Ireland has the second highest class size in the EU behind the UK. In the UK, almost every classroom has a Teaching Assistant to make up for the fact that class sizes are slightly larger than Ireland.
Irish schools would benefit greatly from having this “new” position created. The job would not require a full teaching qualification. The job would be an almost hybrid of a teacher and an SNA without being either, if that makes sense.
A teacher would be in charge of designing and delivering lessons and the Teaching Assistant would be able to support that. This could be in many forms, such as taking a small group.
An SNA would be in charge of supporting a child with complex needs such as a diagnosed care need. A Teaching Assistant might work with a child with no diagnosis but with other issues, perhaps short term.
Ideally, every classroom would have a T.A. but that is probably not realistic given the number of SNAs in the country and classrooms may become a little crowded. However, 1 between 2 would be a good start.