St. Finian's Community College

Policy Documents

CLICK HERE for Child Risk Assessment and Safeguarding Statement

St. Finians Community College – Code of Positive Behaviour Policy.

This Code of Positive Behaviour Policy is to be reviewed by the Board of Management.

This Code of Positive Behaviour Policy was agreed on

Date:…………………………………….

Signature:……………………………………………………………………………………………………………(Chair of BOM)

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………(Principal)

Date for Review:……………………………………………………………….

This is a partnership document

Code of Positive Behaviour

This code is explained to students at the beginning of every school year and as necessary during the year. Students with learning difficulties will have this code explained to them by a SNA assigned to them.

Introduction

At St. Finian’s Community College, we are committed to maintaining a caring, inclusive learning community where each person is valued and accorded respect and dignity.

Our Aims are:

  • To provide an inclusive, calm, friendly, disciplined and safe environment.
  • To provide a broad, diverse curriculum relevant to the needs of all our students.
  • To promote the development of the whole person and to afford the opportunity to develop his/her full potential.
  • To foster in each person a positive self-image and a sense of responsibility and personal integrity.
  • To promote respect for the rights and beliefs of others, and to encourage all to be tolerant, caring and responsible members of society.

Rationale

At St. Finian’s Community College we believe that this Positive Behaviour Policy should be framed in such a way as to encourage co-operation and independence.

An essential element of this is good open communication between the partners.

We believe that such an approach will be beneficial for students, teachers, Parents/Guardians and the Board of Management alike and that it will also encourage students to take a positive view of co-operation and interdependence into their adult life.

The objectives of this policy are:

  • To enable the efficient operation of the school in a manner which allows the school’s overall mission statement to be realized.
  • To maintain good order throughout the school, respect for each person in the school and the school environment.
  • To foster self-discipline in students with the aim of developing positive behaviour patterns based on respect and tolerance of others and the learning environment.
  • To develop interpersonal skills which will help students to work cooperatively, give them the ability to solve problems, develop relationships and resolve conflict in a positive manner.

Role and Responsibilities of Parents/Guardians

Parents have an increasingly important role to play in the education process. The more a parent participates in the education of his/her child, the more likely that the child will succeed at school.

We ask all parents/guardians of children in the school to:

  • Be aware of all policies/guidelines which are published by the school.
  • Ensure that their children adhere to the school rules in their entirety.
  • Help their children to develop a good habit of attendance and punctuality
  • Check journals to see that all homework – written and learning – is completed, and sign the journal at the end of the week
  • Ensure their children arrive to school each day in full uniform
  • Respond to any comments that are written by teachers on end of term reports
  • Attend parent/teacher meetings
  • Re-enforce the policy on the use of mobile phones and electronic devices with their children.

If your child needs to leave school early for an appointment please inform the school in writing – space for this is provided at the back of the journal.

Students must always leave the school building by the main door and report their departure to the main office. If you need to contact your child in school please do so by ringing the office number 018402623.

Roles and responsibilities of the Students

Students are the centre of the school community. The code of positive behaviour/school rules of St. Finian’s C.C. are designed to ensure a safe and supportive environment, which facilitates effective teaching and learning.

Students of St. Finian’s C.C. are expected to respect the authority of the school and to follow instructions of staff at all times.

Students are responsible for their own behaviour and engage in responsible and positive behaviour by:

  • Respecting each other, the college staff and any visitors to the college
  • Creating a positive learning atmosphere in the classroom
  • Be punctual for both school and classes
  • Working to the best of their ability to achieve the best possible education
  • Acting in a safe manner and considering the safety of others
  • Showing respect for other peoples’ property and the school environment
  • Supporting the Student Council in its role as a voice for the students
  • Raising issues which concern you with the appropriate person

This code is not exhaustive and the Principal may on occasion need to take a decision based on best practice for the good of other students and staff and the school. The parents/guardians and the chairperson of the Board of Management will be informed in the event of such an occurrence.

Attendance and Punctuality

Students are expected to be punctual for school and for classes. In addition to being essential for the efficient running of the school, learning to be punctual is an essential life-skill and is expected in the workplace. Late-coming is inconvenient for all members of the school community and will incur sanctions. In the case of recurring poor punctuality detention will be used. A letter or note in the journal will be sent home beforehand. In the case of a continuous problem further sanctions may be applied and parents may be requested to make an appointment with the school authorities.

  • Students must be in school at 8.30 a.m. to be on time for registration at 8.40 a.m.
  • Students should only go to the lockers at tutorial time, after lunch and at the end of the school day
  • All students are required to have a journal with them while in attendance at school. Journals are not to be defaced. This is the principle means of written communication between school and home. A note of explanation should be written in the school journal to account for late arrival, or the full day or part day absence of a student. Parents/Guardians are required by the Education Welfare Act (2000) to provide an explanation for each absence. It is not sufficient merely to confirm the absence as follows: ‘my son/daughter was out’.
  • Students are required to attend all classed punctually and regularly.
  • Students are required to sign in at the office if they arrive in school after 8.40 a.m. and to sign out at the office if they are leaving early – after they have received permission from their Tutor/ Year Head.
  • Have all homework done and books ready for the day. Make sure that both written work and learning is done for the day ahead. Check your timetable for the day to ensure that no relevant books/copies are left at home or in your locker.
  • If a student should feel sick during the school day, the student must report to their Year Head, or the Deputy Principal. Under no circumstance is a student to contact a parent and arrange to be collected from the school without going through the appropriate procedures. Students must ensure that they sign out before they leave the school.
  • The written permission of a teacher is required if a student is absent from any timetabled school activity.
  • Please note: We are obliged under the Education Welfare Act (2000) to report to the EWO (Tulsa) any student who is absent for more than 20 school days.

Classroom code of behaviour

  • Arrive to class on time and enter the classroom quietly with your teacher’s permission.
  • Put all class materials including your school journal neatly on the desk.
  • Do nothing to distract others during class time.
  • All homework should be written carefully in your homework journal.
  • Ask for permission if you need to leave the classroom and only if absolutely necessary. Leaving the classroom without permission is a serious offence and may result in detention or suspension.
  • Keep the classroom tidy. Any damage to school property whether accidental or deliberate MUST be made good by the student/parents/guardians of the student
  • Please follow teachers instructions so that the process of teaching and learning is not disrupted.
  • Refusal to co-operate with a teacher is a serious breach of discipline – see stage 3.

Before school

Get up early. Give yourself plenty of time to prepare for the day.

Lunchtime

  • All junior Certificate students must stay in school during lunchtime.
  • Senior students who are afforded the privilege of being permitted to leave the school premises at lunch break should be aware that any misconduct which they might engage in could reflect adversely on the good standing and reputation of the school in the local community. For this reason the school authority reserves the right to withdraw the privilege where it is deemed appropriate.
  • Leave your area tidy after you have finished lunch (follow lunchtime rota).
  • Be on time for afternoon class.

Behaviour on corridors

  • Move quickly and carefully to your next class.
  • Walk using the one-way system.
  • If you have permission to go to the toilet you must have a toilet pass or a note from a teacher in your journal.
  • The school may seek a medical report for any student who needs to attend the toilet an inordinate number of times. Parents are asked to inform class tutors or school authorities if this is the case.

After school ends

  • Carry out teachers’ instructions.
  • Make sure you leave the room tidy and clean.
  • In the interests of health and safety students are asked not to congregate outside the school railings at any time.

Code of behaviour during extra-curricular activities

Representing the school in any extra-curricular activity, either as a participant or spectator should be seen as a privilege and an honour for the pupils involved. Pupils must have a positive behaviour record within the school to be considered for such activities, including trips and tours. Pupils involved must follow the instructions of the teacher(s) in charge at all times. Participation in extra-curricular activities is always at the discretion of the school management.

All pupils involved in representing the school should adhere to the following rules: pupils are not permitted to film/record/photograph during a school outing without the permission of the parties concerned.

School uniform must be worn to all extra-curricular activities unless otherwise specified by a teacher. Where pupils are visiting another school or any other companies/organisations buildings/ properties, any guidelines set out by the owner/management involved should be followed.

Any malicious damage or theft of property by a pupil on extra-curricular activities will result in a ban from such activities for duration set out by the school and may also result in an official detention or suspension, depending on the seriousness of the incident. Any school equipment lent to a pupil in relation to the activities must be used carefully and any deliberate damage or loss paid for by the pupil or parent. In relation to finals of competitions, any pupil who has been given permission by the Principal/Deputy Principal to watch the event should be aware that they are representing the school and must follow all the rules of extra-curricular activities. Any such pupils misbehaving will be banned from attending such events. With regard to sports activities, violence either verbal or physical towards teammates, opponents, officials or supporters will not be tolerated. The school will deal with each case individually and punishments may involve a student being banned for a number of games, a complete exclusion from school teams, detention/detentions or a school suspension may be invoked.

Participation in extra-curricular activities is always at the discretion of the school management.

Uniform

It is essential that students maintain a high standard of personal appearance when wearing the college uniform.

  • All students must wear the prescribed uniform including the school jacket and black shoes. Students who arrive in school wearing a non uniform jacket will have this jacket confiscated. No runners allowed. The school shirt must be worn and visible at all times. A short sleeved plain white t-shirt may be worn under shirts – no other colour. All items should be adequately identified with the owner’s name, and in good order.
  • Hoodies are forbidden as part of the uniform. If a student wears or brings a hoodie to school it will be confiscated.
  • Face/Tongue/Body/ Mouth piercings are not acceptable. The only item of jewellery allowed are the following: stud earrings worn in the lobe of the ear, and a watch.
  • Any note from a parent/guardian excusing a lack of uniform is only available for a 24hour period and must be dated.
  • Students who are not in full uniform may be requested to wear a uniform provided by the school or be sent home to change into the correct uniform.
  • Please note: students who repeatedly and deliberately do not comply with the school’s uniform code are liable to be excluded until they conform to the schools code of dress.

Property

  • Students are responsible for the care of their own property. All personal property must be marked with the owner’s name. Those who carelessly mislay property should not consequently claim that it was ‘stolen’.
  • Students must respect the property of others. Those who take or borrow the property of others without permission are liable to serious sanctions.
  • Do not bring valuable items to school such as I-Pods, phones, Mp3 players, earphones or any other electronic device. The school cannot be held responsible for the disappearance of or damage to any such items.
  • Vandalism against property is a serious anti-social act which spoils the environment for everyone. Any act of vandalism against the property of the school or of any person in the school is regarded as a serious offence and will be dealt with accordingly. Sanctions ranging from cleaning duties, financial compensation, suspension or other penalty as deemed appropriate by the school authority may be imposed against anyone responsible for such an offence.

Respect for the school environment

  • Chewing gum is not allowed in school. Any student using chewing gum is liable to community-based cleaning duty.
  • Littering the school or school grounds is forbidden and students found littering are liable to community-based cleaning duty.
  • Students are only allowed to eat or drink in the canteen, outside the building or in designated classrooms, not on the corridors. Students who avail of the canteen must behave in a manner that allows others to eat their food in a pleasant atmosphere, and students must tidy up after themselves.
  • Students who have school lockers must accept the following conditions
  1. Lockers are liable to inspection at any time
  2. The cost of replacing lost keys/locks is the responsibility of the student
  3. Students are responsible for all property left in their lockers
  4. Anyone infringing the above regulations may not be reallocated a locker
  5. Students should report any irregular interference with their lockers to their Year Head.

Personal Safety

Every student and member of staff has the right to learn and work in a safe environment, free from any form of harassment, intimidation or bullying. Irresponsible or anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated. (Please refer to the college Anti Bullying Policy).

The use, distribution or possession of drugs, lethal substances, tobacco or any alcoholic beverages are strictly forbidden to students within the college, on the college premises, while attending college events or when wearing the college uniform. Students are strictly forbidden to enter the premises and/or to attend school events under the influence of any of the above-mentioned substances. (Please refer to the college Substance Abuse Policy). Those who remain in the company of students who smoke or use alcohol or other mood altering substances and make no obvious effort to leave the scene will be liable for serious disciplinary sanctions.

It is the responsibility of parents to provide the school with any relevant information (in writing) in relation to the health of the student.

Students are strictly forbidden from possessing, using or bringing to the college materials or weapons which may cause injury or have detrimental effects on the college community. Any of the above activities will result in immediate suspension and may warrant expulsion. (Please refer to the college Suspension and Permanent Exclusion Policy).

In addition, the school reserves the right to invoke the positive behavior policy to deal with incidents of misbehavior which takes place outside the school premises and to impose the full range of sanctions, up to and including expulsion, in respect of such incidents. This is without prejudice the right of the school authority to report any matters it deems appropriate to the Garda Siochana.

If a teacher suspects that a student is in possession either of a prohibited item (cigarettes, alcohol, etc.) or of the property of another, the teacher is entitled to require the student to empty his/her pockets and/or bags for inspection. This should be witnessed by another member of staff. A student who refuses to submit to such an inspection faces serious sanction.

Safety Rules

Students are responsible – i.e. answerable to school authorities – both for their own safety and for the safety of others. School rules cannot cover every possible circumstance. The following list of safety rules is not exhaustive and should be taken as examples.

  • Think safety. Rough boisterous play anywhere on the school grounds and running on the corridors are not allowed.
  • The use of Tippex and solvent based markers is prohibited.
  • Laser pointers and laser pens are prohibited.
  • The bringing to school of fireworks, stinkbombs etc., is forbidden and will face serious sanction.

Use of the above prohibited items will result in their confiscation.

Applauding positive behaviour

At St. Finian’s Community College positive student behaviour is applauded and encouraged. To this end we constantly seek out ways of recognising and rewarding good behaviour and effort. We are proud that the vast majority of our students complete their education here without ever needing to be sanctioned for misbehaviour. These students make an invaluable contribution to school life and we acknowledge and celebrate this every year at our awards ceremonies.

The Principal/Deputy Principal/Year Head will conduct assemblies with student year groups throughout the school year. The emphasis is motivational with practical advice on study skills, organisational skills and behavioural strategies. Students’ improvements and achievements will be noted and applauded. Periodically during the year, class groups are rewarded for their positive contribution and at the end of the school year. Some class groups enjoy a fun day out with their class tutor. Continued effort is encouraged in all areas of the students’ personal, social and educational development. If any student experiences difficulty they will be fully supported.

Class teachers use the student journals , the daily class report sheet and VSWare to record positive behavior on a daily basis.

Students’ successes both in school and outside school will be lauded during the Principal/Deputy Principals’ daily announcements.

St. Finian’s Community College participates in the School Completion Programme (SCP) which seeks to make the experience of school more positive for young people and encourages them to complete their education and achieve to their full potential. SCP works in partnership with young people, teachers, parents and the other agencies that may be involved in a young person’s life to offer positive supports and tackle the causes of educational disadvantage.

To assist the school in meeting the needs of young people, SCP offers the following services:

  • Esteem-building activities offered in conjunction with local youth and sporting organisations
  • Awards for attendance and punctuality
  • Educational and fun trips and activities for students
  • Supporting JCSP and LCA
  • Breakfast Club and School Meals
  • Individual Support Programmes
  • Attendance Monitoring and Tracking
  • Personal Development modules
  • Intercultural and Integration Programmes
  • Supporting school musicals and choir
  • Care and support for all students
  • Counselling for students to help them through difficult times.

STAGES IN APPLYING SANCTIONS FOR UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOUR

Classroom Teacher

Stage 1 Sanctions can include (refer to checklist):

  • Warning
  • Extra work/ punishment work
  • Break time or Lunch time or after school unofficial detention (30 mins or less)
  • Written reports from class teacher in journal
  • Phone call to Parents/Guardians
  • May not be allowed on school trip
  • Record incident and action taken on VSWARE system
  • Refer to tutor or a more serious incident to Year Head

Tutor

Stage 2

If a student interferes with teaching and learning in the classroom on a consistent basis

  • Refer to Tutor Checklist
  • Student Support Sheet may be issued to student

Year Head

Stage 3

  • Year Head will communicate with Parents/ Guardians
  • Year Head may put a student on official detention (after school Friday for one and a half hours)
  • Student may be put on official report (Green Stage 1/ Yellow Stage 2/Red Stage 3). At any stage the report may be reviewed
  • Student may be referred for counselling or mentoring
  • Refer student to Behavioural Support Team.
  • Suspension

Principal / Deputy Principal

Stage 4

  • The Principal, and in his/her absence the Deputy Principal, has the final authority in dealing with matters of discipline in the day to day running of the school.
  • The Principal will communicate with the Parents/ Guardians.
  • Student may be referred for counselling or mentoring.
  • Suspension

Board of Management

Stage 5

  • Meeting of Parents/ Guardians with Board of Management.

Further suspension(s)/ exclusion

I have read and I fully agree to follow the Code of Positive Behaviour of St. Finian’s Community College, and any subsequent amendments to the policy.

Parent/Guardian signature:_______________________________________________________

Student signature:______________________________________________________________

Date:________________________________

St Finian’s Community College

Child Protection Procedures

02 April 2019

Including

  • Child Safeguarding Risk Assessment
  • Child Safeguarding Statement
  • Checklist for review of the Child Safeguarding Statement
  • Notification regarding the Board of management’s review of the Child Safeguarding Statement

Template 1: Child Safeguarding Risk Assessment Template

Written Assessment of Risk of St Finian’s Community College

In accordance with section 11 of the Children First Act 2015 and with the requirement of Chapter 8 of the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017, the following is the Written Risk Assessment of St Finian’s Community College.

  1. List of school activities

1. Daily arrival and dismissal of students

2. Recreation breaks for students

3. Classroom teaching

4. Various one to one situations

a. One to one teaching

b. One to one counselling

c. Homework club/ supervised study

d. State Examinations-special centres and external supervisors

e. In-house exams-special centres and external supervisors

f. In-house oral exams

g. Extra-curricular activity

h. Giving a sick student a lift home

5. Outdoor teaching activities

6. Sporting activities

7. School Outings

8. School trips involving overnight stay

9. School trips involving foreign travel

10. Use of toilet/changing/shower areas in schools

11. Annual sports day

12. Fundraising events involving students

13. Use of off-site facilities for school activities

14. School transport arrangements for outside activities

15. Care of students with special educational needs including intimate care when needed

16. Management of challenging behaviour amongst students

17. Administration of medicine

18. Administration of First Aid

19. Curricular provision is respect of SPHE, RSE, Stay Safe

20. Prevention and dealing with bullying among students

21. Training of school personnel in child protection matters

22. Use of external personnel to supplement curriculum

23. Use of external personnel to support sports and other extra-curricular and to supervise students on trips and tours

24. Care of students with potential specific vulnerabilities /needs such as

a. Students from ethnic minorities/ migrants

b. Members of the Traveller Community

c. Lesbian, gay bisexual or transgender (LGBT), etc.,

d. Students of minority religious faiths

e. Children in care

f. Children in CPNS (child protection notification system)

25. Recruitment of school personnel including-

a. Teachers/SNAs

b. Caretakers/Secretary/Cleaners

c. Sports Coaches

d. External Tutors/

e. Guest Speakers

f. Volunteers/Parents in school activities

g. Parents involved in activities/classes organised by HSCL

h. Visitors/contractors present in school during school hours

i. Visitors/contractors present in school after school activities

j. Musicians

k. Students on teacher practice

l. Language Assistant

26. Use of Information and Communication Technology by students in school

27. Application of sanctions under the school’s Code of Behaviour including detention of

students, confiscation of phones etc.

28. Students participating in work experience in the school

29. Students from the school participating in work experience elsewhere

30. Student teachers undertaking training placement in school

31. Use of video/ photography/ other media to record school events

32. Use of school premises by other organisations during the school day

33. Breakfast club

34. Homework Club/evening study

35. School trips involving student exchange

36. External visitors for school events-open day, PTMs, information evenings etc.

37. Managing a situation where there are legal proceedings in relation to parent/guardian

accessing a child while in school or at school events

38. Guardianship arrangement- ensuring all staff are familiar with procedures

39. Attendance at Parent Teacher meetings by people other than parents/guardians

  1. The school has identified the following risk of harm in respect of its activities -

1. Risk of child being harmed in the school by a member of school personnel

2. Risk of child being harmed in the school by another child

3. Risk of child being harmed in the school by a volunteer or visitor to the school

4. Risk of child being harmed in the school by a member of staff of another organisation or

other person while child participating in out of school activities e.g. school trip

7. Risk of harm due to bullying of child

8. Risk of harm due to inadequate supervision of children in school

9. Risk of harm due to inadequate supervision of children while attending out of school

activities

10.Risk of harm due to inappropriate relationship/communications between child and another

child or adult.

11.Risk of harm due to children inappropriately accessing/using computers, social media,

phones and other devices while at school

12.Risk of harm to children with SEN who have particular vulnerabilities

13.Risk of harm to child while child is receiving intimate care

14.Risk of harm due to inadequate or inappropriate implementation of Code Of Behaviour

15.Risk of harm in one-to-one teaching, counselling, coaching situation

16.Risk of harm caused by member of school personnel communicating with students

in an inappropriate manner via social media, texting, digital device or other manner.

17.Risk of harm caused by member of school personnel accessing/circulating

inappropriate material via social media, texting, digital device or other manner

  1. The school has the following procedures in place to address the risks of harm identified in this assessment –

1. All school personnel are provided with a copy of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement

2. The Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2017 are made

available to all school personnel on the school network or if requested in hard copy

3 School Personnel are required to adhere to the Child Protection Procedures for Primary

and Post Primary Schools 2017 and all registered teaching staff are required to the

Children First Act 2015

4. The school implements in full the SPHE curriculum at Junior Cycle and the RSE cycle at

Senior Cycle

5. The school implements in full the Wellbeing Programme at Junior Cycle

6. The school has an anti-Bullying Policy which fully adheres to the requirements of

the Department’s Anti- Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools

7. The school has a supervision policy to ensure appropriate supervision of students

during assembly, dismissal and breaks and in specific areas such as toilets, changing

rooms etc.

8. The school has in place a policy and clear procedures in respect of school outings

9. The school is reviewing its policy and developing clear procedures in respect of

overnight stays, foreign travel and student exchanges

10. The school has a Health and Safety Policy

11. The school adheres to the requirements of Garda vetting legislation and relevant DES

circulars in relation to recruitment

12. The school has codes of conduct for school personnel (teaching and non-teaching staff)

13. The school complies with the agreed disciplinary procedures for teaching staff

14. The school has a Special Educational Needs Policy

15. The school is developing an intimate care policy/plan in respect of students who

require care.

16. The school has a policy and procedures for the administration of

medication to students

17. The school-

i. Has provided each member of school staff with a copy of

the Child Safeguarding Statement

ii. Ensures all new staff are provided with a copy of the

new safeguarding Statement

iii. Encourages staff to avail of relevant training

iv. Encourages BOM members to avail of relevant training

v. Maintains records of all staff and board training

18.The school has a policy and procedures for the administration of First Aid

19.The school has in place a Code of Behaviour for students

20.The school has in place an ICT policy in respect of usage of ICT by the students

21.The school has in place an Electronic Devices policy in respect of usage of Mobile

phone and electronic devices

22.The school has a critical incident plan

23.The school is developing a policy and procedures for the use of persons to supplement

the curriculum

24.The school has a policy and procedures for the use of external sports

coaches

25.The school has in place a policy and clear procedures for one to one teaching activities

26. The school has in place a policy and clear procedures for one to one counselling

27. The school in place a policy and clear procedures in respect of student teacher placements

28. The school is developing a policy for fund raising events involving students

29. The school is developing a policy and procedures in respect of students undertaking work

experience in the school

30. The school is developing a policy and procedures in respect of students undertaking work

experience in external organisations

31. The school is developing a policy and procedures in respect of students undertaking

voluntary work in external organisations

32. The school has a CCTV system and CCTV policy

33. The school ensures that visitors sign the visitors book at the front office and are made

aware of our Safeguarding statement by the member of staff they are visiting

34 The school ensures that visitors for SCP sign the visitors book at the front office and are

made aware of the SCP safeguarding statement by a member of the SCP

Important Note: It should be noted that risk in the context of this risk assessment is the risk of

“harm” as defined in the Children First Act 2015 and not general health and safety risk. The definition

of harm is set out in Chapter 4 of the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post- Primary

Schools 2017

In undertaking this risk assessment, the board of management has endeavoured to identify as far as possible the risks of harm that are relevant to this school and to ensure that adequate procedures are in place to manage all risks identified. While it is not possible to foresee and remove all risk of harm, the school has in place the procedures listed in this risk assessment to manage and reduce risk to the greatest possible extent.

This risk assessment has been completed by the Board of Management on 27th February 2018. It shall be reviewed as part of the school’s annual review of its Child Safeguarding Statement.

Signed _____________________________________ Date ________________

Chairperson, Board of Management

Signed _____________________________________ Date ________________

Principal/Secretary to the Board of Management

Child Safeguarding Statement

St Finian’s C.C.is a post-primary school providing post-primary education to pupils from First Year to Leaving Certificate Year

In accordance with the requirements of the Children First Act 2015, Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017, the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2017 and Tusla Guidance on the preparation of Child Safeguarding Statements, the Board of Management of St Finian’s C.C. has agreed the Child Safeguarding Statement set out in this document.

  • The Board of Management has adopted and will implement fully and without modification the Department’s Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2017 as part of this overall Child Safeguarding Statement

  • The Designated Liaison Person (DLP) is Patricia Knightly

  • The Deputy Designated Liaison Person (Deputy DLP is Caroline Cooney

  • The Board of Management recognises that child protection and welfare considerations permeate all aspects of school life and must be reflected in all of the school’s policies, procedures, practices and activities In its policies, procedures, practices and activities, the school will adhere to the following principles of best practice in child protection and welfare:

The school will:

  • recognise that the protection and welfare of children is of paramount importance, regardless of all other considerations;
  • fully comply with its statutory obligations under the Children First Act 2015 and other relevant legislation relating to the protection and welfare of children;
  • fully co-operate with the relevant statutory authorities in relation to child protection and welfare matters
  • adopt safe practices to minimise the possibility of harm or accidents happening to children and protect workers from the necessity to take unnecessary risks that may leave themselves open to accusations of abuse or neglect;
  • develop a practice of openness with parents and encourage parental involvement in the education of their children; and
  • fully respect confidentiality requirements in dealing with child protection matters.

The school will also adhere to the above principles in relation to any adult pupil with a special vulnerability.

  • The following procedures/measures are in place:

  • In relation to any member of staff who is the subject of any investigation (howsoever described) in respect of any act, omission or circumstance in respect of a child attending the school, the school adheres to the relevant procedures set out in Chapter 7 of the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017 and to the relevant agreed disciplinary procedures for school staff which are published on the DES website.

  • In relation to the selection or recruitment of staff and their suitability to work with children, the school adheres to the statutory vetting requirements of the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012 to 2016 and to the wider duty of care guidance set out in relevant Garda vetting and recruitment circulars published by the DES and available on the DES website.

  • In relation to the provision of information and, where necessary, instruction and training, to staff in respect of the identification of the occurrence of harm (as defined in the 2015 Act) the school-

  • Has provided each member of staff with a copy of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement
  • Ensures all new staff are provided with a copy of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement
  • Encourages staff to avail of relevant training
  • Encourages Board of Management members to avail of relevant training
  • The Board of Management maintains records of all staff and Board member training

  • In relation to reporting of child protection concerns to Tusla, all school personnel are required to adhere to the procedures set out in the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017, including in the case of registered teachers, those in relation to mandated reporting under the Children First Act 2015.

  • In this school the Board has appointed the abovenamed DLP as the “relevant person” (as defined in the Children First Act 2015) to be the first point of contact in respect of the child safeguarding statement.

  • All registered teachers employed by the school are mandated persons under the Children First Act 2015.

  • In accordance with the Children First Act 2015, the Board has carried out an assessment of any potential for harm to a child while attending the school or participating in school activities. A written assessment setting out the areas of risk identified and the school’s procedures for managing those risks is attached as an appendix to this statement.

  • The various procedures referred to in this Statement can be accessed via the school’s website, the DES website or will be made available on request by the school.

  • This statement will be published on the school’s website and has been provided to all members of school personnel, the Parents’ Association and the patron. It is readily accessible to parents and guardians on request. A copy of this Statement will be made available to Tusla and the Department if requested.

  • This Child Safeguarding Statement will be reviewed annually or as soon as practicable after there has been a material change in any matter to which this statement refers.

This Child Safeguarding Statement was adopted by the Board of Management on 27th February 2018. It will be reviewed annually

Signed: _________________________ Signed: ____________________________

Chairperson of Board of Management Principal/Secretary to the Board of Management

Date: __________________________ Date: __________________­­­­­­­_

Checklist for Review of the Child Safeguarding Statement

The Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017 require the Board of Management must undertake a review of its Child Safeguarding Statement and that the following checklist shall be used for this purpose. The review must be completed every year or as soon as practicable after there has been a material change in any matter to which the Child Safeguarding Statement refers. Undertaking an annual review will also ensure that a school also meets its statutory obligation under section 11(8) of the Children First Act 2015, to review its Child Safeguarding Statement every two years.

The checklist is designed as an aid to conducting this review and is not intended as an exhaustive list of the issues to be considered. Individual Boards of Management shall include other items in the checklist that are of relevance to the school in question.

As part of the overall review process, Boards of Management should also assess relevant school policies, procedures, practices and activities vis a vis their adherence to the principles of best practice in child protection and welfare as set out in the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement, the Children First Act 2015 and the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017.

Yes/No

1. Has the Board formally adopted a Child Safeguarding Statement in accordance with the ‘Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2017’?

Yes

2. As part of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement, has the Board formally adopted, without modification, the ‘Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2017’’?

Yes

3. Does the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement include a written assessment of risk as required under the Children First Act 2015?

Yes

4. Has the Board reviewed and updated where necessary the written assessment of risk as part of this overall review?

Yes

5. Has the DLP attended available child protection training?

Yes

6. Has the Deputy DLP attended available child protection training?

Yes

7. Have any members of the Board attended child protection training?

Yes

8. Are there both a DLP and a Deputy DLP currently appointed?

Yes

9. Are the relevant contact details (Tusla and An Garda Síochána) to hand?

Yes

10. Has the Board arrangements in place to communicate the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement to new school personnel?

Yes

11. Is the Board satisfied that all school personnel have been made aware of their responsibilities under the ‘Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2017’ and the Children First Act 2015?

Yes

12. Has the Board received a Principal’s Child Protection Oversight Report at each Board meeting held since the last review was undertaken?

Yes

13. Since the Board’s last review, was the Board informed of any child protection reports made to Tusla/An Garda Síochána by the DLP?

Yes

14. Since the Board’s last review, was the Board informed of any cases where the DLP sought advice from Tusla/and as a result of this advice, no report to the HSE was made?

Yes

15. Since the Board’s last review, was the Board informed of any cases where an allegation of abuse or neglect was made against any member of school personnel?

Yes

16. Has the Board been provided with and reviewed all documents relevant to the Principal’s Child Protection Oversight Report?

Yes

17. Is the Board satisfied that the child protection procedures in relation to the making of reports to Tusla/An Garda Síochána were appropriately followed in each case reviewed?

Yes

18. Is the Board satisfied that, since the last review, all appropriate actions are being or have been taken in respect of any member of school personnel against whom an allegation of abuse or neglect has been made?*

Yes

19. Were child protection matters reported to the Board appropriately recorded in the Board minutes?

Yes

20. Is the Board satisfied that all records relating to child protection are appropriately filed and stored securely?

Yes

21. Has the Board been notified by any parent in relation to that parent not receiving the standard notification required under section 5.6 of the ‘Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2017’

No

22. In relation to any cases identified at question 21 above, has the Board ensured that any notifications required section 5.6 of the ‘Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2017’ were subsequently issued by the DLP?

N/A

23. Has the Board ensured that the Parents’ Association (if any), has been provided with the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement?

Yes

24. Has the Board ensured that the patron has been provided with the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement?

Yes

25. Has the Board ensured that the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement is available to parents on request?

Yes

26. Has the Board ensured that the Stay Safe programme is implemented in full in the school? (applies to primary schools)

Yes

27. Has the Board ensured that the Wellbeing Programme for Junior Cycle students is implemented in full in the school? (applies to post- primary schools)

Yes

28. Has the Board ensured that the SPHE curriculum is implemented in full in the school?

Yes

29. Is the Board satisfied that the statutory requirements for Garda Vetting have been met in respect of all school personnel (employees and volunteers)? *

Yes

30. Is the Board satisfied that the Department’s requirements in relation to the provision of a child protection related statutory declaration and associated form of undertaking have been met in respect of persons appointed to teaching and non-teaching positions?*

Yes

31. Is the Board satisfied that, from a child protection perspective, thorough recruitment and selection procedures are applied by the school in relation to all school personnel (employees and volunteers)?*

Yes

32. Has the Board considered and addressed any complaints or suggestions for improvements regarding the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement?

Yes

33. Has the Board sought the feedback of parents in relation to the school’s compliance with the requirements of the child safeguarding requirements of the ‘Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2017’

Yes

34. Has the Board sought the feedback of pupils in relation to the school’s child safeguarding arrangements?

Yes

35. Is the Board satisfied that the ‘Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2017’ are being fully and adequately implemented by the school?

Yes

36. Has the Board identified any aspects of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement and/or its implementation that require further improvement?

Yes

37. Has the Board put in place an action plan containing appropriate timelines to address those aspects of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement and/or its implementation that have been identified as requiring further improvement ?

Yes

38. Has the Board ensured that any areas for improvement that that were identified in any previous review of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement have been adequately addressed?

Yes

*In schools where the ETB is the employer the responsibility for meeting the employer’s requirements rests with the ETB concerned. In such cases, this question should be completed following consultation with the ETB.

Signed _____________________________________ Date ________________

Chairperson, Board of Management

Signed _____________________________________ Date ________________

Principal/Secretary to the Board of Management

Notification regarding the Board of Management’s review of the Child Safeguarding Statement

The Board of Management of St. Finian’s Community College wishes to inform you that:

  • The Board of Management’s annual review of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement was completed at the Board meeting of 02 April 2019.

  • This review was conducted in accordance with the “Checklist for Review of the Child Safeguarding Statement” published on the Department’s ‘website www.education.ie

Signed _____________________________________ Date ________________

Chairperson, Board of Management

Signed _____________________________________ Date ________________

Principal/Secretary to the Board of Management

SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS POLICY

A WHOLE SCHOOL APPROACH

St Finian’s Community College

Contents:

1. School Mission Statement

1.1 School Aims

1.2 Aims and Objectives

2. The Legal Context

3. Categories of Special Educational Needs

3.1 Students entitled to Resource Hours/Teaching

4. Organisational Arrangements

4.1 School Details and Organisation

4.2 Organisation at Junior Cycle

4.3 Organisation at Senior Cycle

4.4 Model of SEN Provision

5. Transfer from Primary School

5.1 Reporting Assessment Results to Other Schools

5.2 The HSCL/Transfer coordinator

5.3 The Guidance Counsellor

5.4 The Special Needs Coordinator

5.5 The School Completion Officer

5.6 Cairde- Buddy System

5.7 Contact with Parents of Incoming First years

5.8 Meeting for Parents of Incoming First years

6. Roles and Responsibilities

6.1 The Role of the BOM

6.2 The Role of the Principal

6.3 The Role of the Special Needs Coordinator

6.4 The Role of the Guidance Counsellor

6.5 The Role of the Subject teacher

6.6 The role of the Resource and Learning Support teachers

6.7 The Individual Education Plan

6.8 The role of the Special Needs Assistant

7. Reasonable Accommodations

7.1 Arrangements at Junior Certificate Level

7.2 Arrangements at Leaving Certificate Level

8. Assessment Procedures

8.1 Entrance Examinations

8.2 Referral Request

8.3 The Psychological Support Services

9. Exemptions from the Study of Irish

9.1 Modern Language Waivers

10. Monitoring Evaluation, Assessment and Reporting

10.1 Formal Assessment

10.2 Informal Assessment

10.3 Using Assessment Data

10.4 Recording Assessment Records

10.5 Access to Assessment Records

10.6 Evaluation

11. Involvement with Parents

12. Involvement with Students.

APPENDIX 1: Sample IEP Template

APPENDIX 2: Handbook on SEN

1.School Mission Statement;

In St Finian’s Community College we, the partners in education are committed to being a caring, learning community where each person is valued and accorded respect and dignity.

1.1 Our Aims;

To provide a calm friendly, disciplined and safe environment. To provide a broad, diverse curriculum relevant to the needs of all our students. To promote the development of the whole person and to afford each student the opportunity to develop to his/ her full potential. To foster in each person a positive self-image and a sense of responsibility and personal integrity. To promote respect for the rights and beliefs of others and to encourage all to be tolerant, caring and responsible members of society.

1.2Aims and Objectives:

As set out in the Education Act 1998, The Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act 2004 and the Equal Status Acts 200- 2004, St Finian’s Community College aims to;

· Give practical effect to the constitutional rights of children who have a disability or who have other special educational needs as they relate to education.

· Provide for as far as is practicable and subject to the granting of resources, a level and quality of education appropriate to the needs and abilities of all students in the school.

· Ensure that students with special educational needs are educated in an inclusive environment, as far as possible

· Affirm that students with special educational needs have the same right to avail of and benefit from education as students who do not have those needs.

· Provide for the involvement of parents in the education of their children and in the decision making process in relation to their children.

· Cooperate and work closely with the National Council for Special Educational Needs (NCSE) and other agencies with regard to the education of students with special educational needs.

· Ensure that students with special educational needs are identified and provided for in a fair and equitable manner so that their learning potential and their sense of self-worth and dignity is developed and respected.

· Ensure that all members of staff are aware of the special educational needs of their students and of how they can meet the learning needs of these students in the classroom.

· Ensure that special educational needs are not viewed in isolation but in the context of the whole school and community.

· Ensure that students with special educational needs are offered a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum and that they are provided for in an inclusive way.

· Set high standards for students with special educational needs and provide them with appropriate guidance, encouraging them to achieve their full potential.

· Develop staff expertise in supporting students with special educational needs

· Encourage and foster positive partnerships with parents in order to achieve appropriate support at school and at home

· Coordinate the advice, guidance and support of other agencies in supporting students with special educational needs.

· Ensure the effective and efficient use of resources

· Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of practice in support of students with SEN.

2. The Legal Context;

This policy is drafted in the context of the specific provisions and definitions with regard to children with disabilities and special educational needs, the statutory requirements placed on school and Boards of Managements by:

· The Education Act 1998

· The Education Welfare Act 2000

· The Education of Persons with Special Educational Needs Act 2004

· The Equal Status Acts 200-2004.

This policy is also drafted in the context of the guidelines published by the Special Educational Needs Support Services

3. Categories of SEN

To date the school has provided for the following categories of students with Special Educational Needs:

· Specific Learning Difficulty – Dyslexia

· Specific speech and language disorder

· Autistic spectrum disorders

· Borderline/Mild General Learning Disability

· Emotional/ Behavioural Difficulties – ADD/ADHD/ODD

· Physical disabilities Dyspraxia, Cerebral Palsy

· Sensory processing disorder

· EAL students – English for students of other languages.

3.1 Students entitled to resource hours/teaching;

According to the DES circular 0010/2012 students who have low incidence needs will be granted resource hours. The categories of low incidence disabilities are;

· Autistic spectrum disorders

· Physical disability – dyspraxia

· Hearing and visual impairment

· Emotional disturbance (ADHD/ADD/EBD)

· Specific Speech and Language Disorder with an educational assessment

· Multiple Disabilities.

Students who have a diagnosis of specific learning difficulty, borderline and mild general learning difficulty will be supported under the general allocation of hours granted to a school. Learning support for these students is subject to school resources.

4. Organisational Arrangements:

4.1 School Details and Organisation

St Finian’s Community College is an urban DEIS mixed school. The college strives to create an inclusive learning environment where the needs of all students are catered for. The school offers a broad and varied curriculum including JCSP, LC, LCVP, LCA and Transition Year Programmes.

4.2. Organisation at Junior Cycle

Students who have special educational needs are placed in mixed ability teaching groups in First, Second and Third Year.

At Junior Cycle there is the existence of a small JCSP in each year for students who are at risk of leaving school early due to low literacy and numeracy skills.

These classes follow the Junior Certificate Schools Programme and are selected on the basis of the following:

· Psychological reports

· STen scores from Primary School

· Sten scores collated from the school based reading and maths tests

· Information transferred from primary school/ parent/ guardian

JCSP students follow a continual assessment approach to learning through the JCSP profiling system. There is a particular emphasis on development of literacy, numeracy and social skills. JCSP classes are placed in mixed ability groupings for option subjects.

4.3 Organisation at Senior Cycle

Students with special educational needs are placed in mixed ability groupings. Support for students who received resource teaching when Irish was timetabled is reviewed. Students in senior cycle have the option to continue support or take up another subject –Geography.

At senior cycle the Leaving Cert Applied Programme is offered to all students. An advantage of the LCA is that it focuses on the talents of each individual student and is intended to meet the needs of those students who are not adequately catered for by the Leaving Certificate Programme or who choose not to opt for this programme. The LCA curriculum is reviewed at the beginning of each cycle and where resources allow the elective modules are selected reflect the needs of the group.

It is expected that teachers will implement differentiated approaches for teaching and learning ensuring that the skills of all students are catered for.

4.4 Model of SEN Provision:

§ Individual withdrawal

§ Small group withdrawal

§ In class teacher/pupil support

§ Team teaching

§ Inclusion of SNA in specific classes

§ Curricular reduction

Students who are granted resource hours from the NCSE are given priority when timetabling students for additional teaching. The period of intervention recommended to each student is dependent on the nature and extent of their individual need. The duration of provision is reviewed at the end of every half term. All decisions in this regard are discussed with parents/guardians, class teachers and student.

5. Transfer from Primary School:

5.1 Reporting assessment results to other schools:

In keeping with the National Literacy and Numeracy Plan with effect from June 2012;

The Principal of each primary school must send a copy of the end of year report card including the information from standardised tests to the second level school to which a student transfers. This information should only be provided after enrolment in the second level school has been accepted.

(Circular 0056/2011 Implementation of the National Literacy and Numeracy Strategy 2012)

This data is used to ascertain the strengths and needs of the students and to support individual education programmes. It is essential that we manage the transfer of information on the students from their primary schools to our own files.

In order to ensure the smooth transfer of information from primary to post primary information will be garnered via the following personnel:

· The Transfer Coordinator

· The Special Needs Coordinator

· The School Completion Officer

· The Guidance Counsellor

5.2 The HSCL/Transfer Coordinator;

The transfer coordinator visits all feeder schools and liaises with principals and teachers to complete individual transfer forms on each student. The transfer forms gather information on student’s strengths and interests and salient information on student’s needs. The information is then given to the principal and year heads

5.3 The Guidance Counsellor;

Information from the Special Needs Coordinator and the Transfer Coordinator is given to the Guidance Counsellor who is responsible for the organisation of the entrance examinations. The Guidance Counsellor visits the primary schools to obtain the information from the teachers to ensure a smooth transition to Second Level. The counsellor ensures that separate room/s is available for students who may require extra time and support in the entrance examinations.

5.4 The Special Needs Coordinator:

The coordinator contacts principals of feeder schools in January and identifies students who have diagnosed and undiagnosed learning difficulties. Students are identified and a list of students with SEN is compiled. For students who require SNA support the specific care needs of the student is ascertained. Parental permission is sought to release the transfer of educational assessments.

Students who are exempt from the study of Irish are identified and exemption certificates are sought.

Information is also gathered on students who would benefit from accommodations in the entrance examinations held in February. Applications are made to the NCSE for additional teaching hours, SNA support and assistive technology.

5.5 The Role of School Completion Officer;

The School Completion Officer provides an induction/transfer programme for 6th class students of the main feeder school. Students are given a tour of the secondary school and given information on what school life will entail upon entry.

5.6 A Buddy System – Chairde – operates in first year where senior students have the opportunity to work with the incoming first years.

5.7 Contact with Parents of In- coming First Years:

Following these contacts with the feeder schools and when the entrance exams are corrected, the Principal, Year Head, Transfer Coordinator and Special Needs Coordinator assign students to class groups based on their needs and abilities. The parents/guardians of each student are then informed of this decision and sent a pack containing information on option choices, uniform requirements and other necessary forms.

5.8 Meeting For Parents of Incoming First Year Students;

A meeting for the parents of incoming first year students is held during an evening in April. The Principal, Deputy Principal, Transfer Coordinator and Year Head will inform the parents on matters such as mission statement, ethos, school organisation, option choices etc. The special needs coordinator is also present to deal with matters relating to students with special educational needs. The importance of parents providing as much information as possible on the educational and medical needs of their children will be stressed at this meeting. It will also be stressed that all current educational assessments must be submitted to the school so that resources where appropriate can be sought.

6. Roles and Responsibilities;

6.1 The Role of the Board of Management:

· To ensure that all students with learning support/special educational needs are identified and assessed.

· To ensure that students with special educational needs will be educated in an inclusive environment.

· To ensure that a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum is provided in the school to ensure as far as is practical that students with special educational needs leave school with the skills necessary to participate to the level of their capacity in an inclusive way in society.

· Ensure the parents of students with special educational needs will be involved in the making of all significant decisions regarding their child’s education

· Ensure the necessary resources are sought on behalf of students with special educational needs

· To promote the development of positive partnerships with parents and other relevant agencies/personnel and to ensure that parents are informed of their child’s educational needs and how these needs are being met.

· Ensure that the Special Educational Needs Policy forms part of the School Plan

· Ensure that the school cooperates with the National Council for Special Educational Needs( NCSE)

· Ensure that teachers and others involved with students with special educational needs are aware of the importance of identifying and catering for their needs

6.2 The Role of the Principal:

· The Principal shall take measures to ensure that the special educational need of students will be met in as far as is practical to do so

· In consultation with the Special Needs Coordinator ensue that an Individual Education Plan is prepared for relevant students in the given timeframe

· Ensure that the Education Plans are implemented and shall seek resources to do so.

· The principal shall ensure these plans are reviewed regularly and that parents are kept informed of the progress of their children

· The principal shall, in consultation with the special needs coordinator arrange for assessments be carried out by the Psychological Support Services.

· Ensure the effective use of resources- including the allocation of resource hours and funds.

· Promote a whole school approach to special educational needs, making all staff aware of their responsibilities in this area and to facilitate appropriate staff development in this area

· Inform the Board of Management of issues, which are relevant to special educational needs.

· Promote the development of positive partnerships with parents of students with special educational needs.

· Ensure that procedures exist for consultation with feeder primary schools with regard to the enrolment of new students with special educational needs.

6.3 The Role of the Special Needs Coordinator:

· Together with the Principal and Transfer Coordinator, provide a link with the feeder schools. Liaise with the principals and resource teachers of feeder schools in order to gather as much relevant information as possible on each pupil including psychological reports and exemptions from Irish certificates.

· Draw up a list of students who require special accommodation in the Entrance Examinations

· Secure the transfer of information re the specific care needs of a student who requires SNA support.

· Make applications to the NCSE for resource hours, SNA support and assistive technology forwarding all relevant up to date documentation and quotations.

· Meet the parents of students who have special educational needs and discuss strengths and needs and applications for additional teaching support/technology.

· Coordinate individual education plans in consultation with parents, teachers and students.

· Inform staff at the beginning of academic year of students with SEN. Disseminate to the staff a list of students with learning difficulties and include reading ages. Update information on students with additional needs on VS Ware.

· Timetable the withdrawal of students with SEN out of class for support. Allocation of students in receipt of resource hours and those with physical needs are given priority.

· Meet regularly with the learning support team to discuss issues of student’s needs, drawing up individual education plans, referring students for educational assessment and purchasing of resources for learning and language support room.

· Meet regularly with the Special Needs Assistants to ensure they are placed appropriately where the needs of the student are a priority. Discuss the strengths and needs of the students to whom they are assigned and their role within the classroom context.

· Make application to the Department for assistive technology, software and resources.

· Liaise with the principal, year heads, guidance counsellor and parents re students who need referral to the Psychological Support Services for educational assessments. Set up informed consent meetings, assessment rooms and organise feedback meetings.

· In accordance with circular 18/79 make applications for exemptions from the study of Irish. Ensure candidates meet the criteria and names are entered into the October returns data base.

· Make applications for reasonable accommodations for students at Junior and Senior Cycle. In consultation primarily with English teachers. Compile a list of students who require accommodations, test students to ascertain standard scores in reading and spelling, calculation of reading error rate, rate per minute, handwriting speed tests and obtain samples of work to calculate percentage of spelling error rate.

· Ensure students as far as is practicable get these accommodations in their mock and house examinations.

· Liaise with the principal re CPD for staff on students with SEN.

· Ensure beginning and end of year testing of students to monitor progress.

6.4 The Role of the Guidance Counsellor:

The guidance counsellor has an important role in assisting all students, including those with special educational needs at the different stages of schooling.

· To facilitate this students and parents are welcome to make appointments with the guidance counsellor.

· The Guidance Counsellor goes out to the primary schools to meet with 6th class students and teachers and inform them of the format of the entrance test.

· Students with special educational needs are assigned a special centre for the entrance test and extra time is allowed for these students to complete the test.

· Each student receives feedback on the results of the entrance test which identifies possible subject options based on their strengths.

· All students are offered appointments with the guidance counsellor to support them in making career decisions.

· It is acknowledged that students with special educational needs may require greater support at formal transfer points in their school career and the guidance counsellor will be particularly aware of these students.

· The Guidance Counsellor delivers a talk to 6th year parents about the application procedures for applying to college and informs parents of DARE clinics held in DIT in January.

· They also assist students with DARE applications.

· At key stages throughout the student’s schooling the guidance counsellor is responsible for coordinating a number of assessments including the DATs tests.

· Individual DATs feedback is given to each student, identifying the student’s strengths and possible subjects that should be chosen for senior cycle.

· The guidance counsellor is also involved in supporting students who have behavioural problems.

6.5 The Role of the Subject Teacher:

Each subject teacher will make themselves aware of the special needs of the students in their classes. Subject teachers are informed of how students with special educational needs can be accommodated in the classroom through:

· Information distributed at the beginning of the academic year

· Information obtained in the SEN Handbook

· Information from IEPs which are emailed to the subject teacher from the support teacher.

· In house CPD on students with special educational needs

Subject teachers are also encouraged to:

· Liaise with the coordinator and SEN Department re students who have SEN and contribute to the individual education plans

· Take into consideration the varied learning styles of students with SEN and plan accordingly.

· Use differentiated teaching in the classroom to accommodate learning.

· Take responsibility for their own continuous professional development particularly with regard to common difficulties e.g. dyslexia, dyspraxia and Asperger’s Syndrome.

· Where a student has an SNA, the subject teacher and the SNA collaborates on a plan to effectively engage the SNA in their class room

· Support / encourage independence in the student. This is particularly important for Senior Cycle students.

6.6 The Role of the Resource/ Learning Support Teacher;

· The resource teacher withdraws students for individual or group tuition on a regular basis to work on literacy, language and numeracy

· Each student will have an individual education plan drawn up in consultation with the coordinator, parents, teachers and students.

· The resource teacher is responsible for providing diagnostic assessments for students at regular intervals, so as to discover where they are now, how they have progressed and plan for going forward.

· The resource teacher has a very good insight into the student’s needs and where appropriate can provide advice to subject teachers as to the teaching methodologies best suited to that student.

· At times withdrawal from the classroom may not be the most appropriate means of supporting the student. In these instances the resource teacher and the subject teacher may decide that team teaching would have a greater educational effect.

· The resource teacher may meet and advise parents where necessary.

6.7 The Individual Education Plan:

The Individual Education Plan contains the following information;

· the nature of the difficulty;

· the educational attainments of the student;

· the preferred learning style;

· the strengths and needs of the individual;

· proposed learning objectives;

· teaching methodologies;

· classroom accommodations;

· resources to support learning;

· A date for review of the plan

6. 8. The Role of the Special Needs Assistant (SNA);

Special Needs Assistants provide care assistance to named students who have specific care needs.

The SNA works with a particular student and is assigned to a class. The SNA is given guidance from the coordinator and class teachers on their role within the classroom context. The Special Needs Assistants play an important role in the health and safety of the student and in their social, emotional and educational development. It is important that the SNA supports student’s participation in school life without developing a culture of dependency.

The duties of the SNA involve tasks of a non-teaching nature such as;

· Attending both Staff and Department meetings where appropriate

· Assisting/escorting students on school trips

· Giving special assistance to students with particular difficulties e.g. helping with typing, writing or other use of equipment

· Assisting with examinations if appropriate

· Assisting students on the corridor from classroom to classroom.

· Accompanying an individual who may be withdrawn temporarily from class

· General assistance to the subject teacher under the direction of the principal

· Engagement with parents of special needs pupils in both formal and informal structures as required and directed by school management

· Special Needs Assistants are expected to treat all matters relating to school business and their work as strictly confidential

7. Reasonable Accommodations:

7.1 Arrangements at Junior Certificate;

Applications for reasonable accommodations are collated and signed off by the school at Junior Certificate level. Applications are based on percentiles as outlined in the guidelines

7.2 Arrangements at Leaving Certificate;

The decision to grant an accommodation at leaving cert level rests with the department. The coordinator collates all the information relevant to each application form. Students may be interviewed by a member of NEPs as part of the process.

8. Assessment Procedure:

8.1.Our entrance examinations are:

· Drumcondra Reasoning Test

· Hodder Access Reading Test

· Hodder Access Maths Test.

The purpose of the entrance exams is to identify the learning needs that have not yet come to light, to ensure a true mixed ability class setting and to facilitate option choice where appropriate.

8.2 Referral request;

Teachers who have a concern about a student who may have an undiagnosed learning difficulty may fill out a referral request form.

A member of the SEN team can carry out further tests to ascertain strengths and needs in the areas of literacy and numeracy. Dyslexia can be screened for but only an educational psychologist can make a diagnosis of dyslexia. The following tests may be performed;

· WRAT IV Reading, Spelling, Comprehension and Maths test

· Neale Analysis of reading and comprehension

· Hodder Access Reading Test

· Hodder Access Maths test

· Bangor Dyslexia screening test

8.3 Psychological Support Services (PSS);

County Dublin VEC has its own psychological support services. A member of services is affiliated to the school. The PSS carry out educational assessments and make recommendations. The PSS also work with students who have behavioural difficulties. Referrals to the PSS are made through the Principal and the SEN Coordinator.

9. Exemptions from the Study of Irish;

At Junior Cycle students who meet the criteria for an exemption from Irish are usually timetabled for support at that time. At senior cycle resource support lessens while provision is reviewed on an annual basis. At senior cycle students who had received support during Irish have the option to continue with support or take up another subject- Geography.

9.1 Modern Language Waivers;

At Junior Cycle students who are exempt from a modern language are assigned work on literacy and numeracy. Alternatively students may attend an extra English class or be withdrawn for individual or group support.

Students at senior cycle exempt from a modern language are encouraged to take up another subject as matriculation in six subjects is required for entry to National University of Ireland Colleges.

10. Monitoring Evaluation, Assessment and Reporting

All students are assessed on an on-going basis. Assessment may be formal, informal, summative or formative.

10.1 Formal Assessment;

Ø Incoming First Years sit the Cognitive Ability Test (CAT4) test prior to entry

Ø In keeping with the national literacy and numeracy strategy students in first and second year are tested at the beginning and end of the year. These tests convey percentiles, standard scores and the particular skill the student is having difficulty with. These difficulties inform teachers practice when supporting students.

Ø Students sit house examinations at various stages over the year and a grade is reported home to parents

Ø Students sit the Differential Aptitude Tests (DATS) in third year

10.2 Informal Assessment;

Ø End of unit/ chapter tests

Ø In class questioning

Ø Assessing homework/project work

Ø The literacy and numeracy skills of students with SEN may be assessed.

10.3 Using Assessment Data;

Assessment data is used to;

Ø Highlight brighter students

Ø Profile a class or year group

Ø Track a students’ progress

10.4 Recording Assessment Data;

The SEN department maintain files for the students with whom they work (Learning and Resource students). Included in these files are any additional assessments that the students may have taken.

10.5 Access to Assessment Records;

The school is aware that some assessment material is of a sensitive nature and therefore it is treated confidentially and made available to appropriate personnel

10.6 Evaluation:

The successes of any intervention strategies are monitored on an on-going basis through formal and informal assessment. Testing at the beginning and end of the year highlights students ‘progress.

11. Involvement of parents;

The school regards the partnership with parents as a very important one and is always open and responsive to expressions of concern made by parents

The school recognises its responsibility under Section 14 of the Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act 2004 to

· Inform parents of their child’s special educational needs and how those are being met

· Consult parents with regard to the making of all decisions of a significant nature concerning their child’s education and invite them to participate in such.

The SEN department is in regular contact with parents.

12. Involvement of Students;

The school believes that achievements are maximised when students take ownership of their learning.

The SEN department fully involve students in audits and discussions around their difficulty. Students in senior cycle are particularly encouraged to adopt an independent approach to learning.

Oct 26
2020
Midterm Break
Nov 17
2020
School Closed- Staff Training Day
Dec 22
2020
First Term Ends
Dec 23
2020
Christmas Holidays Begin
21-Oct-2020
Parent Tips for School Refusal- How you can support your child.
21-Oct-2020
Positive Parenting: The Importance of Cyber Safety for your children.
20-Oct-2020
A guide which sets out what to expect if your child has been told they are a close contact.
Castlefarm, Swords, Co. Dublin, Ireland.
01 840 2623
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