On 27th March I announced the trialling of the School Inclusion Model – a new model of support for students with special educational and additional care needs.
The School Inclusion Model, supported by €4.75m funding allocated in Budget 2019, aims to build schools’ capacity to include children with additional needs and to provide other supports for pupils.
The achievement of better education and life outcomes for all children including those with special needs is a key element of Government policy. In 2019, over €1.87 billion will be invested in Special Education, nearly one fifth of the overall Education budget, and up 49% since 2011.
Seventy-five schools, both primary and post-primary, in Kildare, Wicklow and South Dublin have been invited to participate in this new package of education and health supports to be piloted and evaluated in the 2019/20 school year.
One key feature of the School Inclusion Model is the establishment of an enhanced Regional Support Team for schools in the pilot, under the auspices of the National Council for Special Education, which will include behaviour practitioners. This team will complement other services working with schools.
Behaviour practitioners will be experts who understand the emotional and development needs of children and young people. They will work with schools and teachers in the pilot area at both whole school level through the provision of professional development, workshops and seminars and with individual teachers in the classroom where the focus will be on practice.