Welcome to the SESS Website

The role of the Special Education Support Service (SESS) is to enhance the quality of learning and teaching in relation to special educational provision. Read more about our role.

Updates 2016/2017

Reasonable Accommodations in Certificate Examinations [RACE] 

The State Examinations Commission (SEC) is introducing changes to the scheme of Reasonable Accommodations at the Certificate Examinations (RACE scheme). This scheme enables candidates with special educational needs to access the state examinations. Please access further information at the links below.RACE guide for students


Closing Date: 9 December 2016


SESS Primary Language Curriculum CPDPrimary Language Curriculum

Special Education Support Service (SESS) is continuing its professional development programme for the Primary Language Curriculum/Curaclam Teanga na Bunscoile.

Whole-school professional development for The Primary Language Curriculum will be provided to special schools by the SESS during the school year 2016-2017. 

For further information click here


SESS Functional Language and Communication Resource

Special Education Support Service has developed a resource which teachers can use to inform the planning for, monitoring and evaluation of students’ functional language and communication development. It can be used to support other relevant language programmes, or to assist with differentiation for individual students. SESS would like to acknowledge the Mid-West School for the Deaf, Limerick, who developed and piloted this resource, as well as Holy Family School for the Deaf, Cabra, Dublin. 

Click here for further information and to download the resource


'Evidence Informed Instructional Interventions for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder' 

Special Education Support Service (SESS) is promoting autism awareness by highlighting both resources and evidence informed interventions to support the learning and teaching of students with autism in Ireland.

SESS has developed a video (20 mins) to demonstrate a number of evidence-informed instructional interventions that teachers working with students with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Ireland may draw upon to promote and facilitate development and learning.

Please click here for further information and to view the video

World Autism Day 2016


'Curriculum Access Tool: General Learning Disability (CAT-GLD)'

The Curriculum Access Tool for Students with General Learning Disability (CAT-GLD) is a framework to assist teachers in implementing the curriculum for students with General Learning Disability as outlined in the Guidelines for Teachers of Students with General Learning Disablities of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA). This tool is now available to all teachers, please note that there is no password required to access the tool.

Click here to access the CAT-GLD


Recent Publications 2015/2016

'Digital Literacy Access, Participation and Communication for the 'Non-Literate' in the New Digital Age'

Tom Daly [Published in LEARN, Journal of the Irish Learning Support Association, Volume 3, 2015, 115-137]

This paper arises from work undertaken by the Special Education Support Service (SESS) within the context of the National Digital Strategy, which sought to develop support for teachers of Moderate and Severe and Profound learning disabilities in the areas of literacy and digital literacy

Click here for access to the full text


Tom Daly [SESS, 2015]

The 'Equality of Challenge' Initiative was a small-scale post-primary project which aimed to advise the development of support in the area of Exceptional Ability and Dual Exceptionality. It ran from 2008/2009 to 2013/2014.

Click here for access to the full text

Webcast: 'The Metacognitive Teacher and Learner: An Introduction to Metacognition in the Classroom'

This webcast examines the important role which Metacognition can play in learning and teaching. It has four main sections:

  1. What metacognition is and why it is important in teaching and learningLink to Metacognition webcast
  2. Metacognitive strategies for use by students and teachers
  3. How metacognition can benefit students with special and additional learning needs
  4. Ideas on how to implement metacognition in schools

Click here to access Webcast