The National Council for Special Education was set up to improve the delivery of education services to persons with special educational needs arising from disabilities with particular emphasis on children.
The National Council for Special Education was first established as an independent statutory body by order of the Minister for Education and Science in December 2003.
With effect from 1 October 2005 it has been formally established under the Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act 2004 (EPSEN Act). That Act sets out both the general functions of the Council and its specific function in relation to the provisions of the Act.
The general functions of the Council as set out in Section 20 of the EPSEN Act may be summarised as follows.
In addition the Council has specific functions in relation to the core provisions of the Act such as assessment and individual education plans.
In carrying out its functions under the Act the Council is required to consult directly with stakeholders as necessary and to establish a formal national Consultative Forum representative of all the stakeholders.
The Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act, 2004 On establishment under the Act, the Councils immediate task was to prepare and submit an Implementation Report to the Minister for Education and Science before 1 October 2006. This Implementation Report has been submitted to the Minister and is available in the Publications section of the website.
The Council has varying degrees of independence in executing its functions. We have to operate within the current policy parameters issued by the Minister for Education and Skills when implementing current policy. We also have to abide by provisions in relation to the level of supports and/or resources available in particular situations.
In the areas of research and advice to the Minister the Council is free to engage on research it deems necessary and advise the Minister on the basis of this research and the experience gained from implementation of current policies.
One of the principles of the Council is transparency and openness. We would like to hear your views. We hope that as this website develops it will provide a wide range of useful information in relation to education provision for children with disabilities.