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(Ireland) Cty Offaly: Almost 300 SPED aides locally; new total of 15,000 nationally

May 22, 2018, (Ireland) Offaly Express: Offaly schools to gain extra SNAs in September ---Offaly TD welcomes the additions https://www.offalyexpress.ie/news/home/314497/offaly-schools-to-gain-extra-snas-in-september.html Offaly classrooms will gain 32 extra SNAs this coming September, Offaly Fine Gael TD Marcella Corcoran Kennedy has said. This will bring the total number of SNAs for September 2018 to 274.59 locally, with 206.09 for Primary, 47.50 for Post Primary and 21 for Special Schools. Marcella said: “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 Offaly."… Following on from this week's allocation, there will be a total of 15,000 Special Needs Assistants working in our schools around the country. “This increased investment reflects the priority which the Government has put on helping children with special educational needs to fulfil their potential," Marcella said. “It also reflects the growing participation of children with Special educational Needs in the Education System and the capacity of our Education system to better support their full participation and progression."… Minister Bruton said: “More children with Special Educational Needs are participating than ever before and we are investing more than ever before to support this." “In 2018 my Department will invest in the region of €1.75 billion in special education, almost one fifth of the entire education budget and 39% increase on 2011.”