Outreach: A Future Role for Special Schools in Ireland
Keywords:Outreach, Special Schools, Inclusion, Inclusive Education, Mainstream, Primary Schools, SEN, Special Educational Needs, Role of Special Schools and Classes
Special schools in Ireland are currently operating within a political and legislative environment which promotes the inclusion of students with soecial educational needs (SEN) in mainstream school settings. In light of current trends, the special school sector is now challenged with examining and re-defining its role within education and therefore must be at the forefront in contributing to the discource on a model of inclusive educational provision for students with SEN. Following the recent publication of the Research Report on the Role of Special Schools and Classes in Ireland (Ware, Balfe, Butler, Day, Dupont, Harten, Farrell, McDaid, O'Riordan, Prunty and Travers, 2009), commissioned by the National Council for Special Education, this article discusses the development of outreach programmes between special and mainstream schools and outlines the Outreach Educational Support Programme that has been established by Marino School, Bray, Co. Wicklow. The article also illustrates the findings of a research study regarding the effectiveness of this programme in supporting inclusion in the local school community.
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