13 June, 2012 - Department of Education and Skills authorises the NCSE to allocate Resource Teachers and SNAs for 2012/13

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) will this week be advising all schools of their allocation of Resource Teachers and Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) for the coming school year.
Speaking today, the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn TD, said, "I am pleased that, despite the tough economic situation this country faces this Government has ring-fenced the money needed to maintain SNA and Resource Teacher numbers."
"My department is also formally seeking advice from the NCSE on policy options for the allocation of these valuable resources in the future. I want to make sure that children and young people with special needs are getting the best possible outcomes with the valuable but limited resources we have available to us. I look forward to receiving that advice early in the New Year."
Special Needs Assistants

A total of 10,575 whole time equivalent (WTE) SNA posts will be available to schools which need them in the coming school year. This is the same number of posts that was available last year. 
The previous Government decided in December 2010 to cap the number of WTE SNA posts at 10,575 and that cap remains in place.
The NCSE has now concluded its analysis of applications received from schools for the 2012/13 school year. On the basis of the valid applications received, 10,311 SNA posts will be allocated to schools immediately. This leaves a balance of 264 posts which can be provided throughout the school year for new assessments of disability, new entrants, emergency or late applications. 
Based on the experience of last year, it is estimated that these 264 posts should be sufficient to meet any emergency demands. 

The Department of Education & Skills is continuing to implement the recommendations of the Value for Money and Policy Review of the SNA scheme. 

Resource Teachers
During the 2011/12 school year there were a total of 9,950 WTE Resource Teacher and Learning Support posts. This included 5,500 Resource Teacher posts to support children, including those with more complex Special Educational Needs. These numbers of posts will be maintained for the 2012/2013 school year.  However, they cannot be exceeded under the Employment Control Framework (ECF).
With rising enrolments in schools, the number of valid applications received for the 2012/2013 school year to date is higher than last year. Therefore, in order to ensure there are sufficient remaining posts to make allocations for late or emergency applications, while staying within the ECF, the NCSE will initially allocate 85% of assessed needs to schools.

Schools are being asked to make up any time lost through grouping of students and more effective management of teaching time.