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Cap on Special Needs Assistants a travesty – Crowe

24 March, 2011 - by Seán Crowe TD


Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Education Sean Crowe has called on Labour Minister for Education and Skills Ruairí Quinn not to implement the proposed cap on Special Needs Assistants.

Describing the cap as ‘a travesty’ Deputy Crowe said that pupils should be allocated Special Needs Assistants based on educational need alone.

Deputy Crowe said:

“It is not acceptable that children with special needs would go without the appropriate support to see them through their education. Leaving children without these supports is a travesty.

“Pupils should be allocated Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) based on educational need alone.

“SNAs are not overpaid, quite the opposite, they receive just a little more than the minimum wage – less than €12 an hour. Money can be saved elsewhere. This is about priorities and looking after the educational prospects of our most vulnerable children must be made a priority.

“The SNA cut is a nightmare for schools but an even bigger nightmare for families of children with special needs.

“I am asking the new Minister for Education and Skills to make a stand for children with Special Educational Needs. I welcome his commitment to review the arbitrary deadline for the awarding of SNAs. This deadline makes no sense to schools considering that there is no way of knowing how many new entrants have special needs and how many newly diagnosed children there will be.

The Minister must ensure that children with Special Educational Needs have access to an SNA based on educational need alone and not on how many SNAs the Government is willing to pay.”

ENDS

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