Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin with principal Noreen Duggan and parents from Scoil an Naomh Uilig, Newbridge
Kildare south TD Fiona OLoughlin is calling for a review of the Special Needs Assistant model to alleviate allocation delays to schools in Kildare.
Deputy OLoughlin says the delays, which are occurring on a yearly basis, are leading to deep uncertainty for schools, parents and people employed as SNAs.
“The SNA allocation model needs to be looked at, as it is not providing the best outcomes for children,” she said.
“Each year, school principals and boards of management are faced with the charade of waiting to hear whether or not the Minister of the day decides to announce allocations to meet additional special needs that arise as a result of demographic increases and increases in individual students; assessed needs in their schools.”
According to Deputy O’Loughlin special needs allocations have to be given greater predictability and announced before the end of the school year so school management can plan and parents can be given assurances.
“Schools also cannot properly plan their special education provision due to theuncertainty surrounding the programme each year. This also means that peopleemployed as SNAs do not know whether they can be retained the following September; a level of employment uncertainty that many excellent SNAs just cannot live with.”