Kilbrittain National School

Go to content

Main menu:

Special Needs Policy

School Policies

Special Education Needs Policy


This policy was formulated by the staff of Kilbrittain N.S. and the Board of Management.

Name of School:
Kilbrittain N.S., Opening Time: 9.30 a.m.
Kilbrittain, Closing Time: 3.10 p.m.
Co. Cork.

This is a catholic primary school whose patron is Bishop John Buckley, of the diocese of Cork, Ross. At present, the teaching staffs is comprised of six classroom teachers and an administrative principal, one learning support teacher, two (one-shared) resource teachers and one part-time shared learning support teacher. There are also five SNAs. The full range of classes is taught in the school and classes are of mixed gender.
We have an A.S.D Junior Unit ‘Spraoi’ operational since August 29 2012.


The purpose of this policy is to outline our approach to supporting pupils in Kilbrittain N.S. with educational needs. It has been written to inform teachers, parents and other interested parties on the special education need provision in our school. This policy is also, written to ensure compliance with the Education Act 1998, the Education Welfare Act 2000 and the ESPEN Act 2004.

Vision Statement:

Kilbrittain N.S. is committed to meeting the needs at all our pupils and to providing an inclusive approach to education. We support pupils experiencing low and high achievement, learning difficulties and pupils with special educational needs. We adopt a team approach involving pupils, Principal, teachers, parents, SENO and relevant support personnel.

The school hopes to achieve the following aims by introducing this policy:

To outline our whole school approach to teaching/learning in relation to pupils with educational needs.
To outline procedures and practices to be followed in relation to supporting the learning of pupils with special educational needs.
To enable pupils of all abilities to avail of and benefit from an appropriate education.
To enable children with special educational needs access to a broad and balanced curriculum with appropriate modifications and to share with their peers as complete an education experience as possible.
To establish communication structures for the involvement of all the parties in education of pupils with special educational needs.
Identification of children needing


The Board of Management of Kilbrittain N.S. supports the principles of Inclusiveness particularly with reference to the enrolment of children with disabilities or other special educational needs. Prior to a child’s enrolment, the school will acquaint themselves with the child’s special needs through meetings with parents, class teacher; special needs staff and SENO if appropriate. Also the school will have contact with outside agencies involved with the child and obtain copies of reports, assessments etc.

Staff Roles and Responsibilities:

Role of Board of Management

(1)To oversee the development, implementation and review of the provision on special education.
(2)Ensure the provision of adequate accommodation, resources and secure storage for special education teachers.

Role of Principal:

The principal has the overall responsibility for the operation of services for children with special needs. The Principal:

(1)Assume overall responsibility of the development and implementation of the school’s policy on special education needs.
(2)Assume direct responsibilities for co – coordinating learning support and special needs services.
(3) Inform staff of any career development for services which may benefit and enhance the SEN teaching/learning in the school.
(4)Monitor the selection of pupils for supplementary teaching, ensuring this service is focused on the pupils with low achievement.

Class Teacher:

The class teacher has the primary responsibility for the pupils learning needs within his/her class, their responsibilities include:

1.Making parents aware of the concerns of the school about their child’s progress and discussing interventions available. Classroom support
2.Implementing the school policies on screening, assessments and standardised testing and the follow up procedures.
3.Consult and co –operate with SEN teachers concerning provisions for pupils at the school support and school support plus levels.
4. Differentiate class programmes/curriculum to suit the needs of pupils.
5. Where there is classroom support staff the class teacher is responsible for outlining their duties.


Parents support and participate in their child’s learning by:

1. Collaborating and sharing of relevant information with school staff
2.keeping the class teacher/SEN staff informed of progress or difficulties they observe in their child’s learning at home
3. Completion of recommended home intervention programmes or IEP/IPLP home targets


Pupils who are in receipt of supplementary teaching or resource teaching can, where appropriate

1.Contribute to setting of their learning targets
2.Contribute to evaluation of their progress , self assessment

Role of Learning Support Teacher

The activities of the learning support teacher should include:

1.Assisting in the implementation of a broad range of whole- school strategies to enhance early learning and prevent learning difficulties ( Early Intervention)
2.Collaborating with Principal, Resource Teacher, parents and class teacher and maintain a list of pupils on the Continum of Support.
3.Development of an Individual Pupil Learning Profile for each pupil receiving supplementary teaching, collaborate with class teacher, parent and pupil where appropriate.
4. Co -ordinate meetings with parents and external agencies involved in the special education provision including NEPS.
5.Co –Ordinate and conduct diagnostic assessment. Order, co –ordinate and maintain records of school’s Standardised Testing on a yearly basis.
6.Maintaining and reviewing pupil’s records and assessments at end of instructional

7.Co – Ordinate the implementation of the whole school procedures for the selection of pupils for supplementary teaching
8.Implementation of early intervention programmes
9.Providing advice to class teachers in area of individual pupil assessment and planning, approaches to literacy, numeracy, language development and writing etc
10.Providing supplementary teaching in English and/or Maths to pupils in most need
11. Maintaining weekly planning or fortnightly for each individual or group of pupils in receipt of supplementary teaching
12. Contributing to the development of the Special Needs Policy at the whole school level

Role of Resource Teacher:

The activities of the Resource Teacher include:

  • Development of Individual Education Profile for each child who has low incidence supplementary teaching in consultation with parents, class teachers and pupils and external agencies where appropriate.
  • Meeting with parents, class teachers and external agencies to discuss targets and ways in which attainment can be supported at home
  • Meeting with parents, class teachers and external agencies at the end of each instructional term to review pupils’ s attainments and set new targets
  • Providing class teachers with advice in areas of curriculum differentiation, inclusion, and positive behaviour programmes social skills assessment, programme planning, and needs and strengths of children in receipt of low incidence support.
  • Maintain weekly planning for each individual pupil in receipt of low incidence support,
  • Collaboration with Principal and class teachers on appropriate steps to take with pupils who may have a learning difficulty or special need.


The SEN team work closely with the principal to:

  • Co- ordinate overall services for pupils with special educational needs
  • Discuss the need for outside assessments or interventions for pupils with special educational needs
  • Discuss issues relating to school special needs policies
  • Advise the principal of issues that arise in the day to day implementation of the pupils with special educational needs

The SEN team work closely with parents, class teachers and external professionals to:

  • Communicate concerns and progress about pupils
  • Discuss advice and receive consent for further assessments/testing/interventions
  • Set appropriate learning targets
  • Agree how all parties will support achievement of targets
  • Review targets and discuss future special educational needs provisions

Internal Provision:

Prevention Strategies:

We are committed to the prevention of learning difficulties, as far as possible; the following strategies are being implemented:

(1)The development and implementation of agreed whole school approach to language development and to teaching other aspects of English in order to show progression and continuity from class to class
(2)The development and implementation of an agreed whole school approach to the Maths programme – Maths Language
(3)On – going in class observation and assessment of literacy and numeracy skills in the junior classes to facilitate early identification and intervention.
(4)Promotion of parental involvement through their attendance at inductions meetings for parents for new Junior Infants
(5) Literacy Lift-off : station teaching as appropriate to class

Early Intervention

This policy is informed by the Continuum of Support to assessment, identification and programme planning. Children in Junior and Senior infants are screened in order to identify children experiencing difficulties in learning.

The following methods and procedures are used:

(1) Teacher observations
(2)Teacher phonics Assessments
(3)Teacher using teh Classroom Support response to emerging needs.
(4) Screening test administered in Senior Infants.
(5) Diagnostic Testing at School Support Level .

Identification of pupils needing Supplementary Teaching:

Pupils with low achievement receive priority in the process of selection for supplementary teaching. Supplementary teaching is prioritised as follows:

  • Pupils diagnosed as having low incidence learning, physical or emotional disabilities.
  • Pupils diagnosed as having a high incidence difficulty/disability.
  • Pupils scoring at or below the 12 percentile on nationally standardised tests in English reading and Maths on a yearly basis
  • Early Intervention – Junior/Senior Infants/ 1st
  • Pupils who score above the 12 percentile will be included where possible.

Staged Approach:

When a teacher or parent expresses a concern about a pupil’s development, the following stages are followed:

Classroom Support :

This stage involves the class teacher, parent and pupil. The special education teacher may be involved in an advisory capacity. If the concerns raised can be addressed at this level, then no further action will be needed. At this stage additional support is provided within the classroom by the class teacher and home support. The class teacher will draw up a support plan with the parent and implement it. The plan is reviewed after one instructional term by class teacher and parents. If concerns persist the child can be referred on to the SEN team for intervention, School Support , with parental consent. If a pupil is transferring from another school and has been in receipt of learning support they can proceed to School Support following diagnostic testing.

School Support:

School support stage. A pupil is referred to SEN team, with parental permission for diagnostic testing. If the testing indicates supplementary teaching is required the pupil moves to this level of support (School Support). An individual pupil learning profile is developed by class teacher, parents and learning support teacher. The targets of the IPLP can be supported in class, at home or in one to one or small group out of class support. The progress of pupils at School Support is reviewed twice yearly.

School Support Plus:

The intensive teaching support stage where a pupil's educational needs are severe and/ or persistant.Pupils who continue to present with significant learning and or emotional/behavioural difficulties. Pupil considered at this level includes:

  • Pupils with a special education need arising from a low incidence disability
  • Pupils with special education need arising from high incidence disabilities: borderline mild general learning disability, mild general learning disability and specific learning disability
  • Pupils who have failed to progress at Classroom and School Support

(1) The Principal , and /or SEN team and/or class teacher may consult and obtain consent from parents to obtaining a formal assessment e.g. NEPS, AON....
(2) SEN team and Class teacher complete referral forms
(3)The external professional conducts assessments in or out of school
(4) A report is sent to parents and forwarded to school personnel with recommendations.
(5)The report may identify a special education need arising from a low incidence disability. The provision of resource hours and /or a SNA may be recommended.
(6) The principal, in consultation with the parent send an application to the SENO for the recommended resources.
(7)Parents, class teachers SEN team meet to draw up an IEP from the recommendations for the pupil, the IEP is reviewed twice yearly.


The IEP and IPLP will be in accordance with the criteria as advised in the Learning Support Guidelines 2000. The responsibility of the development of the IEP lies with the SEN teacher for that particular pupil. The plans will include where appropriate:

1.Name, Address, telephone number, date of birth, class, class teacher, SEN teacher, SNA
2.Current Level of Performance – Assessments/Testing
3.Summary of Information Available- Reports
5.Priority Learning Needs
9.Class/Home support
10. Review date and signed

Record Keeping:

The SEN team will maintain the following documentation:

  • IEP/IPLP- Individual’s files
  • Professional Reports – Individual ‘s file
  • SENO correspondence – Individual’s file
  • Formal and in formal assessment – Assessment folder
  • Parent/Outside Professional Meetings/correspondence – individual’s Files
  • Samples of work – SEN files/Assessment folder
  • Planning – IEP/IPLP and weekly planning in SEN School file

Time Tabling:

The provision of SEN support where possible will make every effort to ensure that pupils do not miss out on the same curricular area each day. Support includes withdrawal from class and /or in class support. In class support will be designed and monitored by class teacher and SEN teacher. Where possible pupils with Irish exemptions will avail of supplementary teaching during Irish class time.


Resources for the provision of SEN teaching include a variety of testing materials, graded readers, phonics resources, literacy resources, maths resources, ICT resources and assessments, Language materials and programmes, social skills programmes, handwriting programmes and occupational therapy materials. Resources are kept in the SEN rooms and can be made available to class teachers. List of resources are kept by the SEN team.

Discontinuing Supplementary Support Teaching:

At the end of instructional term a decision is made to continue /discontinue the provision of supplementary teaching. The criteria on which the decision is made include:

  • Has the pupil achieved all/some targets
  • consultation with class teacher, parents and SEN teacher
  • Results of assessments/testing

The pupil will remain at Classroom Support for an instructional term after discontinuing supplementary support. Discontinuing support will be recorded in the IPLP.

Transferring to post primary or another primary school:

When pupils are transferring to post primary or another primary school the SEN team endeavours to make the transition as smooth as possible. Information will be provided, as per new transition to post primary guidelines.
Information included:

  • Level of support in primary school
  • Subject areas supported
  • Strengths and needs
  • Reports
  • Testing results

Also the SENO and NEPS psychologist will be informed when the child is transferring.

Success Criteria:

The school – wide implementation of this policy will result in enhancement of pupil learning in the following ways:

  • The progress of pupils with special education needs in our school as evidenced by the assessment process
  • The inclusion and the integration of special education needs pupils in our school
  • Enhanced parental involvement in supporting their child’s learning
  • Increased opportunities for effective communication between school personnel, parents and outside agencies in relation to pupil’s progress


This policy will be reviewed every 2 year, or as circumstances warrant.

Ratified by Board of Management on: 14/03/16

Home Page | Our School | Classes | School Activities | School Policies | Our Team | School Events | School Assembly | Site Map

Back to content | Back to main menu