SEN Policy


Nagle Community College Policy

on

Special Educational Needs – A Whole School Approach

INTRODUCTION

Mission Statement

Nagle Community college is a centre of education which encourages the holistic development of all in an environment which is caring, respectful and just.

RELATIONSHIP TO SCHOOL’S MISSION/VISION/AIMS:

Nagle Community College is a vibrant, dynamic and caring school dedicated to creating a learning environment which is inclusive and supportive of all its pupils. The college strives to enable all achieve their potential, no matter what difficulties encountered. It encourages excellence by fostering a love of learning and promoting a rich and diverse range of educational opportunities. The college believes in empowering and equipping all students to become well qualified and rounded individuals who can thrive in and contribute to an ever changing world. In order to realise the college’s mission /vision/aims, a comprehensive commitment and approach to students with special educational needs has been adopted.

 Rationale

  • Nagle Community College caters for a wide range of abilities, interests and aptitudes by careful assessment, planning and teaching for all students ’needs.
  • The college’s policy is to support all students with specific learning difficulties.
  • The policy aims to outline the school’s provision of additional educational support for students with SEN.
  • It outlines the philosophy that underpins this provision in keeping with the school’s mission statement.
  • The policy complies with the following legislation:

 

  • The Education Welfare Act 2000.
  • Equal Status Act 2000
  • The Education Act(1998)
  • The Education for Persons with Special Needs Act 2004 (EPSEN)
  • The Disabilities Act (2005)The policy is a working document and will be regularly reviewed.

The policy reflects current practice.

 

Consultation

This policy was formulated in consultation with teaching staff, Board of Management, school management, parents/guardians, students, special needs assistants ,the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) and the Special Educational Needs Organisation (SENO)

SCOPE

This policy refers to students in Nagle Community College with SEN and intends to serve the whole school community including all students, parents/guardians, teaching and ancillary staff, school management and the Board of Management. It understands Special Educational Needs as defined by the EPSEN Act (2004) as a restriction in the capacity of the person to participate in and benefit from education on account of 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. It also includes students requiring support with English as an additional language (EAL) and students who are exceptionally gifted and able.

The following definition by the NCSE has also been adopted:

Inclusion is defined as a process of:

  • Addressing and responding to the diversity of needs of learners through enabling participation in learning cultures and communities and
  • Removing barriers to education through the accommodation and provision of appropriate structures and arrangements, to enable each learner to achieve the maximum benefit from his/her attendance at school.

(Literature Review of the Principles and Practices relating to Inclusive Education for Children with Special Educational Needs ( NCSE  2010, p.39))

GOALS/OBJECTIVES:

  • To ensure that all students including those with special educational needs are supported to realise their full potential.
  • A commitment to equality and a respect for diversity and to providing an inclusive environment for all, thus enabling students with special educational needs participate in the whole school experience.
  • To adopt a whole school approach towards the educational and personal development of students with special educational needs.
  • To provide an adapted and differentiated curriculum where necessary.
  • To provide an inclusive education in mainstream with appropriate networks of supports.
  • To make available opportunities for CPD in the area of SEN for all staff.
  • To comply with legislation.
  • To involve parents/guardians in supporting their children’s learning.
  • To provide for the wellbeing of all students thus promoting positive self -esteem and positive attitudes towards school.
  • To set targets to improve the retention, attainment and progression of all students.

POLICY CONTENT

  • The school will liaise with parents/guardians, primary schools ,SENO,NEPS and other relevant agencies prior to  students’ commencement at school and during their years in school in order to assist and support them.
  • Identifying, assessing and testing students will be ongoing to ensure that necessary supports are applied for and put in place.
  • Resources and learning support hours in the form of special classes, one to one classes, small groups and team teaching will be provided on a needs basis.
  • The school will endeavour to provide appropriate programmes and levels of learning and best practice teaching methodologies for all students, including SEN students, to enhance the learning experience for all.
  • Teachers and the SEN Co-ordinator will monitor and keep records of relevant materials on students’ progress. Confidentiality will be maintained in relation to all student records.
  • Special Needs Assistants will be provided as necessary with the approval of the SENO.
  • Homework, classwork and assessments will be differentiated where possible in order to accommodate the needs of students.
  • Application for RACE in state examinations will be made for students with SEN where appropriate.
  • The active involvement of parents/ guardians as partners in the process and the provision of supports to parents will be established.
  • Communication between all relevant parties is deemed vital for the successful integration of special educational needs in the school.
  • An SEN core team in the school will help to co-ordinate, plan, implement and review special educational provision in the school.
  • Policies and systems for learning support will be reviewed on a regular basis and change will be implemented as the need arises.
  • The pastoral care supports in the school cater for special educational needs.
  • Continued professional development for all staff is a priority.
  • The use of ICT for students with special educational needs is supported and encouraged.
  • Students requiring English language support may be supported through the provision of literacy classes.

How are SEN students identified?

  • Professional reports
  • CAT 4
  • Information from Parents/Guardians
  • Information received from Primary schools
  • Primary school end of year reports with standardised tests results.
  • SENO
  • NEPS Psychologists
  • Contact received from outside agencies such as the HSE, Enable Ireland, DCD Unit, Occupational Therapists.
  • Liaising with primary schools
  • Subject Teacher/Tutor referral
  • Assistant Principal referral

The progress of students with special educational needs can be assesses by the following means:

  • Assessment for Learning.
  • Assessment of Learning.
  • Consultation with subject teachers, Assistant Principals and Class Tutors.
  • Consultation with parents/guardians
  • Discussion with students.

ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

The role of supporting learning is a collaborative responsibility shared by all: the Board of Management, School Management, SEN co-ordinator, subject teachers, tutors, year heads, resource and learning support teachers, SNAs, parents/guardians, students.

Board of Management:

  • Approve the policy.
  • Ensures that policy is evaluated and reviewed regularly.
  • Considers reports from the Principal on the implementation of the policy.

The Principal

  • Assumes overall responsibility for the development and implementation of the school’s policy on learning support and special educational needs in co-operation with the SEN co-ordinator.
  • Liaises with teachers, parents/guardians and students in the development of the school plan on learning support and special educational needs.
  • Monitors this plan on an on-going basis.
  • Keeps teachers informed about the external services available and the procedures to be followed in initiating referrals.
  • Helps teachers increase their knowledge and skills in the area of learning support through the facilitation of CPD opportunities.
  • Liaises regularly with the SEN Co-ordinator.
  • Ensures compliance with current legislation.
  • Supports the implementation of a tracking system at whole school level to monitor the progress of all students, including SEN students.
  • Consults and liaises as required with relevant external bodies and agencies such as the DES, NEPS, NCSE, HSE and local agencies.

SEN Co-ordinator

  • To seek relevant information on students’ needs through liaising with feeder primary schools.
  • To disseminate information and create an awareness of the varying needs of students with SEN.
  • To record and maintain SEN files in a confidential manner.
  • To inform and advise the SEN team of resources, materials and levels of support required.
  • To maintain a list of students who are receiving supplementary teaching and/or special educational services.
  • To co-ordinate information gathering for incoming students.
  • Make applications to SENO.
  • Timetable Support hours.
  • Timetable Reasonable Accommodation for in house examinations.
  • Liaise with external agencies such as psychological services to arrange assessments and special provision for students with special educational needs.
  • Arrange for classroom accommodation and resources as appropriate.

The role of the student

  • To engage actively and willingly in all classes.
  • To support, reinforce and extend learning in class by engaging diligently in homework and after school study.

The role of the Special Education Teacher

  • To monitor and record students’ needs and progress.
  • Liaise with subject teachers where necessary.
  • To seek out relevant information on each student’s needs.
  • Plan a course of instruction to assist students with their needs,
  • Advise class teachers in regard to adapting the curriculum, teaching strategies, suitable textbooks, use if ICT and suitable software.
  • Meet with and advise parents on learning support services as necessary.
  • Meetings and communication with other professionals such as educational psychologists, speech and language therapists, visiting teachers of the deaf and teachers of the visually impaired, etc.
  • Liaise with external agencies such as psychological services to arrange assessments and special provision for students with special educational needs.
  • Arrange for classroom accommodation and resources as appropriate.

The role of parent/guardian

  • To submit all relevant documentation for accessing learning support such as any psychological reports, OT reports, Speech and Language reports.
  • To encourage and support the child with SEN to maximise the benefit of all support provided.
  • To maintain contact with the school and familiarise themselves with the arrangements in school that support their child’s special educational needs.

The role of Subject Teachers.

  • Maintain a key role in bringing about the successful inclusion of students with special educational needs.
  • Have access to materials and information relevant to teaching or supervising students with special educational needs.
  • Take primary responsibility for the progress of all students in his/her class, including those selected for supplementary teaching strategies.
  • To create a learning environment in which learning difficulties can be alleviated through adapting learning materials and differentiating the curriculum where necessary for students with special educational needs.
  • Inform management and SEN Co-ordinator of any observations made.

Special Needs Assistants

  • Special Needs Assistants act in a care and support role that is non-teaching in nature and works under the guidance and supervision of the principal and/or class teacher.
  • Provide for the significant care needs which some pupils with special education needs may have.
  • Are fully aware of the needs of their student(s) and work with the student(s) in the classroom.
  • Work closely with the teacher and the SEN Co-ordinator to support and assist Special Educational Needs students.
  • Assist the student in the undertaking of tasks assigned by the teacher.
  • Supervise and support SEN students at break times and before and after class.

Implementation Procedure.

  • Following consultation with all parties this policy will be implemented.

Success Criteria

  • That students with special educational needs access and benefit from the supports provided.
  • That students with special educational needs make measurable progress in each academic year.
  • That students with special educational needs play a full and active part in all aspects of school where possible.

Monitoring Procedures

  • The Principal will monitor the implementation of the policy.

Review Procedures

  • This policy will be regularly reviewed.

 

Ratified on the 5th of February 2019 by Nagle Community College Board of Management after consultation with Parents, Staff, & Students.