Coonan welcomes extra special needs assistant places in Tipp schools

Noel Coonan TD has welcomed the Cabinet decision to approve 15 additional Special Needs Assistant posts from September 2015 to Tipperary primary and post-primary schools.

Noel Coonan TD has welcomed the Cabinet decision to approve 15 additional Special Needs Assistant posts from September 2015 to Tipperary primary and post-primary schools.

Deputy Coonan said: “This additional allocation of posts for Tipperary schools follows a significant increase in assessed need in Tipperary and nationwide. Following this increase, the Minister for Education requested a review be carried out by the Department and the NCSE to ensure the SNA scheme is sustainable in meeting its objectives.

“This will come as welcome news to schools who are in need of further assistance. From September there will be 11,820 whole-time SNA posts available in primary and post-primary schools nationwide. This is an 11.7% increase since this Fine Gael-led Government came to office.

“This increase shows our ongoing commitment to enhancing the learning experience for children with an assessed need. Last year the Government provided for an additional 220 SNA posts for 2015.

“The Minister for Education has also announced that a review of the SNA scheme will be carried out to ensure that it is meeting its objectives and that best use is being made of the significant resources invested. Among the issues to be examined will be the reasons behind the significant increase in demand evident this year and how the timing of applications and allocations can be better aligned with the school year,” said Deputy Coonan.