A Chara,

The Department of Education has commenced a review of the legislation that provides for education for children and young persons with special educational needs.

The Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act 2004, is often known as the EPSEN act and provides for the education of children aged under 18 years with special educational needs.

The purpose of the review is to ensure that legislation on education for students with additional needs is up-to-date, fully operational, and reflective of the lived experiences of students, families and school communities. The review will help us to understand what aspects of the law is working well and whether aspects of it should be amended.

As part of the review process, a public consultation is taking place. This consultation will seek the views of a wide range of organisations and individuals that have experience with the law and with the services provided under it.   It is an important part of the review that the lived experiences of students and families are recorded.

Please go to the following address to access the review. (www.gov.ie/epsenreview). The Department especially wants to hear from students and their parents, and from young people who left school in recent years.

 It is vital that the public consultation reaches a large number of people, so that a wide variety of views and experiences of different individuals can be captured.

The Department is committed to ensuring that the views of persons with disabilities are fully considered in policy making.  It will also hold focus groups with parents and students over the coming months.

When the survey process is completed, the Department will produce a consultation paper, and will run further consultation events. If you would like to be invited to a consultation event, please contact the Department on epsen@education.gov.ie.

Many thanks for your assistance

Yours faithfully

Frank Hanlon

Principal Officer, Special Education Unit