Covid-19 - Latest Updates

2 April - SNA Frontloading Model

IPPN welcomes the announcement from Minister for Education & Skills Joe McHugh that the planned new allocation model for Special Needs Assistants has been deferred for one year. IPPN held a conference call meeting with the DES last week and highlighted members’ concerns regarding the proposed implementation of the new SNA Frontloading Model given the impact of emergency closures on schools. The Minister and the DES has responded positively to our concerns and confirmed that the SNA Frontloading Model will be postponed for the 2020/2021 school year. The Minister also confirmed:


  • no school will receive a lower allocation of SNA support for September 2020 than they currently have. SNAs who are currently employed will have jobs in their schools for the next school year
  • If additional SNA support is required for children in a mainstream setting that cannot be met from a school’s existing allocation, schools will be able to submit an online application to have their allocation reviewed. A diagnosis of a disability, or a psychological or other professional report, will not be necessary for this process. Rather, other forms of evidence, information or documentation will be used to support such applications.”

The DES is preparing a circular which will be issued to schools the week of 20 April. The circular will outline: 

  • the detail of the rollover of SNA mainstream allocations
  • the procedures for dealing with new/additional care needs presenting in schools, appeals
  • SNA allocations for special classes and special schools are not affected by this arrangement

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