Parents concerned over SNA allocations

Thursday 01 September 2011 23.35
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Some children can only attend St Raphaels for one hour a day
Some children can only attend St Raphaels for one hour a day
Department of Education concerned at situation in Kildare school
Department of Education concerned at situation in Kildare school

A group of Kildare parents have made an appeal to allocate Special Needs Assistants to their children so that they can spend a full school day in the classroom.

St Raphaels School in Celbridge, Co Kildare caters specifically for children with disabilities.

The school says that a shortage of SNAs means three new pupils will, for the time being, only be able to attend for one hour a day.

The school had, what worked out as 24.5 SNAs, this time last year to care for 53 children.

However, for this academic year the school has 20.5 special needs assistants for 57 children.

The school says the care needs of the children who are coming in are greater than the needs of the children who have left the school.

It says it hopes more resources will be allocated after the situation is assessed by the National Council for Special Education when it visits the school on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Department of Education has taken issue with the decision by the school to limit attendance for some children to just one hour

In a statement, it says it is concerned by the situation, and particularly what it calls the apparent inability of the school to cater for all pupils enrolled.

It says the school has been allocated an exceptionally high level of support staff.