Ardcroney N.S.
Policy on Special
Needs Education
Updated March 2013
1. Aims for Special Needs Education
2. Roles and Responsibilities, Board of Management, Principal, Class teacher,
SEN teacher, Special Needs Assistants.
3. Assessment List of compulsory and non-compulsory assessments
4. Identification and selection of pupils for supplementary teaching,
Overview, Referral for psychological assessment, Providing for gifted children
providing for children with emotional/behavioural and social problems, code
of behaviour.
5. Process for enrolment of SEN children who have not previously attended
the school
6. Organisation of supplementary teaching
7. Record-keeping/monitoring progress, IEP’s Communicating information
from year to year, Access to records
8. Curriculum/school plans
9. Monitoring and reviewing of policy.
1. Aims for Special Needs Education
The Principal aim of all supplementary teaching is to optimise the teaching and learning
process in order to enable all pupils with special educational needs to experience success at
school and to achieve adequate levels of proficiency in literacy and numeracy before leaving
Ardcroney N.S. will aim:
1. To identify children experiencing difficulties and to put in place appropriate
supplementary teaching for these children.
2. To adapt the curriculum where necessary to meet the needs of children experiencing
learning difficulties.
3. To develop the self-esteem of each child.
4. To work closely with parents as partners in their child’s education
5. To enable the children attending supplementary teaching to participate as much as
possible in the full curriculum for their class level.
6. To provide supplementary teaching and additional support and resources in English and /
or Mathematics for those pupils identified as needing Learning Support.
The Board has responsibility to oversee the implementation of the school policy on Special
Education Needs, to ensure that adequate classroom accommodation and teaching
resources are provided for the support teachers, and to provide a secure facility for storage
of records.
The Principal has overall responsibility for the development and implementation of the
school policy on Special Educational Needs. This involves ensuring that the teachers of
pupils selected for supplementary teaching, are enabled to fulfil their roles as outlined in
the school plan.
Class Teacher
The class teacher has primary responsibility for the progress of all pupils in his/her
classroom, including those selected for supplementary/resource teaching. A particular
responsibility of the class teacher is to create a classroom environment in which learning
difficulties can be prevented or at least alleviated. This is best achieved by grouping pupils
for instruction, providing lower-achieving pupils with strategies for reading and problem
solving , adapting learning materials for lower achieving pupils and liaising closely with their
parents. Where a pupil is selected for supplementary teaching, it is essential that the class
teacher should contribute to developing the learning targets in the pupil’s Individual
Educational Programme and to the planning and implementation of activities to attain those
SEN Teachers
The role of each SEN Teacher involves:
(a) Devising and implementing Individual Educational Plans( IEP’s ) for those attending
Supplementary teaching. IEP’s should be developed in collaboration with parent(s)/
Guardians, class teachers, Principal, pupils and other relevant professionals such as
School psychologist, speech therapist etc. in order to identify the child’s strengths and
Needs and specify long term goals, objectives, teaching methods, strategies, materials
And monitoring procedures.
(b) Monitoring and recording progress of pupils attending supplementary teaching.
(c) Supporting/advising class teachers in regard to adapting the curriculum, teaching
Strategies, suitable textbooks, assessment etc for pupils with SEN.
(d) Reviewing and updating IEP’s on a bi-annual basis.
Special Needs Assistants
The Special Needs Assistants in Ardcroney are assigned to classes and also to specific
children. Where and when possible the SNA’s may be asked to help the SEN teachers and
class teachers with their work. SNA’s will normally support special needs students while
attending SEN teachers but arrangements may also be made for them to carry out other
class based duties assigned by the Principal.
The following assessment will take place annually in the school.
Name of Test
Area/s assessed
Time of Year
Letter recognition and
Junior Infants
Junior Infants Late
Screening Test
recognition and
Early Dyslexia
Dyslexia Screening
Test (DST – J)
Listening Skills, Sounds,
written vocabulary,
three phoneme words,
sentence dication
Helps to identify
children at risk of
dyslexia (ages 7yrs 5
Helps to identify
children at risk of
dyslexia (ages 7 yrs 6
months to 11 years 5
English reading and
comprehension skills
Administered by
Class teacher
May /June
Class Teacher
On a needs
SEN teacher
On a needs
SEN teacher
1st – 6th
Class Teacher
1st – 6th
Class Teacher
Priority for receiving supplementary teaching (or resource hours ) will be given to:
 Children who have recommended for resource hours by the school psychologist
 Juniors to 6th class children whose teachers and or parents have significant concerns
about their academic progress.
 An infant level to those who have scored poorly on the Junior and Senior Infant
Screening tests.
Remaining places in resource classes will be allocated following discussion between class
teacher, SEN teachers, Principal and parents, If a teacher/parent feels that a child is not
progressing as well as he/she could , and would benefit from supplementary teaching, the
class teacher should first plan and implement a differentiated programme of work for this
child. If assessments should show that this is not helping enough, the child may be
allocated a place in supplementary teaching.
Referral for Psychological Assessment by educational Psychologist
 If a teacher has serious concerns about a pupil’s academic ability or achievement , a
suitable intervention such as supplementary teaching should be put in place in
consultation with the SEN teacher for a designated period of time.
 The pupils progress should be monitored and recorded and if the intervention fails to
positively affect the child’s progress, the class teacher may wish to refer the pupil for
a psychological assessment.
 The pupil’s parents should then be contacted and invited to attend a meeting with
the class teacher where the referral form is completed and the process explained to
the parents.
 The referral will be sent to the psychologist.
 On this day the psychologist will usually request to meet the class teacher, relevant
SEN teachers and the child’s parents.
 The school will then receive a psychologist report for that child. The report will be
kept on file with all other Special Needs reports.
 A copy of the report should be given to and read by those teachers working with the
pupil. The psychologist’s recommendations should be taken into account when
developing the IEP for that pupil and when considering suitable teaching
methodologies and approaches.
 Following the assessment, the class teacher should offer to meet the child’s parents
in order to answer any questions or concerns they may have about the child’s
psychological report or IEP
Providing for Gifted Children
When devising annual timetables, a one-hour block per week with a designated SEN
teacher will be allocated to children who display an exceptionally high level of
intelligences/achievements (resource s permitting).
This SEN teacher will engage the group in lessons and activities which will cater for
and challenge each child’ s ability.
Providing for children with emotional/behavioural/social problems
 Ardcroney N.S. recognises that some children experience problems of a social,
behavioural or emotional nature.
 Planning for SEN will take in to account teacher’s and parent’s concerns, along with
recommendations from psychologists regarding children’s social and emotional
 If deemed necessary, such children may be withdrawn from class by SEN teachers
to participate in one-to-one or group ‘social’ lessons.
 These lessons will be designed to help the child develop social skills.
 During these lessons the SEN teacher may need to work on enhancing the child’s
self-esteem or developing communication skills, friendship skills and co-operation
skills such as turn taking.
 The SEN teacher, during these lessons, may wish/need too use a variety of
methodologies such as Circle time, co-operative games , art and craft activities,
cooking/baking, project work, computer activities, or environmental work.
 Children may be referred for an Educational Psychological Assessment.
Code of Behaviour
The code of behaviour is in place for every child in Ardcroney N.S. It is however
recognised that certain behavioural problems are a result of specific conditions
(E.g. ADD, ADHD).
 Where serious behavioural, problems arise, every effort will be made to
accommodate the child’s needs also to uphold the code of behaviour of the school.
 In the case of ongoing misbehaviour, management of such behaviour may take the
form of a behavioural contract.
 This contract will be worked out in collaboration with parents. Class teacher/SEN
teacher, Principal and child. This contract may be for varying periods – a
week/month etc. and will be developed based on the individual needs of the child.
Where ongoing/serious misbehaviour arises which causes the child to be a danger to
him/herself or other children from learning or where the use of a behaviour contract has
failed,, further sanctions from the school’s ‘Code of Behaviour’ shall be implemented.
The following points shall be considered before enrolment:
 Parents to list the needs of child and requirements of school
 School and classroom organisations must be suitable to cater for child’s needs
 Additional resources may be required
 Parent of child with special needs to meet class teacher and SEN teacher.
 School will request copies of the child’s medical/psychological reports or an
assessment. Enrolment of the child may be deferred until these are obtained and
the necessary resources are obtained.
 Parents will be required to consent to and comply with the School Code of
Following analysis of learning needs and difficulties, children are grouped in learning
support groups. Supplementary teaching will then be provided in English and/or Maths
and/or social skills. The teaching provided is supplementary, it is not designed to replace
classroom work. In general, children will be withdrawn from their class in timetabled
groups. These timetables shall be prepared in consultation with class teachers to avoid
Children missing any particular curricular area each day.
At the end of each school year, the SEN teachers, after consultation with the class
teachers, will meet to plan the priority list for SEN teaching for the following school year.
At this time, timetables will be devised. At the beginning of September, these timetables
will allow for groups and one-to-one lessons for an in-class support. Timetabling should
make allowances for any children with punctuality and/or attendance issues.
SEN liaising with class teachers
Each SEN teacher in collaboration with the relevant class teachers will devise a
programme of support teaching (an IEP) to cater for the needs of special needs pupils.
SEN and class teachers will aim to formally meet:
 In October: To plan IEP’s. to discuss the needs o f each pupil.
 In February: To review progress of children attending supplementary teaching and
to revise IEP’s.
 In mid-June: To review progress of children and to identify/select groups for new
school year.
 SEN and class teachers will also discuss planning and children’s progress on an
informal basis, for example:
-During planning time on Friday afternoons.
-Before Parent/Teacher meetings
-At other times when necessary.
Liaising with parents:
When a pupil is selected for supplementary teaching, a letter will be sent to the pupil’s
parents. Supplementary teaching should only commence when parental consent has been
given. The SEN teacher should then arrange an initial meeting with that parent and aim to
keep in regular contact with the parent throughout the year. Before meeting with
parents, SEN teachers should consult class teachers so that they are fully informed about
the child’s previous progress or issues arising.
In general SEN teachers will meet with parents in October and February as this is the time
when new IEP’s will be devised each year. Parents are also welcome to make an
appointment to see the SEN teacher at other times during the school year. Likewise the
SEN teacher may wish to ask a parent to come in at various times to discuss progress or
issues arising.
Continuing/discounting supplementary teaching
Children selected for supplementary teaching will attend for a minimum period of at least a
term. Supplementary teaching will then be withdrawn or continued as appropriate, and
parents will be informed and consulted on any change.
The SEN teacher, in consultation with the class teacher and parent(s) will draft an individual
educations profile (IEP) for each child. The IEP will contain:
 Recommendations by psychologist/speech and Language therapist (if applicable)
 Test results (diagnostic and screening)
 Informal assessment before/after supplementary teaching
 Learning strengths and attainments
 Priority learning needs/yearly goals for the pupil
 Short term goals/objectives
 Continuing progress record
 A review date
Storing IEP’s
The IEP’s will be kept by the relevant SEN teacher during the year he/she is teaching the
child. A copy will be given to the class teacher also.
The IEP’s will be accompanied by a list of all children who attended supplementary teaching
during the school year.
Storing Special Needs Assessments (incl. psychological reports)
At present when a child has been assessed by the educational psychologist , the speech and
language therapist, a copy of all reports and information relating to that assessment is
placed in a file under the child’s name and stored in the Resource room. All reports, relevant
forms and letters pertaining to that child will be kept in that file until the child is 21.
Communicating information from year to year
Each child’s folder is a vital source of information for a new class teacher. The folder
contains all previous standardised tests results for that child as well as copies of summer
reports and other information relating to each child. Each class teacher should ensure that
this folder is kept up to date on an ongoing basis.
Access to records
The following people will have access to records on SEN children which are kept on file
1. Principal
2. Class Teacher
3. Parents if requested
4. Parents if requested
5. DES officials – inspector’s
The curriculum/school plans for each subject will be modified where necessary to suit the
needs of the SEN pupil. These modifications may be regarding:
 Arranging classrooms & resources
 Learning Programmes:
- Methodologies
- Differentiated classroom curriculum
- Homework (see below)
- Assessment
- Record Keeping
The class teacher and the SEN teachers will work in collaboration to make any necessary
changes which will benefit the SEN pupil.
The class teachers and the SEN teachers shall work in collaboration when assigning homw
work to children who receive supplementary teaching. This is to ensure that there is not
excess or insufficient amount of homework given.
This policy was reviewed and updated over the school year 2012 – 2013 by the teaching
This policy will be reviewed on a needs basis.

Special Needs Education Policy