Fine Gael TD for Dublin Fingal, Alan Farrell, has stated that he is pleased with the confirmation by Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn that the number of Special Needs Assistants in schools will not be reduced.
“Minister Quinn has confirmed that there is no question of reduction the number of Special Needs Assistants in our school system. In fact, the current Government has maintained and increased the resources which are spent on children with special needs. As part of this, we have increased the number of Special Needs Assistants in schools to the highest level yet, and another 390 positions were announced by the Government last December. Such increases show that the Government’s commitment in this area has not wavered. This commitment is to ensure that any child who needs support from a Special Needs Assistant will receive that support.”
“I wish to clarify that Special Needs Assistants will not be removed from students who need their help at any level in the school system. They will be available from junior infants through until the completion of secondary school.”
“A recent circular from the Department of Education on the Special Needs Assistants scheme has, in some cases, been misinterpreted which has led to misleading information being disseminated. The Department has tasked the National Council for Special Education with developing a booklet for parents, outlining the provisions of the recent circular which will answer any questions which parents may have and put their fears to rest.”