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(Ireland) Call for training teachers to deal with SPED students being mainstreamed

April 17, 2019, RTE: Teacher union calls for national special needs training https://www.rte.ie/news/education/2019/0418/1043408-asti-teacher-training/ The country's largest second level teachers' union has called for a national training programme for all teachers to support the full inclusion of students with special educational needs in schools here…. The union says a survey of its members found that less than a quarter of mainstream classroom teachers have received training in special educational needs in recent years, despite the fact that inclusion in mainstream classrooms is current policy and also best practice…. One of the benefits of the new model is that most students no longer need to obtain a professional diagnosis of their condition, but the ASTI says that this generally positive development has placed an additional bureaucratic burden on teachers. The union says because most students are no longer coming in to schools with formal diagnoses of their conditions, teachers are now being required to draw up and sign off on teaching plans based on their own assessments of the needs of individual students…. Today, the union published a survey of 1,300 members which found that just 22% of mainstream class teachers had had any special educational needs training in recent years. In this self-selecting online survey, 49% of respondents said they had been asked to contribute to educational planning for students with SEN in their schools. It is estimated that up to 25% of students have a special educational need. This can range from a condition such as autism or Down Sydrome to dyslexia or an attention deficit disorder. ASTI President Breda Lynch said teachers were being expected to sign off on education plans for individual students when often they did not feel competent or comfortable with the task. … "Without training and without proper administrative co-ordination it can't be done". …