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Kerry Academic awarded tender to investigate Irish Special Education System 

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A Cahersiveen resident has been awarded a tender to investigate one hundred years of special education in Ireland since the foundation of the State.

The awarding of the tender by the National Council for Special Education follows on from the work and research by Professor Emer Ring, Dean of Education at Mary Immaculate College (MIC), in the area of special education, particularly publishing widely in the area of special education policy and practice. Prof. Ring, has also worked extensively in the area of autism and has recently appointed to the Board of Directors of AsIAm, Ireland’s National Autism Charity.

“While clearly influenced by international developments, the evolution of the special education system in Ireland over the last 100 years is characterised by historical, cultural, social, legal and political factors distinctively related to the Irish context," Professor Ring said.

"As we prepare to mark the centenary of the foundation of the State, it’s timely that we remember all of those who contributed to understanding that all children learn differently and that meaningfully including all children in our education system must continue to be our priority. As we all emerge from the grip of the global pandemic, never has prioritising the creation of an education system where all children are enabled to flourish been more critical. The role of the National Council for Special Education has been central to the evolution of special education policy and practice in more recent decades as it seeks to realise a vision of a society where children and adults with special educational needs receive an education that enables them to achieve their full potential.”

In addition to engaging in a rigorous literature review related focused on understanding key influences that shaped special education provision over the last hundred years, Professor Ring will also be inviting key stakeholders who have been involved in policy formation, implementation and evaluation and most importantly those who have experienced the special education system to contribute to the project.

The project will involve documenting the introduction of the national school system, the education system in place at the foundation of the Irish Free State in 1922, its evolution through the subsequent decades and the parallel development of the special education system from a segregated model of special schooling, to integrated and more recent inclusive models of schooling for children with special educational needs. This will also require contextualising within broader international contexts and trends, which contributed significantly to the consolidation of special education provision in Ireland and the associated role of international human rights instruments and conventions.

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No spare change – no problem, as charity embraces new technology

By Sean Moriarty With less and less people carrying lose change around, one local group have now embraced a new technology to make donating much easier. For their annual Christmas fundraiser, the Killarney Conference of the St Vincent De Paul Society will have a special collection bucket that will allow supporters to use their bank […]

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By Sean Moriarty

With less and less people carrying lose change around, one local group have now embraced a new technology to make donating much easier.

For their annual Christmas fundraiser, the Killarney Conference of the St Vincent De Paul Society will have a special collection bucket that will allow supporters to use their bank card to make a donation.

The Society’s annual churchgate collection will be held on the weekend of December 11/12 at places of worship in the town and surrounding areas. This year’s collection has be renamed as ‘Giving Sunday’ and makes a return after the pandemic forced the cancellation of last year’s fundraiser.

“We are moving towards a cashless society,” explained Killarney Conference President Breda O’Dwyer. “You can tap and swipe your card to make a donation.”

Breda added that they are hoping to have the buckets ready by next week in time for the collection.

She said the local conference of the St Vincent De Paul Society has seen a marked increase in the number of families it is helping mainly caused by the increase in the cost of fuel and home heating products.

The annual St Vincent De Paul Society’s Christmas Jumper Day, in association with Radio Kerry is scheduled for December 10.

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SURVEY: Locals are reducing their social contacts

It is just over a week since new restrictions were announced by the Government in an another effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. In our latest online poll we asked our readers if they had reduced their social contacts over the course of the last week. An overwhelming 62.90% said they had reduced their […]

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It is just over a week since new restrictions were announced by the Government in an another effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.

In our latest online poll we asked our readers if they had reduced their social contacts over the course of the last week.

An overwhelming 62.90% said they had reduced their level of contacts with people.

Interestingly, 37.10% of people had made no change to their lifestyle, but they could have been extra cautious already.

A tiny minority – just 1.61% – said they increased their social contacts over the last week.

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