We are driven to ensure children in our schools receive the best education based on their individual talents and abilities. Our schools receive the exact same supports for students as other schools such as SNA provision, resource teaching hours and specialised education units. Due to huge demand, we are adding to our provision of ASD units and other specialised areas every year. Being in an Irish-medium/immersion education environment has long been recognised by research as not only of being no disadvantage but actually being benefical to the learning and progress of students. Total early immersion is recognised as the most successful model for children/pupils with special needs.
In general, educational provision for children with special needs is made:
The nature and level of the educational response is based on the child’s professionally-assessed disability. Where placement in an integrated setting is considered to be the appropriate response, provision will normally take the form of resource teaching or special needs assistant support, or both.
Children with more severe levels of disability may require placement in a special school or special class attached to a mainstream primary school. Each such facility is dedicated to a particular disability group and each operates at a specially reduced pupil teacher ratio.
Pupils attending these facilities attract special rates of capitation funding and are entitled to avail of the special school transport service and the school bus escort service.
The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) was set up to improve the delivery of education services to persons with special educational needs arising from disabilities with particular emphasis on children. The Council deals with over 20,000 applications a year and deliver decisions to schools within a 6 to 8 week period.
SENOs are appointed by the NCSE to provide a direct local service to the parents of children with special educational needs and to schools within geographical areas.This involves identifying the needs of children and deciding on the level of resources schools require to provide them with an appropriate education service.
A SENO deals with applications for additional teaching and Special Needs Assistant support for children with special educational needs from all schools. The SENO also assists with applications for transport and Assistive Technology. A SENO can advise schools and parents on the facilities, services, and resources available to assist children with Special Educational Needs.
Appendix 1 of Circular Sp Ed 02/05 lists the categories of disabilities which qualify for resources and the number of hours resource teaching support entitled to.