active part in our schools in Donegal.
“Ensuring the funding is there to provide for additional Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) helps these children to participate more fully in school life.
“This increase in the number of SNAs in Donegal is an investment in our children.
“It shows the priority that this Fine Gael Government places on helping children to fulfil their potential. And I want to pay tribute to the outstanding work that SNAs do and the lasting difference that they make to children’s lives.”
Mr McHugh added the role that SNAs play in schools is of huge benefit to mothers and fathers up and down the country and they help give youngsters that extra support that will hopefully improve their lives in the long run.
He said “Making this announcement in May is fulfilling a commitment that was made by the Fine Gael Government last year. It gives SNAs, school principals and mothers and fathers the assurance they need before the school year ends.
“I want to thank my cabinet colleague Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton for making it such a priority.
“Extra roles like these will help to ensure that a child who needs additional support and engagement in school in Donegal gets it.”
With this new allocation a total of 731 SNAs will be working in Donegal schools – 466 in primary schools, 208 in post-primary and 57 in special schools.
More than 15,000 SNAs will be working nationwide in schools come September – a 42% increase on the figures in 2011 when the number stood at 10,575.
The Government now invests €524m in SNAs annually, as part of a total €1.75 billion investment in special educational needs overall.
The NCSE will now proceed to notify schools of their Special Needs Assistants allocations for the coming 2018/19 school year and will publish details of these allocations on their website www.ncse.ie on Friday May 18.
This decision is being made now to ensure that each child that is assessed as needing SNA support receives access to such support for the commencement of the new school year. This will ensure that children with special educational needs may be enrolled and take up their places in September.
Supports for Children with Special Educational Needs
Some 800 additional Special Needs Assistants will be allocated to schools for the beginning of the next school year. Another 140 are expected to be allocated between September and December 2018.
In 2018 the Department of Education and Skills will invest €1.75 billion in special education, almost one fifth of the entire education budget. This is an over 39% increase since 2011. The number of Special Needs Assistants will increase by 42%, from 10,575 to 15,000 since 2011.
The number of Special Classes has increased by 138% with 756 new special classes opened since 2011, bringing the total number of such classes to over 1,300. The NCSE expected to open an additional 155 special classes for the 2018/19 school year.
The new model for allocating Resource Teachers to schools has been successfully introduced, with 900 additional teacher allocated from September 2017 to support the model and to ensure that children with special needs can access additional teaching supports.Tags: