Parents/Special Needs

Special Educational Needs

General information about special needs in our schools


We are driven to ensure children in our schools reach their potential and receive the most suitable education through Irish based on their individual talents and abilities. Our schools receive the exact same supports for students as other schools such as SNA provision, Special Education Teaching and enrolment in special 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 being beneficial to the learning and progress of students with special educational needs.

Much research has been carried out both in Ireland and Internationally in relation to Special Educational Needs in bilingual settings. Some of the research pieces can be found here:


Provision from the Department of Education

In general, educational provision for children with special needs is made:

  • In special schools
  • In special classes attached to ordinary schools
  • In integrated settings in mainstream classes


The nature and level of the educational response is based on the child’s professionally-assessed needs. Where placement in an integrated setting is considered to be the appropriate response, provision will normally take the form of special education teaching or access to a special needs assistant support, or both.

Enrolment in a special school or special class attached to a mainstream primary school is sometimes recommended for children. Each such facility is dedicated to a particular disability group and each operates at a specially reduced pupil teacher ratio.

Children enrolled in special clases in our schools are integrated with their peers in the mainstream classes as much as possible.

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.

Much research has been carried out both in Ireland and Internationally in relation to Special Educational Needs in bilingual settings. 

Irish Research

International Research


The National Council for Special Education (NCSE)

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.

Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENOs)

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.

They can advise schools and parents on the facilities, services, and resources available to assist children with Special Educational Needs in the area.

Information Booklets published by the NSCE

Much research has been carried out bith in Irealand and Internationallay Special Educational Needs in bilingual settings. Some of these can be found here:

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