The Department of Education has begun a review of the legislation that provides for education for children and young people with special educational needs.

The Education for Persons with Special Needs Act 2004, often known as EPSEN, provides for the education of children aged under 18 with special educational needs.

The department said the purpose of the review is to ensure the legislation on education for students with additional needs is up to date, fully operational and reflective of the lived experiences of students and families.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Minister of State Josepha Madigan urged anyone with an interest or involvement in special education to make an online submission.

She said focus groups will be carried out once feedback is received so the voice of children can be heard.

Ms Madigan said it is imperative that each child with additional needs is given an appropriate placement.

She said all children with additional needs have been catered for this year and strategic forward planning initiatives have been put in place to deal with future demand.

"We're also doing a lot of innovation around special education. We're looking at the school inclusion model, we have amended the SET model of allocation, which means now that children don't a diagnosis to access an SNA in a mainstream class," she said.

Speaking on the same programme, the CEO of Inclusion Ireland said the act should be called the Inclusion Education Act, as she said the use of the word special lets people off the hook.

Derval McDonagh said it is not about having a child fit into the system but meeting a child "where they're at".

There is nothing special about wanting your child to access education in their local school, she said.

Ms McDonagh said there are some schools that support all children in the community and vindicate children's rights. However, many more are not, she added.

She highlighted the case of one father who applied to 30 schools for his child who has an intellectual disability.

Ms McDonagh said that thousands of children are travelling long distances simply to get a school place because their local school is not accepting them.

"We wouldn't accept it for a child without a disability," she said.

""There would be absolute uproar, for example, if a child without a disability was travelling an hour-and-a-half to get to their school and to access the right education, but that's happening for disabled children every day."