Kilkenny schools to get 13 new Special Needs Assistants next year
KILKENNY schools will get 13 extra Special Needs Assistants from September.
The welcome news was confirmed by Kilkenny councillor and Fine Gael General Election candidate Patrick O’Neill (pictured).
The badly-needed supports are part of a national allocation of 800 new Special Needs Assistants announced by Education Minister Joe McHugh this week.
This brings the total number of SNAs in Kilkenny will bring the total number of SNAs to 265 locally, with 131 primary posts, 47 post primary and 87 allocated to special schools.
Cllr O’Neill said: “The aim of this Government is to ensure that children with special educational needs can be supported to fully participate in schools and fulfil their potential.
“Special Needs Assistants play a key role in ensuring this and I would like to firstly take this opportunity to pay credit to the fantastic work that they do in schools across Kilkenny. Minister McHugh has confirmed to me that there will be an allocation of 265 SNA posts across Kilkenny, an increase of 13 posts from last year.
“This announcement will ensure every child who needs SNA support in the county will receive it. Furthermore, special needs children getting the attention they need will have a positive knock on effect for all students,” Cllr O’Neill, who was re-elected to Kilkenny County Council last weekend after he received 1,399 first preference votes in the Callan-Thomastown electoral area.
In a statement, Fine Gael said the Government will invest almost €560 million in SNAs this year as part of a total €1.9 billion investment in special educational needs.
Minister McHugh said: “The record level of investment in special education and SNAs reflects the focus of this Government on children who will flourish and reach their potential when extra support is provided.
“More children with special educational needs than ever before are participating in school and this would not be possible without the unprecedented support of this Government, with a €1.9 billion investment in the sector.
“Our education system is increasingly better equipped to support children with special needs and support their full participation and progression.”