Forsa is to host a national online seminar on 'education and training for special needs assistants: preparing for an inclusive future’ on Saturday 4th December. The event will explore different perspectives on the future for SNA for education and training purposes.
It will also form part of a campaign to secure a review of the minimum education qualification required to work as a SNA.
Speakers will include representatives from the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) and other important education stakeholders. The speakers will discuss the current minimum qualification, the desirable qualification, and the reforms needed to enable SNAs to better support students within a more inclusive education system.
Fórsa’s head of education Andy Pike said SNAs consistently say that their role is undervalued.
“One of the most important practical steps that could be taken to increase respect for SNAs would be to change the minimum essential qualification to put the role on a more professional footing.
“SNAs should not be seen as unskilled or unqualified. The minimum qualification should be changed to reflect the existing educational achievements of SNAs and be modernised to ensure all new staff have achieved an accredited qualification,” he said.
Andy added that the seminar would raise awareness that the existing requirement for 3 ‘D’grade passes in the junior certificate is outdated and needs to be changed to reflect the complex role required of SNAs in the school system.
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