Government delays in allocating Special Needs Assistants amount to shameful treatment of State employees and parents alike, Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall TD said today.

Deputy Shortall made her remarks after the Taoiseach announced that the cabinet had today approved the allocation of additional Special Needs Assistants for September.

Deputy Shortall said:

“The Taoiseach said today that more Special Needs Assistants would be allocated for September. But this announcement is little comfort to principals, parents and SNAs up and down the country who have had to put up with uncertainty for weeks due to delays by the Department of Education in announcing the allocations for the autumn term.

“Principals are hassled and can’t plan for the new term because they don’t know what resources they will have. Parents with children who rely on these supports have been left to fret. And the SNAs themselves have had to put their lives on hold. This is a shameful treatment of state employees, and causes unnecessary stress for parents as they face into the summer break.

“I am calling on the Minister for Education and Skills to provide full details of the SNA allocations for the new school year without further delay so that everyone knows where they stand.”

ENDS

5 July 2017