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More action needed on SNA provision - Jonathan O'Brien TD

8 July, 2015 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD

Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Jonathan O'Brien TD has said that Minister Jan O'Sullivan needs to take further action in order to improve the system of Special Needs Assistant provision.

Deputy O'Brien said;

"The move to create extra SNA posts is to be welcomed. However, it remains to be seen whether this increased number of SNAs actually caters to demand. We have to bear in mind that the Minister is not restoring SNA hours to the levels prior to the cuts. Jan O'Sullivan hasn't gone far enough.

"There is is definitely a need for more clarity from the Minister. There will be an increase in the number of SNAs who are employed as individuals but we don’t know what hours they will be given. The Minister is very gifted in the selective use of statistics here.

"This is a welcome move but it won’t improve the overall system. It will still be the responsibility of school management to divide up their SNA allocation.

"The Minister must look at delivering a system of SNA provision that is lead by the specific needs of children. The system at the moment is built on the blunt allocation of hours.

"I am calling on the Minister to adopt a perspective in which the learning needs of children are at the centre. Only then can we hope to develop a best-practice model for the provision of SNAs."

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