Children with special needs in Wicklow will benefit from extra SNAs in our local schools, Fine Gael TD, Andrew Doyle has said.
The allocation is part of a national provision of 975 additional Special Needs Assistants which will be available for allocation to schools over the period September to December 2017, a 7.5% increase, in order to meet the level of assessed demand.
Minister Doyle said: “This increase reflects the growing participation of children with special educational needs in our local schools and will support their full participation and progression within the educational system.
I have been in constant communication with my Fine Gael colleague, Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton, highlighting the need for extra supports for children with special needs here in Wicklow.
“The extra posts will ensure that every child that needs access to SNA support in Wicklow can receive this support.
“The aim of this Government is to continue to use our economic success to ensure that children with special educational needs can be supported to fully participate in schools and fulfil their potential.
“In the worst years of the crash, when the public purse declined massively, investment in special education was not only protected and prioritised, but it was significantly increased.
“The increase in total investment in this area has been more than 30% since 2011.
“It is essential that we continue to provide for children with special educational needs in our local schools so they can reach their full potential.
“Fine Gael measures success in this area by looking at the number of children with Special Educational Needs that are fully participating and progressing through the school system.
“More children with SEN are participating than ever before and we are investing more than ever before to support this. In 2017 my Fine Gael colleague, Minister Bruton’s Department will invest €1.68 billion in special education, almost one fifth of the entire education budget.”
Minister Bruton said: “I am very pleased that 975 additional Special Needs Assistants will be available to allocate to schools by the end of this year. It brings the total number of SNAs to nearly 14,000 – the highest ever number of SNAs.
“In parallel, the NCSE are conducting comprehensive work to examine whether the current SNA scheme represents the best possible means of supporting the additional needs of children with special needs.
“I look forward to receiving the full reports of this process when that work is complete. Special needs assistants have continued to play a key role in helping children to participate and progress.”
Note to Editors:
- This decision is being made now to ensure that each child that is assessed as needing SNA support receives access to such support for the commencement of the new school year.
- This will ensure that children with special educational needs may be enrolled and take up their places in September.
Supports for Children with Special Educational Needs
- In 2017 the Department of Education and Skills will invest €1.68 billion in special education, almost one fifth of the entire education budget. This is a 32% increase since 2011.
- The number of Special Needs Assistants has increased by 32%, from 10,575 to 13,990 since 2011.
- The number of Special Classes has increased by 120% with over 600 new special classes opened since 2011, bringing the total number of such classes to over 1,100.
- The new model for allocating Resource Teachers to schools has been successfully introduced, with 900 additional teacher allocated from September 2017 to support the model and to ensure that children with special needs can access additional teaching supports.
Supporting Children with SEN to Progress
- Estimated total Students with SEN across school settings have increased by some 21% since 2011.
- There are 700 more children with special needs entering third level now than two years ago, up 31%.