The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton TD, today announced that 130 additional SNAs are being made available for allocation to schools over the remainder of the school year (January – June 2018) as part of an overall increase of 1,000 SNAs in 2018. This announcement will ensure that every child who needs SNA support, receives it.
The Minister also announced that schools will be informed of their SNA allocation for the 2018/19 school year by the end of May 2018. This fulfils a commitment that the notification of SNA allocations would be brought forward so that schools and parents can have greater certainty for the following school year.
This government is committed to ensuring that children with special educational needs are supported and given the opportunity to reach their full potential. Today’s announcement will bring the total number of Special Needs Assistants to over 14,100 by the end of this school year. In 2018, we will invest almost €1.7 billion in Special Education, nearly one fifth of the overall Education budget and €468m of this will be on the SNA scheme.
This increased investment reflects the priority which the government has put on helping children with special educational needs to fulfil their potential. It also reflects the growing participation of children with Special educational Needs in the Education System and the capacity of the Education system to better support their full participation and progression.
Speaking today, Minister Bruton said:
“I am keen to ensure, during my time as Minister, that every child has the opportunity to fulfil their full potential within our education system. We are investing nearly €1.7billion in Special Education, nearly one fifth of the total Education budget. This investment ensures that every child that needs SNA support can get one.
“I secured an additional €30m in Budget 2018 to fund the continued development of the SNA scheme with more than 1000 additional SNA posts being provided for from that funding. Today, we are announcing that 130 of these SNA posts will be available for the remainder of this school year (January 2018- June 2018).
“Furthermore, I have listened to the concerns of schools and of Special Needs Assistants themselves and we are now ensuring that SNA allocations are done earlier in the year, to give certainty to school communities for the following school year.”