Posted by Sally O'Brien, on 12/02/2015. Tags: Education And Politics Parenting
The Department of Education announced this week
a new ' Inclusion Support Service' for special needs students that will see a change in how resources and teachers are allocated to schools.
Schools are being asked to volunteer to test out the new system this September 2015, before it is rolled out to all schools next year. Minister for Education, Jan O’Sullivan, has said the scheme is not ready to be delivered to all schools as a mechanism for identifying children with complex special educational needs had yet to be finalised.’
It is anticipated that the new system will see new special needs teachers replacing the roles of resource teachers and learning support teachers. Every school’s allocation would be then based on numbers of pupils with complex needs including visually or hearing impaired students, children with low reading-test scores, and the social and gender mix of pupils.
The new model will ensure that resources are available for students with special educational needs and is expected to replacing the need for students with disabilities to have an individual diagnosis by a professional before they qualify for support.
The Minister has said that these new changes have been welcomed by Parents, disability groups, schools and stakeholders.
However, according to Dept of Education statement, she also said that, ‘while there has been significant consultation in relation to the proposed new model, there had not been sufficient time to address fully the concerns which have been raised for the September 2015 school year. In particular, the Minister noted that a robust mechanism for identifying children with complex special educational needs had yet to be finalised.’
The new service is being established within the National Council for Special Education (NCSE)
and will include the Special Education Support Service (SESS), the National Behaviour Support Service (NBSS) and the Visiting Teacher Service for children who are deaf/hard of hearing and for children who are blind/visually impaired(VTSVHI) which until now have been managed by the Department