Thursday, 12 May 2022
Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh – Priority Questions
Special Educational Needs
The issue of lower levels of pay for SNAs, and their significant disparity, has been raised on several occasions. I urge the Minister to look at that because SNAs are very often crucial in providing the programme. A significant issue raised each year is that of the late payment of staff who volunteer their time to facilitate summer provision. This comes in the context of many schools and staff feeling very burnt out and feeling that the past two years have been very challenging. If we are asking teachers and SNAs to take up this programme, and I hope many will because it is vitally important, we need to ensure their goodwill is responded to. Last year, the Minister made a big deal about earlier payment of staff, but staff and teachers who were waiting for payment for work done in July still contacted me in November and December. The administrative hurdles some had to jump through were extremely stressful. I hope the online payment system will address those issues, but will the Minister make a firm commitment that staff will be paid by September at the latest?