Increase in special needs assistants for Galway schools

The number of special needs assistants in Galway and Mayo's primary and secondary schools is increasing by 28 this September.

In Galway the number of SNAs at primary school level is increasing from 387.03 in June to 397.55 in September and at secondary level from 132 in June to 140.5 in September. The figures are the whole-time equivalent posts.

The National Council for Special Education is the State agency with responsibility for assessing additional educational needs and for allocating resources including learning resource hours, special needs assistants, learning resource teachers, and special education classes.

“It is vital to note that SNA posts are allocated to schools on the basis of identified needs to support pupils attending the school who have additional educational care needs. This means that not all schools will have SNAs or learning resource teachers because the resources are assigned to pupils and not schools,” said Galway West TD, Seán Kyne.

“The Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn, has worked to maximise the available budget for special needs education with an allocation of €1.3 billion for this year. This, coupled with the co-ordinated approach by the National Council for Special Education, means that all students who are eligible to access SNA support will have this support in place in September.”

From September there will be approximately 10,900 SNA posts in schools to support students with special needs for the 2014/2015 school year.

The exact numbers of SNAs will become clear when enrolments of students in mainstream schools are finalised in September.

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