IPPN welcomes recent review of Special Needs Assistant Scheme

Irish Primary Principals’ Network (IPPN) is pleased that the proposed new model, issued by the NCSE today, is not a cost-cutting exercise. In fact, the DES have increased the number of SNAs (to be referred to as Inclusion Support Assistants) working in our schools by almost 1,000 this year (totaling 15,000 by the end of this calendar year). IPPN also welcome the recommendation to have ring-fenced funding available for an in-school therapy service.

Pat Goff, IPPN Deputy CEO stated that ‘There is no doubt that pupils with special education needs attending schools today have a totally different experience than those of years ago. However, it was unfair that parents who could afford to pay for private reports could access resources more easily than pupils from a disadvantaged background’. He also acknowledged the fundamental role that SNAs play in supporting children who have additional care needs to attend school.

IPPN has always supported the principle that all students, wherever possible and irrespective of their special educational need, would be welcomed and enabled to enroll in their local school. The proposed new model of support is designed to ensure that those pupils with additional care needs will have access to the right supports at the right time. IPPN also welcomes the fact that the additional support assistants will be front-loaded into schools without the requirement to have a diagnosis for those pupils.

IPPN welcomes the ‘Comprehensive Review of the Special Needs Assistant Scheme – A New School Inclusion Model to Deliver the Right Supports at the Right Time to Students with Additional Care Needs’ published today by the NCSE. However, we encourage every staff member in schools to thoroughly examine this report with one objective – to determine whether will this new model lead to better outcomes for students with Special Educational Needs?


Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 May 2018 18:31

Media coverage of IPPN Principals' Conference 2018

Click here to view the list of media interviews and articles

Last Updated: Monday, 12 February 2018 09:41

Budget 2018- More teachers, less sugar, provides sweetener for Education’.

‘More teachers, less sugar, provides sweetener for Education’. 

Budget 2018 includes several measures in relation to Primary Education which are welcomed by IPPN. 
Pairic Clerkin, IPPN CEO, today welcomes provision for the reduction of the pupil teacher ratio in primary schools to 26:1. He states “This is a step in the right direction and will have significant impact on Teaching and Learning outcomes for all our children”. 
However, implementing this new ratio at a time where teacher supply is at a critically low point will bring challenges. IPPN, as the professional body for school leaders is working with the Department of Education and Skills to provide alternative solutions as a matter of urgency.


Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 October 2017 16:57

7 March 2017 - Irish schools face shortage of principals as role’s managerial and administrative duties deter teachers from stepping up to leadership role—education report

• Increasing burden of administrative work, like procurement and school maintenance, stops primary and secondary principals from taking a more active role in promoting teaching and learning;
• The independent report, published jointly by IPPN and NAPD, suggests creation of regional management boards to take on these managerial duties on behalf of individual schools;
• Government must spend more on education, in line with increased social welfare and healthcare budgets, to meet increasing demand for school places and implement crucial reforms;
• Overall, successive Irish governments have remained strong on education, and Irish pupils rank highly in literacy, numeracy and science by international standards.


Last Updated: Wednesday, 08 March 2017 17:04

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