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SNA delays putting parents and principals in extremely difficult positions – McDonald

5 July, 2017 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Speaking in the Dáil this afternoon, Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald TD criticised the government for its delay in allocating Special Needs Assistants to schools and demanded that the Taoiseach ensure such delays never happen again.

The Dublin Central TD said:

“Government is now over a month behind in allocating Special Needs Assistants to schools for the forthcoming school year.

“This comes hot on the heels of an overwhelming number of appeals by schools of their special needs allocation under the new resource model. These delays are causing serious distress in communities.

“Parents of children with special needs are this morning at their wits end. They do not know if their child will have access to an SNA come September or, if they do, how much time of SNA support their child will receive.

“For parents knowing that they will have such support is great source of confidence to children and parents during the back-to-school period. This delay has robbed the children and their parents of that confidence.

“Principals are placed in the extremely difficult position of not being able to tell SNAs employed in their schools whether or not they will have a job when children go back to school in September.

“The Minister for Education Richard Bruton needs to ensure this critical information is provided to schools this week, and government needs to review the procedures going forward so that this information is provided in a timely fashion every year.” 

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