Go-ahead for 860 new special needs assistants

“SNAs act in a care and support role in classrooms, assisting students with special needs and disabilities to function in a mainstream school environment. Their role is not officially an educational one, although in practice many SNAs assist pupils with educational difficulties.

Today’s move will bring the annual budget for SNAs to €425 million. The total budget for special education is €1.4 billion annually, out of a total education budget of €9 billion.

“Our basic aim as a Government is to use our growing economic strength to support a fair and compassionate society,” a Government source said. “Providing better supports for children with special educational needs, so as to help support their full participation and progression within the education system, is an important part of this.””