Charitable Purpose – the advancement of education.
Main Object – the advancement of education, and specifically to unite Boards of Management in the provision of special education in the Republic of Ireland by providing a means for the expression of their individual and collective experience on matters affecting the education of children with Special Educational Needs.
The National Association of Boards of Management in Special Education (NABMSE) is the management voice of Special Education in Ireland. It provides countrywide representation of Boards of Management of Special Schools and Mainstream Schools that provide education for pupils with low and high incidence special educational needs.
NABMSE policies are based on relevant legislation in the education and disability areas such as the Education Act 1998, The Equal Status Act 2000 and the Education for Persons with Special Education Needs Act (EPSEN) 2004. The policy of the organisation is also derived from motions passed at the Annual General Meeting. These are usually issues of importance and concern to Boards of Management in Special Education at that time and are forwarded and discussed by member Boards at the AGM. These motions are followed up and lobbied for with the relevant Department or Agency.
- Is one of the consultative groups in the education sector. NABMSE has nominees on the National Council for Special Education, National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, NCCA Special Education Steering Committee and the National Council for Special Education Consultative Forum. It is also represented at all relevant working groups at the Department of Education and Skills.
- Lobbies the Department of Education and Skills, other Government Departments and statutory bodies with responsibility for students with special educational needs (SEN).
- Liaises with other partners in education on all issues affecting members.
- Is involved in the development of training for Boards of Management. This includes the Annual Conference and Regional Seminars.
- Provides members with information, advice and support through our office, on current issues.
- Makes submissions to projects / studies / committees dealing with issues that affect Boards of Management dealing with pupils with SEN.
Submissions include: Submission to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Disability Matters on ‘The impact of the decision to delay the return to school of children with special educational needs’ (January 2021). Submission to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education & Skills on the topic ‘Ensuring that schools are open in a manner which is both safe and sustainable’ (October 2020). Submission to the Department of Education and Skills for the Re-Opening of Schools in September 2020 (Special Schools and Classes); Submission to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education & Skills for the Provision of ASD and Special Classes in Mainstream Schools throughout the State (June 2018). Submission to the Forum for Patronage and Pluralism, Submission on General Scheme of Education (Admissions to Schools) Bill 2013, Digital Strategy for Schools and Delivery for Students with Special Education Needs 2014. All submissions are available on the members’ only section of the website.
- Commissions research into issues affecting Boards of Management working with pupils with SEN. This includes research on challenging behaviour and the admission to Special School of post 12 year old students who have attended mainstream schools.
Training / Seminars / Conferences for Boards of Management
An important part of NABMSE’s role is to provide training and information to it’s members. Each year, NABMSE provides a one day national training event / conference for all Board Members. More recently, regional training seminars have been organised for Boards of Management. Regional seminars have been on topics of interest and concern to members in the particular region.
There are also national modules of training for Board of Management members as follows:
- The Board as a Corporate Entity
- Appointment Procedures
- Board Finances and the role of the Treasurer
- Legal Issues – Policies and Procedures
- Child Protection
- Anti Bullying Procedures
- Data Protection
These modules of training are provided nationally under the auspices of CPSMA by the local Diocesan Education offices. This training can be attended by all Boards irrespective of their patronage and are funded by the Teacher Education Section of the Department of Education and Skills.