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AsIAm Explainer – “An Inclusive Education for an Inclusive Society”

In January, the National Council for Special Education published its Policy Advice Paper on the future of Inclusive Education in Ireland, titled ‘An Inclusive Education for an Inclusive Society’.  This sought to explore how both supports are provided in special schools and autism classes presently, and how these supports could be provided within an inclusive education system where every child can go to their local school with their peers and siblings.

AsIAm welcomes the publication of this timely Policy Advice, but has concerns around some key aspects, including that:

  • Educational stakeholders need to build confidence with families with children with support needs that their child will receive equal access to educational supports in inclusive schools as they would in an autism class or special school;
  • The NCSE recommending a sudden transition away from Autism supports in autism classes and special schools, given that so many families among our community with children with educational support needs face significant barriers to accessing their education rights, including geographic barriers to accessing school places and transport.
  • The accuracy and tone of the discussion of the prevalence of Autism within the Advice, including the NCSE suggesting that Autistic people have access to additional health or educational supports, where this is not the case for many in our community.

You can read our Explainer on the NCSE Policy Advice here.

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