Inclusion Ireland Submission as part of the Review of the EPSEN Act

We have completed our submission as part of the Review of the Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs (ESPEN) Act 2004.

In this submission we highlighted the key points below:

– The EPSEN Act must be reviewed in relation to state commitments under the UNCRPD and then commenced without delay.

– The name and language of the act should be changed to “The Inclusive Education Act”- removing references to “special educational needs” which will then include all children in the state.

– The parts of the EPSEN Act 2004 that give the statutory right for children to have an assessment of their education needs and access to the supports identified in such assessments need to be commenced.

– We are calling for a fully costed, cross government multi-annual Inclusive Education 10-year plan. The journey towards an inclusive education model will require significant additional resources, attitudinal change, fully accessible and flexible school buildings and supported, skilled school staff.

– We are calling for the Disability Act to be reviewed in parallel with the EPSEN act. These two pieces of legislation have to be effective and work together so that children can access their rights.

– We call for specific amendments to the act including additions around rights-based training for educators as well as reference to seclusion and restraint in the Act.

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