Classroom support for inclusion in England and Ireland: an evaluation of contrasting models

Richard Rose, A O'Neill

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


When reporting on those conditions which they perceive as necessary for the inclusion of students with special educational needs, teachers often refer to the importance of additional adult support in the classroom. The deployment of teaching assistants in England and special needs assistants in Ireland has been regarded as an important factor in supporting national policies for inclusion in both countries. This article reports on research which through survey and interview methods investigated the working practices of these colleagues and discusses the different approaches to their deployment in schools. It is suggested that whilst there are clear distinctions between the operations of the teaching assistant in England and the special needs assistant in Ireland, both play a distinct and essential role in the development of inclusive schooling. The article considers how two distinctive models of classroom support have emerged and the different ways in which they impact upon inclusion. Consideration is given to the changes which are taking place in the development of classroom teams and the ways in which this may impact upon current and future inclusion agendas
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-261
Number of pages11
JournalResearch in Comparative and International Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


  • Inclusion
  • special education needs
  • classroom support
  • Ireland
  • teaching assistants
  • special needs assistants


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