Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said the latest publication by The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) on the number of Special Needs Assistant (SNA) posts for Co. Tipperary are broadly disappointing, even if some schools have received additional minor increases in SNA hours. Deputy McGrath was speaking after the NCSE released the data for 2019/2020 SNA posts which are due to take effect from this September:
“The information provided to me shows that within Co. Tipperary, 36 schools will see some small addition to their SNA posts. However, 73 schools will unfortunately have the exact same provision as they did last year with an alarming 16 schools actually seeing a decrease.
I think what this clearly shows is that while there are relatively minor improvements, the pace of SNA allocations is simply not happening fast enough to meet the needs of parents, children and schools.
It also shows that the improvement level is either static or decreasing overall.
This is a clear indication that Minister McHugh is failing to implement policies that will allow for a far greater recruitment and retention of these vital members of staff.
Clearly this is not happening, which in itself is deeply concerning as the former Minister for Education, Richard Bruton and the NCSE had initiated a review of the SNA policy as far back as 2016,” concluded Deputy McGrath.