2A short History National Education System established in 1831 By 1892, One hundred and fifty days school attendance was compulsory for all childrenDepartment of Education established in 1924
3Early special needsEducation of Children with Special Needs alongside their so-called non-disabled peers was not considered appropriateIn 1947 St Vincents Home for the Mentally Defective Children EstablishedNeeds of special children medical not educational.County Clinics performed assessments
4Special Needs education Predominantly in the hands of the religious.Parental pressure and the involvement of religious communities provided a societal push to provide better servicesIn 1959 first Inspector for Special Education appointed1960 more provision announced and training of teachers and psychologists began
5Landmarks1965 Report on the Commission of Inquiry on Mental Handicap published1972 The education of Children who are Handicapped by impaired hearing1982 The education of Physically Handicapped Children1983 The education and Training of Severely and Profoundly Mentally Handicapped Children in Ireland
6Mainstreaming80’s worldwide push for integration in mainstream schools.Classes for children with special needs began to be established.More teachers educated to cater for this demandBy 1993 over 2 thousand children were being educated in such classes
7SERCIn 1993, the definition of specific learning disability, and the provision made for students with such a disability, were reviewed by the Special Education Review Committee (SERC)The SERC report dealt comprehensively with the educational implications of special needs
8SERC Report Recommendations Established of a continuum of educational provision to meet special education needs, that would allowFull- Time placement in a mainstream class with additional supportPart-Time or Full-time Placement in a special class or schoolFull-time placement in a residential special schoolPart-Time placement in a Child Education and Development Centre(CEDC) or special school
91995 Government White Paper on Education Charting our Education Future “all students regardless of their personal circumstances have a right of access to and participation in the education system according to their potential and ability”“to promote quality and equality for all, including those who are disadvantaged through economic, social physical and mental factors in the development of their full educational potential”
101996 Report of the Commission of Status on Disabilities Brief overview of the major recommendations contained in the Strategy for Equality report of the Commission on the status of People with Disabilities on Education
11.Charter of rights for students with disability. Recommendations.Charter of rights for students with disability.Currently there are special and mainstream education streams. Crossover should be allowed more easily.People with disbaility should not be prohibited taking their place in mainstream education.Parents should be given support and made full and equal partners in the childs education.Community action plans be drawn up to meet the needs of students in their area.
12Other legal initiatives which impacted on education 1998 National Disabilities Authority act which provided terms of reference for the NDAThe education welfare act 2000, which dealt with compulsory attendances at schoolThe equal status act 2000 which prohibits discrimination on grounds of Gender, Marital Status, Family Status, Sexual Orientation, Religion, Age Disability , Race, Membership of the Travelling Community
13The Equal Status Act A school must not discriminate in four areas: AdmissionAccessAny other conditions on participation in the schoolExpulsion
14The Children’s Act 2001Mostly relates to the protection of Children and the legal rights of Children
15The Equality Act 2004Provisions with regard to protection in the workplace against harassment and unfair treatmentSpecific measures for rights of people with disabilitiesTo enable a person with disability to have employmentTo participate or advance in employmentTo undergo training
16The Disability Act 2005 Designed to protect the rights of the disabled Deals with Assessment and the position of Assessment OfficersThe service Statement which will specify services to be provided by the Health executiveThe complaint ProcessThe appeals ProcessThe mediation ProcessCreation of a Centre for Universal Design
17Education for People with Special Educational Needs (EPSEN) Act 2004. The EPSEN Act 2004 provides for the provision of education plans for students with special educational needs (SEN). Under the Act, children with SEN will be educated “in an inclusive environment with children who do not have SEN”, unless this should be inconsistent either with the best interest of the child, or with the effective provision for the other children.This provides the statutory requirements for educational planning as they impact upon students, parents, schools, and the National Council for Special Education (the Council)
18EPSEN Act Provisions for Individual Planning: Under the EPSEN Act 2004, all children with SEN should be provided with an IEP, and this individualised programme should be delivered in an 'inclusive environment' with students who do not have SEN whenever possible.Before the individual planning process starts, the Act identifies a four step process to confirm a child's SEN. This involves:
194 Steps1.Identification; the student is identified to the principal as not benefiting from the educational programme being provided in the school.2.The principal takes in-school "practicable" measures to meet the childs needs.3.Following these measures, if the child is still not benefiting from the programme being provided, he/she is then assessed.4.SEN is confirmed with an assessment statement.
20AssessmentAssessment must commence not later than one month after the principal’s decision and be completed no later than three months after that decision. Where an assessment establishes that a student has SEN, the principal must, within one month, “cause a plan to be prepared for the appropriate education of the student” – called and ‘education plan’ (EP).
21Preparing the PlanIn preparing an EP the principal must ensure that the parents, area Special Educational Needs Organiser (SENO), and other ‘appropriate’ people are consulted.Furthermore, s/he must ensure that parental involvement “is facilitated”. As soon as the plan is prepared the principal must provide a copy to the parents and the SENO. It is usually the responsibility of the principal to ensure that a plan is prepared.However, where a child has a severe or complex SEN, or where, following review, it is determined that their needs are not being met, the principal can request the Council to prepare a plan for the child.When the Council is asked by a principal or health board to prepare an education plan for a child, the Council can agree or disagree to grant this request.
22SENO ROLEThe SENO must convene a team to provide advice in relation to preparing the plan. The team should include parents (where consenting), principal or teacher, and one or more of:The child (where SENO deems appropriate)A psychologist (NEPS or otherwise suitably qualified)Any other person whom the parents or SENO consider appropriate and who is suitably qualifiedThe team are also directed to consider “any needs, other than educational needs, …specified in the assessment.”
23Content of the PlanThe format of EPs has yet to be determined by the Council. The specific content of plans will include the following:The nature and degree of the child’s abilities, skills and talents;The nature and degree of the child’s special educational needs and how those needs affect his or her educational development;The present level of educational performance of the child;The special educational needs of the child;The special education and related support services to be provided to the child to enable the child to benefit from education and to participate in the life of the school;Where appropriate, the special education and related services to be provided to the child to enable the child to effectively make the transition from pre-school education to primary school education;Where appropriate, the special education and related support services to be provided to the child to enable the child to effectively make the transition from primary school education to post-primary school education, andThe goals that the child is to achieve over a period not exceeding 12 months.
24PlacementThe Council may designate, of its own volition or upon the request of the parents, the school that a child with SEN will attend, and the school must admit the student upon the Council’s directions.
25ReviewThe principal must initiate a review of the EP at regular intervals and at least once a year. The principal must provide a copy of a review report to the parents and the relevant SENO.Where the SENO considers that the goals specified in the plan have not been achieved, s/he will reconvene the EP team (or part thereof) in order to review the content and implementation of the plan.
26AppealsThere are a number of grounds upon which the relevant parties may appeal to the Special Education Appeals Board, including:Principal and parents may appeal against the Council’s refusal to prepare a plan following a request from the principal or health board (Section 3.13)Parents may appeal against the Council or health board’s refusal to undertake an assessment (Section 4.7)Parents may appeal against an assessment on the grounds that it wasn’t carried out in accordance with the relevant standards (Section 6.1)The board of management of a school may appeal a decision by the Council to designate its school as the recipient of and provider for a specific child with SEN (Section 10.3)Parents may appeal against the Council's refusal or failure to designate a school for their child (Section 10.6)Parents may appeal against a principal's refusal to arrange a review of their child's education plan (Section 11.6)Parents may appeal against the discharge of duties in relation to their child's education plan, by the Council, principal, school or health board (Section 12)
27ResourcesThe school principal is responsible for implementing a child's EP within the school.The Council is responsible for providing to the child the necessary services identified in his/her education plan.The Minister for Education and Science has a duty to provide the resources identified as necessary for the delivery of EPs, pending the consent of the Minister for Finance, and in keeping with the principle of allocating resources in a manner consistent with the common good (therefore, the allocation of resources is not unconditional once needs and their related services have been identified).
28Difficulties with all legislation Get Out ClauseMany vague and ambiguous phrases“The minister may ““The Inspectorate will advise”The big bugbear- lack of guarantee“In carrying out his or her functions, the Minister “shall have regard to the resources available”