Applications for seminars in Term 1 of the 2021/22 school year are now being accepted. The seminars are designed to support the professional learning needs of teachers in relation to the teaching of children with special education needs.Click here for more details.
The NCSE has launched a new School Support portal for applications for In School Support. Click here for more details.
NCSE Primary Language Curriculum CPD
The NCSE is continuing its professional development programme for the Primary Language Curriculum/Curaclam Teanga na Bunscoile for 2021/22.
The Department of Education letter to primary and special schools (dated 12th April 2021) provides the most recent update on the rollout of the PLC programme. The NCSE has re-commenced the provision of PLC Sustained Support for special schools from September 2021.
PLC webinar and support materials for special schools and classes continue to be available click here
For further information click here
Advice on the use of assessment instruments/tests for Guidance or for additional and special educational needs (SEN) in post-primary schools Circular Letter 0058/2019 (Revising Circular 0035/2017)
This Circular provides advice to post-primary schools on the appropriate use of assessment instruments/tests for Guidance and for additional and special educational needs (SEN). The Circular applies to all instances when a standardised test, either ability or achievement, is used. It provides clarification on the selection and administration of assessment instruments, the interpretation and provision of feedback on test scores and the retention of assessment information
Circular 0058/2019 is available on the Department of Education website at
An exemption from the study of Irish means that a student attending a primary or post-primary school is not required to study Irish. There are certain limited circumstances whereby an exemption may be granted. The authority to grant an exemption has been delegated to school management.
How to apply, and where to apply for an exemption from the study of Irish – see the following links on the DES website
A written application for an exemption is made by the parent or guardian to the school principal on behalf of their child. The application should state the reasons why the exemption is being sought. A child will only be considered for an exemption where his/her educational circumstances come within the provisions of the primary circular in the case of a primary school going child or the post primary circular in the case of a post primary child.
See also attached
- Exemptions from the Study of Irish: Guidelines for Primary Schools (English-Medium)
- Exemptions from the Study of Irish: Guidelines for Post-Primary Schools (English-Medium)
- Guidance on Test Selection
The Gaeilge versions of these documents are available to download at:
Comprehensive Review of the Special Needs Assistant Scheme
The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is pleased to announce the publication of the report of its Comprehensive Review of the Special Needs Assistant.
The Review report, along with other publications relating to the Review, can be found at: http://ncse.ie/comprehensive-r
Toolkit to Support the Special Education Teacher Allocation Model
The NCSE has prepared a downloadable toolkit (in word format) to support the implementation of the new model. To download and for more information and useful resources go to the Resources section for Primary and Post Primary schools.
Guidelines for Schools - Supporting Children with Special Educational Needs in Mainstream Schools
The following documents are to provide guidance to schools on the use, organisation and deployment of additional teaching resources for pupils with special educational needs. This guidance is provided in the context of a revised model for allocating special education teaching resources which is being introduced by the Department of Education and Skills (the Department) in September 2017.
- Guidelines for Primary Schools - Supporting Students with Special Educational Needs
- Guidelines for Post-Primary Schools - Supporting Students with Special Educational Needs
Special Education Teaching Allocation Circulars - Primary and Post-Primary
Circular 0013/2017 and 0014/2017 have been distributed to mainstream Primary and Post-Primary schools to advise schools of the revised allocation process for Special Education Teachers from the 2017/18 school year. The circulars are available at the following links:
NCSE - Teacher CPD Database for Inclusion and Special Educational Needs
This database is an online reference tool designed to provide practical support to teachers looking for continuous professional development opportunities in the area of inclusion and special educational needs. It brings together in one place an extensive range of information relating to CPD options, delivered by a variety of different providers.
To this end, the database does not seek to replace information from individual providers, but rather acts as an initial source of general information and a ‘signposting’ mechanism for further information.