Examining the role of Special Needs Assistants in Mainstream Post-Primary Schools
Keywords:SNAs, SNA, Special Needs Assistant, Mainstream, Post-Primary, Duties, Responsibilities, Roles
This article explores the role of special needs assistants (SNAs) in mainstream post-primary schools from the perspective of principals, teachers and SNAs. The contractual duties of SNAs as prescribed by the Department of Education and Skills (DES) are examined. Tasks performed by SNAs in classrooms, training and education are also discussed. The current study found inconsistencies between principals and SNAs in their understanding of the role of the SNA and highlighted the importance of providing formal induction courses for SNAs. The study also found discrepancies between the role of the SNA as described on SNA contracts and actual practice in mainstream post-primary schools.
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