3rd April 2020
Yesterday, the Minister for Education & Skills Joe McHugh TD announced that the planned new allocation model for Special Needs Assistants has been deferred for one year, commencing in September 2021. A circular will issue to schools in the coming weeks with information on the interim arrangements for the 2020/21 school year.
The INTO led the charge against the introduction of this new allocation model, citing a lack of evaluation data from the pilot schemes in Dublin, Kildare and Wicklow and inadequate consultation with stakeholders. INTO had requested that the scheme be deferred for a year to allow sufficient time to address these concerns.
Commenting on the announcement, INTO General Secretary John Boyle said:
I’m heartened that the Department of Education and Skills have listened to our concerns and deferred this controversial new scheme. Genuine engagement with stakeholders must be the bedrock of all policy formation and I hope that the department will use this time to listen to and respond to the concerns expressed by teachers and principals at the coalface. It will be vital that school-based therapeutic supports will accompany any revisions to the allocation process for SNAs from 2021.”
The official announcement is available here.