NCSE’S Information Initiative
Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan TD today launched a national initiative to provide information sessions to parents and guardians of children with special educational needs.
The information sessions are being organised by the National Council for Special Education (NCSE). It is the first time they are available to parents and guardians of children with special educational needs.
The sessions will be delivered by Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENOs) throughout the country. They will provide valuable information on what educational services and supports are available in local areas and how to access them. While SENOs regularly meet parents as part of their work, this new programme will bring a more structured approach to delivering information.
Speaking at the launch in St Audoen's National School, Cook Street, Dublin today, Minister O’Sullivan said:
I am delighted to launch this initiative. It means that parents of children with special educational needs will have more opportunities to access all of the correct information, which will help them to make informed choices about their children’s educational needs.
The first sessions will take place from October and November 2014 and are aimed at parents whose children will start school in September 2015.
As many as one in five children currently receive extra help in schools for a variety of learning and special needs. Therefore, a lot of parents may have questions about how their children’s learning needs are going to be met.
Parents who would like to take part in one of the information sessions should contact their local SENOs to book a place and to find out about local dates and venues. Contact details for SENOs are available on the NCSE website (www.ncse.ie) and dates of local meetings will be published on our website as they become available.
The sessions will provide the opportunity for parents to ask questions about issues they might face in trying to find a school place. The roles of school staff will be explained and the various schemes for accessing other supports such as special classes, transport or assistive technology will be outlined.
Jennifer Doran, NCSE Head of Research and Communications said today:
Like parents, the NCSE wants children with special needs to achieve their full potential. Parents have told us and our research has confirmed, that information on services and supports is crucial but often difficult to find. These local sessions will go a long way to providing clearer information to parents about how the education system works for their children.
In addition, the NCSE today published eight new information leaflets to explain how the education system supports students with different types of disabilities including:
- General learning disabilities
- Specific learning disabilities
- Emotional and behavioural disorders
- Physical disabilities
- Visual impairment or blindness
- Specific speech and language disorder
- Deafness or hard of hearing (a sign language version of this leaflet is also available)
- Autism spectrum disorder
These publications will be available during the information sessions. They can also be accessed at any time from SENOs and are available to download from the NCSE website www.ncse.ie