Written answers

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Department of Education and Skills

Special Educational Needs Service Provision

Photo of Jack WallJack Wall (Kildare South, Labour)
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147. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills when a child (details supplied) in County Kildare will receive a special needs assistant; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44396/14]

Photo of Jan O'SullivanJan O'Sullivan (Limerick City, Labour)
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The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is responsible, through its network of local Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENOs) for allocating a quantum of Special Needs Assistant (SNA) support for each school annually taking into account the assessed care needs of children qualifying for SNA support enrolled in the school. Where children have significant care needs whereby they may need additional support to be able to attend school, the NCSE may make an allocation of SNA support to the school to assist that child.

The NCSE operates within my Department's criteria in allocating such support. The criteria by which SNA support is allocated to pupils is set out in my Department's Circular 0030/2014, which is available on my Department's website at www.education.ie.

All schools were asked to apply to the NCSE for SNA support for the 2014/15 school year by 26 March 2014. The NCSE published details of their allocations for SNA support for the 2014/15 school year in June 2014. The NCSE has recently completed a second round allocations for SNA provision for the 2014/15 school year, details of which are available on the NCSE website, www.ncse.ie.

The deployment of SNAs within schools is a matter for the individual Principal/Board of Management. SNAs should be deployed by the school in a manner which best meets the care support requirements of the children enrolled in the school for whom SNA support has been allocated. It is a matter for schools to allocate support as required, and on the basis of individual need, which allows schools flexibility in how the SNA support is utilised.

Should a school wish to make an application for additional SNA support for a child who was not previously considered for SNA support, or who is due to enrol to a school, they may do so to the NCSE. Schools who wish to appeal the level of SNA allocation which has been made to them may do so via the appeals process which is set out at www.ncse.ie.

All schools have the names and contact details of their local SENO. Parents may also contact their local SENO directly to discuss their child's special educational needs, using the contact details available on www.ncse.ie.


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