Fine Gael Kildare South TD Martin Heydon has said that the decision to allocate over 600 additional Special Needs Assistant posts from September 2015 reflects the government’s commitment to ensure that every child with an assessed need has access to a SNA.

“The announcement this week means that 24 additional SNA posts are being created in Kildare. This will bring the total number of SNA posts in Kildare schools to 519 this September.

 “These extra posts mean that every child assessed as needing an SNA will have access to one, which comes as welcome news to parents across the country. When a child is assessed as having a particular care need it is vital that the support needed is delivered.  This is essential to help each child reach his or her potential and to help them get the most out of their time in school.   

“The Government has also decided to carry out a review of the SNA scheme to ensure that it is meeting its objectives and that best use is being made of the significant resources invested. Among the issues to be examined will be the reasons behind the significant increase in demand evident this year and how the timing of applications and allocations can be better aligned with the school year to avoid further stress to parents students and school staff. 

“It has been a consistent policy of Fine Gael in Government to increase the number of SNAs in our schools.  From September there will be 11,820 whole-time SNA posts available in our primary and post-primary schools.  This is an 11.7% increase since this Government came to office.