Special Education Needs

Scoil Mhuire Secondary SchoolSEN

Mission Statement

Scoil Mhuire is a Catholic Voluntary Secondary School under the trusteeship of CEIST. The school aims to provide a holistic education for students of the South Inishowen area. The school provides a broad based curriculum of Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate level. Scoil Mhuire encourages its students to attend Third Level education. It is part of the school’s philosophy and ethos to educate students in an atmosphere of order, care and respect.

We aim to provide every possible opportunity to develop the full potential of every child. Children with special educational needs must be valued as individuals and should be encouraged to integrate with their peers, both socially and academically. They should have access to the whole school curriculum. At all times, consideration will be given to maintaining and enhancing the self-esteem of children with special educational needs.

In our school we aim to offer excellence and choice to all our children, whatever their ability or needs. We have high expectations of all our children. We aim to achieve this through the removal of barriers to learning and participation. We want all our children to feel that they are a valued part of our school community. Through appropriate curricular provision, we respect the fact that children:

  • have different educational and behavioural needs and aspirations;
  • require different strategies for learning;
  • acquire, assimilate and communicate information at different rates;
  • need a range of different teaching approaches and experiences.



The principle aims of education for students with Special Educational Needs reflect those that are relevant to all students and include

  • enabling the student to realise his or her full potential as a unique individual
  • enabling the student to have access to an appropriate broad and balanced curriculum suitable to the individual needs;
  • enabling the student to function as independently as possible in society through the provision of such educational supports as are necessary to realise that potential;
  • enabling the development of resilience and self-esteem through Social and Emotional supports
  • to acknowledge and encourage the role parents have in their child’s learning and emotional development



  • To develop positive self-esteem and positive attitudes about school and learning.
  • To enable pupils to monitor their own learning and become independent learners.
  • To provide supplementary teaching and additional supports and resources in various areas of the curriculum.
  • To involve parents in supporting their children’s learning through effective parent-support programmes.
  • To promote collaboration among teachers in the implementation of whole-school approaches for pupils with SEN.
  • To design and implement intervention programmes to address identified learning needs.


S.E.N. Teachers

Special Education Needs Co-ordinator:

  • Ms. Rosaleen Grant

Learning Support Teacher:

  • Ms. Theresa Mc Elhinney

Core Resource Team:

  • Ms. Marina Carlin
  • Mr. Séamus Baldrick
  • Ms. Jenna McDaid

Special Needs Assistants:

  • Ms. Paula Benson
  • Ms. Jennifer Bradley
  • Ms. Margaret McKinney
  • Ms. Kim Bradley
  • Mr. John Doherty
  • Mr. Seán Kelly
  • Mr Vinny Hegarty
  • Mr Stephen Fitzpatrick

Resource and Learning Support Teachers:

  • Ms. Theresa McElhinney
  • Ms. Marina Carlin
  • Mr. Séamus Baldrick
  • Mr. Neil Doherty
  • Ms. Debbie Friel
  • Ms. Linda Dolan
  • Ms. Margaret Gallagher
  • Ms. Maeve Ward
  • Ms. Annette McGonagle
  • Ms. Joanna Wheston
  • Ms. Clare McGovern
  • Mr. Paddy Carr
  • Ms. Martina McBride
  • Ms. Rosaleen Campbell
  • Mr. Eoin Leonard
  • Ms. Jenna McDaid
  • Mr. Michael Doherty
  • Ms. Patricia McElhinney
  • Ms. Rois Deeney
  • Ms. Serena Crawford
  • Ms Bronagh Doherty
  • Mr. Aidan McAleer
  • Ms. Sinead O’Brien
  • Ms. Paula O’Donnell
  • Ms. Catherine Lynch
  • Mr. Adrian Fitzsimmons
  • Mr. Darragh Geaney
  • Ms. Katherine McMorrow


 Coordination of SEN Team:

  • The Co-ordinator meets with the core team to design interventions and programs for SEN pupils.
  • The team collaborates on strategies and methodologies to be employed for example: withdrawals, IEPs, behaviour interventions.
  • Weekly recorded meetings of the core team takes place regarding updates and progress on SEN pupils.


Coordination of Special Needs Assistants:

  • On advice from SENO and management, SNA’s are allocated to specific students.
  • SNA’s take their direction from Principal, Vice Principal, Special Needs Co-ordinator, the Core Team and the Class teacher.
  • SNA’s keep a daily journal with regard to their allocated students.


The Legislative Context of SEN in recent years:

  • Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act 2004:

“Special Educational Needs means. In relation to a person, 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…”

  • Education (Welfare) Act 2001:

Aims to provide accessible education for all children as an integral part of their welfare. The State acknowledges the rights and responsibilities of parents as the prime educators of the child.

  • The Equal Status Act 2000:

Aims to promote equality and prohibit types of discrimination, harassment and related behaviour in connection with the provision of services, property and other opportunities to which the public generally has access, in-so-far as they apply to our school.

  • Education Act 1998:

This Act makes provision in the interests of the common good for the education of every person in the state, including any person with a disability or who has other special educational needs.

  • The Constitution:

Provides for the unconditional right of every citizen to the provision of education.

  • Department of Education & Science Circulars



Special Education Support Service Official:

Refer to the below links/sites:

  • National council for Special Education (NCSE)


  • Special Education Support Service (SESS)


  • Department of Education & Science (DES)


  • National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA)


  • National Education Welfare Board (NEWB)


  • Cahms


  • Jigsaw


  • National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS)



Time Allocation:

Within the SEN department, time is allocated to the core team through the following ways:

  • One 35 minute class for the team to meet weekly
  • One 35 minute class, for three members of the Core Team to co-ordinate the department, to test students, prepare lessons, complete administration, meet students, phone parents and liaise with subject teachers.

Classes are allocated for each year group in a similar manner

1st Year

  • Students exempt from Irish get 2 periods of literacy support and 2 periods of numeracy support per week
  • Students that are not exempt from Irish receive one period of literacy support and 1 period of numeracy support. (To be decided)
  • Students withdrawn from Science receive 4 classes of subject support per week.

2nd Year

  • Students exempt from Irish get 2 periods of literacy support and 3 periods of numeracy support per week
  • Students that are not exempt from Irish receive one period of literacy support and 1 period of numeracy support. (Withdrawn from religion)
  • Students exempt from Science receive get 2 periods of literacy support and 2 periods of numeracy support per week.

3rd Year

  • Students exempt from Irish get 3 periods of literacy support and 2 periods of numeracy support per week
  • Students that are not exempt from Irish receive one period of literacy support and 1 period of numeracy support. (Withdrawn from religion)

Transition Year

  • Students exempt from Irish get 2 periods of literacy support and 1 period of study per week.

5th Year

  • Students exempt from Irish get 2 periods of literacy support and 3 periods of numeracy support per week
  • Students that are not exempt from Irish receive one period of literacy support and 1 period of numeracy report. (Withdrawn from religion)

6th Year

  • Students exempt from Irish get 2 periods of literacy support and 2 periods of numeracy support per week
  • Students that are not exempt from Irish receive one period of literacy support and 1 period of numeracy support. (Withdrawn from religion)


  • Students exempt from Irish get 2 periods of literacy support and 1 period of numeracy support per week
  • Students that are not exempt from Irish receive one period of literacy support and 1 period of numeracy report. (Withdrawn from religion)



Each year the Special Needs Department receives the allocations from the Department of Education and Skills. This is based on an application made by the school to the SENO.

Timetabling is completed by the deputy principal. This process includes

  • Allocation of hours to teachers which consist of both Learning Support hours and their teaching subject.
  • Allocation of Resource hours to relevant students
  • Allocation of Learning Support to selected , targeted students
  • Allocation of co-ordination time for the core team

Grouping Policy:

Within the SEN department, students are grouped in various ways according to their needs and timetable constraints. The advised groupings are a follows:

  • High-incidence Special Educational Needs;
    • Mild/ Borderline Mild General Learning Difficulty
    • Specific Learning Disability
  • Low-incidence Special Educational Needs;
    • Physical Disability
    • Hearing Impairment
    • Visual Impairment
    • Emotional disturbance and/or behaviour problems
    • Moderate General Learning Disability
    • Severe or Profound General Learning Disability
    • Autism/Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
    • Specific Speech and Language Disorder
    • Pupils with Special Educational Needs Arising from an Assessed Syndrome
  • According to their abilities, needs and timetabled classes;
    • Students are grouped according to when their year group may have Irish or religion and depending on the number of students and teachers timetabled for that time, group sizes will vary.


SEN Enrollment:

  • Initial indication of SEN is detected from the enrollment form.
  • Information from feeder schools is collected by the Special Needs Co-ordinator who liaises with Principals, 6th class teachers and resource/learning support teachers and attends transfer meeting.
  • School Principal visits all feeder school in June to acquire any further information.
  • Reports from psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers compiled by Special Needs Co-ordinator and SEN profiles drawn up by SEN team.
  • Parental concerns of SEN pupils recorded at the Transfer Open night.
  • Initial concerns of SEN needs may be identified from subject teachers, class teachers, year heads, HSCL and careers department.
  • Throughout the year as needs are identified, initial concerns are done on a monthly basis when students are tested and scores are recorded.
  • The Special Needs Co-ordinator analyses and summaries incoming psychological reports and liaises with management regarding pupils needs, class placement and SEN advised groupings.


Individual Education Plan (IEP):

The Individual Education Plan (IEP) is an effective process through which a student’s Special Educational Needs can be addressed and by which an appropriate supports can be provided for him/her.

In Scoil Mhuire, Students with low incidence hours are assigned two key personnel from the SEN team. These key personal take charge of the creation and reviewing of the individual IEP.

The I.E.P process involves:

  • Gathering Information: Personal/ Background details.
  • Educational details (primary school details/assessment and learning support details)
  • Categorisation of need (assessment reports/ information attained from parents)
  • General profile based on formal/informal assessment.
  • SEN provision
  • Priority Need
  • Setting targets for each priority learning need:
  • Identifying the strategies and resources required:
  • Setting the date for review: A review occurs at the end of each academic term, usually twice a year. However it may occur more often dependent on student progress and circumstances

Roles and Responsibilities of all school bodies:

Role of the Board of Management

  • To oversee the development, implementation and review of school policy on Special Education Needs.
  • To ensure adequate accommodation and resources are provided.
  • To provide a secure facility for storage of records.

Role of the Principal:

Under current legislation the Principal of the school has the overall responsibility for ensuring that the Special Educational Needs of students are met.

The principal

  • works with the board of management, teachers and parents in the development, implementation review of whole-school policies that promote the inclusion of students with special educational needs
  • ensures that all such policies are included in the school plan
  • monitors the implementation of whole-school policies and provision for special educational needs
  • consults and liaises, as required, with relevant external bodies and agencies, such as the Department of Education, the National Education Psychological Service, the National Council for Special Education, the Health Service Executive and local agencies

The principal may delegate several functions concerning the practical organisation of the provision to the Deputy Principal and the Special Educational Needs and Learning Support teacher.

The principal

  • ensures that mainstream teachers are aware of their responsibilities in relation to the education of students with special educational needs
  • facilitates the continuous professional development of all members of the staff in relation to the education of students with special educational needs
  • promotes the involvement of the parents of students with special educational needs, by inviting them to share information and consulting them how this information be used in the best interest of their child

Role of the Special Needs co-ordinator:

The SEN co-ordinator is responsible for the overall co-ordination of Resource/Learning Support within the school.

The SEN co-ordinators duties are as follows:

  • Assists with arrangements for the successful transfer of students from their primary school to Scoil Mhuire and in gathering information about students, including those with special educational needs, before this transfer.
  • Co-ordinates SEN provision in the school
  • Liaises with parents/guardians of SEN students and prospective students
  • Liaises with NEPS psychologists regarding assessment of priority students
  • Communicates with relevant staff regarding essential information regarding SEN students
  • Facilitates and chairs SEN department meetings.
  • Provides updates and details of all matters SEN to the School Authorities.
  • Liaises with the SENO in relation to all matters SEN including; assessment reports, learning support/resource provision, SNA access and applications to the NCSE.
  • Maintains and updates SEN files.
  • Liaises with the School Authorities regarding timetabling
  • Strives to develop a climate of confidentiality regarding the sensitive information of all the partners involved in SEN
  • Liaises with school management regarding specific and whole school professional development.
  • Co-ordinate RACE applications for Junior Certificate & Leaving Certificate in Conjunction with the principal, guidance councillor and the core team.

Learning Support teacher

  • Learning support teachers focus on the provision of supplementary teaching to pupils who require additional help. These students are assessed as being at or below the 10th percentile on school based screening of literacy and numeracy. They work with pupils in groups or one-to-one, either in the classroom or in a learning support room.
  • The learning support teacher acts in consultative role within the school on the strengths and needs of learning support students.
  • Their work involves planning and implementing effective teaching strategies, liaising with parents, staff and other relevant professionals.
  • They are closely linked with and may share duties with Resource teachers.

Resource teacher

  • Provides support to those students assessed by a relevant professional as having complex educational needs e.g. Learning disability/speech and language disorder/emotional behavioural difficulty/physical disability, as termed by circular 08/02, 24/03 and have been allocated resource teaching hours.
  • According to circular 08/02, the role of the resource teacher is to provide additional teaching support for children with special educational needs arising from a disability.
  • Resource teacher provides this support by
    • Assessing and recording child needs and progress;
    • Setting specific, time-related targets for each child and agreeing these with the class teacher and principal;
    • Direct teaching of the children, either in a separate room or within the mainstream class;
    • Team-teaching – so long as the children concerned are deriving benefit from it;
    • Advising class teachers in regard to adapting the curriculum, teaching strategies, suitable textbooks, use of Information Technology and suitable software and a range of other related matters;
    • Meeting and advising parents, when necessary, accompanied by the class teacher, as necessary;
    • Short meetings with other relevant professionals, in the childrens’ interest – e.g. psychologists, speech and language therapists, visiting teachers, special school or special class teachers.

The class teacher

  • Is primarily responsible for the pastoral care of all pupils in his/her classes including those selected for supplementary teaching (Learning Support Guidelines)
  • The class teacher has a key role in bringing about the successful inclusion of students with special educational needs in mainstream classes. The class teacher has primary responsibility for the educational progress of all students in his/her class.
  • It is particularly important that all class teachers create a classroom environment that accommodates and takes account of learning and physical difficulties. Whether students are taught in mixed ability or streamed classes it is expected that teachers will implement differentiated approaches for teaching, learning and assessment to ensure that the skills of all students including SEN students are catered for.
  • Meeting the needs of pupils with SEN is a whole school effort and not the responsibility of the resource teacher alone because these children are fully integrated into a mainstream school and will spend most of their time with the mainstream teacher (circular 08/02).
  • The academic progress of students throughout the school rests in the first instance with the mainstream class teacher.
  • Class teachers will make themselves aware of the special educational needs of students in their classes. Reading Age, Maths Age plus a mini profile of all pupils with a psychological assessment is made available to all teachers at the first staff meeting of the new school year and is available through the co-ordinator on request. Teachers take steps to inform themselves of the special needs of any student in their classes and to bring any concerns regarding such a student to the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator.
  • The class teacher also plays an important role in the early identification of students with SEN. The class teacher is alert to the possibility of general and specific learning difficulties and brings their concerns to the attention of the SEN team.
  • A class teacher, form teacher or Year Head can refer any student they are concerned about to the SEN Co-ordinator, who will begin a broader profile.
  • Be aware of the School’s policy and procedures for dealing with students with special educational needs.
  • Seek advice from the SEN Co-ordinator regarding students with special educational needs.
  • Take responsibility for their own continuous professional development particularly with regard to common difficulties e.g. Dyslexia.
  • Develop an attitude of ownership to the education of students in their classes with Special Educational Needs.
  • Where a student has an SNA the subject teacher should plan how to most effectively engage the SNA in consultation with the SEN Co-ordinator.
  • Support/encourage independence in the student. This is particularly important for Senior Cycle students.

A team teacher

  • Shares the responsibility for planning and teaching with another teacher in the room at the same time.
  • There must be equality of status.
  • Colleagues share ideas, learning new skills and provide support.
  • There must be shared decision making, shared responsibility and common mutually agreed goals.

Role of the Special Needs Assistant (SNA)

  • The Special Needs Assistant provides care assistance to named students who have Special Educational Needs. They make a valuable contribution to the schools capacity to provide inclusive education to these students.
  • The Special Educational Needs Department devises an appropriate strategy plan for a student with Special Educational Needs. The SNA takes care of the implementation of this plan.
  • The Special Needs Assistant plays an important role in the health and safety of the student and in their social, emotional and educational development. It is important that the Special Needs Assistant supports student participation in school life without developing a culture of dependency.
  • The duties of the Special Needs Assistants involve tasks of a non-teaching nature such as:
    • Attending both Staff and Departmental meetings when appropriate.
    • Assisting / escorting students on school trips.
    • Giving special assistance as necessary for students with particular difficulties
    • Assisting with clothing, feeding, toileting and general hygiene and being mindful of health and safety needs of the student.
    • Assisting with reading/scribing examinations (if appropriate).
    • Assisting in the supervision of pupils at the changes of class.
    • Accompanying individual or small groups who may be withdrawn temporarily from the classroom.
    • General assistance of the subject teacher of a non-teaching nature. Special Needs Assistants may not act as either substitute or temporary teachers. In no circumstances may they be left in sole charge of a class.
    • Participation with school development planning, where appropriate, and co-operation with any such changes with policies and practices arising from the school development process.
    • Engagement with parents of special needs pupils in both formal and informal structures as required.
    • Other appropriate duties as may be determined by the needs of the pupils and the school. Special Needs Assistants may be re-assigned to other appropriate work when special needs students are absent or when particularly urgent work demands arise.
    • Special Needs Assistants are expected to treat all matters relating to school business and their work as strictly confidential


Reasonable Accommodations for Certificate Examinations (RACE)

The application for RACE is made by the SEN department and the Principal on behalf of the parent/pupil. Psychological reports, doctors and consultants that recommend reasonable accommodation for certain students must be acted on and applications forwarded to the ‘Reasonable Accommodation’ section of the State Examinations Commission. Special arrangements are designed to assist a candidate in demonstrating his or her achievements in an examination setting. They are not designed to compensate for a possible lack of achievement arising from a disability.

In-school assessment will continue to be administered to those students identified as potential candidates requiring reasonable accommodation. Applications for reasonable accommodation will be made for those students that meet the criteria necessary for additional supports.

The Department has very clear criteria from which application can be sought (See guidelines from DES). The school works with the student, parents and NEPS psychologist in the process of applying for RACE. Special centres for the Certificate exams are organised and overseen by the SEN Co-ordinator in conjunction with the Principal.

Procedures for Application for Irish Exemption

  • Liaise with Management re: exemptions specified in students Educational Reports.
  • Office process information in October Returns.
  • LCA coordinator deals with LCA language exemptions.

Programmes linked to the SEN Department

The Special Needs Department works together with every Subject Department and is involved in all subjects and programmes that are offered. However the Special Needs Department is closely linked with two programmes in particular:

  • Junior Certificate Schools Programme (JCSP)

The JCSP is a programme that encourages self-monitoring and the acquisition of skills for life. Each subject is broken down into Learning Targets and pupils monitor their own progress.

Cross-curricular areas are also monitored e.g. punctuality, attendance, behaviour etc. teachers also organise projects and trips for these students to enrich their school experience.

  • Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA)

The leaving Certificate Applied Programme is a self contained two year programme aimed at preparing students for adult and working life.

It is divided into four sessions over the two years and at the end of each session students are given credits for work completed and these results returned to the Department of Education.

The programme places an emphasis on non-academic means of achievement with continuous assessment throughout.

Students who would benefit most form the LCA are those who learn better by doing, those who find study difficult and students who intend to go directly to work after finishing school. Many of these pupils have been involved with the Special Needs Department throughout their school life.

As most SEN Students struggle with both literacy and numeracy, Scoil Mhuire has put in place a plan that will assist and emphasis these areas with which students will be encouraged and assisted in.


Literacy within SEN:

Literacy is the term used to embrace all forms of language learning. It includes the capacity to read, understand and critically appreciate various forms of communication including spoken language, traditional writing and printed text, broadcast media, and digital media.

In September each year the SEN Department administers the WRAT 4 test to all existing SEN students in the school.

They also administer it to incoming 1st year students that have received Learning Support in primary school and whose names have been passed on by the principal. This along with information gathered from the primary schools, transfer data and psychological reports etc. is used to select students for learning-support.

The Learning Support teacher and Resource teacher will target the literacy support, in as far as is possible, to suit the needs of the particular student or group of students. The Learning Support teacher and Resource teacher will place significant importance on the development of Literacy and Numeracy skills when drafting the students’ Individual Educational Plans (IEPs).

Literacy support may include the following:

  • Structured reading programmes;
  • targeted spelling programmes;
  • revision of phonics;
  • revision of spelling rules;
  • oral language skills;
  • comprehension skills;
  • punctuation skills;
  • reading for meaning;
  • prediction skills;
  • dictionary skills;
  • mind mapping;
  • mnemonics;
  • skimming, scanning;
  • memory games;
  • puzzles, word-searches and scrabble.

In addition the 1st and 2nd year students attend a literacy class, each week, where they attend the library to read books and access the Accelerated Reader Programme. This programme is designed to get students to read at their level, improve upon their reading age and increase their potential to accessing books of different genres.

Within Scoil Mhuire, the literacy team have developed and implemented several initiatives for a whole school approach to improving literacy in all students.

  • DEAR (Drop Everything And Read)
  • Book in the bag
  • Keywords & Keywords diary
  • Learning objectives/aims on the board

As part of Scoil Mhuire’s literacy initiatives with a whole school approach further strategies have been developed to be incorporated into lessons by teachers:

  • Vocabulary Snowballing
  • Graphic Organisers
  • Note Taking


Numeracy within SEN:

“Numeracy is a Proficiency which involves confidence and competence with numbers and measures. It requires an understanding of the numbers system, a repertoire of computational skills and an inclination and ability to solve number problems in a variety of contexts. Numeracy also demands practical understanding of the ways in which information is gathered by counting and measuring, and is presented in graphs, diagrams, charts and tables.”

National Framework for teaching Mathematics

Following on from literacy, students are assessed for numeracy difficulties in the same way as they are for literacy difficulties.

As a general rule, additional teaching support in the area of numeracy is provided in numerous ways which include one-to-one, small groups, withdrawal from Religion and team teaching. These groups are decided upon by the deputy principal and SEN core team. These small groups or individual support will be provided in the area of numeracy by the Learning Support teachers and resource teachers.

Numeracy support may include the following:

  • Revision of the syllabus
  • Working with fractions and decimals;
  • Working out percentages;
  • Revision of tables;
  • Telling the time;
  • Using money;
  • Using the calculator;
  • Sequencing skills;
  • Rules for integers;
  • Algebra basics;
  • Puzzles and games

As part of Scoil Mhuire’s numeracy initiatives with a whole school approach, targets have been set for the year 2015/2016 as being:

  • To increase by 2% the percentage of students that work through group work.
  • To increase the number of students that rephrase questions in their own words by 3%.

In order to achieve these since September, the whole school has introduced group work as part of the pedagogy, discussed it within other departments and developed the use of it further in the classroom.

The numeracy team have also introduced the RUDE (Read, Underline, Develop Evaluate) approach to reading questions and as part of our exam review process. This process is not limited to numeracy and will also work in conjunction with literacy.


The SEN department try to provide a variety of different resources for use by the Learning Support teachers or Resource teachers when working with SEN students in small groups or on a one-to-one basis. These are listed here:

  • 1st year Numeracy Booklet
  • 1st year Literacy Booklet
  • Time Booklet
  • Money Booklet
  • 2nd year Numeracy Booklet
  • 2nd year Literacy Booklet
  • 3rd year Revise it Now Booklet
  • Ipad
  • 7 Android Tablets
  • Brailler
  • Embosser
  • Zycam
  • Dictaphone
  • Checkers
  • Chess
  • Family  Fortunes
  • Numicon
  • Geo Safari
  • Word Arcade
  • Taboo
  • Taskmaster Dominoes
  • SRA Mathematics Laboratory
  • My First Maths
  • Cards
  • Peg Boards
  • Word blocks
  • Library
  • Reading Programme (Accelerated Reader Programme)
  • Outside the box – selected and material that can be photocopied


ICT within SEN:

Information Communication Technology (ICT) plays a big role in the needs of SEN students. Some students within the school have access to a laptop to help in the learning and understanding of the curriculum. These laptops have been granted by the Department of Education and Skills.

These laptops are in the care of the student but remain the property of the school after the students leaves Scoil Mhuire. The student must treat the equipment with respect and any damages that occur during this time will be at the expense of the student and their family. It is advised that the parents/guardian have the laptop named on the insurance in case it is stolen of damaged.

Various assistive technology programmes are installed onto the laptops but are specific to the individual student’s needs. The technologies installed are:

  • Microsoft Office
  • Read Write Gold
  • Mavis Beacon
  • NDVA
  • Jaws
  • Duxbury
  • Braille Note
  • Keyview


Reporting Procedures:


  • Learning Support Circulars/Updates are distributed to staff each term at staff meetings.
  • Staff are emailed using the school email
  • Initial concern forms sent to SEN team and appropriate feedback support given by SEN team.
  • Resource teachers liaise and collaborate with subject teachers.


  • Liaison of Learning Support Coordinator with Principal, Deputy Principal, Year heads, Home School Community Liaison Officer (HSCL).
  • Schools Completion programme, JCSP and Guidance team, by formal reporting/correspondence and informal verbal correspondence.


  • Liaise with parents through letters, phone calls and meetings.


All information is regarded as confidential and are stored securely in the SEN Office. Highly sensitive files like educational reports are available for viewing ONLY in the SEN office.


Meetings occur once per week between the Special Education Needs Co-ordinator and the core Learning Support team. Minutes are recorded and issues are discussed affecting staff, pupils, teaching strategies and A.O.B.
Procedures for Development of Educational Plans:

  • Current Educational Profiles exist based on psychologist Reports and WRAT testing.
  • Goals, objectives and evaluations are recorded on pupil’s profiles and are based on the SEN’s Schemes of Work and individual student needs.
  • These are completed by each student’s connecting resource teacher.


Links with SENO

  • The SENO liaises with the principal on allocation from the NCSE to the school
  • The B poster holder, in conjunction with the principal a makes applications for
    • Resources
    • SNA’s
    • Assistive technology


Links with NEPS Psychologist/DES

  • The SEN team liaises regarding Special Considerations for the state exams.
  • The SEN team links with NEPS regarding pupil concerns and strategies advised.


Links with Primary school

  • Ongoing correspondence by Learning Support Coordinator and JCSP coordinator.
  • Learning Support Department visit primary school to seek clarification on various student needs.
  • SEN set up a transfer programme for incoming students with SEN
  • Meeting with Learning Support Coordinator, and primary school Principals/Resource Teachers.
  • Collate and compile Learning Support/JCSP students.
  • Transfer Days – integrating students to their new environment.


Links with Parents:

Open door policy for queries or concerns:

  • Phone calls
  • Open nights/Parent Information Evening
  • Individual meetings with incoming students parents
  • Update on pupils progress
  • Parent/Teacher Meetings
  • Letters on:
    • Learning Support classes
    • Testing
    • Shared Reading Programme/Millionaire Programme
    • Healthy Eating Programme
    • Projects


Staff Support & Development:

  • Correspondence per term at staff meetings.
  • Access to the summaries of students’ Educational Reports Google Drive
  • Highlighting pupils with a learning difficulty.
  • Connecting resource teacher to advice on pupils needs.
  • Keywords for different subject areas.
  • Strategies issued via circulars or email.
  • Initial concerns form from subject teachers to Learning Support Department to assess.
  • Provision of differentiated worksheets in all subjects.
  • Provision of booklets for 1st/2nd/3rd years which focus primarily on reading, spelling, comprehension and grammar.
  • Provision of booklets for 1st and 2nd years which focus primarily on the Maths syllabus
  • Key speakers on Special Education invited to address staff at meetings.


Action Plan:

  • Investigate possibility of setting up an ASD or Moderate Unit
  • Maintain and increase if possible, the core team to ensure continuity and consistency
  • Continued CPD for all those involved in Teaching and Learning of students with SEN.


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