Special Education Whole School Policy 2020

Provision for Pupils with Special Educational Needs in a mainstream setting


Camolin NS is a mainstream primary school, catering for a full cross section of children. This policy has been revised and updated in summer 2018 following new directives.
It has been revised, bearing in mind the following reference materials:
•Department of Education and Science Special Education Circular SP ED 02/05.
•Education Act 1998.
•Learning Support Guidelines 2000
•Draft Guidelines for Teachers of Students with Mild General Learning Disabilities.
•Draft Guidelines for Teachers of Students with Moderate General Learning Disabilities.
•Autistic Spectrum Disorder, an Introduction (Department of Education and Science).
•Understanding Dyslexia: Challenges and Opportunities (Department of Education and Science)
•Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act 2004 (EPSEN 2004).
•NCSE Guidelines on the Individual Education Plan Process (2006).
•Circular 13/17 and 02/05

It is necessary to devise a SEN Policy at this time:
•To cater for the enrollment of pupils with special educational needs in a mainstream setting
•To comply with legislation and department circulars
•To streamline the provision of special needs support in the school

The purpose of this policy is to outline the school’s provision of effective support for pupils with special needs and to provide practical guidance for teachers, parents and other interested persons on this provision. The following extracts have been considered when revising this policy:

Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act 2004 defines a special educational need as “a restriction in capacity to participate in and benefit from education due to an enduring physical, sensory, mental health or learning disability, or any other condition which results in a person learning differently from a person without that condition and cognate words shall be construed accordingly

Learning Support Guidelines 2000, p.1 refers to pupils whose achievement is at a very low level and who are at risk of not reaching adequate levels of proficiency in literacy and numeracy before leaving primary school.

•This policy covers those children who traditionally attended learning support, resource and those with exceptional ability.
•The purpose of this policy is also to provide practical advice for teachers, parents and other interested persons on the provision of effective learning support to pupils experiencing low/high achievement and/or learning difficulties.

In our school, we are dedicated to helping each child to achieve his/her individual potential. The provision of a quality system of SEN support is integral to this commitment.

The school currently has the following provisions to cater for children with Special Educational Needs:

•One Special Education Teacher, full time, September 2017
•One Special Education Teacher, shared, 5 hours weekly, September 2017

The principal aim of Learning Support is to optimise the teaching and learning process so as to enable pupils with learning difficulties to achieve adequate levels of proficiency in literacy and numeracy before leaving primary school.

By revising the policy at this time Camolin NS ideally hopes:
•To enable pupils of all abilities to avail of and benefit from an appropriate education.
•To ensure the Staged Approach/NEPS Continuum of Support is implemented.
•To outline our whole school approach to teaching/learning in relation to pupils with special educational needs.
•To set out procedures for the enrollment of children with special needs in the school.
•To assist parents in making an informed decision in relation to the enrolment of their child in our school.
•To outline procedures and practices to be followed in relation to supporting the learning of pupils with special educational needs.
•To establish communication structures for the involvement of all the partners in the education of pupils with special educational needs (LS Guidelines)
•To facilitate pupils to participate in the full curriculum for their class level.
•To develop positive self-esteem and positive attitudes to school and learning
•To enable pupils to monitor their own learning and become independent learners within their own ability.
•To involve parents in supporting their child’s learning.
•To promote collaboration among teachers

Guiding Principles
Effective Learning Programmes are based on the following Principles:
•Effective whole-school policies
•Direction of resources towards pupils in greatest need
•Implementation of a staged approach to support provision at Classroom Support/School Support/School Support Plus
•Provision of the Model of intervention appropriate for the pupil and the difficulty they are experiencing:

Withdrawal Model:
1.1:1 interventions (vital when e.g. difficulties are very significant; when pupil needs do not match to form a small group)
2.Small group interventions

In-Class Support Model:
3.Station Teaching / Team Teaching / Peer Tutoring etc
•Parental involvement
•Collaboration between Teachers
•Maintenance of Support Plans by Class Teachers and Support Teachers at Classroom Support/School Support/School Support Plus
•Thorough Assessment procedures
•Regular contact with SEN pupils
•Manageable caseloads/timetables
•Prevention of failure
•Provision of intensive early intervention
•Support from Outside Agencies
•Continuing Professional Development(CPD)

Roles and Responsibilities

The role of supporting learning is a collaborative responsibility shared by all of the school community: Board of Management, Principal teacher, Class Teachers, Special Education teacher, SNA, Parents, Pupils and External Bodies and Agencies. It is important that everyone contributes to the implementation of our school plan on SEN provision.

Boards of Management
•Shall oversee the development, implementation and review of the SEN Policy.
•Ensure that satisfactory classroom accommodation is provided for the SEN Teachers.
•Ensure that teaching resources are provided for the SEN Teachers.
•Provide adequate funds for the purchase of SEN materials.
•Provide secure facilities for the storage of records relating to pupils in receipt of SEN.

Role of Principal
In our school, the principal may delegate the performance of the functions conferred on him by the EPSEN Act, 2004, to the Special Education Coordinator, as is allowed (Section 18 of the EPSEN Act, 2004).

The duties of principal are summarised on pages 58-59 of the Guidelines on the Individual Education Plan Process. We propose the following as a summary of the most important functions of the principal:

•Assumes overall responsibility for the development and implementation of the school’s special needs policy.
•Work with teachers and parents in the development of the school plan on learning support and special needs.
•Monitors the implementation of the school’s special needs policy on an ongoing basis.
•Monitors the selection of pupils for supplementary teaching.
•Assumes direct responsibility for co-ordinating learning support and special needs services.
•Oversees the implementation of a whole-school assessment and screening programme to identify pupils with very low achievement and learning difficulties so that these pupils can be provided with the support they need.
•Psychological Assessment: Where necessary, parents will be approached about the need for psychological or other assessments. The principal or Special Education Teacher will make initial contact with parents and liaise with assessment services, and where appropriate, make arrangements for additional educational provision for children with diagnosed special needs.
•The Principal Teacher co-ordinates the referral of pupils to outside agencies eg Educational Psychologist, Speech and Language Therapist, Social Worker, Occupational Therapist.
•Keeps teachers informed about the external assessment services that are available and the procedures to be followed in initiating referrals.
•Helps teachers increase their knowledge and skills in the area of special education by, for example, encouraging teachers to avail of relevant in-career development.
•Encourages and facilitates staff members to attend CPD Courses.
•The Principal may also delegate aspects of the development and implementation of the school’s policy on special needs to members of the special education team.
•Ensure that pupils who have been allocated SEN provision receive it.
•Organise the funding and provision of appropriate assessment tests.
•Complete application forms for outside agencies such as NCSE, NEPS, CAMHS etc
•Maintain a list of pupils who are receiving supplementary teaching and track and monitor their progress.
•Advise parents on procedures re availing of special needs services.

Role of Class Teacher
The class teacher will perform the functions delegated by the school principal as conferred on him/her by s.18 0f the EPSEN Act 2004. We summarise as follows:
The class teacher has primary responsibility for the progress of all pupils in his/her class including those selected for supplementary teaching.

•The Learnig Support Guidelines (2000) advocates a significant change in the role of the class teacher, in terms of increasing emphasis on differentiation and consultation with the Support Teacher and with Parents. Circular 13/17 reiterates this approach.
•The class teacher has primary responsibility for the progress of all pupils in his/her class, including those selected for supplementary teaching.(2017 Guidelines, page 12).
•A particular responsibility of the class teacher is to create a classroom environment in which learning difficulties can be prevented or at least alleviated. (Learning Support Guidelines, page 42)
•Implement teaching programmes, which optimise the learning of all pupils and to the greatest extent possible to prevent the emergence of learning difficulties.
•Implement the school policies on screening and selecting pupils for supplementary teaching in English and Mathematics in May/June.

The following is a summary of the policy:
•Senior Infants: The SET will administer the Middle Infants Screening Test (MIST) for reading. Supplementary tests will be administered and\or the Forward Together Programme will be followed should the class teacher, in consultation with the principal feel it is necessary for the benefit of the children. The SEN teacher administers The York Assessment of Reading for Comprehension Tests to help further refine how we allocate resources.
•1st – 6th Classes: the class teacher will administer the MICRA-T and SIGMA-T. The class teacher will discuss the outcomes with the SET teacher in the context of each pupil's general performance in class.
•The score achieved by a child in the above standardised tests will be the first determining factor when deciding if a child is in need of learning support.

This can be achieved:
•Grouping pupils for instruction.
•Providing lower-achieving pupils with strategies for reading, spelling and problem solving.
•Adapting learning material for lower achieving pupils and higher achieving pupils (through differentiation).
•Liaising closely with their parents.

To cater for the range of learning needs in any class, mainstream class teachers will regularly need to differentiate their lessons. This can be achieved by:
•Varying the level, structure, mode of instruction and pace of lessons to meet individual needs.
•Adapting lessons to take account of pupils’ interests.
•Matching tasks to pupils’ needs and abilities.
•Adapting and utilising resources, including the use of technology.
•Aspiring towards suitably challenging learning outcomes and assessing accordingly. (2007 Guidelines, page 13).

With regard to teaching pupils with low achievement, the following general approaches and methods are recommended.
•Modifying presentation and questioning techniques to maximise the involvement of pupils with low achievement in class activities.
•Placing an emphasis on oral language development across the curriculum.
•Providing pupils with extra tutoring in the key basic skills of literacy and numeracy.
•Setting learning targets at an appropriate level.
•Providing learning activities and materials which are suitably challenging but which also ensure success in progress.
•Carrying out error analyses of a pupils’ work to pinpoint specific areas of difficulty, for particular attention in subsequent lessons.
•Setting up buddy systems in class (high achievers collaboratively working with low achievers).

Role of Special Education Teacher/Team:
The activities of the Special Education team include the following:
•Assisting in the implementation of a broad range of whole-school strategies designed to enhance early learning and to prevent learning difficulties.
•Development of Individual Education Plans and Group Education Plans where appropriate for pupils who are selected for supplementary teaching in accordance with the Learning Support Guidelines and the NCSE Guidelines on the Individual Education Plan Process and Circular13/17 and 02/05. These will be prepared in consultation with the class teacher, parents and other relevant professional personnel as outlined in the Learning Support Guidelines and in the EPSEN Act, 2004.
•Providing advice and/or assisting with the delivery of intensive early intervention programmes e.g. Forward Together, PAT, Guided Reading and Maths, “Primary Movement”.
•Providing supplementary teaching in English and Mathematics, or other subject areas, to pupils in the school who have special needs in these areas. This teaching is provided on a one- to- one basis or on a group basis or within the classroom setting, as outlined in Special Education Circular SP ED 02/05 and in the EPSEN Act, 2004 and Circular 13/17, provided capacity exists (See selection criteria below)  
•The work schedule of the SEN Team, in addition to providing supplementary teaching, may include the overseeing of early intervention and prevention programmes and the conducting of screening assessments.
•Co-ordinating the implementation of whole-school procedures for the selection of pupils for supplementary teaching in line with the selection criteria specified in our school plan and input from the pupils' class teachers and parents.
•Providing advice to class teacher in such areas as individual pupil assessment and programme planning, as well as approaches to language development, reading, writing, and mathematics for pupils experiencing difficulties.
•Maintaining a list of pupils who have special educational needs.
•Carrying out diagnostic testing on pupils identified as being potentially in need of supplementary teaching by the class teacher. The SEN team will choose the appropriate tests from the diagnostic tests available in the school.
•Maintaining a planning and progress record or equivalent for each individual in receipt of supplementary teaching.
•Meeting with parents of each pupil who is in receipt of supplementary teaching to discuss targets and ways in which attainment of the targets can be supported at home.
•In consultation with the principal liaising with outside agencies with regard to the children in their care.
•Contributing at the school level to decision-making regarding the purchase of learning resources, books and materials to be made available to pupils with learning difficulties in their mainstream classrooms and in the learning support room.
•In recognition of this varied role, the caseload of the Special Education teacher will be regularly reviewed.

Role of Parents and Parental Permission
The role of parents is set out in pages 60-61 of the NCSE Guidelines on the Individual Education Plan Process and updated in light of Circular 13/17. With regard to obtaining parental consent, we propose the following:

Prior to attending for support learning:
• The class teacher and SET should meet with parents to make them aware of concerns re their child’s progress.
•The SET will meet with the parent(s) to discuss the results of the tests and to inform them that the school advises support teaching.
•The SET will outline the supports that are available following the Classroom Support/School Support/School Support Plus framework.
•Written consent for diagnostic assessment learning support and resource tuition must be obtained from the parent(s). (Appendix 1 attached)
•This consent will be kept in the student’s file.
•Should the parent(s) not wish to avail of the support teaching, written notification of this refusal to avail of the service provided by the school will be kept in a file in the pupil’s file.
•At any time, parents have the right to withdraw their child from support services should they wish to do so. They will be requested to provide confirmation in writing of this request. In any event, a record of their wishes will be kept in their child’s file.
•Written parental permission will also be required for psychological assessments arranged by the school. This permission will be kept in a file in the resource room.
•Regular communication takes place between the Special Education Teacher and parents.
•Parents are actively involved in the achievement of the targets set for their child e.g. through shared reading, etc.
•The SET will encourage parents to be actively involved in their child’s Education Plan; she/he will invite the participation of parents in drawing up Individual Education Plans where appropriate; she/he may also invite them to invite whomever the parents feel is appropriate to attend with the parents at the meeting to draw up/review the Individual Education Plan..

Classroom Support/ Stage 1:
Circular 02/05 and NEPS Continuum of Support (Appendix2) demands the implementation of a Staged Approach (Appendix1) for the provision of additional support.
•Stage 1 on the Staged Approach and NEPS Continuum requires class teachers to support their pupils’ learning in the first instance.
•Stage1/ Classroom Support will continue when School Support/School Support Plus is being phased out or discontinued, to meet the pupil’s changing needs.

Support Plans:
The Staged Approach requires Class Teachers to construct a simple, individual plan of support, to implement the plan and review its success regularly, before referring the child for Stage2 interventions. The Class teacher will open a support plan for the pupil at Stage 1. Classroom support level 1 includes interventions, targets and progress.

School Support and School Support Plus Plans:
•Log actions in the support plan.
•For each pupil in receipt of supplementary teaching at School Support/School Support Plus, the Class Teacher will collaborate with the SET in the development of a School Support Plus plan by identifying appropriate targets and by organising the classroom as to how to achieve these targets.
•The teacher will adjust the classroom programme in line with agreed learning targets and activities and maintain a record of the pupil’s progress in achieving these targets.
•A key role of successful support is a high level of consultation and co-operation between the Class Teacher and the SET.

Support Strategies
The following is a list of support strategies in our school:
•We have whole school policies and approaches to language development
•We have a whole school policy and several approaches to the teaching of literacy including:
1.language development
2.print rich environment
3.development of sight vocabulary
4.shared books
5.developing concepts of print through modelling by the teacher
6.phonological and phonemic awareness
•We have a whole school policy and several approaches to the teaching of numeracy
•Paired reading
•DEAR Programme
•Individualised spelling programmes
•Differentiation in class situations
•Provision of additional support in literacy and numeracy to the pupils who need it
•Ongoing structured observation and assessment of language, literacy and mathematical skills
•Different genres of writing are used to encourage children to write, including both functional and creative forms
•Implementing classroom programmes designed to enhance learning and prevent learning difficulties
•ICT Programmes are in place to support learning
•“Primary Movement” Programme
•Provision of appropriate ongoing support in the classroom for pupils for whom supplementary teaching has been discontinued or reduced
•Provision of additional resources and materials
•In-Class early intervention e.g. Aistear
•Promotion of parental involvement through their attendance at an induction meeting for parents of incoming Junior Infants, the provision of ‘Tips for Parents’ booklet, the arrangement of formal and informal Parent\Teacher Meetings and the delivery of programmes for parents e.g. Forward Together, if deemed appropriate

Provision of Intensive Early Intervention (Senior Infants and First Class):
•We work on 2 instructional terms (Sept-Jan & Feb-June)
•We withdraw pupils either on an individual or group basis for instruction or provide in-class support – taking into account the level of provision, lessons take place at least three times a week and are of 30-40 minutes duration (in recent times, support teachers are supporting children in the classroom more often than on a withdrawal basis).
•Developing listening, speaking, reading and writing
•Engaging pupils in frequent supervised oral/silent reading of texts at appropriate levels of difficulty and monitoring their comprehension of these texts
•There is a strong focus on oral language development (Aistear).
•Developing mathematical procedures and concepts (Mental Maths, Problem Solving).
•Development of phonological awareness, phonemic awareness and a range of word identification skills are also a central part of instruction (Jolly Phonics).
•Guided Reading programmes with all classes using levelled readers and novels
•Team teaching to further support class teachers and SEN students.

Selection of pupils for supplementary teaching
Some children are allocated supplementary teaching according to the criteria set out in Special Education Circular SP ED 02/05.
Other children are allocated supplementary teaching according to the following criteria:
1.Children performing at or below the 10th percentile in standardised test of achievement in English MICRA- T Reading Test
2.Senior Infants to First Class: early intervention programmes for low achievers in English based on class teacher's observations and recommendations; the results of screening and diagnostic tests and the results of individualised tests will also be taken into account where appropriate.
3.Children performing below the 10th percentile in standardised test of achievement in Mathematics e.g. SIGMA-T Test
4.Senior Infants to First Class: early intervention programmes for low achievers in Mathematics based on class teacher's observations and recommendations.
5.Pupils performing below the 10th percentile in standardised test of achievement in English.
6.Pupils performing below the 10th percentile in standardised test of achievement in Mathematics.
7.Occasionally, if the need arises where a pupil may need a short intensive, focused intervention on a specific area, this will be accommodated, where capacity exists.
8.From time to time, students with exceptional abilities may present themselves. Supplementary Teaching, targeting their individual abilities will be made available.

Where appropriate, the duration of supplementary teaching should not exceed two to three years. The recommendations of the Learning Support Guidelines and Circular 13/17 will be taken into account in this regard as well as the interests of the individual pupils involved.

The maximum number of pupils is approximately 30 pupils shared among a cluster. Priority will be given to those pupils whose achievement is lowest in agreed standardised tests.

Procedures for continuing or discontinuing learning support provision for pupils
•Following the end of an instructional term, a decision is made to continue/discontinue the provision of supplementary teaching.
•The criteria on which this decision is based include:

Has the pupil achieved some/all of the learning targets set?
Will the pupil be able to manage independently/semi-independently in the classroom-learning context?
•The decision-making process involves consultation between the class teacher, the Learning Support Teacher and the pupil's parents and account is also taken of the overall Learning Support demands in the school.
•A decision to continue the provision of supplementary teaching will result in a revision of the pupil's IEP.
•Discontinuation will be informed via a meeting and recorded on the child’s IEP.

•The provision of Supplementary Support is in addition to the regular class teaching in English and Maths.
•Where, possible effort is made to ensure that pupils do not miss out on the same curricular area each time they attend learning support. A flexible approach to timetabling is adopted by class teachers while class disruption is minimised.
•The provision of supplementary support includes withdrawal of pupils from their classroom and in-class support.
•Assessment, drawing up of IEPs, meeting with class teachers, review of IEPs, consultations with parents and other relevant personnel will be catered for in the timetabling.

Communication Strategies
The operation of an effective communication system between all the parties is considered essential and is mentioned in detail in various sections in this policy.

Homework if given, tasks include differentiated literacy and numeracy activities.

Equality of Access and Participation
All provision will be made so that pupils with special needs will have equality of access to all areas of the curriculum. Particular care will be taken to ensure that pupils with special needs will take an active part in extra curricular activities and in school outings.

Resources for the provision of Supplementary Support include a variety of textbooks, library books and ancillary materials and oral language programmes e.g. Chatterbox. A variety of testing materials are also in use which include standardised, diagnostic, screening non-reading intelligence, reading experience, reading attainment phonological awareness and Maths attainment.

Following consultation between the Special Education Teacher, Principal and class teachers, funding for materials may be provided from the Learning Support Grant, Materials Grant and/or Parent’s Association.

Special Education resources will primarily be stored and accessed in the Special Education Room. These resources may be made available to class teachers following consultation with the SET.

Enrollment of children with identified special educational needs

All children, who enrol in our school, follow the guidelines, outlined in the enrolment policy of the school. This enrolment policy is in keeping with the provisions of the Equal Status Act, 2000 (Refer to enrolment policy).

(1) EPSEN Act “A child with special educational needs shall be educated in an inclusive environment with children who do not have such needs unless the nature or degree of those needs of the child is such that to do so would be inconsistent with –
a) The best interests of the child as determined in accordance with any assessment carried out under this Act, or
b) The effective provision of education for children with whom the child is to be educated”
(2) Education Act 1998: 15.-(2) d. A board shall…. publish… the policy of the school concerning admission to and participation in the school, including the policy of the school relating to ….the participation by students with disabilities or who have other special educational needs, and ensure that as regards that policy, principles of equality and the right of parents to send their children to a school of the parents' choice are respected ….

However, prior to a child with special needs enrolling:
•The principal of the school, SET, class teacher and SENO at the request of the Principal, will meet with the parents of the child with special needs to establish the child’s requirements and to ascertain the extent to which our school can provide these facilities in order to enable the child to achieve his/her maximum potential.
•At that meeting, the principal /SET will request copies of reports and assessments and other data relevant to the child prior to enrolling. Contact will be made with the SENO, NEPS psychologist, etc., if appropriate.
•Following the meeting, every effort will be made by the school to provide the resources necessary to enable the child to attend the school, in accordance with the provisions of the Equal Status Act 2000 s.7, (2). There will be collaboration with the SENO to arrange for additional personnel, resources, training, etc. If appropriate, a ‘buddy’ system will be established.
•A meeting with the class teacher and/or support teachers will also be arranged prior to enrolment so as to ensure a smooth transition into the school for both the pupil and the school itself. All employees and pupils will be made aware of the need for inclusion.
•If there are health and safety issues arising from the child’s mobility and care needs, these will be identified and strategies will be developed to address them e.g. access, toilet supervision, administration of medicine, intimate care, lifting techniques.
•Cognisance will be made of the provisions of the EPSEN Act, 2004, with regard to pupil enrolment and subsequent treatment of the special educational needs of that child.

Children with emerging special educational needs (The Staged Approach) (See Circular 02/05)

Stage 1:

Procedures for the early identification, screening and addressing of the SEN of certain children
The Special Education Team from within the school will follow the procedures outlined in the Department of Education and Science circular Special Education Circular SP ED 02/05 and will also follow the procedures outlined in the Learning Support guidelines and include latest recommendations in Circular13/17. A copy of these circulars is available from the school principal upon request.

The support team in so far as possible will cater for pupils, awaiting sanction from the Department of Education and Science (DES) for resource hours.
Priority will also be given to those children awaiting psychological assessment, when members of the teaching staff have particular concerns about their academic or other progress.

The level of support provided for the above will be dependent on the available resources, with priority being given to pupils in the low incidence category as determined by psychological assessment and sanctioned by the Department of Education and Science. Cognisance will be made of Special Education Circular SP ED 02/05 and of the provisions of the EPSEN Act 2004 and Circular 13/17 in determining the level of support to be provided to pupils with special educational needs.

Identification of concerns with regard to the academic, physical, social, behavioural or emotional development of a child are noted from a variety of sources. Possible examples include teacher observation, parental observations, using simple teacher designed checklists, infant profiling, or screening measures etc.

Initial concerns involving the implementation of the Staged Approach (Circular02/05) allow for the provision of additional support. Stage 1 requires the teacher to support the child’s learning in the first instance. A classroom support plan will be initiated by the teacher and parents consulted and informed. Actions will be logged in the Support Plan. If difficulties continue, the class teacher will consult with parents and SET and the School Support and School Support Plus Plans will be initiated.

The following are the agreed screening measures that are used in this school e.g. MIST, standardised tests , NRIT, YARC tests.
The special education teacher may support the class teacher at this stage through advice or support material.
If concern remains after a number of reviews, the teachers in the school may consult each other and the parents about the desirability of a move to Stage 2.

Stage 2

Referral to Special Educational Support Teacher (DES L.S. Guidelines p. 57)

The following factors are considered in determining a child’s need for supplementary teaching. e.g. assessment results, teacher recommendation, parents’ concerns, availability of resources
Principal seeks written parental consent for diagnostic testing to be carried out by the Special Education Teacher.
Early contact with parents is made to explain how learning support can address their child’s learning needs.
There is a standard consent form in use in the school. There is a section to indicate refusal of service. Refusals are recorded and kept on file ( Appendix 2)
Special Education teachers administer and interpret diagnostic tests in the school.
Supplementary teaching is arranged through withdrawal of individuals or groups.

Preparation of an Individual Educational Plan:
-There is a shared responsibility for the preparation and co-ordination of a child’s IEP.
-There is a meeting twice a year (minimum) to facilitate this shared participation.
-Learning plans are prepared for groups, if considered appropriate. However, an individual profile is maintained for all pupils concerned.

There are two instructional terms for SET in our school. The first instructional term starts in September and ends in January. The second instructional term starts in February and ends in June.
Progress is reviewed formally twice a year. Parents, teachers and where appropriate pupils are involved in this review.
See above section (page 6) for the procedure for reducing or discontinuing supplementary teaching.
A child is moved to Stage 3 for reasons like under performance, teacher observations/concerns, parent observation/concerns, pupil’s behaviour, other.

Stage 3

Consultation or referral for assessment to outside specialist
The Special Education teacher/principal contacts parents and explains the procedures with regard to making a decision to request an assessment by an outside specialist.

The school follows the appropriate guidelines/procedure for referring a pupil for assessment.
The Special Education teacher/principal has responsibility for making the referral and liaising with the specialist.
The principal co-ordinates the collection of documentation required by the particular assessor.
The external professional visits the school to meet with the pupil, parents, principal, class teacher and SET (as appropriate) and the assessment is conducted.
Assessments take place in a resource room
This is followed by a return visit at which the findings are discussed, recommendations are considered and an appropriate response is agreed.

Where concern arises regarding the manner or speed of the follow-through post-assessment, such concern is pursued by the principal with the relevant professional/agency
In the event of limited availability of assessments through NEPS, decisions are reached regarding priority by the teaching staff.
Drafting and implementing an Individual Education Plan (for pupils at Stage 3)
Based on the NCSE Guidelines on the IEP Process (2006) for the purposes of an Education Plan (IEP).

The following information is included in an IEP:
•Learning strengths: based on teacher observation, parent observations,
•Learning needs: based on psychological report, teacher input, parental input, pupil input
•Details from the pupil’s class teacher
•Other relevant information e.g. reports from other agencies
•Priority learning needs
•Learning targets
•Class based learning activities
•Supplementary support activities
•Home-school activities

There is an agreed format in use throughout the school.
The time span of an IEP covers 5 months.

IEP Meetings:
•The Special Education teacher has the responsibility for the co-ordination of the IEP.
•Parents and teachers participate in the preparation of education plans
•Participation is facilitated through a minimum of two meetings per year.
•Pupils, if appropriate, will be included in the process e.g. older pupils indicate interests which can be included in their profile, pupils may contribute to setting their own short-term targets.

Progress is reviewed in relation to the targets set at least twice a year. Teachers, parents and if appropriate pupils are involved in this review. Each plan is monitored through teacher observation, the keeping of planning and progress records and through children’s own checklists and flow charts.

The SET maintain the following documentation in individualised files:

If the education plan identifies resources over and above those normally available in a mainstream school setting, the principal will bring this to the attention of the SENO and/or the NCSE.
The principal is responsible for ongoing consultations with psychologists, SENO, others.
At least twice a year, there is formal time for co-ordination of education plans from class to class, sharing relevant information between staff, school and parents etc.

There are practical steps in place to ensure the maximal inclusion of pupils with SEN in
school life e.g. buddy system, SPHE classes, P.E., etc.
The S.P.H.E. strands and strand units are used to promote awareness among all pupils.
Involving pupils in decisions around their learning
Recognising and building on pupils prior knowledge and unique life experiences
Maximal involvement of parents in their child’s learning

Deployment of Staff
The principal of the school ensures the most effective deployment of staff in meeting the overall SEN requirements of the school taking into account some or all of the following: the experience/expertise of teachers, part-time teachers, newly qualified teachers, SNAs, etc.

Transfer to Post-Primary School
Contact is made with the post-primary school so as to ensure a smooth transition for pupils with special needs from primary to post-primary.
Information regarding progress, support provisions, relevant assessment data, attendance, etc. is transferred to post-primary.

Success Criteria
The following are some practical indicators of the success of this policy:
Inclusion of pupils with special needs into our school - both high and low achievers.
Progression rate of pupils with special educational needs in our school
Feedback from teaching staff, parents, pupils, psychologists, etc.

Inspector’s Report
Withdrawal of learning support based on positive assessment results
Increased time and opportunity for effective communication between school personnel in relation to pupils’ progress

Roles and Responsibility
The following are the people who have particular responsibilities for aspects of this policy. e.g. parents, DES, Psychologist, Teaching staff, SENO, BOM etc.

Implementation and Review
The implementation of this policy will commence immediately. It will be reviewed at the end of every school year, or as circumstances require.

Ratified by Board of Management on _                            



        Chairperson, Board of Management