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New school guidelines issued on special needs resources

Posted by SchoolDays Newshound, on 12/04/2017. New school guidelines issued on special needs resourcesTags: Parenting Educationa Nd Politics

In January 2017, the Minister for Education and Skills, Mr. Richard Bruton T.D., announced that a new model for allocating Special Education Teaching Resources to mainstream primary and post primary schools will be introduced from September 2017. The new model for allocating resource teachers to schools follows on from policy advice from the NCSE and piloting of the new model in 47 schools.

This week, the Department of Education and Skills has issued guidelines to primary and secondary schools, in the context of the revised model being introduced in September. The ‘Guidelines for Schools Supporting Children with Special Education needs in Mainstream Schools’ are being issued, according to the Department’s website, for the purpose of providing guidance to schools on the use, organisation and deployment of additional teaching resources for pupils with special educational needs.

According to the Guideline document, the main features of the revised model for allocating special education teaching supports are stated as follows:

“Under the revised model, the Department provides special education teaching supports directly to schools based on their educational profiles (including a baseline component). This gives stability to schools’ staffing arrangements over a number of years. It offers schools greater autonomy to allocate teaching resources flexibly, based on pupils’ needs, without the requirement for a diagnosis of disability. A key principle underpinning this revised model is that all pupils, irrespective of special educational needs, are welcomed and enabled to enrol in their local schools. In addition, a fundamental objective is that special education teaching resources are utilised in the optimum manner to improve learning experiences and educational outcomes for pupils with special educational needs.”

An additional 900 teaching posts will be provided to support the introduction of this new allocation model according to the Minister’s announcement last January. In the accompanying Press Release it was advised that this substantial additional provision will ensure that:

  • Up to 1,000 schools will receive additional allocations, where the new model indicates additional need.

  • No school will receive an allocation of resources less than the allocation they received in the 2016/17 school year.

    Click here to view the Guidelines document issued to Primary Schools this week and here for the Post Primary Guidelines.


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