Thursday, 12 May 2022
Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh – Priority Questions
Special Educational Needs
The Deputy needs to be aware that this decision is not solely for me, as Minister of State with responsibility for special education, or the Minister for Education to take. There are a lot of moving parts when making a decision of this nature. We have stated previously that the allocation will be made in May. That gives certainty to schools as they know an announcement will be made on the allocation for September and they can plan for that.
When the front-loading model is implemented it will improve job security for SNAs in schools because it will ensure greater certainty for SNAs in relation to their employment status as the school allocation of SNA support will not be based on an annual application process. That is important. It would enable a school to allocate SNA support to a pupil who does not have a formal diagnosed special educational need but needs support. We also have to accept that many students with special educational needs in the mainstream do not have significant care needs. They are supported through the special education teacher, or SET, allocation. Notwithstanding all of that, it is important that there is clarity for schools. That will be provided this month, as promised.