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Education Minister must stop foot dragging on SNA allocations
Last updated on 06 Jul, 2015
If Minister has accepted FF analysis & is headed for U-turn, speedy confirmation needed
Fianna Fáil Leader and Cork South-Central TD Micheál Martin has called on the Education Minister to explain why SNA allocations for next September have been delayed. Schools in Cork and across the country are still waiting to hear whether they have been granted their requested SNA allocation for next year, despite the fact that almost all of them have already broken up for the summer.
Deputy Martin said, “The Minster was quick to spin an ‘increase’ in the allocation of SNAs, clearly hoping that people would not notice that the numbers allocated fail to take demographic increases into consideration, and therefore fall far short of what is needed. Fianna Fáil has repeatedly called on Minister O’Sullivan to increase the allocations to cater for the number of students who require additional educational supports. The Minister has sanctioned 365 new SNA posts, but schools require somewhere in the region of 600 just to maintain the minimum standards of education. Parents of children with special needs in Cork city need clarity instead of the anxiety that comes from not knowing where they stand.
“Following the pressure applied by Fianna Fáil and others, it is understood Minister O’Sullivan has put in a request for additional posts to Cabinet and to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. If this is the case, we would of course welcome this u-turn by the Minister and would urge her to act without delay. Cork’s schools need to be advised of their SNA allocation as soon as possible so that they can recruit if necessary and plan for the year ahead.
“Parents and teachers have been expressing concerns about the SNA allocations for the year ahead – with many schools worried that they will not be able to cater for the needs of students based on the current allocations. The Minister must take heed of their concerns and fight for these extra resources. SNAs are also being treated unfairly – many still don’t know if they have a job this September because the Minister has not finalised the SNA allocations.
“I’m calling on Minister O’Sullivan to expedite this process and secure the necessary funding to ensure that children across the country are given the necessary resources to supports them through the education system.”