Siobhán SiobhanAllenWEb 504 x 600recently retired as principal from Our Lady of Good Counsel Special School in Ballincollig for pupils with a moderate learning disability, which she led from 2004. She is now working as a part time tutor/lecturer with St Nicholas Montessori College and Hibernia delivering their Special Needs modules. 

Siobhán graduated from Mary I and soon found her niche in special education - in St Mary’s Special School in Rochestown, Cork. She spent two years in School of the Divine Child as a temporary teacher in a senior class of multiply disabled young adults. From there, she spent 15 years in Presentation Convent Primary School, Bandon which set up the first special class in Ireland in 1985 for pupils with a moderate learning disability. During this period she completed the Diploma in Special Education in St Pats.

In 1998 Siobhán became principal of St Gabriel's Special School in Cork, the first stand-alone special school for pupils with severe and profound learning disability. During her six years there, she developed her interest in working with pupils with challenging behaviours and completed a Masters in Educational Management and also a Postgraduate Advanced Certificate in Autism (Children).

Siobhán is convinced that in Ireland we need to develop protocols and practices to safeguard our pupils, staff and general school community when dealing with incidents in schools which have the potential to cause injury or serious damage to property.

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