Thomas Pringle TD

Dáil: SNAs should receive funding from the State for their training expenses

State funding

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For Oral Answer on : 28/11/2018
Question Number(s): 88 Question Reference(s): 49499/18
Department: Education and Skills
Asked by: Thomas Pringle T.D.
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QUESTION
To ask the Minister for Education and Skills when he will introduce an implementation plan on the recommendations drafted by the National Council of Special Education which suggest that SNA training should be funded by the State and not by SNAs themselves; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

REPLY

The current entry level qualification for Special Needs Assistants is set out in my Department’s circular 0021/2011 which requires a FETAC level 3 major qualification on the National Framework of Qualifications, OR a minimum of three grade Ds in the Junior Certificate, OR the equivalent.

The Comprehensive Review of the Special Needs Assistant Scheme which set out to ensure that the Scheme is achieving the best outcomes possible for children with special educational needs was published by the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) in May this year.

One of the recommendations in the Review is the development of a national training programme at FETAC level 5 on the National Framework of Qualifications for existing and new SNAs, recognising the fundamental importance of building schools’ capacity to meet students’ additional care needs.

In response to the Review, I have undertaken to develop proposals for the implementation of the NCSE’s recommendations and to return to Government following engagement with the Departments of Public Expenditure and Reform and Health, with a proposed implementation plan to include governance and accountability framework and detailed costings of any recommendations that subsequently may be approved by Government.

Work in this regard is underway and I expect to bring proposals for implementation of the Review’s recommendations to Government shortly.

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