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As agreed by all the staff after due consideration, we have deemed the term “special needs” to mean what a child needs beyond what can be provided by the class teacher, and the Support Teacher, in order to succeed in accessing the full curriculum.
The school will target as many children as possible, specific learning needs are to be met where possible, and SNAs will be provided where appropriate. There will be on-going open communication at all times with parents. Where possible, other children who need extra help are targeted. Resources are to be made available to all who are involved in support teaching in the school. We recognise that the needs of our community have changed and that higher expectations are part of the thinking of all the partners in the education process. Our policy for special needs has been a collaborative one between staff, B.O.M and parents. It will cater for both the needs of all children enrolled in our school, and the needs of the teaching staff
Concerns of staff
• Physical structure of school needs to be looked at
Enrolment and Initial Assessment
Parents are required to notify the school of their child’s special needs in advance of enrolment. Such children will be assessed before enrolment where possible. The BOM may request child’s medical and /or psychological reports.
If these reports and resources are not being provided for in the time frame necessary, the BOM may defer enrolment. A team of people may be put together to assess needs of such children before they come to school, and upon arrival. Upon enrolment, parents will be informed that there will be a review over a period of time. The school may make recommendations to parents after such a review. If such a recommendation involves moving the child to another educational facility, parents have the right to agree to such a proposal, or not to accept it.
Documents will need to be signed by parents in this respect. The class teacher has the ultimate responsibility for such children, to ensure their needs are met. He /she will be supported by the principal and the BOM.
Assessment of pupils previously enrolled will be undertaken as outlined in the document ‘Casework Within a Consultative Process’
Other decisions made:
IEP will be implemented by a combination of withdrawal, and in class support. The continuity of support teaching will be ensured by teacher collaboration. Class teacher and support teachers will take responsibility for assessments to monitor progress. Vision, hearing problem assessed by South Eastern Health Board. Also referral by principal to S.E.H.B, letters written to parents recommending speech therapy.
Duties and Role of the Special Needs Assistant
Those duties involve tasks of a non-teaching nature such as:
If absence is for more than a brief period the BOM is responsible for finding a suitable SNA replacement and for payment of same. Person should know the student if possible.
Support from outside professionals as appropriate, but as of yet, the school is not covered by NEPS.
The child’s engagement in learning in his/her own classroom will be positive. Homework will only be from one teacher, to be decided after collaboration.
Psychological reports will be filed in the principal’s office. These reports will be signed by all people who have access to such reports once read. If parents want a copy, they must pay for one (nominal charge for photocopying), or can come read the report in school. The psychologist and principal have the responsibility for writing and storing of reports. IEPs stored in support room, copy available to class teacher. Assess to these records by teachers, and parents who request to see them. Appointment must be made first with principal. These records to be kept indefinitely. If another school requests records, with permission of parents, they can be posted to such school. The school has registered with the Data Commissioner. Records not assessable to anyone else. Information about children stored on computer.
Ongoing communication between the principal, parents, BOM and all relevant teachers regarding special needs child at all times. Parents of such child visit the school regularly- formal meetings arranged by writing. Types of meeting include parent/teacher meetings meeting with a psychologist after assessment etc.
All learning support materials are to be documented. These materials are not to go out on loan to classrooms. Materials to be shared between the support teachers. New equipment will be obtained as needs are identified by relevant teachers. Procedures for appointing as outlined by the Department of Education and Science. Provision for appropriate physical accommodation is applied for through the B.O.M, who in turn apply to the department of education.
Administration of medicines to special needs pupils as outlined on school plan.
We will measure success by how these students integrate into class and school, and how they progress on their I.E.P.s.
Implementation, Ratification, Communication & Review
It was ratified by the Board of Management on 21/01/04. It was communicated to parents through the School Booklet for Parents and Pupils. The principal will co-ordinate the progress and monitoring of policy. Policy will be reviewed before taking another special needs child in. The whole staff will initiate, and be involved in the review.
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