Tuesday, 10 December 2019
Department of Education and Skills
Special Educational Needs Staff Data
I wish to advise the Deputy that a new model for allocating special education teachers was introduced for mainstream schools from September 2017.
The new Special Education Teaching allocation provides a single unified allocation for special educational support teaching needs to each school, based on that school’s educational profile.
What were previously referred to as Resource Teachers, and Learning Support Teachers, have now been incorporated into a single Special Education Teacher post.
The estimated salary cost for the employment of a Special Education Teacher, on a full-time basis, would be an average salary cost of €60,000 per annum. The estimated cost of employing ten new Special Education Teachers would therefore be approximately €600,000 per annum.
It should be noted that there are currently over 13,500 special education teacher posts allocated to mainstream primary and post primary schools.
The total number of Special Education Teachers has increased by 38% since 2011, from 9,740 in 2011, to over 13,500 at present.
Budget 2020 also provided for an additional 120 special education teacher posts, which means that 13,620 Special Education Teaching posts will be available for allocation to mainstream primary and post primary schools by the end of 2020.
My Department's policy is to ensure that every child who is assessed as needing Special Needs Assistant (SNA) support will receive access to such support.
In 2019, in the region of €1.9 billion is being invested in Special Education, nearly one fifth of the overall Education budget. Budget 2020 has provided for 1,064 additional SNAs posts, for allocation in 2020, which will bring the total number of SNA posts in schools to over 17,000 in 2020, an increase of over 60% since 2011. The additional cost of these posts is €13 million and the provisional 2020 total allocation to SNA pay is €602 million.
The pay at entry of a new entrant Special Needs Assistant, inclusive of employer PRSI, is €27,674 so the estimated cost of 10 SNAs would be €276,740.