In Ireland the government has taken initiative towards the development of inclusive education in mainstream schools which has yielded mixed results. Background The move into inclusive education was initiated by parents of children with SEN who were concerned with the availability of appropriate institutions for their children. As a result, the Republic of Ireland signed an EU Council of Ministers Charter which led to the promotion of inclusion in schools by the Department of Education. In 1992, the Green Paper on Education highlighted the need to develop educational systems that were inclusive and provided those that were socially, physically, mentally or economically disadvantaged with equal opportunities. The Report of the Special Education Review Committee in 1993 laid the groundwork for inclusive education in Ireland. The reports proposed seven principles for the future of inclusive education which included; all children have a right to suitable education, the needs of the child should be the first priority while considering the route of education, the parents of children with SEN should be allowed to take an active part in decisions about their child’s education, a range of services that include education in a regular school with additional support, Special educational needs should be provided in ordinary schools unless individual circumstances make it impractical, only in extreme cases should it be necessary for the child to live away from home to receive suitable education and the state should provide the resources required to enable children with special educational needs to receive education according to their needs. In accordance with these principles, the White Paper on Education Charting our...
This report approves that theoretically speaking inclusive education is an ideal system to integrate students with special needs into the mainstream. Inclusive education not only results in better academic performance by such students but also increased social interaction and rehabilitation for them. Inclusive education results in students in SEN receiving the same education and environment that regular students and thus preparing them for the real word and enabling them from the beginning. This helps adjustment in real life and greater chances of success in the future; it also helps in maintaining social relationships with other children and learning socially acceptable norms of behavior. It also increases a sense of belonging and decreases discrimination.
This essay makes a conclusion that Inclusive education for children with special needs is a concept that works in practical life as well but like most other concepts it needs proper regulation and structure. In Ireland, although there is legislation and regulation schools need to be committed to inclusive education and cater to the needs of the students. Teachers need to get professional training and maintain positive attitudes. There should be greater collaboration among schools and other agencies as well as parent and school collaboration. Children should be taught to include their SEN counterparts and view them as their own. Inclusive education is a successful way of integrating special children in society although there are many challenges need to be overcome.