NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ815136
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Oct
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 28
ISSN: ISSN-1471-3802
A Time of Transition: Exploring Special Educational Provision in the Republic of Ireland
Shevlin, Michael; Kenny, Mairin; Loxley, Andrew
Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, v8 n3 p141-152 Oct 2008
Special educational provision in the Republic of Ireland has experienced significant changes in the past decade. A combination of interrelated factors including litigation, legislation, parental advocacy and international developments has radically altered the landscape of special education. As a result of these changes the move towards establishing inclusive learning environments appears irreversible though many critical issues remain to be addressed at this time of transition. This study examines how key stakeholders in primary education perceive the challenge of responding appropriately to increased diversity. The results indicate that many barriers remain in the development of inclusive learning environments. The conceptual understanding of special educational needs (SEN) was seriously deficient and this affected the coherence of policy and service delivery. The system lacked strategic leadership, according to participants, and this restricted the capacity to support schools. School capacity to deliver quality education for children with SEN was constrained by the serious shortfall in the range and level of skills required and opportunities for professional development available. There was strong support for the principle of inclusion into mainstream though this was principally perceived in terms of the development of socialisation skills. It was concluded that in this transition phase schools required strategic leadership from policy-makers to address the many challenges that remain in the establishment of inclusive learning environments.
Blackwell Publishing. 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148. Tel: 800-835-6770; Tel: 781-388-8599; Fax: 781-388-8232; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ireland