SEN Resource Policy

Introduction

Deerpark CBS is a Catholic voluntary Secondary School for boys, under The Trusteeship of ERST.  The purpose of this policy is to provide practical guidance for students, parents and teachers on the provision of effective Special Educational Needs (SEN) to students experiencing learning difficulties, as well as the provision of educational resources for the academically gifted.  The policy references the 1998 Education Act and Special Educational Needs Act 2004.  The resourcing of non-SENO sanctioned SEN students will depend on available in-school resources.

The following categories of students will receive supplementary teaching from SEN teachers under the terms of the General Allocation Model outlined in Circular 02/05:

  • Students with learning difficulties, students with mild social or emotional difficulties and students with mild co-ordination or attention control difficulties associated with identified conditions.
  • Students who have been identified as being in the low incidence category (Appendix 1 Sp. Ed. Circular 02/05) will receive an individual allocation of support through the Special Educational Needs Organiser (SENO).
  • Students who have special educational needs arising from high incidence disabilities (borderline mild general learning disability, mild general learning disability and specific learning disability).
  • Students with proven academic ability who would benefit from extra resources.

Implementation and Review

The implementation of this policy will commence in2009-10. It will be reviewed at the end of every third school year, or as circumstances may warrant.

Ratification and Communication

This policy was ratified by the Board of Management (Deerpark CBS). A copy of the policy will be made available to students, parents and teachers on request.

Rationale

Definition of Special Needs

We understand Special Needs as defined by the D.E.S and N.C.S.E circulars. Interventions with pupils will be delivered in a manner that best meets the needs of the student which may be through group or individual teaching.  We also recognise that many students need to be challenged in a way that supports their pursuit of excellence.

Identification and Selection

Students may be referred by:

  • Parents informing the principal or class teacher of a learning / behavioural concern they have regarding their child.
  • Principals and teachers from primary supply schools inform the principal or teachers of areas of concern.
  • Subject Teachers my have a concern regarding a student in their class.
  • Concerns may arise following standardised testing.

Procedures to be followed

  • Having consulted with the parents and teachers involved, the Principal will seek appropriate assessment through NEPS with a view to qualifying for support from SENO.
  • In the situation where parents refuse to grant consent for their son to attend for either a psychological assessment or learning support, a record of the offer and its rejection should be kept in the student’s file.
  • The Education Welfare Act 2000 authorises Board of Management with the consent of the parent and the student to arrange an assessment to gauge his intellectual, emotional and physical development.
  • Where a parent refuses to give consent the Board may apply to the Circuit Court for an order that an assessment of the child be carried out (Section 10-5).
  • Students who do not formally qualify for SENO allocated hours, may be included in regular formal sessions at the discretion of the Principal and Resource Teachers.

Aims of Resource Teaching

The aims of Special Needs Teaching at Deerpark CBS are:

  • To support as far as possible the integration of the student with special needs into the mainstream setting.
  • To promote excellence in learning.
  • To enable students to develop positive self-esteem and positive attitudes to school and learning.
  • To promote collaboration among the staff in the implementation of the whole school policies on SEN.

Role of the Resource Teacher

The role of the SEN teacher is to provide support for students by:

  • Developing an individual learning programme the each student in consultation with other partners.
  • Assessing and recording the student’s needs and progress.
  • Setting specific time related targets for each student and agreeing these with subject teachers, class teachers and principal.
  • Direct teaching of the students, either in a separate room or through co-operate learning and team teaching within the mainstream class.
  • To co-ordinate and liaise with special needs assistants working with particular SEN students.
  • Advising class and subject teachers in regard to adapting the curriculum, teaching strategies, text books, ICT and other related matters.
  • Meeting and advising parents when necessary, accompanied by class teacher or principal when necessary.
  • Meeting with relevant professionals in the child’s interest e.g. psychologists, speech and language therapists and visiting teachers.

Role of the School Assistant (SNA)

  • To support the SEN student inclusion into the classroom and whole school environment.
  • To support the work of the subject teacher in the classroom.
  • To liaise with SEN teachers to establish the best way to meet the SEN student’s needs in and outside class.
  • To report to school management.
  • Also refer to other guidelines for school assistant.

International Students

Management and teachers recognise that the difficulties for some of these students due to their lack of proficiency in English.  The school will make every effort to provide these students with support and encourage them to participate in school life.  Special language teaching will be provided where the Department of Education and Science provide relevant additional teaching resources.

Timetabling

The provision of special needs teaching is in addition to the regular teacher allocation.

Time allocated per student will depend on the demands on the service and the hours authorised by the SENO.

Students will be provided with a range of supports from in class co teaching, withdrawal by group or as an individual and through SNA support.

Every effort will be made to ensure that pupils do not miss out on the same curricular area each time they attend the resource class will be used as far as possible to deliver the resource allocation exemption from a specific subject by the DES.

Where possible Resource / LS classes will be delivered during lesson from which the students are exempt by the DES.

Likewise the school will endeavour to ensure that pupils do not miss classes that they particularly enjoy such as Art, PE or computer.

Role of the Class Teacher, Subject Teachers, SEN Co-ordinator, Principal and Board of Management

Class Teacher and Subject Teachers:

  • Making parents aware of the concerns and progress of  their child’s progress.
  • Where possible attend meetings between SEN teachers and pupil’s parents.
  • Consult and co-operate with SEN teachers on pupil’s IEP’s.
  • Be alert to the possibility that some children may have a learning difficulty and bring it to the attention of the SEN teachers.
  • Modify class programmes to suit the needs of students.

Principal

  • To co-ordinate Resource and Special Needs services.

Board of Management

Oversee implementation and review the SEN policy and the provision of adequate resources and accommodations.