Written answers

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Department of Education and Skills

Special Educational Needs Staffing

Photo of Patrick O'DonovanPatrick O'Donovan (Limerick, Fine Gael)
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382. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the number of special needs assistants and resource teachers who are employed nationally in our schools by her Department; of these the number who have been employed through JobBridge or any other Department of Social Protection scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46851/14]

Photo of Jan O'SullivanJan O'Sullivan (Limerick City, Labour)
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There are 11,000 learning support/resource teacher posts, including those provided under the General Allocation model, in mainstream primary and post primary schools providing additional teaching support to pupils with special educational needs this year as well as 11,110 Special Needs Assistant (SNA) posts providing support for children with significant care needs.

I recently announced, as part of Budget 2015, that an additional 365 Special Needs Assistant posts would be provided in 2015, as well as an additional 480 Resource Teachers, to take into account increased demand and demographic growth and to ensure that children can continue to have access to additional supports in school.

This is the highest number of Resource Teaching and SNA support that we have ever had. These increases, building on increases which have already been provided in recent years, will ensure that children with special educational needs can continue to participate in education and be supported in a manner appropriate to their needs.

The Work Placement Programmes (WPP1 for graduates and WPP2 for non-graduates), along with the JobBridge National Internship Scheme, are operated, managed and funded by the Department of Social Protection.

These schemes provide an opportunity for the exchange of expertise and experience between the host organisation and those in a placement/internship.

Circular Letter 66/2010, issued by my Department in relation to the WPP in November 2010, and circular letter 46/2011, issued by my Department in relation to JobBridge in October 2011, permitted schools to participate should they so wish.

Officials in the Department of Social Protection have informed my Department that there are currently 79 SNAs and 1 Resource Teacher in internships. There are no SNAs or Resource Teachers identified as being on Work Placement Programmes. These posts are not displacing allocated posts and are additional to the numbers listed above.


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