Some deaf children (on a needs basis) have access to SNAs at mainstream schools, maybe with weekly resource-teaching hours approved by a Special Educational Needs Officer (SENO) on behalf of the NCSE.
At this point in time, thousands of families in Ireland do not know what (if any) support/s their child will have during the 2011-2012 school year, and may not get an update until late August 2011, or even in September itself.
Earlier this week, Fergus Finlay, CEO of Barnardos, published an open letter to Minister for Education, Ruari Quinn, in the Irish Examiner newspaper, in which several contentious points were raised as issues to resolve urgently.
The main issues at stake in the SNA controversy, are:
- SNA allocation is complicated by misunderstandings about the scheme
- SNAs are in fact hired in a care role, and not in a teaching support role
- SNAs were hired by schools/parents where no need may have existed
- Certain SNAs had their care roles extended beyond the initial DES brief
Workable solutions proposed to date, include:
- Define the obligations of schools/parents to meet DES/NCSE guidelines
- Annotate the role and responsibilities of each SNA assigned to a school
- Clarify the SENO’s role, responsibilities and input to allocations/reviews
- Increase communication between the schools, the NCSE and parents
- Restructuring of the existing NCSE appeals process, for transparency
For now, it remains to be seen, how this education-resourcing issue will play out this summer. If your child is affected by the education cuts, remember the children of other parents and carers visiting this website will be, too.
(compiled by the IDK Team)
- Do Deaf Children Really Need A SNA?
- Educational Supports For Deaf Children in Ireland
- The Salamanca Statement and EPSEN Act 2004
- Mainstream Education For Special-Needs Children: Significant Research
- Schools ‘Must Change Their Attitude To Disability’
- Inclusive Education Is ‘All-Encompassing’ Learning