Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.
We asked Mary Ita Heffernan from Health Service Executive to give some advice for people considering this job:
Whilst in secondary school, I changed my mind many a time regarding the career path I wanted to pursue! I always knew that I wanted to work with people but was unsure about the profession which would most suit my interests and skills in this regard.
While in school, I definitely found that being unsure about the type or area of work you want to pursue is a very difficult and confusing position to be in, especially given the array of career choices now available and the pressure one feels in trying to make one’s mind up.
To this end, I would strongly advise anybody in this position to research courses and job descriptions well in order to make the most informed decision possible at that time in your life.
I recommend one tries to gain as much work experience as possible as it will provide you with valuable insight into your skills, ability, likes/dislikes for certain areas of employment!!!!
Also I would research the courses and job areas as much as possible so that you can make an informed decision regarding your choices. If you can't gain enough information in school, contact the college directly or arrange to talk to somebody who facilitates the course. In particular, it would be really valuable to talk to somebody in the profession to gain a realistic and practical insight into the job.
What are your interests?
Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.
They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
Fewer than 1% of students in Ireland now attend a special school. In the vast majority of cases mainstream schools are the first choice for parents of children with special educational needs.
There is a range of international human rights legislation and agreements which supports inclusive education, including the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006) and the UNESCO Salamanca Statement (1994).
Schools can access a range of supports to address the needs of students with special educational needs. Every mainstream school has a learning support teacher service to complement the work of the class or subject teacher. In addition every school can apply for additional resource teaching hours or care supports to provide for students with more complex learning or care needs. (Source: NCSE, 'Choosing a School', 2013).
All children in Ireland have a constitutional right to free primary education. Children with special educational needs have the right to free primary education up to age 18. Children with disabilities are entitled to avail of free secondary education in the same way as other children. There are also specific arrangements in place for those with special educational needs.
The EPSEN implementation report (NCSE, 2006) estimated the overall prevalence of combined special educational needs categories within the education system at almost 18 per cent:
8% with mental health difficulties (including emotional and behavioural disorders, mental illness and psychological disturbance)
6% with specific learning disabilities (including dyslexia, dyscalculia)
1% with physical and sensory disabilities (in particular speech and language disorder, cerebral palsy)
0.5% with autistic spectrum disorders
Under EPSEN, current educational policy determines that students with special educational needs should be included, as much as possible, in mainstream classes and withdrawn for individual or small-group teaching only when it is clearly in their interests or where appropriate education for them or other students cannot be provided in the mainstream class.
Overall, there are three main types of provision to meet the range of educational needs found among students in primary and post-primary schools in Ireland:
special classes in mainstream school and
Wherever a child is placed, educational placements should be flexible and should be reviewed periodically as a student’s needs change.
In this area, we consider the transition from Primary School to Second Level Education for students with a disability and/or special learning needs and outline the educational supports and options available.
The section also covers the tranistion from Second Level to Third Level education, outlining the different further education and training options available.
Follow the menu items for detailed information. We will continue to update and improve the information in this section going forward.