Dáil Éireann - Volume 630 - 31 January, 2007
Written Answers. - Special Educational Needs.
Ms Burton Ms Burton
Ms Burton asked the Minister for Education and Science the measures she has taken to ensure that schools adhere to best practice guidelines for children with special needs, in particular, the measures she has taken to enforce the provisions of the 2004 Act; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2258/07]
Ms Hanafin Ms Hanafin
Ms Hanafin: My Department’s Inspectorate carries out annual inspections of a significant sample of mainstream and special schools each year through its system of Whole School Evaluation (WSE). There is a particular focus on provision for special needs in these evaluations. Practice is evaluated and advice and recommendations are given to ensure best practice and continuous development. These reports are published and available to all schools, and all interested parties, on my Department’s website.
Training and support for teachers and schools is provided by the Special Education Support Service (SESS), and the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) is available to schools to provide assessments and advice. All pre-service courses have a module on providing for pupils with special educational needs and in-career courses on best practice are regularly organised for teachers by my Department.
The Inspectorate also conducts thematic studies of aspects of special education, identifies and highlights best practice and recommends improvements. Recent reports published are: “An Evaluation of Special Classes for Pupils with Specific Speech and Language Disorder” and “An Evaluation of Educational Provision for Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders”.
The National Council for Special Education recently submitted its Implementation Report, which sets out its views and recommendations on a plan for the implementation of the Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act 2004. The report is currently being examined by my Department.
Dáil Éireann 630 Written Answers. Special Educational Needs.