Today's announcement of additional teaching and Special Needs Assistant posts needs to be seen in the context of Ireland's ongoing demographic boom.

Every year the numbers attending primary and second-level schools have continued to rise.

While the demographic peak has just now been reached at primary level, projections show that second-level enrolment will continue to rise until at least 2024.

The upward trend in overall pupil numbers is putting extra pressure on the provision of special needs education, because a certain proportion of children will always need this. 

So the provision of additional staff is a case of "running to stand still".

Every year the system needs more teachers, and more SNAs, in order to maintain the pupil-teacher balance more or less as it is.

So while the sector will welcome these additional posts, the surprise would have been if the Budget did not include these measures.


Read more:
More Budget 2020 stories
Budget 2020: At a glance