Despite the school year beginning over a month ago, 683 teachers and special needs assistants have been unable to go to work due to a huge backlog in applications for garda vetting.
Recently legislative change dictates that teachers and special needs assistants cannot begin working until they undergo garda vetting.
RTÉ report that several children with disabilities who require physical assistance have been forced to stay at home as their schools do not yet have a special needs assistant to cater for their needs.
Some children with special needs have been asked to attend school for shorter periods to help the schools cope with the lack of staff.
Difficulties have arisen with regard to finding substitute SNAs, as a substitute cannot stand in unless their background has been fully vetted by the gardaí.
Gardaí state that they have processed thousands of applications since mid-August, however 389 Special Needs Assistant and 294 teacher garda vetting applications are still outstanding.
Gardaí claim that 80% of electronic applications are usually processed within 5 working days, however 80% of paper applications received can take anywhere up to 5 weeks.
Although hundreds of teachers are still waiting to have their application considered, the Teacher’s Council have a system of electronic vetting which is coping well with the influx of applications.Tags: