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Department of Education’s dismissive attitude towards SNAs cannot continue – Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

21 April, 2021 - by Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD has expressed concern at the continuing dismissive attitude of the Department of Education towards Special Needs Assistants (SNAs). 

This comes following comments by the Department at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) this week, refusing to recognise the need for proper accreditation.

Teachta Ó Laoghaire said:

“The Department’s comments this week, again refusing to review the SNA qualification or give proper accreditation to SNA training courses, is extremely alarming. 

"Many SNAs I have spoken with are insulted and deeply hurt by the dismissive attitude taken by the Department.

“For far too long now, SNAs have been treated as the poor relation within Education. They play a central role in our schools, and are indispensable to the education of thousands of our children.

“The least they deserve is recognition and proper accreditation from the Department of Education.

“SNAs on the National Training Programme at UCD have been going around in circles trying to get clarity on the accreditation for their course. 

"When SNAs are trying to upskill and spending a huge amount of time putting the work in, they deserve to know what qualifications they will come out with.

“This week’s comments are simply one incident in a long history of disrespectful comments and a generally dismissive attitude towards SNAs.

“It is high time the Department of Education showed SNAs the respect they deserve, through proper recognition of their role and a clear accreditation for their National Training Programme. Anything less than this is not good enough."

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