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Special Education Needs
Types of Special Need
Medical Conditions
People and Roles
Educational Psychologist (NI)
Educational Psychologist (RoI)
The Class Teacher
The Classroom/Special Needs Assistant
N. I.
R. O. I.
Occupational Therapist (NI)
Paediatrician (NI)
Physiotherapist (N.I)
School Management
The Learning Support Teacher
The Resource Teacher
Speech & Language Therapist (N.I)
The Visiting Teacher Service
ICT & Special Needs
Case Studies
Teaching Strategies
Alternative Education
Miscellaneous Needs
Resources & help
Student Activities

 Special Education Needs

People & Roles -


Classroom assistants are appointed on the advice of a psychologist almost always when a child has a statement.

Occasionally if a child without a statement is in danger of expulsion, a classroom assistant can be appointed if it will allow the child to remain in school.

Classroom assistants are allocated to particular children and should normally move with the child from class to class and year to year.  In addition when a child is changing from primary to post-primary school, the classroom assistant will be given the opportunity to move too.

There are no uniform set of tasks for a classroom assistant - they are to be managed as a school resource, though primarily for the needs of the child to whom they were allocated.

Study Points

Use one of the case studies, or the profile of a child you know from personal experience or from teaching, consider how the classroom assistant could contribute to the child's education plan?

What skills and qualities would you want from a classroom assistant? Read this job advert and comment? Advert

Discussion Area

The number of hours allocated to each particular child is determined by need and there is a table of disability categories with banding from mild to profound, to help the education advisor apply this.

If a teacher is unsure of how best to use the classroom assistant he/she should speak to the psychologist attached to the school.

In post-primary school there is a less-structured approach as there are more practical subjects where smaller class numbers apply.  In this case negotiation takes place between the advisor and the principal.

 For discussion:  Case Studies

Further Information:

Acknowledgements & Copyright