The Education Act 1998 (RoI)

SEN is a term used to mean Special Educational Needs.  The criteria lists 11 categories used to determine SEN.

These are:

  1. Physical Disability,
  2. hearing Impairment,
  3. Visual Impairment,
  4. Emotional Disturbance/Behavioural Problems,
  5. Mild General Learning Disability,
  6. Borderline Mild General Learning Disability,
  7. Moderate General Learning Disability,
  8. Autism/Autistic Spectrum Disorders,
  9. Specific Learning Disability,
  10. Children with needs arising from an assessed syndrome and
  11. Specific Speech and Language Disorder.

Criteria for each category is very specific.  *See complete document

The Act makes it clear that the constitutional rights of children includes those who have a disability or have other special educational needs.

The Minister for Education and Science must ensure that a level and quality of education and support is available which matches the needs and abilities of children with special needs.

The support which can be expected includes assessment, psychological guidance and counselling; technical aids and equipment; adaptations to buildings to allow access, transport and speech therapy.  Schools will be required to use these to meet the needs of children with special educational needs.

Boards of Management are required to publish their policy for the education of children with special needs and will be expected to use the resources provided to make provision.

Further Information