NPC Special Education Conference 2018

National Parents Council Primary (NPC)

NPC Special Education Conference 2018

Call the NPC Helpline 01 887 4477
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Inspiring the Future

'Opportunities and Challenges'

Date: 24 November 2018

Venue: The Ashling Hotel, Parkgate Street, Dublin 8

A National Parents Council Primary conference for parents and others who want to know more about supporting children with special educational needs.

Location: The Ashling Hotel, Parkgate Street, Dublin 8

Time: 10.30am - 4pm

Guest Speakers

Bobbie Hickey is 19 and has lived in Dublin her entire life. Some facts about her are that she has a speedboat driving licence, rides horses, loves travelling and has trained dolphins! Bobbie has done all of this, despite being legally blind, with only 5% sight. Bobbie talked about her own journey through the Irish school system.

Margaret Flood, is the SEN Education Officer for the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) with 19 years’ experience working in the area of inclusive and special education; including teaching, policy development and curriculum design.
Margaret introduced the Level 1 (L1LP) and Level 2 (L2LP) Learning Programmes in schools. (L1LP) will target the very specific group of students with general learning disabilities in the range of lower functioning moderate to severe and profound categories and (L2LP) will target students who have general learning disabilities in the higher functioning moderate and low functioning mild categories.

Consultation & Speakers

National Parents Council Primary conducted a consultation session on the day seeking the views of parents of children with special educational needs, on children’s behaviour management. To inform these discussions the following speakers made short presentations.

Kathryn Fitzgerald - Specialist Lead Policy and Practice Development in the National Council for Special Education (NCSE)
Kathryn highlighted the NCSE's policy advice around behaviour management.

Mark O’Connor - Community Engagement Manager for Inclusion Ireland, the National Association for People with Intellectual Disabilities. Here, he has responsibility for advocacy and public engagement. Mark has worked across a number of campaigns to influence policy and legislative development on children’s rights such as access to speech therapy, educational supports, access to education and poverty. In 2018, Mark supported a number of parents whose children had experienced seclusion and restraint in schools.

Siobhan Allen - Retired principal of 2 Special Schools in Cork for 20 years and a teacher of Special Class in Bandon for 15 years. Siobhan developed an interest in working with pupils who presented with serious challenging behaviours. With her presentation entitled ‘Supporting Students Presenting With Serious Challenging Behaviours in SEN Settings’ Siobhan shared experiences regarding working with parents including managing expectations and complaints and asked, what resources do schools really need to help them to cope?

Stands from information providers and services

There was information provided on the day by the following: 

  • NPC
  • Junior Cycle for Teachers (JCT) Support Service
  • Sharing the Journey
  • AsFan (Autism Spectrum Family Advocacy Network)
  • Childvision
  • Children's Rights Alliance
  • National Council for Special Education (NCSE)
  • Chime - formerly Deaf/Hear
  • Special Needs Parents' Association
  • NCBI

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