Education for persons with special education needs act 2004

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Education for persons with special education needs act 2004

Transcript Of Education for persons with special education needs act 2004

———————— Number 30 of 2004 ———————— EDUCATION FOR PERSONS WITH SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS ACT 2004 ———————— ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS Section 1. Interpretation.
2. Inclusive education.
3. Preparation of education plan by school (including steps preliminary to such preparation).
4. Assessment of child by or on behalf of health board or Council.
5. Mode of assessment under section 3 or 4.
6. Appeals in relation to assessments.
7. Provision of services.
8. Preparation of education plan at direction of Council.
9. Content of education plan.
10. Designation of school.
11. Review of education plan.
12. Appeals in relation to education plans.
13. Duty of Minister and Minister for Health and Children to make resources available.
14. Duty of schools.

[No. 30.] Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act 2004.
Section
15. Planning for future education needs.

[2004.]

16. Implementation of relevant education policy by health boards.

17. Liaison officers.

18. Delegation of functions of principals, etc.

19. National Council for Special Education.

20. Functions of Council. 21. Membership of Council. 22. Consultative forum. 23. Implementation report. 24. Chief Executive Officer. 25. Employees. 26. Special educational needs organisers. 27. Curriculum. 28. Removal of Council from office. 29. Accounts and audits. 30. Accountability of Chief Executive Officer to Committee of
Public Accounts.

31. Accountability of Chief Executive Officer to other Oireachtas Committees.
32. Gifts. 33. Committees. 34. Annual report and information. 35. Establishment day. 36. Special Education Appeals Board. 37. Report of Appeals Board. 38. Provision for mediation in certain cases. 39. Duty of health boards. 40. Amendment of section 7 of Act of 1998. 41. Maintenance of records. 42. Regulations. 43. Grants to Council and Appeals Board. 44. Service of notices.

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[2004.] Education for Persons with Special [No. 30.] Educational Needs Act 2004.
Section 45. Dissolution of body established under section 54 of Act of 1998. 46. Legal proceedings pending against former Council. 47. Transfer of property rights and liabilities of former Council. 48. Bonds, guarantees, contracts, etc., of former Council. 49. Transfer of staff of former Council. 50. Plans, reports, etc., under Act privileged. 51. Expenses. 52. Amendment of Act of 1998. 53. Short title and commencement. SCHEDULE 1 Membership and Meetings of Council SCHEDULE 2 The Chief Executive Officer
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Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act 2004.
Acts referred to

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Civil Service Commissioners Act 1956

1956, No. 45

Civil Service Regulation Acts 1956 to 1996

Comhairle Act 2000

2000, No. 1

Companies Acts 1963 to 2001

Comptroller and Auditor General (Amendment) Act 1993

1993, No. 8

Education Act 1998

1998, No. 51

Health Act 1970

1970, No. 7

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———————— Number 30 of 2004 ————————

EDUCATION FOR PERSONS WITH SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS ACT 2004
————————
AN ACT TO MAKE FURTHER PROVISION, HAVING REGARD TO THE COMMON GOOD AND IN A MANNER THAT IS INFORMED BY BEST INTERNATIONAL PRACTICE, FOR THE EDUCATION OF PEOPLE WITH SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS, TO PROVIDE THAT THE EDUCATION OF PEOPLE WITH SUCH NEEDS SHALL, WHEREVER POSSIBLE, TAKE PLACE IN AN INCLUSIVE ENVIRONMENT WITH THOSE WHO DO NOT HAVE SUCH NEEDS, TO PROVIDE THAT PEOPLE WITH SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS SHALL HAVE THE SAME RIGHT TO AVAIL OF, AND BENEFIT FROM, APPROPRIATE EDUCATION AS DO THEIR PEERS WHO DO NOT HAVE SUCH NEEDS, TO ASSIST CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS TO LEAVE SCHOOL WITH THE SKILLS NECESSARY TO PARTICIPATE, TO THE LEVEL OF THEIR CAPACITY, IN AN INCLUSIVE WAY IN THE SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES OF SOCIETY AND TO LIVE INDEPENDENT AND FULFILLED LIVES, TO PROVIDE FOR THE GREATER INVOLVEMENT OF PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS IN THE EDUCATION OF THEIR CHILDREN, FOR THOSE PURPOSES TO ESTABLISH A BODY TO BE KNOWN AS THE NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION AND TO DEFINE ITS FUNCTIONS, TO CONFER CERTAIN FUNCTIONS ON HEALTH BOARDS IN RELATION TO THE EDUCATION OF PEOPLE WITH SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS, TO ENABLE CERTAIN DECISIONS MADE IN RELATION TO THE EDUCATION OF PEOPLE WITH SUCH NEEDS TO BE THE SUBJECT OF AN APPEAL TO AN APPEALS BOARD AND TO PROVIDE FOR RELATED MATTERS. [19th July 2004]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:

1.—(1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires— ‘‘Act of 1998’’ means the Education Act 1998;
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Interpretation.

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‘‘Appeals Board’’ shall be construed in accordance with section 36;

‘‘child’’ means a person not more than 18 years of age;

‘‘Council’’ shall be construed in accordance with section 19;

‘‘education plan’’ shall be construed in accordance with section 3 or 8, as appropriate;

‘‘health board’’ means—

(a) a health board established under section 4 of the Health Act 1970,

(b) the Eastern Regional Health Authority, or

(c) the Northern Area Health Board, the East Coast Area Health Board or the South-Western Area Health Board;

‘‘Minister’’ means the Minister for Education and Science;

‘‘national association of parents’’ has the same meaning as it has in the Act of 1998;

‘‘parent’’ has the same meaning as it has in the Act of 1998;

‘‘prescribed’’ means prescribed by regulations made by the Minister under this Act;

‘‘recognised school management organisations’’ has the same meaning as it has in the Act of 1998;

‘‘recognised trade union or staff association’’ means a trade union or staff association recognised by the Minister for the purposes of negotiations that are concerned with the remuneration, conditions of employment, or working conditions of employees;

‘‘relevant health board’’ means the health board in whose functional area the child or person concerned resides;

‘‘school’’ means a recognised school (within the meaning of the Act of 1998);

‘‘school year’’ has the same meaning as it has in the Act of 1998;

‘‘special educational needs’’ means, in relation to a person, a restriction in the capacity of the person to participate in and benefit from education on account of an enduring physical, sensory, mental health or learning disability, or any other condition which results in a person learning differently from a person without that condition and cognate words shall be construed accordingly;

‘‘special educational needs organiser’’ shall be construed in accordance with section 26;

‘‘student’’ has the same meaning as it has in the Act of 1998;

‘‘team’’ shall be construed in accordance with section 8, 9 or 11 as appropriate;

‘‘voluntary body’’ has the same meaning as it has in the Comhairle Act 2000.

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(2) In this Act—

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(a) a reference to a section is a reference to a section of this Act, unless it is indicated that reference to some other enactment is intended,

(b) a reference to a subsection, paragraph or subparagraph is a reference to a subsection, paragraph or subparagraph of the provision in which the reference occurs, unless it is indicated that reference to some other provision is intended,

(c) a reference to any other enactment shall, unless the context otherwise requires, be construed as a reference to that enactment as amended, extended or adapted by or under any subsequent enactment.

2.—A child with special educational needs shall be educated in an Inclusive education. inclusive environment with children who do not have such needs unless the nature or degree of those needs of the child is such that to do so would be inconsistent with—
(a) the best interests of the child as determined in accordance with any assessment carried out under this Act, or
(b) the effective provision of education for children with whom the child is to be educated.

3.—(1) Subsection (2) applies where the principal of a school—
(a) having been notified by the parents of a student in the school that they are of the opinion referred to in this paragraph and been requested by them to take the measures specified in subsection (2), considers that opinion to be well founded, namely, an opinion that the student is not benefiting from the education programme provided in the school to children who do not have special educational needs to the extent that would be expected of the student, or

Preparation of education plan by school (including steps preliminary to such preparation).

(b) otherwise forms such an opinion in respect of a student in the school.

(2) Where this subsection applies, the principal of the school shall take such measures as are practicable to meet the educational needs of the student concerned.

(3) Where the principal of a school, having taken the measures referred to in subsection (2), is of the opinion that the student concerned is still not benefiting from the education programme provided in the school and that his or her difficulty in doing so may arise from his or her having special educational needs, the principal, after consultation with the parents of the student, shall, subject to subsection (6), arrange for an assessment of the student to be carried out.

(4) Without prejudice to section 5(5), an assessment referred to in subsection (3) shall be—

(a) commenced as soon as practicable, and in any case not later than 1 month, after the principal has reached the opinion referred to in that subsection,

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(b) completed as soon as practicable, and in any case not later

than 3 months, after the principal has reached that

opinion, and

(c) carried out in accordance with such guidelines relating to persons who are to carry out assessments under this section and the form that those assessments are to take as may be issued from time to time by the Council,

and references in this section to the carrying out of such an assessment include references to the preparation of a statement of the findings in relation to the assessment.

(5) Where an assessment carried out in accordance with subsection (4) establishes that the student concerned has special educational needs the principal shall, subject to subsection (11), within 1 month from the receipt by him or her of the assessment, cause a plan to be prepared for the appropriate education of the student (in this Act referred to as an ‘‘education plan’’).

(6) Where the principal of a school is of the opinion, having regard to any guidelines that may be issued by the Council from time to time under subsection (8), that the arrangement of an assessment under subsection (3) of a student is not practicable he or she shall request the Council to arrange for an assessment of the student under section 4.

(7) If the Council accedes to a request under subsection (6), section 4, with the necessary modifications, and section 5 shall apply accordingly.

(8) The Council may from time to time issue guidelines to principals of schools as to the matters they shall have regard to before forming an opinion of the kind referred to in subsection (6).

(9) In relation to the preparation of an education plan under subsection (5), the principal shall ensure that—

(a) the parents of the child, the special educational needs organiser with responsibility for the school concerned and such other persons as the principal considers appropriate are consulted and, in the case of the parents of the child, their involvement in the preparation is facilitated, and

(b) guidelines for the time being in force under section 9(3) are complied with unless he or she decides, with the consent of that special educational needs organiser, that there are good and substantial reasons for their not being complied with.

(10) Immediately after an educational plan has been prepared under subsection (5) the principal of the school shall furnish to the parents of the child concerned and the special educational needs organiser with responsibility for the school a notice in writing of that fact, together with a copy of the plan.

(11) Where the principal of a school is of the opinion that—

(a) having regard to the nature and extent of a child’s special educational needs as established by an assessment under this section, the preparation of an education plan under subsection (5) in accordance with the guidelines for the

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time being in force under section 9(3) will not meet the S.3 child’s special educational needs, or

(b) whether the opinion is formed in consequence of a review under section 11 or otherwise, an education plan prepared under subsection (5) in respect of a child is not meeting those needs of the child and the taking of any steps by a special educational needs organiser under section 11 on foot of any report by the principal under subsection (3) of that section is unlikely to result in those needs being met,

the principal shall request the Council to prepare an education plan under section 8 in respect of the child.

(12) If the Council accedes to a request under subsection (11), then subsections (3) to (5) of section 8 shall apply and, in the case of paragraph (b) of subsection (11), the education plan prepared by the Council under section 8 shall supersede the education plan referred to in that paragraph.

(13) If the Council refuses to accede to a request under subsection (6) or (11), then the principal, or the parents of the child concerned, may appeal against that refusal to the Appeals Board.

(14) On the hearing of an appeal under subsection (13), the Appeals Board may—

(a) allow the appeal and give a direction to the Council requiring it, as appropriate, to—

(i) arrange for an assessment of the child concerned to be carried out under section 4, or

(ii) cause to be prepared an education plan in respect of the child concerned under section 8,

or

(b) dismiss the appeal.

(15) The Council shall comply with a direction given to it under subsection (14).

4.—(1) Where the relevant health board is of the opinion that a Assessment of child

child who is not a student has or may have special educational needs by or on behalf of

it

shall

cause

an

assessment

under

this

section

of

that

child

to

be

health board or Council.

carried out.

(2) Where the Council is of the opinion that a child who is a student has or may have special educational needs it shall, unless an assessment under section 3 of the child is being or has been carried out, cause an assessment under this section of that child to be carried out.

(3) Where the parents of a child are of the opinion that the child has or may have special educational needs they may request—

(a) the relevant health board, or

(b) in the case of a child who is a student, the Council,

to cause an assessment under this section of the child to be carried out.

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(4) Subject to subsection (5), within 1 month from the receipt of

a request under subsection (3), the health board or the Council shall

cause the assessment to be commenced and thereafter to be com-

pleted without undue delay.

(5) A health board or the Council may refuse to accede to a request under subsection (3) if—

(a) it is of the opinion that there are insufficient grounds to support the requesters’ opinion that the child has special educational needs, or

(b) an assessment under this Act has been carried out in respect of the child in the 12 months prior to the date of the request.

(6) An assessment for the purposes of this section shall include an evaluation and statement of the nature and extent of the child’s disability (including in respect of matters that affect the child overall as an individual) and an evaluation and statement of the services which the child will need so as to be able to participate in and benefit from education and, generally, to develop his or her potential.

(7) If a health board or the Council refuses to accede to a request under subsection (3) the parents of the child concerned may appeal against that refusal to the Appeals Board; such an appeal shall be determined by the Appeals Board within 6 weeks from the date that it receives the appeal.

(8) On the hearing of an appeal under subsection (7), the Appeals Board may—

(a) allow the appeal and direct the health board or the Council, as the case may be, to cause to be carried out an assessment under this section of the child, or

(b) dismiss the appeal.

Mode of assessment under section 3 or 4.

5.—(1) An assessment under section 4 shall be carried out with the assistance of persons possessing such expertise and qualifications as the health board or the Council considers appropriate; those persons may, in the discretion of the board or the Council, include one or more of the following:

(a) a psychologist;

(b) a medical practitioner;

(c) the principal of the school which the child is attending or a teacher of that school nominated by the principal;

(d) an appropriately qualified social worker; and

(e) a therapist who is suitably qualified to provide support services in respect of the special educational needs of the child.

(2) A health board, the Council or a principal, as appropriate, shall facilitate, in a manner that is consistent with the assessment being carried out effectively, the participation by the parents of the child concerned in the carrying out of an assessment under section 3 or 4.

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