Special needs education : the investigation of the perceptions and experiences of primary school teachers and SNA's who teach children with special needs in mainstream primary schools

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Brazil, Amanda
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BA (Hons) in Social Science
Dublin Business School
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In this investigation the aim was to assess what the perceptions and experiences are of SNA’s and primary school teachers who teach children with special needs in mainstream primary schools. In order to conduct this study qualitative research methods were used, and the Study adopted thematic analysis. The researcher conducted this study by using a small sample of 8 participants, through semi- structured interviews. The results found the perceptions of teachers and SNA’s were generally quite encouraging, overall they believed that children with special needs should attend mainstream school, but this did not come without its challenges.. It was felt that children received a more rounded education in mainstream schools. The integration process was seen as positive but very case specific. It was also found that parental involvement is important for the child, parent and teacher. The results also suggest there is a severe lack of training in the area of special needs education for both teachers and SNA’s .The findings established that the role of the SNA in the mainstream class significantly differed from the role set out by the Department of Education and should be reviewed. Author keywords: Special needs children, primary school