The National Federation of Voluntary Bodies Member Organisations are significant providers of education services and play a key role in supporting the education of people with intellectual disability. Member Organisations have demonstrated a long history of commitment to education services and supports, and have demonstrated the ability to embrace new service developments in such provision.
International Conference - Salamanca - 15 years on “Inclusion – A school for All
One of the key activities of the Education Sub-Committee for 2009 was to plan and coordinate an international conference on inclusive education which was held in the Grand Hotel, Malahide, Dublin on 12th & 13th November 2009.
You can download the conference report here
The conference will be co-hosted by the National Federation and the European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD) - www.easpd.eu. The title of the conference is: Salamanca - 15 years on “Inclusion – A school for All”. The conference goals are to:
- Create a new European Network of all those committed to inclusive education, providing examples of good practice.
- Offer guidance and active help to all parties interested in transforming mainstream schools into schools for all.
- Agree on a Dublin Manifesto and Action Plan.
Workshops and Panel Discussions will be held covering the challenges and solutions for the future. Further details of the conference programme will be available here shortly.
Early Intervention Working Group
The Education Sub-Committee established a Working Group on Early Intervention Services to consider best practice models and services and make proposals to the Board of the National Federation of Voluntary Bodies for the best way forward in early intervention models of service.
The Terms of Reference of the Group were to:
- Review of the current range of models of early intervention services within the National Federation of Voluntary Bodies Membership.
- Review of international and national best practice literature and research on all aspects of early intervention services to children and families including screening/referral, assessment, intervention processes, team and agency structures.
- Prepare an Interim Report for the Board of the National Federation.
- Prepare a position paper on the Future Direction of Early Services within National Federation Member Organisations.
A copy of the final Working Group report is available from Mary Barrett.
National Steering Group on the implementation of the Disability Act 2005
The Education Sub-Committee continues to liaise with the National Steering Group set up to oversee the implementation of the Disability Act 2005, which became law on 1st June, 2007, for children under 5. Stephen Kealy, Sisters of Charity of Jesus & Mary, and Moira King, Brothers of Charity Southern Services, are the National Federation’s representatives on this group.
National Council for Special Education
In December 2004, The National Council for Special Education took over key functions in relation to special education provision from the Department of Education and Science. The Council carries out research and provide expert advice to the Minister on the educational needs of children with disabilities and the provision of related services; provides a range of services at local and national level in order that the educational needs of children with disabilities are identified and provided for; coordinates with HSE Areas, schools and other relevant bodies, the provision of education and related support services to children with disabilities. Christy Lynch, CEO, KARE and Board Member of the National Federation, is a member of the Board of the NCSE. Helen Guinan, COPE Foundation represents the National Federation on the NCSE Consultative Forum.
EASPD Standing Committee on Education
Ongoing links are maintained with EASPD's Standing Committee on Education. Noel Dillon, St. Michael's House, represents the National Federation on this sub-committee.
Presentation to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Education & Science (February 2006)
Maura Nash, Chairperson of the National Federation Education Sub-Committee and Maria Walls, National Federation's Director of Research & Membership Services, presented a paper on Special Education provision for pupils with intellectual disability to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Education & Science on Thursday 23rd February 2006. The National Federation welcomed this opportunity at a time of great change with the implementation of the Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act 2004 and the Disability Act 2005. National Federation member organisations are significant providers of education services and play a key role in supporting the education of people with intellectual disability. Chairperson of the Joint Committee, Michael Moynihan said "that the National Federation's report represented the starting point of the formulation of a coordinated policy on the educational needs of children with an intellectual disability". A copy of the National Federation paper on Special Education provision is available here.
Education Conference 2002
The National Federation hosted a landmark Education Conference entitled “Making Appropriate Education a Reality for Pupils with Severe & Profound Intellectual Disability” in March 2002. The aim of the Conference was to challenge all stakeholders to develop a consensual approach towards working together to make the necessary changes to improve the provision of an appropriate education to children and adolescents with severe/profound intellectual disability. The focus of the conference was to develop recommendations on how to improve the provision of education and to overcome current difficulties. Conference proceedings, including the consequential recommendations, have been published and are available from email@example.com.
Our Useful Links section will provide you with further information resources. For further information on the work of the Education Sub-Committee please contact Mary Barrett.