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Irish News

"Tipp schools hit hard by SNA cuts," McGrath

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has asked the Minister for Education Jan O'Sullivan to immediately clarify why several schools in county Tipperary have seen significant reductions in their allocation of Special Needs Assistants. Deputy McGrath was speaking after being contacted in relation to such schools in both south and north Tipperary:

"The situation is quite serious with respect to the inability of schools to provide adequate levels of assistance to these children. One school in Clonmel has seen a reduction from 10 SNA's a decade ago to just 2 at present, despite increased need. With the strong possibility of even this number being cut.

In another school in Tipperary Town there was 4-6 SNA's in 2011 and now there are only 2 full time and 1 half time staff with likelihood also of further cuts.

In July of this year Minister O' Sullivan said up to 610 additional SNA posts would be allocated from September 2015 due to the rising number of children presenting with learning disabilities.

That has manifestly failed to happen. Schools know this. Parents know this. The kids themselves know this. Everyone knows it except the Minister.

This is particularly galling since the minister also said in July that every child with an assessed care need will receive access to SNA support in the 2015/16 school year," concluded Deputy McGrath.