Create a central process for SNA Garda Vetting in Ireland

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Special Needs Assistants in Ireland need to be individually vetted for each school they work in. Teachers in Ireland are vetted centrally through The Teaching Council. This means that teachers are vetted through a central body and this vetting covers every school in the country.

For substitute Special Needs Assistants, this means that they have to undertake the vetting process for every school they wish to be available to work in. This results in huge administrative work for SNAs, schools and organisations carrying out the Garda Vetting. The process takes a number of weeks for each individual application.

As a result, thousands of SNA days in schools are going unfilled in schools across Ireland every year. While a qualified Special Needs Assistant may be available to fill a substitute position at short notice in School X, they will be unable to do so unless they are vetted by that school. SNA vetting is not transferable across schools in Ireland.

Most importantly, this situation is having an impact on children with Special Educational Needs in schools across Ireland. Children are left without adequate support in mainstream classrooms and in Special School settings.

Please help us highlight this situation and seek a central body, similar to The Teaching Council, for Special Needs Assistants in Ireland.