Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education Thomas Byrne TD has warned Minister Richard Bruton that time is running out for him to set out the Special Needs Assistants’ (SNA’s) allocations for the next academic year.

Last summer schools faced significant delays with the allocation of SNA’s. The delay meant that SNA’s were only allocated to children well after schools were closed for the summer. This lead to significant disruption and deep uncertainty for schools, parents and people employed as SNA’s.

Deputy Byrne said, “Each year, school principals and boards of management have to endure the ridiculous charade of waiting to hear whether or not the Minister of the day decides to announce allocations to meet additional special needs that arise as a result of demographic changes and increases in individual students’ assessed needs in their schools.

“There has been a consistent delay in making the allocations in recent years. This is completely unnecessary and has led to difficulties for school principals who are attempting to plan their resources for the year ahead.

“I have raised this issue with Minister Bruton on numerous occasions. In response to last year’s charade, he committed to ensuring that the SNA allocations would be made before the end of May. However we are now well into May and there is still no word of Minister Bruton setting out the allocations. Time is fast running out for Minister Bruton to make these allocations.

“Minister Bruton must adhere to the commitment that he made. Fianna Fáil will not tolerate any delay in making the SNA allocations. Schools, parents and people employed as SNA’s deserve to know where they stand,” concluded Deputy Byrne.