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Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act, 2004 (Irish legislation) Essay Sample 

In Ireland, there are various legislations to support the persons with special needs or disabilities. The primary objective of these legislation is to cover the educational rights and needs of children with disabilities.

The following essay sample will deal with Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs, 2004, aims of this Act and the organizations established under this Act for welfare of children.

This Act sets up a framework of people with special educational needs in an inclusive environment of learning. Such environment does not discriminate people on the grounds of disability and teaches them together in the same environment.

This Act of 2004 deals with special educational rights of children under 18 years of age and adult education needs upto a certain extent. Duties imposed upon educators and carers in school is to provide suitable environment of child’s learning and development.

Objectives of Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs, 2004 (Irish legislation) 

The following are the main objectives of Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act, 2004 of Ireland. They are :-

  • Making relevant information reach the parents of the child regarding child’s development and learning process.
  • Planning and coordination of education plans, integration of education support and learning courses for children with special needs.
  • Close monitoring and review of learning process of children and assessment of their performance.
  • Making a provision of special and different structured education plan for children with disabilities.
  • Advising and giving information to the Minister of Education, Ireland about the needs of special children. Educational Policies that need to be devised specifically for such children.
  • Allowing conduct of research on matters of disability and publication of such relevant issues and functions of Education Council of Ireland.
  • Health Service Executive under this Act is given the responsibility of providing health services to children. They also provide language and speech therapy if required.
  • Important decisions regarding children with additional needs is taken after consulting the Healthcare and Education Board of the school under this Act.
  • Establishment of National Council for Special Education.
  • Special Education Appeal Board is established for mediation and settlement services outside the court for children’s special educational rights.

Functions of National Council for Special Education (Ireland) 

National Council for Special Education was established as an independent authority under the EPSEN Act, 2004. It was established by the Minister of Education and Science to improve the educational delivery of services to children with additional needs.

Section 20 of Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act, 2004 sets out the general functions of National Council for Special Education.

These are the following essential functions of this Education Council :-

  • Providing information to parents in relation to entitlements of children’s needs.
  • Dissemination of information and adoption of best practices in the best interest of children’s special educational needs. Coordination of different services for children with disabilities.
  • Consulting the voluntary bodies and organization for providing services.
  • Administration of institutions of education and developing best teaching methods for children.
  • Reviewing education programmes and provision for adults with disabilities.

Other organizations in support of special educational needs of children 

The other organizations in Ireland who are in support of providing special educational needs of children are :-

Special Education Needs Organisers

National Council for Special Education employs Special Education Needs Organisers for allocation of additional resources and different teaching techniques to support needs of children.

Main functions of Special education needs organisers are :-

  • Providing guidance and support to guardians about the facilities and assistance provided to children.
  • Transport or conveyance facility for children with special needs.
  • Special needs child placements identification is done by them. It shows where and how to place a child according to his needs of learning.
  • Transition of personality of children from home to school and in further education.
  • Support of carers and teachers for child’s growth and development.

National Educational Psychological Service of Ireland 

It is a service providing agency under the Department of Education of Ireland. It provides psychological services to the young children in preschool and nursery. It is provided both at state and private schools.

It also provides accomodation to children with disabilities attending state examination.

National Council for Curriculum and Assessment

This is a recognised statutory body which was established to advise the Education Minister for developing syllabus for students with disabilities. Specialised education plan structure must be devised for teaching students.

Functions of Special Education Appeal Board and Mediation (Ireland) 

The EPSEN Act, 2004 has established an alternative dispute resolution in a forum and not in a court. This Board was established in year 2006 for determination of appeals and for dispute resolution.

Functions of Special Education Appeal Board established under Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act, 2004 are :-

  • When National Council for Special Education refuses to do child’s assessment then parents can approach the Board for an appeal.
  • An appeal board can even command and issue instructions to National Council for Special Education to arrangement of children’s assessment and plan.
  • If any appeal made to the Board gets dismissed, Act of 2004 has established a mediation process on dismissal of right to appeal under law.

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Sample above highlights the importance of special educational needs of people and children in Ireland and related legislations to it.

Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act, 2004 is a legislation that can be read along with Education Act, 1998, Equal Status Act (2000-2004), Education Welfare Act, 2000, Disability Act, 2005, Individual education plan of Ireland

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Special needs assisting, education for person with disability, special needs assistance of children, National Disability Authority Act, 1999, theoretical models of disability, and relevant legislation of disabilities are few topics matching with the purpose of this essay.

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