Enda Bracken – Inclusive Education Lecturers ‘Are Exceptional and Provide us with Profound Knowledge’

BA (Ord) Inclusive Education Practice

Early Years

Special Needs Assisting

When the Covid-19 pandemic put a halt to Enda Bracken’s studies to become an Emergency Medical Technician he turned to special needs assisting and is now enrolled on Portobello Institute’s BA (Ord) in Inclusive Education Practice.

I completed my leaving certificate in June 2019. During the pandemic, I started an SNA course and I started subbing in a primary school Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) unit straight away as I could not return to work with the pandemic.

“This experience changed my mind completely, and I decided I would follow the career path to become a Special Educational Needs (SEN) teacher,” he said. 

Enda found his passion for working with children with additional needs and he wanted to fulfil his potential by studying further.

As I did not have the qualifications to be an SEN teacher, I began my search for the right course for me. Having looked at many different courses, I found that the Inclusive Education Practice course with Portobello was the course for me.

“I spent months looking at different courses to find one that suits my already busy schedule. Studying in a blended learning course, I believe was the best choice, as it allows me to continue to work helping pay for my expenses and fees.

“I currently work as an SNA which means while studying to become an SEN teacher, I will be gaining invaluable experience right up until I qualify,” he said. 

Enda researched many courses but found the most benefits at Portobello Institute.

“I chose Portobello because of the layout of the course modules. Being able to obtain a level 7 degree in two years, or level 8 in three years is ideal for me.

“I will have time to gain experience in the career path I aim to follow while also studying further. Having researched further into the course, and seeking information from Portobello, I was treated extremely well. The response I received was extremely welcoming.

“This gave me immense joy knowing I could potentially study with an institute so clearly passionate about supplying their service. This helped make my decision easier. The course was perfect, and the staff who had contacted me in relation to my queries gave me more than enough information,” he said.

After achieving the points he wanted in the Leaving Certificate to become a paramedic, an injury and the pandemic sent Enda off his original plan where he discovered a new route to fulfilling his same passion.

“My passion is helping people. I have always wanted to work with people. I do believe by studying this course that I am following my passion.

“When in my Leaving Cert year, I was aiming for enough points to study as a paramedic. I achieved above the number of points needed however, due to an injury to my ankle, I had to cancel my C1 driving test which resulted in a void application.

“At that time students had to have a full clean C1 licence. This meant I had to wait to reapply the following year. After speaking to several paramedics in the following months I was recommended to study through the HSE. Instead of waiting for them to recruit I decided to do an Emergency Medical Technician course. This was my stepping stone to the paramedics.

“The Covid-19 pandemic happened before I completed my exams and they were postponed. With no end to the pandemic in sight, I applied for an SNA course as they were still running online and were relevant to my field of study at the time.

“The SNA placement changed my view completely. I then started subbing and since then knew that I had found my calling. I wish to now progress my knowledge further in what I believe is my passion,” he said. 

Enda is delighted with his decision to study at Portobello Institute for a number of reasons.

My time as a student with Portobello Institute so far has been fantastic. The lecturers are exceptional and provide us with profound knowledge. They are easygoing, which makes the learning process run well.

“When we had our induction day, the course coordinators and lecturers greeted us in such a lovely way. They helped us to settle in and gave us lots of time before starting the induction. We were brought through the entire course step by step. Every part of the induction day was highly informative without being overly intensive.

There are so many fantastic things about studying at Portobello. For me, the best thing was meeting new people. Despite doing the blended learning version course, when we are all in lectures together, we get to know each other more.

“With almost everyone working as SNAs, it is fantastic to have a variety of experiences among all students.

“We all learn from each other. Being surrounded by people with such a high level of interest in the course makes an incredible difference.

“Whenever anyone had any questions, not only did the tutors help but also fellow students. It is a fantastic place to study. So, my favourite thing about studying in Portobello is the people in every aspect.  

I would absolutely recommend Portobello Institute to a friend. There are a number of reasons why Portobello is an ideal institute for higher learning.

“If you want to work while studying at the highest level, Portobello is for you. If you want to complete your degree in a short time frame, then Portobello is for you. If you feel as if you are going to struggle with the transition to higher education, then Portobello is perfect.

“There is so much support offered to the students by all the staff. They are very approachable

From my own personal point of view, I believe that all my learning needs are met and even surpassed. Portobello has been, for me, the perfect place to continue along my studies for future career opportunities,” he said.

To find out more, read our longer deep-dive Discover Inclusive Education as a Fulfilling and Diverse Career Path.

If you are inspired to make a meaningful impact, transform the educational landscape, and champion a more inclusive future, a career in inclusive education awaits.

Portobello Institute offers a clear pathway to a successful career in inclusive education starting with a level 5 and level 6 Special Needs Assisting qualification or an Advanced Certificate in Early Learning & Care – QQI Level 6 Major Award,  you can progress to a BA (Ord) in Inclusive Education Practice, BA (Hons) in Inclusive Education Practice and an MA in Inclusive Education and SEN

This path is unquestionably fulfilling, continually reminding you of the difference you’re making in creating a more inclusive world, one student at a time. 

If you are interested in any of our special needs assisting or inclusive education degrees you can book a consultation call with our expert advisor, Sarah Coyne, email [email protected] or call 01 892 0028.

If you are interested in the MA in Inclusive Education and SEN specifically, you can speak with our expert advisor, Jennifer Matteazzi, email [email protected] or call 01 892 0031. 


Enda Bracken – Inclusive Education Lecturers ‘Are Exceptional and Provide us with Profound Knowledge’ Enda Bracken – Inclusive Education Lecturers ‘Are Exceptional and Provide us with Profound Knowledge’