Professional institute for SNAs planned by trade union

A trade union which represents special needs assistants is to establish a professional institute for the workers which would give them better access to continuous professional development.

Fórsa said its planned institute would “set professional standards, support training, and underpin the validation of qualifications in a push to improve provision to children with special needs by further professionalising the SNA role”.

It said a survey of almost 2,700 SNAs revealed that, while most held qualifications significantly above minimum requirements, neither the Department of Education nor individual schools provide them with access to adequate basic or ongoing professional training.

Instead, most training in the field is either self-financed or trade union-provided.

The survey results will be unveiled today at the union’s education division conference in Dublin, which Education Minister Richard Bruton will address this afternoon.

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