Rix, Jonathan; Sheehy, Kieron; Fletcher-Campbell, Felicity; Crisp, Martin and Harper, Amanda
Continuum of Education Provision for Children with Special Educational Needs: Review of International Policies and Practices.
National Council for Special Education.
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The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) commissioned this research to create a descriptive map of international research which explores the notion of the continuum of education provision for children with special educational needs. It also aimed to determine and examine the nature of how the continuum of provision is conceptualised, operationalised and enacted in a sample of selected countries. Finally, it was to compare other countries and jurisdictions with existing provision and policy in Ireland and, in the context of an inclusive education as enshrined within the EPSEN Act (2004), identify implications for the development of provision in Ireland. The findings suggest reconceptualisation of the continuum as a community of provision, the redefinition of special educational needs in Ireland and the development of:
• posts to build links within services and between services and service users.
• simple, formal agreements between services.
• staff understanding and collaboration between schools.
• different staffing arrangements within the classroom, so as to create opportunities for new collaborative partnerships.
• initial teacher training and ongoing professional development.
• new models of assessment which remove the need for categories and formal health assessments and place the emphasis upon educational assessment of need.
• a focus upon the class in resource allocation and deployment.
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