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Department of Education rejects ‘offensive’ SNA circular claim

By Dan Danaher THE full implementation of an “offensive” Department of Education circular will result in a reduction in special needs assistants (SNAs) for Clare children with disabilities, a local election candidate has claimed. Clare Crusaders’ Clinic managing director, Ann Norton has described the recent DOE instruction to schools on the SNA scheme as “offensive”, “outrageous” and “disgraceful” to parents of children with special needs. Ms Norton warned that implementing this circular would result in the withdrawl of numerous SNAs in Clare schools, unless the DOE withdrew it. However, her assertion was rejected by a DOE spokeswoman who stated there is no question of reducing the number of SNA posts in the school system. In fact, the spokeswoman outlined the department had increased the number of SNAs to its highest level yet with 10,656 Whole Time Equivalent posts currently allocated to schools. In December, 2013 the Government announced it was increasing the number of SNAs available for allocation to schools, …

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