Fine Gael General Election candidate Noel Rock, has said that 610 additional Special Needs Assistant posts, which the Government approved yesterday, demonstrates a commitment to supporting children with care needs.

“The new allocation is in addition to the 365 posts announced in last October’s Budget. Just over half (55%) of the new posts will be to support the students in mainstream classes, the rest will serve students in special classes or schools. The Government has also lifted the cap for the number of SNAs to 11,940 but not all of those posts will be filled in September, as 120 will be used to allow for emerging demand during the school year,” explained Councillor Rock, adding that the number of SNAs have increased by 11.7% under this Government.

“When a child is assessed as having a particular care need it is vital that the support needed is delivered. This is essential to help each child reach his or her potential and to help them get the most out of their time in school. With record numbers of SNAs we are now able to assist all children with an assessed care need.

“SNAs play a critical role in our schools, helping children to get the most out of their school experience. As well as creating more job opportunities, this announcement also signals how important their role is and the value that is placed on them,” the Councillor concluded.