Joint Committee on Education and Social Protection Report on the Role of the Special Needs Assistant January 2016Leave a comment
January 27, 2016 by johnston00
The Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act is based on the principle that children with special educational needs should be educated, wherever possible, in an inclusive environment with children who do not have special educational needs. The requirement to have an inclusive environment means ensuring that the education system adjusts to meet the needs of children, rather than expecting children to ‘fit’ into the system.
Over the years, there has been a substantial increase in the provision of Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) in mainstream primary and post-primary schools to meet the special care needs of pupils arising from a disability. The number of SNAs has been steadily increased in recent years, bringing the total number of posts nationally to 11,940, involving a cost in 2015 of approximately €400 million. Without doubt, SNAs are an important resource in schools around the country, and they make an enormous contribution in supporting students to meet their personal and educational goals. It is important that SNAs are employed in a manner that optimises their contribution to the children concerned and to the schools generally.