Special education provision for children with disabilities in Irish primary schools – the views of Stakeholders
A report on research commissioned by the NDA
This paper is based on research that was commissioned by the NDA in 2004 and conducted between September 2004 and February 2005. The research team were:
• Máirín Kenny, independent research consultant and former primary school principal.
• Michael Shevlin, Senior Lecturer in Education at Trinity College Dublin.
• Andrew Loxley, Lecturer in Education at Trinity College Dublin.
• Two post-graduate research scholars were engaged by the team:
o Jennifer McCann assisted with literature searches
o Karen Mahony assisted with field research operations,
The research team wish to thank all the participants in the written surveys, interviews and focus groups – parents, advocates, principals, teachers and special needs assistants - for their generous commitment of time and thought to this project.
Thanks are also due to the Irish National Teachers Organisation, the Irish Primary Principals Network, the National Association of Boards of Management in Special Education and the disability umbrella bodies. Their contact networks and organisational skills ensured that a set of highly skilled and reflective representatives were convened for the various focus groups.
Finally, thanks to the Advisory Committee established by the NDA for this project for their valuable insights and critique of the work at all stages.
ADHD Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
DES Department of Education and Science
EPSEN Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act (2004)
IEP Individual Education Plan
NCSE National Council for Special Education
NEPS National Educational Psychological Service
SENO Special Educational Needs Organiser
SESS Special Education Support Service
SNA Special Needs Assistant