Special Needs

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DRAFT SPECIAL NEEDS POLICY


MISSION STATEMENT
St. Josephâ??s is a Catholic Secondary School under the trusteeship of C.E.I.S.T. We are a caring community which fosters belonging and self-worth while promoting academic and personal fulfilment.

Within this ethos, the school aspires to a whole school approach to the inclusion of students with Special Educational Needs (S.E.N.), including shared responsibility, effective teaching methods, and inclusive curricula programmes.

AIMS
The aims of the Special Educational Needs policy are to:
1. Promote the emotional, social and physical well-being of students by developing self esteem, personal responsibility and ability to live and work with others.
2. Maintain and develop the sporting and cultural traditions of the community in our students.
3. Pursue the highest educational standards attainable by each student in our care.
4. Ensure that all relationships within the school be imbued with a spirit of care.
5. Develop each individualâ??s talent to the maximum of their potential especially those with exceptional ability for the benefit of themselves, their community and society at large.
5. Ensure that education takes place in an inclusive environment.
6. Ensure that students with S.E.N. leave school with the life skills they need to participate in society and to live independent and fulfilled lives.
7. Involve parents in decisions about the education of their children.
8. Promote self esteem and self confidence.
9. Enable all students to belong to an educational community without prejudice and within which individual difference is celebrated.


SCOPE OF THE POLICY
The report of the special education review committee in its definition of pupils with special educational needs included all â??those with disabilities and/or circumstances which prevent or hinder them from benefiting adequately from the education which is normally provided for pupils of the same age, or for whom the education which can generally be provided in the ordinary classroom is not sufficiently challengingâ??. The report described particular categories of pupils with special educational needs. This policy is intended to serve students with S.E.N. as described above. It is also intended to serve the school community including B.O.M., principal, staff and parents.


LEGAL FRAMEWORK
St. Josephâ??s sets out to provide education for all its students, with reference to legislation regarding students with special educational needs as listed below:

  • The Education Act (1998)
  • The Equal Status Act (2000) and Equality Act (2004)
  • The Education (Welfare) Act (2000)
  • The Data Protection Acts (1988, 1998 and 2003) and Freedom of Education Acts (1997 and 2003)
  • The Education of Persons with Special Educational Needs Act (2004)

DEFINITIONS
The definitions used in this policy are as those contained in the above acts.

ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Board of Management

Board of Management and School Policies
The board of management has the responsibility for overseeing the development, implementation and review of school policies and services in relation to the inclusion of students with special educational needs. In this regard the board should:

  • make arrangements for the preparation of a school plan that lays down the objectives and the measures that will ensure equality of access to and participation in all aspects of the activities of the school by students with special educational needs to the greatest extent practicable.
  • arrange for the publication of the school policy on the education of students with special educational needs.
  • arrange for periodic reviews of the range of curriculum provision within the school to ensure that suitable programmes are on offer to all students, including those with special educational needs.
  • ensure that reasonable accommodations are made within the school for students with special educational needs.
  • contribute to the development of awareness among teachers, non-teaching staff members and students of the needs of students with special educational needs and of their particular responsibilities for the inclusion of these students in the school.
  • provide support for in-career development opportunities for teachers in special education.
  • arrange for the agreement of school policy on the storage, dissemination and transfer of confidential reports and other records relating to students with special educational needs and provide a secure facility for the storage of these documents.
  • ensure that the resources available, including additional resources provided by the Department of Education and Science (such as additional teachers and special needs assistants), learning resources and classroom accommodation are used to make appropriate provision for students with special educational needs.

The board should ensure that school staff and parentsâ?? representatives are consulted in relation to decisions, policies and procedures for the education and inclusion of students with special educational needs.

Board of Management and Parents
It is the responsibility of the board of management to ensure that the rights of parents as prescribed in legislation, including the Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act (2004), and as informed by good practice are upheld in the school. Whole-school policies and practices should be established to ensure that the parents of students with special educational needs are:

  • informed about their childâ??s educational needs and how those needs are being addressed in the school.
  • provided with opportunities to participate in decisions affecting their childâ??s education.
  • given access to records kept by the school in relation to their childâ??s special educational needs and educational progress.

Board of Management and the National Council for Special Education
The board of management, in co-operation with the school staff and in accordance with school policies and procedures, should co-operate to the greatest extent practicable with the National Council for Special Education and local special educational needs organisers in relation to the inclusive education of students with special educational needs and specifically with regard to the arrangements for:

  • the placement of individual students with special educational needs in the school.
  • the transfer of students with special educational needs to and from the school.
  • the assessment and diagnosis of students with special educational needs.
  • the development, implementation and review of individual education plans for students with special educational needs, as required under the Education for

Persons with Special Educational Needs Act (2004).

the establishment of special classes or units for groups of students within particular categories of special educational need.

The Principal
Under current legislation the principal of the school has the overall responsibility for ensuring that the special educational needs of students are met. Therefore the principal has the general responsibility for establishing and promoting whole-school policies and procedures that are supportive of the learning of all students, including those with special educational needs. In order to discharge his responsibilities in an efficient and effective manner, the principal:

  • works with the board of management, teachers and parents in the development, implementation and review of whole-school policies that promote the inclusion of students with special educational need.
  • ensures that all such policies are described in the school plan.
  • continuously monitors the implementation of whole-school policies and provision for special educational needs.
  • consults and liaises, as required, with relevant external bodies and agencies, such as the Department of Education and Science, the National Educational Psychological Service, the National Council for Special Education, the Health Service Executive, and local agencies.

The Principal and the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator
The principal has established a special educational needs support team within the school to assist in providing an effective and holistic response to studentsâ?? needs throughout the curriculum. The principal may delegate the performance of specific responsibilities to other staff members, including members of the special educational needs support team. A member of the special educational needs support team has been assigned the responsibility for co-ordinating provision for special educational needs within the school. The special educational needs co-ordinator liaises closely with the principal and the special educational needs support team.

The Principal and the Enrolment and Transfer of Students with Special Educational Needs
The principal ensures that procedures exist for consultation with feeder primary with regard to the enrolment of new students with special educational needs.


The Principal and the Assessment of and Provision for Students with Special Educational Needs
The principal oversees the adoption and implementation of suitable whole-school policies and practices in relation to the education of students with special educational needs, including the implementation of a staged approach to the identification and assessment of students with special educational needs.

The Principal and the Inclusion of Students with Special Educational Needs in Mainstream Classes
The principal ensures that mainstream teachers are aware of their responsibilities in relation to the education of students with special educational needs. The principal facilitates the creation within mainstream classes of an inclusive environment for such students by making available appropriate information to mainstream teachers. Mainstream teachers may also require advice and training opportunities to enable them to address the individual needs of these students. With regard to the placement of a student with special educational needs in a particular class group, the mainstream teacher are consulted and invited to contribute to the discussion on how best to meet the studentâ??s needs within the classroom.
The Principal and the Professional Development of the Staff
With the increased availability of training opportunities in universities and colleges of education and the expansion of the Special Education Support Service, the principal facilitates the continuous professional development of all members of the staff in relation to the education of students with special educational needs. This includes ensuring that resource teachers and learning-support teachers are facilitated in taking advantage of professional development opportunities and creating structures whereby members of staff with expertise in special education can share their knowledge with other teachers.

The Principal and Parents
The principal promotes the involvement of the parents of students with special educational needs by ensuring that:

  • whole-school procedures are established to facilitate the effective involvement of parents in their childrenâ??s education.
  • parents are invited to share information regarding their childrenâ??s special educational needs and are consulted about how this information should be used in the best interests of their child.
  • the parents are fully aware of the schoolâ??s procedures governing access to their childrenâ??s records.

Mainstream Teachers
Mainstream teachers have a key role in bringing about the successful inclusion of students with special educational needs in mainstream schools. Unless there is a very good reason for withholding certain information, mainstream teachers have access to all information that is likely to be relevant to teaching or supervising a student with special educational needs, including psychological reports and other confidential documents.
The mainstream teacher has the responsibility for ensuring that all students, including those with special educational needs, are provided with a learning programme and environment that enables them to gain access to the curriculum and to advance their learning. Mainstream teachers have a central role in identifying students who may be at risk and for drawing the attention of SEN team to such students. A teacher may become concerned about a studentâ??s general progress, application, communication, behaviour, or interaction with other students and as a result make accommodations for the student within the class. If the concerns are not alleviated following the implementation of these accommodations the teacher should consult other teachers, such as the resource teacher or the learning-support teacher.
Mainstream teachers make a critical contribution through the creation of a supportive, caring environment in the school for students with special educational needs, through which these students are affirmed in their ability to learn and to participate generally in the life of the school. Teaching is differentiated, in so far as is possible, in order to meet individual needs. In planning for differentiation, the mainstream teacher collaborates with and seeks advice and assistance from the resource teacher, the learning-support teacher and other members of the special educational needs support team, as appropriate. Mainstream teachers are advised to consider the needs of students with special educational needs when selecting textbooks, planning and teaching lessons, setting homework, and formulating weekly or end-of-term tests for their class groupings.
Mainstream teachers should make themselves aware of the special educational needs of students in their classes by accessing the information available in the school.
The mainstream teachers keep parents informed of their childrenâ??s progress through regular parent-teacher meetings and school reports.
Mainstream teachers can contribute to school development planning for students with special educational needs through strategic planning at the subject department level within the school. The subject co-ordinator within each subject department can liaise with the learning-support and resource teachers to help identify and develop strategies for teaching their specialist subjects to students with special educational needs. Through this process, important subject matter, skills and vocabulary within the subject can be identified. Effective teaching and learning strategies for use by a mainstream teacher in teaching students with special educational needs can be distinguished, and access for students with special educational needs to specialist subjects can be facilitated.

Differentiation in the Mainstream Class
Differentiated instruction is a means by which teachers can establish in their classrooms an inclusive and supported learning environment for all students. The term â??differentiationâ?? refers to the ways that teachers take into account the differences among their students in relation to ability, aptitude, interests and experience. Differentiated instruction refers to the wide range of strategies, techniques, and approaches that are used to support student learning and help every student to achieve and to realise his or her potential.
Differentiation is a way to promote greater access to the curriculum for all students, including students with special educational needs. Differentiated instruction acknowledges that students learn at different rates and in different ways. Instruction can be differentiated, for example, in relation to the level of difficulty of the subject matter, the style of presentation of a lesson, the pace of the lesson, the lesson structure, the style of questioning, the sequence of learning activities to be undertaken by the student, the degree of access to additional resources for an individual student, and the degree of access to additional teaching support for an individual student. Integral to understanding and applying differentiated instruction is the acceptance that every teacher can access and use a broad repertoire of strategies, techniques and approaches.


With regard to differentiation for students with special educational needs, the following general approaches are suggested:

  • providing learning activities and resources that are suitably challenging and are also likely to result in success and progress.
  • modifying presentation and questioning techniques in order to maximise the involvement of students with special educational needs.
  • placing an emphasis on oral language development.
  • relating the topic under discussion to practical examples within the studentâ??s experience and providing opportunities for students to work and practise with concrete and structural materials.
  • individualised teaching and group teaching to facilitate the involvement of students with special educational needs in learning at an appropriate level.
  • identify specific areas of difficulty that can be addressed in subsequent lessons and in resource.
  • setting up â??buddyâ?? learning systems in the class where possible to involve more able students working with those with special educational needs, either in collaborative groups or in peer-tutoring arrangements.

Differentiated instruction is about personalised instruction and using a balanced range of strategies, techniques, and approaches so that each student's learning requirements are met and so that all students gain benefit from the education that is provided. Differentiated instruction is particularly important for students with special educational needs who require particular kinds of support to realise their full potential.

Special Needs Co-Ordinator
The Role of the Special Needs Co-Ordinator
The special educational needs co-ordinator liaises closely with the principal and the special educational needs support team. She assumes an overall responsibility for co-ordinating the schoolâ??s provision for the inclusion of students with special educational needs. The role includes:

  • assuming an overall responsibility for co-ordinating the schoolâ??s provision for the inclusion of students with special educational needs.
  • assisting in programme planning for individual students with special educational needs and, as appropriate, provide advice to teacher colleagues on curriculum, teaching and learning strategies, textbooks, and other teaching and learning resources.
  • the selection of students for whom additional teaching support is to be provided by resource teachers.
  • organising the provision of additional support to students, including involvement in in-class support and co-operative teaching.
  • the selection and maintenance of teaching and learning resources.
  • liaising with support personnel and external professionals and agencies,
  • including the coordination of applications to the Department of Education and Science, NCSE, NEPS, SESS, HSE and other education and health agencies, as appropriate, for resources and support services for students with special educational needs.
  • the implementation of a monitoring and tracking system in respect of students with low achievement and those with special educational needs throughout their enrolment in the school.
  • the storage of and access to reports and records on students with low achievement and those with special educational needs.
  • in-school consultation and professional support to mainstream colleagues.
    facilitating the arrangement of psychological or other assessment, as appropriate, of students who have special educational needs or students who are suspected of having special educational needs.

The Special Needs Co-Ordinator and Other Teachers
The special needs co-ordinator collaborates with mainstream teachers, resource teachers and learning support teacher in relation to the education of students with low achievement and students with special educational needs by:

  • advising on curriculum choices.
  • making information available on the particular learning needs, abilities and attainments of individual students.
  • advising on teaching strategies and resources, learning materials, and assistive and augmentative technology.
  • advising on the effective use of special needs assistants.
  • advising on strategies for the management of behaviour that arises from or is associated with the low achievement or the special educational needs of individual students.
  • advising on and supporting the development of appropriate modes of assessment and the evaluation of progress.
  • collaborating in relation to arrangements for reasonable accommodations in certificate examinations.
  • being involved in the administration of standardised and diagnostic tests.


The Special Needs Co-Ordinator and the Compiling and Maintenance of Records Relating to Students with Special Educational Needs
Data may be received from outside or may be generated within the school. Data from outside will include psychological reports and reports from parents or from other schools. Data may be created in the school, for example in relation to assessment, student progress, state examinations, or planning for transfer inwards from the primary school and, at the completion of post-primary education, transfer onwards to a post-school setting. All staff must treat data related to an individual student in a sensitive and confidential manner. St. Josephs adopts an open policy in relation to the sharing with parents of information about their child with special educational needs.
The special needs co-ordinator is responsible for the management an official school file on each student with special educational needs and the filing and storage of confidential reports. The studentâ??s official school file contains all reports by outside professionals, such as psychologists and speech and language therapists. The procedures by which access to confidential information on a particular student, including information held in their official school file, may be obtained by staff members, parents and outside agencies has been agreed.
St Josephs acts in accordance with the Data Protection Acts (1988 and 2003) in relation to the management and maintenance of data on individual students.


Learning Support Teacher
The role of the learning-support teacher is to provide additional teaching support to students with low achievement in literacy or mathematics and to those with mild or transient difficulties in such areas as language, motor co-ordination, behaviour, socialisation, and attention.
The Learning-Support Teacher and the Selection of Students for Learning Support
The learning-support teacher contributes to the development and implementation of whole school policies and procedures in relation to the selection of students for supplementary teaching by this teacher. Priority is given to students with low achievement who are performing at or below the tenth percentile on standardised tests of literacy or mathematics.
The Learning-Support Teacher and the Special Educational Needs Support Team
The learning-support teacher is a member of the special educational needs support team.
The Learning-Support Teacher and the Resource Teacher
The resource teacher and the learning-support teacher work closely together to support the meaningful participation of students with low achievement and those with special educational needs in mainstream learning activities and to provide additional support for them.
The Role of the Learning-Support Teacher

  • the selection of students for whom additional teaching support is to be provided by the learning-support teacher.
  • the selection and maintenance of teaching and learning resources.
  • the implementation of a monitoring and tracking system in respect of students with low achievement and those with special educational needs throughout their enrolment in the school.
  • the storage of and access to reports and records on students with low achievement and those with special educational needs.
    in-school consultation and professional support to mainstream colleagues.
  • The learning support collaborates with mainstream teachers in relation to the education of students with low achievement and students with special educational needs by advising on curriculum choices.
  • making information available on the particular learning needs, abilities and attainments of individual students.
  • advising on and supporting the development of appropriate modes of assessment and the evaluation of progress.
  • collaborating in relation to arrangements for reasonable accommodations in certificate examinations.

Resource Teachers
The Resource Teacher and the Allocation and Provision of Resource-Teacher Hours
Resource-teacher hours are allocated to schools in keeping with the regulations and guidelines provided from time to time by the National Council for Special Education and the Department of Education and Science. Resource-teacher hours are allocated on behalf of individual students with special educational needs in accordance with each studentâ??s assessed special educational needs.
The Resource Teacher and Teaching
The core task of the resource teacher is the teaching of students with special educational needs, whether this is done one-to-one, in small groups, in special classes, or through co-operative teaching with colleagues.
Resource teachers implement their teaching role in the following ways:
by being involved in co-operative teaching with mainstream teachers in mainstream classes.
by withdrawing students for additional classes in literacy or mathematics (or both), as appropriate.
by providing specific support for students with special educational needs in other areas, such as the development of social skills and life skills.
The Resource Teacher and Assessment
Resource teachers should be competent in relation to the formal and informal assessment of students with special educational needs. Resource teachers can:

  • liaise with other staff members in relation to the selection and implementation of tests and other means for assessing studentâ??s achievement and progress.
  • provide useful advice and support to mainstream teachers, as required, in regard to the selection and implementation of appropriate means of assessment in subject areas for students with special educational needs.
  • advise on applications for reasonable accommodations in the certificate examinations.

Special Needs Assistants

  • Special needs assistants (S.N.A.s) are allocated to post-primary schools to provide care assistance to named students who have special educational needs.
  • Special needs assistants are recruited specifically to assist the school in providing the necessary non-teaching services to students with assessed educational needs. The allocation of posts to the school is reviewed each year.
  • Special needs assistants may be appointed for the care of students with assessed special educational needs who have, for example, a significant medical need for assistance or a significant impairment of physical or sensory function, or on behalf of students whose behaviour is such that they are a danger to themselves or to other students.
  • Clear directions and support are given to special needs assistants by the principal in relation to the duties they are expected to carry out.
  • They should work closely with the teachers in providing assistance to students with special educational needs, for example in the areas of personal care, supporting mobility, or supervising work or recreation activities.
  • When a special needs assistant is engaged in assisting a student or group of students in relation to a particular learning task, this should always take place in accordance with the directions of the teacher who has assigned the task.
  • Special needs assistants normally carry out their work in the school premises. However, on occasions when students with special needs are required to attend a venue outside the school, a special needs assistant (or assistants) may be assigned to provide assistance to the students in the other setting and to accompany them while they are travelling to and from the school.
  • Special needs assistants are expected to treat all matters relating to school business and their work in the school as strictly confidential.
  • The duties of special needs assistants are assigned and supervised by the principal, acting on behalf of the Board of management. The duties of special needs assistants are set out in Circular SNA 12/05 and include tasks of a non-teaching nature such as:
    1. Preparation and tidying up of classrooms.
    2. Assisting school children to board and alight from school buses. Where necessary travel as escort during school hours on school buses may be required.
    3. Special assistance as necessary for children with particular difficulties e.g. helping special needs pupils with typing or writing or computers or other use of equipment.
    4. Assistance with clothing, feeding, toileting and general hygiene and being mindful of health and safety needs of the pupil.
    5. Assisting on out-of-school visits, walks, examinations and similar activities.
    6. Assisting the teachers in the supervision of pupils during assembly, recreation and dispersal from the classroom for one reason or another.
    7. Accompanying individuals or small groups who may have to be withdrawn temporarily from the classroom for one reason or another.
    8. General assistance to the class teachers, under the direction of the principal, with duties of a non-teaching nature. (Special needs assistants may not act as either substitute or temporary teachers. In no circumstances may they be left in sole charge of a class or group of children).
    9. Participation with school development planning, where appropriate, and co-operation with any such changes with policies and practices arising from the school development process.
    10. Engagement with parents of special needs pupils in both formal and informal structures as required and directed by school management, or parent/guardian.
    11. Other duties appropriate to the post as may be determined by the needs of the pupils and the school from time to time. Special needs assistants may be re-assigned to other work appropriate to the post when special needs pupils are absent or when particular urgent work demands arise.

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Before a special needs assistant is employed in the classroom, consultation should take place with mainstream teachers about the needs of the student (or students) for whose support the special needs assistant is being employed and the duties they are expected to perform in the classroom.

Where a special needs assistant is assigned to the full-time assistance of a specific student, duties should be modified to accommodate the particular needs of the student. However, the allocation of a special needs assistant to assist a student should be balanced against the studentâ??s need to develop independence and to gain access to education in school alongside and in the same way as the other students. Care should be taken, therefore, to ensure that the deployment of a special needs assistant does not serve to segregate the student with special educational needs from their classmates or to make them more dependent on assistance from others.

For details of the contract of employment for special needs assistants in post-primary schools, including conditions of service and duties that may be assigned, see Circular SNA 12/05

Parents
Parents and transition to and transfer from post-primary school
The quality of a childâ??s experience in making the transition to post-primary education can be a determinant of how well they will settle in school and even of how long they will remain in formal education. Parents can provide valuable support to a child with special educational needs while the child is making the transition. The provision within the school of advice for the parents of first year students can make a positive contribution to helping them provide positive support to their child. St. Josephs provides this support to parents by:

  • organising an open night for new students and their parents before the start of the school year.
  • issuing an information booklet for new students and their parents.
  • providing information to parents to assist them in helping their child choose subjects in first year.
  • informing parents about the range of extracurricular activities available for first-year students so that the parents can encourage their child to participate.
  • having an effective anti-bullying policy (including a â??buddyâ?? system) and, as appropriate, keeping parents informed of issues related to bullying that might affect their child.

Parents and the transmission of information
The parents of a child with special educational needs can provide valuable information to the school in relation to their childâ??s learning difficulties, learning differences, and learning preferences.
St. Josephs seeks relevant professional reports on students with special educational needs from parents before the enrolment of such a student. This information enables the school to begin to plan for the inclusive education of the child.
Parents and home-school links
St. Josephs provide parents with regular reports on the progress of their child. The school journal is used for weekly or daily home-school communication. Face to face communication is facilitated through the regular parent-teacher meetings that are held once per year. Special arrangements may need to be made with the parents in relation to the homework that each individual student with special educational needs is expected to undertake.
Parents help the school by keeping the teachers informed of the progress, or the difficulties, they observe in their childâ??s learning as they progress through the various stages of post-primary school.
Parents also assist their child by showing an interest in their school work and by arranging an appropriate place at home for them in which to do homework. By familiarising themselves with the approaches taken in school, parents provide more effective support for their children at home and can assist them in the practice and reinforcement of new skills.

Year Heads and Class Teachers
Year heads and class teachers support the creation of an inclusive climate within our school and contribute significantly to the work of the special educational needs support team. Year heads and class teachers facilitate the inclusion of an individual student with special educational needs by monitoring the studentâ??s progress within the year group. Year heads and class tutors of first-year classes contribute to the collection of relevant information on new entrants with special educational needs. The information collected should be passed on to the principal or to the special needs co-ordinator.

The Guidance Counsellor
The guidance counsellor is a core member of the special educational needs support team and assists the other members of this team in facilitating the provision of education for students with special educational needs and their inclusion in the school.
Individualised guidance and support for students with special educational needs - and involving their parents as required - are part of the support structure that the school provides. The guidance counsellor ensures that counselling and guidance for students with special educational needs, in accordance with their individual needs, are included in the school guidance plan. Subject to the overall responsibility of the board of management, the guidance counsellor has a special responsibility to ensure the compliance of the school with section 9 (c) of the Education Act (1998) in relation to the provision of access for students to appropriate guidance.
The guidance counsellor has an important role to play in assisting students with special educational needs at the different stages of schooling and assisting them in making career decisions. Students with special educational needs may require special support and assistance at the formal transfer points in their school career: from primary to post-primary education and from post-primary to further and higher education and training or to employment. These students may also require support and assistance at the various stages of their progress through post-primary school. In facilitating the smooth transfer of students with special educational needs from the primary to the post-primary school, it is important that there is a well-functioning formal communication structure between the post-primary school and its feeder primary or special schools. The guidance counsellor assists with arrangements for the successful transfer of students to the post-primary school and in gathering information about students, including those with special educational needs, before their transfer from the primary or special school. The guidance counsellor also collaborates in assessment processes with other staff members, such as year heads, the resource teacher, and the learning-support teacher. The guidance counsellor also assists in making other teachers aware of relevant information about students with special educational needs and can advise on how these students can be helped in school.

The confidentiality of sensitive information passed from primary or special schools to post-primary schools should be strictly observed. The information transmitted must not serve to disadvantage the student concerned. The rights of parents and the duties of schools in regard to the transmission of information, including confidential information, must be strictly observed at all times.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL EDUCATION NEEDS
The school through its normal operating procedures ensures that adequate additional teaching and resource support is applied for and allocated as per the regulations of the Department of Education and Science and the policies of St Josephs Secondary School.



INDIVIDUAL EDUCATION PLANS
St. Josephs will follow the DES post-primary guidelines for same when staff have been provided with the relevant in-service.

IDENTIFICATION OF STUDENTS WITH LEARNING SUPPORT/SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS
On St. Josephs application form, under the education section, parents are asked to give details of any resource or learning support their child received in primary school. Psychological reports where available must also be forwarded to the school. Parents may contacted by the school SEN co-ordinator to provide additional information on their child when deemed necessary.

In early June a student information form is sent to each primary school to be completed by the school principal. This form covers ability level, interest and motivation, family support, general health, interests and hobbies and any additional remarks (See Appendix â?¦.). Principals of the primary schools are also encouraged to submit a report on incoming students covering academic achievement and previous access to learning support and resource.

The results of English and Maths entrance examinations, together with AH2 and AH3 ability tests, are used by the St. Josephs to form mixed-ability classes. Students with a reading age of 10 and under are retested later in the first term. Looking at both sets of results, and in consultation with English teachers, language teachers and principal, the parents/guardians of students with a reading age of 9 and under are written to by the learning support teacher. Parents/ guardians are then advised of learning support help available to their child.

ASSESSMENTS

Assessment tests used by St. Josephs Secondary School include:
English Cloze 3
Vernon Maths Test
AH2 and AH3 Ability Tests
NFER Nelson Context Comprehension

RESOURCES

St Josephs Secondary School will apply to the DES for additional resources on behalf of individual students on receipt of the following documents:
Duly completed forms as specified by the DES
Current psychological reports
Other relevant support documentation
Cover letter signed by the school principal.

EXCEPTIONALLY ABLE STUDENTS
St Josephs Secondary School is committed to providing for the particular needs of exceptionally able students. The school also has in place accurate assessment systems, flexible planning and provision, pastoral supports and monitoring strategies.

ACCESS FOR PERSONS WITH PHYSICAL DISABILITIES
St Josephs Secondary School is committed to providing for the particular needs of the physically disabled. This will be in consideration of the availability of essential resources in this area.


WORKING WITH OTHER AGENCIES
St Josephs Secondary School is committed to working with the following agencies in order to provide a high quality service to families and schools:

  • The Department of Education and Science
  • The National Council for Special Education (NCSE)
  • The National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS)
  • The Special Education Support service (SESS)
  • The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA)
  • The Educational Welfare Board
  • Primary School
  • Social Services
  • General Practioners
  • Health Boards
  • Juvenile Liaison Officer
  • Gardai
  • Dyslexia Association (DAI)

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