Thursday, 12 May 2022
Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh – Priority Questions
Special Educational Needs
I do not think the Minister of State is hearing what I am saying. It is not good enough to say the allocation is always made in May. SNAs are telling me it is not good enough and that the same thing happens every year. They cannot plan for September. They are the last group of school workers who are ever thought of. This year, the staff schedule came out in April whereas it has come out in February in previous years. It is not good enough to tell the House this always happens in May and sure that is the way it is. Nor is it good enough to say it is going to happen by the end of this month. I would like to hear some level of regret in the Minister of State’s voice. SNAs waiting for this allocation to come out cannot plan for September because they do now know what their personal situation will be, or what will be the circumstances of the young person or child they will be working with or those of the school, school principal and school community.
Can we work towards a scenario where the allocations will not be made in May next year? Can the Minister of State give a date on which the allocations will be released? If an SNA feels disrespected by the Department, he or she will continue to feel disrespected if this happens every single year and the Minister of State shows no ambition to change the position for next year.