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(Ireland) Govt expands SPED services to age 25; following Britain's example

Feb 20, 2020, FeNews: Special Educational Needs Do Not End at 16 https://www.fenews.co.uk/fevoices/42366-special-educational-needs-do-not-end-at-16 The reforms to the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) system contained in the 2014 Children and Families Act were a once in a generation systemic change for young people and their families. For the first time, rights and duties were extended from the earliest years to young adulthood, in a new 0-25 system, giving Further Education colleges and providers new statutory obligations. Post-16 Special Education Needs The SEND reforms, combined with the raising of the participation age to the 18th birthday, mean that SEND provision does not end at 16. There are increasingly heavy demands on FE – the number of young people with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) aged 16 to 25 increased from 84,000 to 96,000 between 2018 and 2019. Whether it is post-16 or post-18/19, the move into further education and training is arguably the least well-developed area of the SEND reforms…. Leaving school and moving on to something new is both exciting and stressful for any young person, but it can be especially difficult for young people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, many of whom find change very unsettling. This is further hindered by a funding system that is hard to navigate and lack of information about the full range of options available….