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Joint Committee on Education and Skills to examine the status of non-teaching staff in schools

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The Joint Committee on Education and Skills will meet tomorrow (Tuesday) at 3.30 in Committee Room 2, Leinster House to examine the status of non-teaching staff in schools.

The purpose of the meeting is for an engagement with Stakeholders on views they have on how the current status of non-teaching staff may impact students and the school community as a whole, and any impact this may have on the effective delivery of education.

Key Stakeholders from the Sector will come before the committee, including representatives from Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI), Association of Community and Comprehensive Schools (ACCS), An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta & Gaelscolaíochta (COGG), Department of Education and Skills, Education and Training Boards Ireland (ETBI) and Fórsa.

Ahead of the meeting, the Chairman of the Joint Committee, Committee Chairperson Fiona O’Loughlin TD, said: “The Committee is eager examine the status of non-teaching staff, and how this may impact students and the school community as a whole and any impact this may have on the effective delivery of education.”

Non-teaching staff in schools fall into three typical categories, as follows, Special Needs Assistants (SNAs); Secretaries, Caretakers and Cleaners and School Bus Escorts.

There are approximately 15,000 SNAs in schools nationally, supporting in the region of 36,000 pupils. SNAs employed in recognised primary, voluntary secondary and community and comprehensive schools are paid by the Departments’ payroll section.

There are 3,246 primary schools and 715 second level schools in the State. The majority of primary and voluntary secondary schools in the Free Education Scheme now receive grant assistance to provide for caretaking and/or secretarial services.

Furthermore, there is a facility within the Special Educational Needs Transport Scheme for the appointment of a School Bus Escort where a child’s care and safety needs while on school transport are such as to require the support of an Escort.

Deputy O’Loughlin TD concluded: “The Committee acknowledges the incredible work provided by these non-teaching staff and the supports they provide in helping to ensure the continued successful education of the pupils in each learning environment, and the efficient operation of the school.”

Committee proceedings can be viewed live here: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/oireachtas-tv/cr2-live/

Committee proceedings can also be viewed on the move, through the Houses of the Oireachtas Smartphone App, available for Apple and Android devices.

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