03 December,2013 - Minister Quinn announces 390 extra SNA posts for coming year

Cabinet agrees to increase the cap on the number of SNAs to almost 11,000 in order to meet demands of growing school population

The Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn T.D., has today obtained Cabinet approval to increase the cap on the number of special needs assistants (SNAs) by 390 in the coming year.

This will bring to almost 11,000 the number of SNA posts available to work with children who have an assessed need for an SNA in primary and post primary schools. 

These extra posts will ensure that the Government’s policy of ensuring that every child who is assessed as needing SNA support will receive access to such support

The previous Government decided in December 2010 to cap the number of WTE (Whole Time Equivalent) SNA posts at 10,575 and that cap has remained in place since its introduction.

However, the number of pupils in our schools has continued to increase since then and the demand for SNAs has also grown. 

170 SNA posts will be made available immediately, with a further 220 posts available in 2014. 

Speaking after Cabinet today, Minister Quinn said, “Despite our economic difficulties, we need to support our children with special needs to achieve their full potential in school.

“I’m delighted that Government has today approved the allocation of more SNA posts.  This means there will be almost 11,000 SNAs available to provide support and care for children with special needs in primary, post primary and Special Schools.”

Following today’s Cabinet decision, the Employment Control Framework cap will be adjusted upwards, from the current level of 10,575 posts, by 170 posts to 10,745 at the end of 2013 and by a further 220 posts to 10,965 at the end of 2014.

The National Council for Special Education will allocate the new SNA posts on the basis of assessed need.