Educational disability: New system for allocating special education teachers

Working group proposes ‘better and fairer’ way of allocating teachers to mainstream schools

A "better and fairer" way of allocating special education teachers to mainstream schools has been proposed by a working group of the National Council for Special Education (NCSE).

It would remove the distinction between learning support and resource teachers. They would all be known as support teachers and would be allocated, it says, in line with schools’ needs for additional support, rather than on the basis of pupil/teacher numbers and diagnosed disabilities.

The benefits of the new model, according to the NCSE, would also include:


No longer having to wait for a professional diagnosis of a disability before being provided with additional teaching supports;


Not having to be labelled with a diagnosis of a disability to get support;


Parents not having to pay for private consultants to diagnose their children with a disability “purely to access additional teaching support”.

The proposal was published in June, and the Department of Education and Skills has received 27 written submissions from interested parties, according to a spokeswoman for the department. It is collecting the information which will be required to develop the proposed new model.

“Following consideration of this data,” she adds, “the department will also consider whether, and from what date, a new model might be implemented.”