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(Ireland) Education report: Special ed numbers "have risen substantially in recent years"

Jan 4, 2022, Ministers Foley and Harris publish Education Indicators for Ireland 2021 report

The Minister for Education, Norma Foley, and the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, announce the publication of Education Indicators for Ireland 2021 – which presents a comprehensive set of educational indicators for the education system in Ireland. The indicators in this report cover all levels of education starting with early years and working through school education, further and higher education and through to lifelong learning. In doing so, the report provides an overview of the work of both the Department of Education and the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science. This updated report provides data up to and including the school/academic year 2020-2021 (where possible) as well as a look back at how our education system has progressed over the five years 2016-2020. Among the topics covered in the report are: • school types • Leaving Certificate pathways • special education • access to higher education • graduate numbers • further education and training enrolments This report presents a snapshot of the whole education system at a single point in time while also charting our progress over the past 5 years. Minister Foley said: “I welcome the publication of today’s report which presents us with a snapshot of the whole education system and is an invaluable tool in formulating future policy. “I think it is heartening to see that a number of key indicators are continuing to trend in a positive direction, particularly the pupil-teacher ratio and the retention rates for students in DEIS schools. “As Minister for Education I am entrusted with ensuring the opportunities that are possible through education are available to all students – cherishing the individual talents of each child and young person in our care, nurturing their learning and building the next generation of citizens in our society. “We will continue to work to further address these key areas and ensure that there is progress right across the education sector.”... Minister Harris said: “This report offers an important opportunity to assess what we have achieved, and also what more needs to be done to create a world class education landscape in Ireland. “I am pleased to note that the numbers on apprenticeships are increasing, which ties in with our goal of registering 10,000 new apprentices annually by 2025. ... “I am also thrilled to see that an increasing number of students are progressing to post-graduate research studies. Research plays a pivotal role in society, and we need researchers to develop ideas that can create the sort of inclusive, equitable and sustainable Ireland we want to see.... FINDINGS • the number of pupils with special educational needs in mainstream primary have risen substantially in recent years, from 4,836 in 2016 to 7,510 in 2020, while the number of special needs assistants (SNAs) has increased from 12,634 in 2016 to 17,713 in 2020...

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