Education News 2013
Children with special needs suffering from casualisation of SNA role, IMPACT tells Oireachtas committee
Children with special needs are losing out because of the growing casualisation of the role of classroom-based special needs assistants (SNAs) according to IMPACT trade union. Addressing the joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Social Protection today (Wednesday) IMPACT official Dessie Robinson said the absence of secure employment for SNAs was creating a skills and experience deficit, with adverse effects on children with special needs.
The Education and Training Boards Ireland inaugural conference
IMPACT has accused the education department of being “fundamentally at odds” with the terms of the Haddington Road agreement (HRA) by implementing special needs allocations in ways that have significantly reduced incomes for many special needs assistants (SNAs).
The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) announced its overall allocation of SNA numbers for the coming school year yesterday (Wednesday). The total allocation remains the same (10,575 SNA posts) but the specific breakdown has not yet been finalised.
You will be aware that during the negotiations on the Croke Park agreement in March 2010, the Department of Education and Skills refused to agree the same level of job security for Special Needs Assistants that applies to the mass of public servants. For several years prior to this the Department had consistently opposed permanency. This gave rise to the introduction of a specific redundancy schemes for SNAs.
The inaugural conference of IMPACT’s new education division took place in Kilkenny at the beginning of this month. The conference, which took place over three days, saw a packed programme of conference motions, debate and panel discussions.