The number of Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) in Laois schools is set to increase by 31 this September to support children with special educational needs in the county.
This will bring the total number of SNAs to 257 locally, with 185 SNA posts allocated to primary, 41 SNA posts allocated to secondary and 31 SNA posts allocated to special schools here.
Laois TD and Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said SNAs are the 'bedrock' of support for children with special needs.
“Special needs children getting the attention they need will have a positive knock-on effect for all students. SNAs are the bedrock of Government supports for children with special needs. It is their work day in, day out that is key to helping ensure that children can go to school and participate in education.
“The aim of this Government is to ensure that children with special educational needs can be supported to fully participate in schools and fulfil their potential.
“Special Needs Assistants play a key role in ensuring this and I would like to firstly take this opportunity to pay credit to the fantastic work that they do in schools across Laois.
“Minister McHugh has confirmed to me that there will be an allocation of 257.20 SNA posts across Laois an increase of 31.2 posts from last year.
“This announcement will ensure every child who needs SNA support in the county will receive it," he said.
In 2011, 22,284 children had access to SNA support. With the increased investment, about 37,500 pupils will receive that support.