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GREENWOOD PRIMARY SCHOOL  
SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS AND INCLUSION POLICY

This policy is based on the Code of Practice 1998 and the Supplement to the Code of Practice 2005.

INTRODUCTION

Greenwood is an Infant School with a Nursery Unit attached. The children then transfer to Strandtown Primary for the remainder of their primary education.

The school is situated in a pleasant suburban area of Belfast and has close co-operation with parents. Formal and informal contact with parents is valued and welcomed. Teachers work hard to provide a safe and secure environment in which the development of personal skills and learning can be nurtured.

Greenwood aims “ to provide a rich and varied curriculum to promote the all-round development of the child, in a happy and caring environment”.

POLICY RATIONALE

The policy has been updated to take account of SENDO legislation and refers to new requirements in relation to inclusion of those with special educational needs or disabilities within a mainstream school.

The purpose of this policy is to give information on the procedures and practices the school will follow when assessing and sharing information relating to a child’s educational needs.

The policy is for staff within the school, Board of Governors, parents, pupils and any other professional working in the school context.

AIMS

The school will endeavour to ensure that

1.Each child has the opportunity to reach his/her full potential.

2.There is access to an appropriate curriculum for each child.

3.Parents are well informed and are involved in decision- making.

4.Suitable provision is arranged, recognising there must be a sharing of knowledge and expertise between the SENCO and class teachers.

5. The school ethos fosters a positive attitude to the efforts of all children and sensitivity towards those who experience difficulty.

6. It responds to concerns raised by teachers or parents and proceeds according to the guidelines set in this policy.

7.Early identification of special needs is sought.

OBJECTIVES

  1.To plan a school approach to testing and assessing. Parents may be requested to confirm that medical conditions are not contributing to a child’s difficulty.

2.To identify, assess and seek diagnosis for specific difficulties.

3.To establish school systems for early identification of special needs.

4. To prepare graded work programmes that will maximise success.

5.To compile and review Individual Education Plans, in consultation with SENCO/Learning Support teacher, class teacher and any external agency involved with the child. These will be shared with the parents.

6. Establish and review a register of children with special educational needs.

7.To liaise with outside agencies, educational psychologists and other professionals involved with the child.

8. To seek to work in partnership with parents for the benefit of their child.

IDENTIFICATION   PROCEDURES

Ø Use will be made of the accumulated knowledge already acquired by parents, pre-school providers and any other agencies involved with the child in order to ensure the best provision.

Ø     Admissions information.

Ø     Undergoing Statutory Assessment on arrival in school.

Ø     Having a Statement of special educational need.

Ø     Teachers’ professional judgements, formed by observation and assessments made in the normal activities of the classroom will be used.

Ø     Parental notification or expression of concern.

Ø     NFER standardised tests used by pupils in Primary 2 and Primary three will be screened to highlight any children who should be in receipt of individualised support.

Ø     Additional standardised tests will be administered by the SENCO to ascertain more detail on the nature of the difficulty:

·        Young’s Reading Test

·        Carver Word Recognition & Phonic Test

·        Quest Diagnostic Test

·        Bury Infant Check

·        Non-Reading Intelligence Tests

·        Dyslexia Early Screening Test

  Ø     Close liaison between teachers within the school will ensure relevant information is transferred and a profile of a child’s needs is established.

PROVISION FOR SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS

  ·        Individual work programmes in class.

  ·        Withdrawal groups.

  ·        Individual support, withdrawn from class.

  ·       Team teaching

It may be the case that a combination of the above provides the best provision for those in need of additional support. The overall profile of needs will dictate the organisational approach taken e.g. it may represent a more efficient use of time to place children in groups if their needs are similar.

DEFINITIONS

Code of Practice 1998 & Supplement 2005

A pupil is regarded as having special educational needs if he/she has a learning difficulty which calls for special educational provision to be made for him/her. A child has a “learning difficulty” if:

He/she has significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of his/her age;

He/she has a disability which either prevents or hinders him/her from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for children of his/her age in ordinary schools; or

He/she has not attained the lower limit of compulsory school age and is, or would be if special educational provision were not made for him/her, likely to fall within either of the previous two paragraphs when he/she is of compulsory school age.

  SENDO legislation 2005

A pupil is regarded as having a disability if:

He/she has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on his/ her ability to carry out normal day to day activities.

ACCESSIBILITY

Greenwood will not discriminate against pupils with disabilities who apply for admission to the school and will seek to make reasonable adjustments in order to provide equality in terms of access to information, access to the curriculum and physical access to the facilities. Our actions will be led by the directives, support and policies of DENI and BELB.

Consideration will also be made that admission of a pupil with a disability, or an “adjustment” required, will not be “incompatible with the efficient education of other children”.

SCHOOL BASED STAGES

STAGE 1

Children at stage 1 will be supported by their teacher in class. There will be an expression of concern about the child’s performance and the teacher will provide extra assistance in the form of teacher time and/or additional/ differentiated resources. Children with elementary reading difficulties will be allocated individual sessions of “Reading Partnership,” provided there are parents trained to operate the scheme.

Parents will be notified during a face- to- face meeting e.g. Parent/teacher interview and will be made aware of the nature of the concern.
Parents will also be made aware of the Board’s “Information and Advice Service” and also the Dispute and Reconciliation Service(DARS).

STAGE 2

At this stage the SENCO and Learning support teacher will become directly involved. An assessment of the child’s educational need will be made. In addition to the standardised tests listed above, young children’s abilities in areas such as phonological awareness and basic word recognition will be assessed. Underachievement in comparison with peers and specific difficulties will also highlight the need to proceed with additional educational support.

An IEP will be compiled collaboratively between the class teacher and SENCO/learning support teacher. Parents will be contacted and a consultation with the Learning support teacher arranged when the content of an Individual Educational Plan (IEP) will be discussed and agreed. The plan will set targets, a review date and monitoring procedures.

The pupils at Stage 2 will receive additional support organised in a manner appropriate to the child’s needs and availability of teaching time (see provision referred to above). Class teachers continue to be involved in the process of catering for a child’s educational needs. All recommendations and provision arranged will be in the best interests of the child.

The results of the review will dictate further action.

Parents will again be told of the information and DARS service provided by BELB.

STAGE 3

At this stage the child will receive additional support from a professional employed outside the school e.g. peripatetic service BELB, Harberton Outreach or the Behaviour Unit. Timetables will be drawn up detailing the individual sessions arranged. The support will still be school based and will involve consultation and joint approaches between everyone with educational responsibilities for the child.

The additional professional input will be arranged by BELB as a result of psychology assessment or report from a medical officer, the referral having been generated by the school or family doctor, with the knowledge and approval of the parents.

BELB Information and Advice service and DARS will be referred to with parents.

If the progress the child is making is not sufficient the child will proceed to the next stage.

STAGE 4

At this stage, the process of seeking a Statutory Assessment by aBELB Educational Psychologist will begin. However, this request may be declined by BELB.

During the period when the statutory assessment is proceeding, the school and others continue to provide the level of support as per Stage 3. Responsibility for arranging the best educational provision for the child now transfers to BELB.

A statement may or may not be given.

STAGE 5

A statement is given, specifying a child’s educational need and the support that will be provided. This may be the offer of a placement in a school that can cater for the child’s need, possibly a special school, classroom assistant support or educational resources to aid learning e.g. a laptop computer. The decisions taken are outside the control of the school.

If the parents request their child attends a mainstream school, reasonable adjustments will be made in line with BELB and school policy, provided the provision made is not incompatible with the efficient education of the other children.

ANNUAL REPORT

The Board of Governors of the school will be kept informed of the provision for educational needs on a regular basis and will report on this matter to parents via the annual report.

CRITERIA FOR PLACEMENT ON THE SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS REGISTER

STAGE 1

A child will enter at stage 1 if concerns are raised on:

·        Behaviour

·        Social/emotional well-being

·        Communication skills

·        Ability to work at the level of the majority of children of that age

·        Low academic ability

·        Underachievement/performance in comparison to ability

·        Results of informal/formal testing

A child will be taken off stage 1 if there is no longer a concern, or advance to Stage 2 if additional provision is deemed necessary.

STAGE 2

A child will enter stage 2 if he/she has failed to respond to meaningful and purposeful measures at stage 1 and it is agreed by the class teacher and SENCO to proceed.

The various concerns listed above will continue to be relevant.

If additional provision from the learning support teacher ceases, the child will exit stage 2 and be placed on stage 1 until progress is reviewed at that stage.

STAGE 3

Entry to stage 3 will only take place as a result of outside assessment and additional provision as described above. If this ceases the child will exit stage 3 and re-enter stage 2. Progress and provision will be monitored as described previously.

If a child fails to make meaningful and purposeful progress a statutory assessment will be requested and the child will proceed to stage 4.

STAGE 4

A child will enter this stage when his/her educational needs are not adequately being met through the provision at stage 3. Placement at this stage should be considered very carefully. The child remains at this stage until a statement is issued or declined. If a statement is not given the child will revert to stage 3.

STAGE 5

A child will only be placed at stage 5 if a statement has been given. This will then be subject to annual review. The statement and provision will continue or change as a result of discussion between all the professionals involved with catering for the child’s educational needs. Evaluation of the child’s needs and the suitability of the provision will dictate the decision made.

RAISING A CONCERN

In line with other Greenwood policies, parents are welcome at the school to discuss areas of concern in relation to their child’s progress, performance, difficulties or allocation of provision. In the first instance you should speak to the class teacher. You may then be referred to the school’s Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator and/or the principal for further discussion.

We trust your concern will be dealt with appropriately. However, if you do not believe this to be the case, please refer your complaint to the principal and follow the school’s policy on handling complaints (available from the school office).

You will also have access to the Dispute and Reconciliation Service provided by BELB.

October 2005


 


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