Special Needs Policy - OLSS Belmullet

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Special Needs Policy


Special Needs Policy

This policy is a whole school policy devised by a steering committee in consultation with representatives from all partners within the whole school (Board of Management, Trustees, Staff Students, Parents, Community), approved by the Board of Management and ratified by the trustees.  This policy is rooted within the Mercy Philosophy and the Mission Statement of Our Lady’s Secondary School.

1) Rationale for the Policy
To provide a positive learning environment for those with special needs, ensuring that students of all intellectual abilities are encouraged to achieve their full potential.

2) Aims and Goals of this Policy
a) To identify students with special needs
b) To meet the needs and requirements of these students.
c) To organise appropriate models of intervention (i.e. Learning
Support/Resource Classes)
d) To secure ‘Reasonable Accomodations’ at state examinations for those with special needs.
e) To liaise with staff regarding the individual needs of these students
f) To maintain contact with parents of students with special needs
g) To liaise with Pastoral Care Co-ordinator, Home School Liaison Officer and Guidance Counsellor identifying needs of students.

3) Roles and Responsibilities
a) Board of Management
i) To ensure policy is developed, implemented and evaluated.
ii) To approve policy.
iii) To receive reports from Principal on the implementation of this policy.
b) Principal and Deputy Principal
i) To ensure that this policy is implemented, monitored and evaluated.

c) Special Needs and Learning Support Teachers
i) To ensure the best use of resources is made to provide a learning environment for special needs students in order that they reach their full potential.


a) The HSCL links with the National School to identify any students who may have a special need.
b) Documentation and reports are collected in relation to the special needs student prior to their entering the school.
c) Application for resources required made to the Department of Education and Science.
d) For students with a special need that has not been identified by the National School, the learning support teacher may intervene with the permission of the parents and administer appropriate assessment methods.  NEPS may also be asked to intervene.
e) If the intervention concludes the student has a special need, resources are sought from the Department.
f) The Learning Support teachers establish suitable models of learning support for each individual student within the school, i.e. learning support classes, one to one, withdrawals etc…  The Special Needs Co-Ordinator will liaise with Management in the arrangement of the support class timetable.
g) The Learning Support teacher and Special Needs Co-Ordinator will develop student profiles, programmes and keep records.
h) HSCL, School Counsellor, Pastoral Care Co-Ordinator and school management will liaise with each other to ensure that the students pastoral and social needs are being met.
i) The Special Needs Co-Ordinator and State Examinations secretary will ensure that appropriate accomodations are made in relation to state exams.

4) Performance Criteria
a) Individual needs of special needs students are being met.
b) Self-esteem of students is boosted.
c) Students achieve goals as identified in their individual educational programmes.

5) Monitoring the Implementations
a) Learning Support and Resource teachers will meet to monitor the implementation of the special needs system.
b) Principal, Deputy Principal and Senior Management will monitor the implementation of the policy.

6) Reporting
a) Special Needs Co-ordinator, Learning Support and Resource teachers will report to Principal and Deputy Principal.

7) Reviewing
This policy will be reviewed by all parties each year.

Sanctioned by Board: 12 January 2010

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