Special Education

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Gaeloideachas’ vision is that high-quality Irish-medium immersion education should be available to every parent and guardian who would choose it for their child. We support naíonraí and Irish-medium primary and post-primary schools in their work to be fully inclusive and to cater for all children, no matter what their educational needs might be. 

Naíonraí and Irish-medium schools routinely cater for children with physical and intellectual disabilities; sight and hearing difficulties, Autism spectrum disorders, dyslexia, and other special educational needs (SEN). Some Irish-medium schools are now being granted special units to cater for children with additional needs.The same supports are made available to children with SEN in Irish-medium schools as they are in any other mainstream preschool or school. You can explore our work in this area by clicking on the section headings below. 

Bilingual education for children with special educational needs ‘does no harm and clearly does contribute to social, emotional and interpersonal growth’ – NCSE Report, 2011

Gaeloideachas Advisory Committee on Special Education

Gaeloideachas has formed an advisory committee to direct the organisation’s work on Special Education. The committee is very active and its primary objectives are to increase awareness of special education in the sector and to lobby for appropriate support services and resources. The remit of the committee includes:

  • highlight the special educational needs of children in the Irish-medium education system and the support structures to address difficulties;
  • increase awareness amongst policymakers of the special educational needs of children and appropriate support structures for naíonraí, schools and their communities;
  • identify where training is needed in the sector and source appropriate expertise;
  • compile a directory of experts and practitioners in the field, as well as relevant research;
  • plan and organise seminars and conferences on special education in the sector, in conjunction with other partners;
  • prepare submissions to the Department of Education and Skills and the Education Committee. 

The current members of the committee are as follows:

  • Clodagh Ní Mhaoilchiaráin, Príomhoide Gaelscoil Bhaile Brigín (Cathaoirleach)
  • Anna Ní Chartúir, Scoil Sailearna
  • Bláthnaid ní Ghréacháin, Gaeloideachas
  • Ciara Ní Bhroin, Gaeloideachas
  • Máire Ní Mhaoileoin, Scoil Neasáin
  • Máire Ní Mhurchadha, Coláiste Cholmcille
  • Máire Nic an Rí, COGG
  • Ríona Ní Shúilleabháin, Gaelscoil Bhaile Brigín

Conference Presentations

Tionól Forbartha, 2019

Ar Scáth a Chéile, 2019

Mother Tongues, 2018

Tionól Forbartha, 2018

Comhdháil Gaeloideachas ar RSO, 2017

Questions & Answers: Dyslexia

Irish-medium and Gaeltacht schools are the choice of many parents of children with special educational needs. Dyslexia is the most frequently featured special educational need in Irish-medium schools, with more than 9% of pupils in Irish-medium primary schools having dyslexia. This section provides advice and information for parents and guardians on the identification, assessment and support of dyslexia. It is specifically designed to help parents gain a better understanding of dyslexia, address some of the many misunderstandings about dyslexia and the suitability of learning through the medium of Irish, as well as advice on ways to support your child. Our aim is to empower and inform parents so that they have the confidence to make the best choices for their children. We also have some practical tips on how parents can provide support with homework and learning. 

Read futher in our online resource here.

Workshops

Research

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