Deputy Charlie McConalogue has warned that delays in Garda vetting procedures for approval of Special Needs Assistants (SNA) applications will have a detrimental impact on schools over the coming months.
Deputy McConalogue says the current vetting procedures for Special Needs Assistants (SNA’s) needs to be overhauled to prevent duplication of work.
Specifically, a centralised database should be introduced to prevent the need for SNAs to go through the same vetting procedure on multiple occasions over a short period of time. Currently SNAs need to go through the entire vetting procedure whenever they move schools.
“A new member of staff cannot take up their position until they have been vetted so there are many schools which have been left without an SNA due to the backlog of applications. This is resulting in particular difficulties where schools are seeking substitute SNAs to cover for staff members on leave.
“The current vetting system is in need of reform. The main problem is that there is no centralised record of SNAs that have been Garda vetted. This means that an SNA has to go through the entire vetting process every time they move school, despite the fact that they have already received the green-light from An Garda Síochána.
“A database already exists for teachers that have been vetted, so there is no excuse for not having a similar database for SNAs. It makes no sense to put SNAs through the same vetting process on multiple occasions. The system needs to be streamlined and this must be a priority for the Government,” concluded Deputy McConalogue.Tags: