3 December 2013
Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn, TD, announces 390 additional Special Needs Assistants (SNA)
I am delighted the Minister and Government have approved the allocation of additional SNA posts. Providing access to SNA support is one crucial element of supporting children with special needs to achieve their full potential. These extra posts will ensure that there is wider access to SNA support in many schools.
This decision will bring to nearly 11,000, the number of SNAs available to work with children with special needs, to provide support and care, in primary, post primary and special schools. In December 2010 the previous Government decided to cap the number of SNA posts at 10,575. However, since then the number of pupils in our schools has continued to increase. I am heartened to hear Minister Quinn recognise this increased demand by making these positions available.
This announcement will hopefully go some way in order to meet demands of our growing school population, with 170 of these new SNA posts being made available immediately and the further 220 posts to be made available in 2014. Special Needs Assistance play a huge part in the education of many of our young people and as such any announcement of increased resources must be warmly welcomed.
I think it is only proper that today’s announcement comes on the UN’s designated International Day of Persons with Disabilities. All of our children are entitled to and deserve a proper education. To ensure not just growth on intellectual and emotional levels, but to give them the strongest foundation we can, to give all children the opportunity to flourish into the future.