‘The school tried its best, but they were struggling and ill-equipped’: Suzanne Voakes and her son Rian (6). Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Rian is almost seven. He loves the Avengers, playing with Lego, climbing and messy play. “He’s the joy of our family,” says his mother, Suzanne Voake(...)

Campaigners say many children with special needs are refused access to secondary schools through use of “soft barriers”. Photograph: iStock

Are secondary schools using “soft barriers” to turn away students with special needs? Yes, says research. Latest studies show disadvantaged schools h(...)

Bridgette Keane and her son Mark (10) at home in Sutton, Co Dublin. Photograph:  Eric Luke

‘He is in a school yard of about 200 children, with no voice. It’s very difficult.” It’s a stark image that Bridgette Keane conjures up of her non-ve(...)

Patricia Doherty special needs assistant, with Cian Corrigan and his mother Niamh, at the ABC Club preschool in Dunboyne, Co Meath. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Officials charged with overseeing the provision of special needs assistants (SNAs) to children with learning disabilities have clashed over who is res(...)

Extra resource teacher posts are a response to growth in the student population, increased diagnosis of complex needs and a recent decision  to extend resource hours to children with Down Syndrome.

Almost 240 extra resource teacher posts are being allocated to primary and secondary schools next year to cater for children with special educational (...)

Special Needs Assistants represented by Impact have voted for industrial action over what they say is the ‘fragmented’ nature of some posts. Photograph: Thinkstock

Special Needs Assistants (SNAs)represented by Impact have voted in favour of industrial action over what they describe as the proliferation of part-ti(...)

For all its flaws, the plan for the allocation of special educational needs supports is well-intentioned, and schools are broadly supportive

Plans to have a new system in place by next September for the allocation of special educational needs supports are looking increasingly optimistic.(...)

Clive Byrne, director of National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals, said principals had been asked to make “guesstimates”.

A third of post-primary schools have failed to return questionnaires designed to help allocate resources for special education needs from next Sept(...)

 A new report ‘Understanding Special Class Provision in Ireland’ on the provision of special classes for children with autism and other learning disabilities has called for greater flexibility in arrangements so they don’t become segregated from other students. Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

A new report on the provision of special classes for children with autism and other learning disabilities has called for greater flexibility in arrang(...)

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