Irish Language 'Special Needs' In Focus

There has been high-level encouragement for continuing work on teaching special needs in the Irish medium.

At a conference on special educational needs this week, partnerships across all sectors were hailed as being central to meeting the needs of all children with special needs.

This was the key message from John O'Dowd, the NI Executive Education Minister, at a seminar in Newry run by the POBAL, the advocacy organisation for the Irish language sector.

The seminar was attended by education sector representatives from across the whole of Ireland.

Speaking at the event the Sinn Fein Minister said: "All our children and young people deserve a first-class education system. Children identified with special educational needs (SEN) deserve support and the right provision.

"Over the past 30 years the Irish medium sector here has transformed into a vibrant, dynamic and integral part of our education system.

"I was encouraged to learn that research has all pointed towards the same needs and priorities of the Irish medium sector in relation to training and SEN. Meeting the needs of children with SEN is as pertinent as in any other sector," he said.

"North-south cooperation in improving provision for children with SEN is a high priority for both me and my Department. In fact SEN continues to be one of the four areas of cooperation agreed by the North South Ministerial Council.

"I want to commend POBAL in their determination to ensure that children with special educational needs are not disadvantaged when choosing to learn through Irish.

"I know the focus of this seminar is to raise the awareness of the support and resources available to those in the Irish medium sector."


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

27 August 2015
PSNI Issue Safety Warning As New School Year Begins
The PSNI has issued a warning for parents and road users to plan ahead for heavier traffic as the new school year begins. Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd said: "As the new academic term begins, it is essential that all road users remain focused on their driving, plan their journey and leave plenty of time as there will be delays.
27 August 2015
Call For Parents To Pack Healthier Lunchboxes
Parents are being urged to choose a healthier option when packing school lunches for their children. The Public Health Agency (PHA) is advising parents not to include sugary drinks and snacks high in added sugar, fat and salt, and to remember that children only need kid-sized portions.
06 February 2007
Minister praises role of NI carers 

Health Minister Paul Goggins has today re-iterated his support for the crucial role played by carers in meeting the social care needs of local people.

 Speaking at a Carers Event in Belfast he encouraged even greater co-operation between statutory and voluntary sectors in identifying and supporting carers.
01 September 2005
Children with special needs to benefit from new funding
Children with special educational needs are to have increased rights to be educated in mainstream schools, it was announced on Wednesday. A total of £57.8 million over three years has been set aside to implement the Special Educational Needs and Disability Order (SENDO), which came into operation on Wednesday.
04 July 2007
McGuinness addresses Irish Trade Unions
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness today addressed the Irish Congress of Trade Unions biannual conference in Bundoran, Donegal.
15 January 2010
Irish Speakers Lead Jobs Race
Irish speakers have developed an advantage in the job market according to a cross-border analysis by leading academics.
05 December 2008
Special Needs Pupils Get Cross-Border Attention
A ground-breaking, first ever north/south conference for special school principals has just been held. Will Haire, Permanent Secretary, Northern Ireland Department of Education launched the event - held in the Irish Republic.
23 March 2004
Minister announces special school amalgamation
Education Minister, Jane Kennedy today approved a Western Education and Library Board development proposal to allow Limegrove and Glasvey Special Schools in Limavady to amalgamate to form a new controlled special school.
28 June 2006
SEELB warned not to compromise children's needs
Education Minister Maria Eagle has today issued a warning to members of the South Eastern Education & Library Board (SEELB) that they must shoulder the responsibilities that come with Board membership.
03 March 2005
Post-Primary 'focus' on children's needs, Gardiner
Education Minister Barry Gardiner has again emphasised that the focus of new post-primary arrangements must be on the needs of the child. The Minister was responding to a motion about new admissions arrangements for post-primary schools put down by the DUP’s Jeffrey Donaldson in an adjournment debate at Westminster.
25 August 2015
Irish Minister Calls For 'Fresh Assessment' Of PIRA
The Irish Minister for Justice and Equality has ordered gardai to conduct a "fresh assessment" of the Provisional IRA. Ms Frances Fitzgerald made the call following a PSNI investigation into the murder of Kevin McGuigan.
19 August 2015
Irish Footballer Charged With Drink Driving
Everton and Republican of Ireland star, Darron Gibson, originally from L'Derry, has been charged after allegedly hitting a cyclist and a petrol pump near his home in Altrincham, Manchester. The former Manchester United midfielder has been accused of crashing his car and fleeing the scene.
04 November 2010
Special Needs Child Is Swine Flu Victim
A child diagnosed with swine flu in Northern Ireland just over a week ago has now died. The Public Health Agency (PHA) has confirmed that the victim was a pupil at Ceara School in Lurgan, which is a special school for children with severe learning disabilities.
17 July 2008
Special Needs Classroom Damaged In Bomb Attack
A classroom with educational equipment for a child with special needs was damaged when six devices were thrown at a County Tyrone school, police have revealed. However, it is not thought the attack at Strabane Grammar School was sectarian.
06 February 2004
All-Ireland Special Needs Education website launched
The first ever all-Ireland website designed to help teachers deliver Special Needs Education has been launched today. The site, which can be found at www.socsci.ulst.ac.uk/education/scte/sen/, was the brainchild of researchers from the School of Education at the University of Ulster.