Lack of information on SNA allocation is unfair

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The lack of clarity afforded to SNAs about their future employment is totally unfair, according to Galway East TD Paul Connaughton.

‘In the past week I have been contacted by a number of School Principals and parents of special needs pupils who are angered by the fact that the Department of Education has not given the schools their SNA allocation for next year, so school authorities don’t know if SNAs will be returning in September, SNA’s don’t know if they have a job and parents don’t know if their child will have SNA hours next September.

‘The delay in informing schools of these allocations is extremely unfair.  Employees in no other sector would be expected to go on holidays with no idea if they would be returning to work in September. The limbo that this leaves these employees in is unacceptable and it puts unnecessary pressure on school Principals who are aiming to treat school employees in a fair manner but who are hampered by the lack of information forthcoming from the Department.

‘Our schools are tight-knit communities and SNAs are an integral part of school life. It is only reasonable that at the end of the academic year, employees are informed if they are to be re-employed or not.  I have taken this matter up with the Minister for Education and have called for this information to be made available as soon as possible so that SNAs, their families and school authorities can organise their future knowing what allocation their school has and who is to be re-employed.’

‘Not alone has this issue to be rectified quickly for this academic year, but we also have to ensure that SNA allocations are made earlier so that this difficulty does not arise on an annual basis.’