Changes to SNA allocation must be postponed

24 February 2020

Labour Party Education spokesperson, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, has called on the Department of Education and Skills to postpone reforms to SNA supports.

Deputy Ó Ríordáin said:

“I fully agree with AsIAm’s assessment of the new SNA allocation system.

“This new proposed system needs to be stalled until parents, teachers and SNAs have clarity on the system.

“Students and families who require a SNA need  reassurance that their needs will continue to be met.

“There cannot be a one size fits all approach to the allocation of special needs education.

“I have been advocating for indvidual cases from across the country since I became Labour Education Spokesperson and the stories are harrowing.  

“The common thread is that the families of children with special needs and additional needs feel they have to go to war with the State in order to get results. This can be especially stressful for parents who already find themselves in an extremely difficult situation.

“The current system of assessment is failing many children and families. Many parents can’t afford to get private assessments for their kids and schools only receive a restricted number of assessments from NEPs.

“The new system proposed by the Department of Education is causing nothing but anxiety for parents and groups such as AsIAm.

“I will be raising this issue with the acting Minister for Education when the Dáil resumes on March 5th.”

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