Presenters: Siobhan Allen & Aisling Power

This session will look at how schools can reduce the risks associated with managing serious behaviours of concern from pupils who present with additional needs. We will discuss the resources that schools need to cope with the challenges the behaviours present for all stakeholders – pupils, parents, staff, principal and Board of Management. We will share practical tips so that both children and staff can be better supported within a whole school culture that is preventative and focused on risk reduction.


SiobhanAllenSiobhan Allen, B.Ed., Dip Special Ed., M.Ed., Adv. Cert in Autism (Children).
Siobhan graduated from Mary I in 1983 and 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).
In 2004, Siobhán became principal of Our Lady of Good Counsel Special School in Ballincollig for pupils with a moderate learning disability.

Siobhan retired in 2017 and lectures from time to time on this subject.



Aisling Power B.Ed., Dip Special Ed
Aisling graduated in 1996 from Mary I and has spent her career working in various special education schools beginning in schools such as Catherine McCauley in Limerick and Scoil Ciarán in Ballymun.
Aisling joined Our Lady of Good Counsel Special School (OLGC) in Cork 1998. She completed her Advanced Diploma in Special Education in St Pats in 2001 and in 2015 she became Deputy Principal in OLGC. Aisling went on to become principal there in 2017.

During her time in OLGC Aisling worked closely with the principal to develop ground breaking protocols and practices to safeguard pupils, staff and the general school community so that behaviours of concern could be managed more safely. Aisling continues this work and has recently reviewed the policies and practices in keeping with the school’s mission to be safe and supportive for all.


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