Thursday, 4 February 2010
Dáil Eireann Debate
350. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Science the degree to which the number of special needs teachers and or special needs assistants will be maintained or increased at all schools throughout County Kildare in line with the recognised criteria; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6010/10]
Minister for Education and Science (Deputy Batt O’Keeffe): I wish to advise the Deputy that the policy underpinning the allocation of resource teacher and/or special needs assistant (SNA) posts has not been changed. The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) will continue to allocate additional teacher/SNA posts to schools in line with my Department’s policy criteria.
The Deputy will be aware that the NCSE, through its network of Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENOs), is at present carrying out a review of SNA allocations in all schools with a view to ensuring that the criteria governing the allocation of such posts, as outlined in my Department’s Circular 07/02, are properly met. This is an exercise in identifying surplus posts which are in the system and which do not meet the current criteria — posts that have been retained when a pupil’s care needs have diminished or where the pupil has left.
SENOs are communicating the outcome of the review directly to schools as the review progresses. The allocation for any school and any adjustments to that allocation depends on a number of factors such as the number of pupils with care/medical needs leaving, the number of new pupils, the changing needs of the pupils and any surplus identified. It is expected that the NCSE will have completed the review by the end of March 2010.
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