Special Educational Programme

 

Aims

Moate Community School is committed to providing an education for its students in a caring and supportive environment. Our aim is that all students achieve their full potential. In order to achieve this goal some of our students may require supplementary teaching, additional resources, classroom support or the provision of specialised equipment. In all cases it is the intention to integrate students socially and academically.

 

The effectiveness of this provision relies on

•  whole school policies

•  parental involvement

•  provision of intensive intervention by committed personnel

•  the direction of resources towards pupils in greatest need

•  the development of a team approach involving parents, teachers and relevant support personnel such as psychologists and speech and language therapists

•  an efficient Transition Programme from primary to post primary school aimed at supporting pupils within the target group

•  the provision of appropriate time allocation and support services by the Department of Education and Science. Learning Support Teacher Allocations and additional resource hours to address pupil's special educational needs are critical here. Other support services, (Special Needs Assistants, National Educational Psychological Service Reports, Occupational Therapists Reports, Speech and Language Therapists Reports etc) are of vital importance to the school in providing a professional, holistic service.

Definition

The students who fall within the Special Needs definition include:

•  Students with learning difficulties and disorders

•  Students with physical and sensory disabilities

•  Students with emotional and behavioural disorders

•  Students with other special needs

Identification of students

•  Upon enrolment any available reports from a psychologist, speech & language therapist or other relevant medical professional should accompany the enrolment application.

•  Consultation with parents and the student's primary school is pivotal for the identification of pupils who may qualify for the assistance of a Resource Teacher or a Special Needs Assistant.

•  Standard entrance tests are administered by the Guidance Department following enrolment.

•  An application will be made to the Department of Education and Science for additional resources both human (resource teaching hours or special needs assistants) and physical (ramps, computers etc) for pupils who have been appropriately assessed and whom meet the relevant criteria for Special Educational Needs.

•  Parental consent is obtained prior to an application being made to the National Council for Special Education.

•  If a pupil has not been identified as having a special educational need until after commencement of school, the permission of parents will be sought to have the pupil assessed by the appropriate professionals. The commissioning of this assessment will be dependent on the resources available to the school at that time.

•  Parents may wish at any time to pursue an assessment privately themselves.

•  The school is allocated additional teaching hours by the Department of Education and Science on the basis of psychologist reports submitted to the National Council for Special Education in the academic year preceding the year of entry of a student.

•  The level of support provided to a student with special needs will be based on the resources allocated from the Department of Education and Science for that student.

•  Curricular modifications may be designed for students whose special educational needs would make full access very difficult. The timetabled periods which become available due to curricular modifications will be used, where possible, to implement individual resource interventions and learning supports.

•  Students identified as being in need of resource teaching are, where possible and appropriate, placed in small class groups for core subjects to facilitate more specialised attention.

Exemption from Irish

•  Certificates of Exemption from the study of Irish granted in Primary School should accompany the enrolment application.

•  The school will consider granting an exemption for Irish when a written request is made by the student's parents and supported by a psychologist report or other relevant documentation.

•  The guidelines set down by the Department of Education and Science will be strictly adhered to (Circular 12/96).

State Examinations – Special Arrangements

•  Applications are made for all students deemed in need of Reasonable Accommodation for State Examinations at both Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate.

•  The procedures of the State Examinations Commission will be strictly adhered to.

•  Reasonable Accommodations are made for students who, because of a temporary, permanent or long-term disability, have special assessment needs in examinations.

•  Provision is made for both physical and learning disabilities.

•  Applications for Reasonable Accommodations can be made on the following grounds:

• i. Application on the Grounds of a Specific Learning Difficulty

• ii. Application on the grounds of a Hearing Difficulty

• iii. Application on the grounds of a Visual Difficulty

• iv. Application on the Grounds of a Physical Difficulty

•  The following accommodations may be granted by the State Examinations Commission to students who meet the criteria relevant to their disability:

•  Access to a Reader

•  Use of a Tape Recorder or Word Processor

•  Waiver from the assessment of spelling, grammar and punctuation in the language subjects.

•  Access to a Scribe

•  Separate Centre for Aural Examinations

•  Modified Aural Examination

•  Personal Stereo in the Main Centre for Aural Examination

•  Exemption from the Aural Examination

•  Enlarged Examination Papers

•  Braille Version of Examination Papers

•  Modified Version of Examination Papers

•  Helper in Home Economics

•  Exemption from Practical Test in Home Economics

•  The following will assist in the identification of students for Reasonable Accommodations:

•  Psychological Assessments on file.

•  Consultation with the resource teacher and class teachers.

•  Aptitude test administered by the Guidance Department.

•  Any Leaving Certificate student, for whom an application for Reasonable Accommodation is made, will be assessed by a NEPS psychologist prior to the allocation of such accommodations by the State Examinations Commission.

•  Provision will also be made where possible, and where deemed appropriate, to assist students in Mock Examinations in line with the State Examinations Commission's provisions.

Conclusion

Special Education Provision ensures that all students have access to, participate in, and gain positive outcomes from their time in school with a view to providing the foundations of a fulfilling life. The staff at Moate Community School, in co-operation with parents and external professionals, acknowledges the importance of providing support for its students with special needs and is committed to the ongoing reappraisal of its provision with regard to its suitability and effectiveness of implementation.

 

Individual Education Plan

The Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs (EPSEN) Act was enacted in Ireland in 2004. One of the key provisions of the Act was to provide the legislative basis for the introduction of individual education plans for people with special education needs.

An Individual education Plan (IEP) is a written document prepared for a named student, which specifies the learning goals that are to be achieved by the student over a set period of time. It also specifies the teaching strategies, resources and supports necessary to achieve those goals.

Those students who require an IEP are defined by the SEN ACT, 2004, as an individual who experience “ a restriction in their capacity 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”.

Subsequently students who are assessed as having a specific educational need, will be provided with an IEP which will support their education in an all inclusive educational environment.

As a consequence students receiving additional support from the DES will have an IEP. Parents will be fully consulted in formation and delivery in targets outlined in the IEP.

SPECIAL NEEDS ASSISTANT

A student who is assessed and granted support of an SNA is facilitated in our School. The student is allocated a specific number of SNA hours by the DES. The SNE provides support and encouragement and plays a vital role in the educational attainment of the student.

 
 
   
 

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Moate Community School, Church St. Moate, Co. Westmeath (c) 2010