Special Educational Needs (SEN) Policy

The purpose of this policy document is to provide information to school personnel and parents on how we organise provision for teaching and support of children with special educational needs. The term special educational needs is broad and includes children who have difficulty acquiring literacy and/or numeracy skills, children with difficulties with fine or gross motor skills, children who have English as an additional language (if that impacts on their progress) and children who have diagnosed disabilities.

This policy is informed by the following DES documents:

· Circular 13/2017 Circular to the Management Authorities of all Mainstream Primary Schools Special Education Teaching Allocation

· Guidelines for Primary Schools Supporting Pupils with Special Educational Needs in Mainstream Schools (2017)

· Special Educational Needs – A Continuum of Support (NEPS 2007)

· Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties – A Continuum of Support (NEPS)

1. School Context

Dripsey N.S. caters for children from Junior Infants to 6th Class and is under the patronage of the Catholic Bishop of Cloyne. The school currently has 4 mainstream class teachers, 1 Special Class Teacher and 2 Special Education teachers. The school has 3.5 Special Needs Assistants (SNAs). The allocation of both Special Education teachers and Special Needs Assistants is subject to review.

2. Aims of SEN Support

Our school is committed to helping our pupils achieve their full potential. The provision of a quality system of SEN support teaching is integral to this commitment.

Through the implementation of our SEN policy we aim to:

· support the inclusion of children with SEN in our school

· develop positive attitudes about school and learning in our children

· ensure that the Staged Approach/Continuum of Support is implemented (see below)

· optimise the teaching and learning process in order to enable children with learning difficulties to achieve adequate levels of proficiency in literacy and numeracy before leaving primary school

· enable children to participate in the full curriculum

· support appropriate differentiation in the classroom

· support children’s development both socially and emotionally

· enable children to understand themselves as learners

· involve parents in supporting their children

· promote collaboration among teachers in the implementation of whole-school policies on learning support for our pupils

· promote early intervention programmes designed to enhance learning and prevent/reduce difficulties in learning.

3. Principles of SEN Support

The provision of SEN support in our school is based on the following principles:

· All our children have a right to an education, which is appropriate to them as individuals. We want all our children to feel that they are a valued part of our school community.

· The resources provided to support pupils with special educational needs will be used to facilitate the development of a truly inclusive school.

· Supports provided to pupils with special educational needs will be based on identified needs and be informed by regular reviews of progress (in consultation with parents and pupils) as outlined in the Continuum of Support Guidelines.

· The class teacher has primary responsibility for the progress and care of all pupils in the classroom, including pupils with special educational needs.

· Pupils with the greatest levels of need will have access to the greatest level of support, and whenever possible, these pupils will be supported by teachers with relevant expertise who can provide continuity of support.

4. Roles and Responsibilities

The role of supporting learning is a collaborative responsibility shared by all the school community: The Board of Management, Principal Teacher, Parents, Class Teachers, Special Education Teachers, SNAs, Children and external bodies and agencies.

Board of Management

The Board of Management will:

· oversee the development, implementation and review of school policy on support for children with additional needs

· provide adequate class accommodation and teaching resources

· provide a secure facility for storage of records.

Principal Teacher

The principal has overall responsibility for the day-to-day management of provision. He will work closely with school staff and will keep the BOM informed about the working of this policy. It will be the role of the principal to:

· develop inclusive whole-school policies and monitor their implementation

· assign staff strategically to teaching roles, including special education roles

· co-ordinate teachers’ work to ensure continuity of provision for all pupils

· ensure that whole-school procedures are established to facilitate the effective involvement of parents, pupils and external professionals/agencies

· ensure that effective systems are implemented to identify pupils’ needs and that progress is monitored methodically

· facilitate the continuing professional development of all teachers in relation to education of pupils with special educational needs, and ensure that all school staff (class teachers, special education teachers and special needs assistants) are clear regarding their roles and responsibilities in this area

· maintain a list of pupils who are receiving supplementary teaching

· select children for psychological assessment in consultation with class and support teachers and with NEPS

· liaise with external agencies such as NEPS to arrange assessments of children with SEN

· liaise with SENO regarding all aspects of special education provision

· arrange for exemptions from the study of Irish for pupils for whom this is appropriate.

Class Teacher

The Class Teacher has primary responsibility for the progress of all children in his/her class, including those selected for supplementary teaching.

The Class Teacher will:

· create a positive learning environment within the classroom

· differentiate teaching strategies, approaches and expectations to the range of experiences, abilities, needs and learning styles in their class

· meet with parents regarding any concerns about their child and update them regarding their progress

· gather information and assess children presenting with needs to inform teaching and learning using the Continuum of Support

· open a Student Support File once additional needs have been identified and require Classroom Support

· develop Classroom Support plans for children in receipt of Classroom Support

· collaborate with Special Education Teachers to develop School Support Plans and School Support Plus Plans for each pupil in receipt of School Support and School Support Plus

· meet with Special Education Teachers, parents/guardians and other staff members to identify priority learning goals for each pupil in receipt of School Support and School Support Plus

· meet with Special Education Teachers, relevant staff to review Support Plans

· where applicable, collaborate with the SET team regarding teaching aims and activities for team teaching

· administer and correct standardised tests of achievement in literacy and numeracy, following the school’s guidelines

· discuss outcomes of standardised testing with SET team to assist in the selection of children for supplementary teaching

· co-ordinate the role and responsibilities of the SNA in relation to the needs of pupils with SEN within the class(es) to which they are assigned

Special Education Teachers (SET)

The central roles of the Special Education Teacher will be to:

a) support the class teacher in optimising teaching and learning opportunities and

b) provide specialised teaching to those children with identified special educational needs.

The Special Education Teacher will:

· familiarise themselves with a wide range of teaching approaches, methodologies and resources to cater for particular learning styles and to meet a variety of needs

· assist in the implementation of a broad range of whole school strategies aimed at prevention and early intervention

· meet with Class Teachers, parents/guardians and other staff members to review and develop School Support Plans and to identify priority learning goals for pupils in receipt of School Support or School Support Plus

· monitor the ongoing progress of each child in receipt of supplementary teaching in relation to the attainment of agreed learning targets

· maintain planning and progress records for each individual or group of pupils in receipt of school support

· update and maintain the Student Support Files of pupils in receipt of School Support and School Support Plus

· administer and interpret diagnostic tests and inform class teachers and parents of the outcomes

· meet with parents regarding any concerns about their child and update them regarding their progress

· administer a range of formal and informal assessments and maintaining records of the outcomes of those assessments

· contribute to the development of SEN policy.

· provide advice to the Class Teacher (if requested).

· liaise with external agencies such as speech and language therapists etc., and implementing suitable recommendations, wherever possible.

Special Class Teacher

The Special Class Teacher helps to provide an education which meets the needs and abilities of children assessed as having a diagnosis of an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (i.e. Childhood Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome, mild Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified). The SCT teaches children with exceptional and average IQ along with children with mild to moderate learning difficulties. In addition, the SCT will

advise and liaise with other teachers, parents and other professionals in the pupil’s interests. More specifically, the Special Class Teacher has responsibility for:

· being the main point of contact for the child’s parents/guardians

· involving parents in the educational process, e.g. Individual Education Plans (IEPS), Home School Communication Diaries, etc.

· preparing a pupil’s IEP in consultation with parents, and in liaison with other staff working with the child.

· initiating a review of that IEP each term and organising venue, date and time to consult with parents, mainstream class teacher and SNAs

· planning and implementing educational provision for children enrolled in the class. IEPs being used as long-term planning and fortnightly plans for short-term planning to enable progression over time

· co-ordinating the supporting work of the Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) on an ongoing basis

· working with the mainstream class teacher to identify regular opportunities for integration or reverse integration, where appropriate

· working with the mainstream class teacher to identify and implement accommodations that the child with ASD may need to be successful in the mainstream classroom, where appropriate

· upholding the Code of Behaviour of the school, where appropriate

Role of SNA

The role of an SNA will be to carry out duties based on the care needs of the child. The tasks associated with these duties can be of a primary or secondary nature. (Circular 0030/2014)

The primary care support tasks may include:

· Administration of medicine.

· Assistance with toileting and general hygiene.

· Assistance with mobility and orientation.

· Assisting teachers to provide supervision in the class, playground and school grounds, and at recreation, assembly and dispersal times.

· Assisting children while at play as appropriate.

· Provision of non-nursing care needs associated with specific medical conditions.

· Care needs requiring frequent interventions including withdrawal of a child from a classroom when essential.

· Assistance with moving and lifting of children, operation of hoists and equipment.

· Assistance with severe communication difficulties including enabling curriculum access for children with physical disabilities or sensory needs and those with significant, and identified social and emotional difficulties. The secondary care support tasks may include:

· Preparation and tidying of workspaces and classrooms or assisting a child who is not physically able to perform such tasks; to prepare and tidy a workspace, to present materials, to display work, or to transition from one lesson activity to another.

· Assistance with the development of Personal Pupil Plans (PPP) for children with Special Educational Needs, with a particular focus on developing a care plan to meet the care needs of the child concerned and the review of such plans.

· Planning for activities and classes where there may be additional care requirements associated with particular activities.

· Attending meetings with Parents, Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENO); National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS); or school staff meetings with the agreement and guidance of Class Teacher/Principal.

· Assistance with enabling a child to access therapy or psycho-educational programmes such as anger management or social skills classes, under the direction of appropriate personnel.

· Assistance to attend or participate in out of school activities: walks, or visits, where such assistance cannot be provided by teaching staff.

Role of Parents/Guardians

The central role of parents/guardians of children with SEN is the same as all parents/guardians, i.e to support the work of the school and to optimise teaching and learning opportunities for their child at home. The Continuum of Support process and use of the Student Support File provide valuable opportunities to engage with parents and to build a collaborative approach to identifying and responding to the needs of pupils with special educational needs.

When we identify a child as having additional needs we expect the child’s parents/guardians to help us to explore all possibilities to help the child to achieve their potential. Any parent who refuses our support or refuses to access School Support/School Support Plus or SNA support will have to sign a disclaimer saying they understand that the school has offered support and that they are turning it down.

Parents and guardians can prepare for and support the work of the school by:

· Supervising, assisting with, showing interest in and signing homework.

· Reading and telling stories to their child/children.

· Listening to and giving supportive feedback on oral reading.

· Where their child is in receipt of supplementary teaching, implementing suggested home-based activities and discussing the outcomes with the child’s teachers.

· Signing and returning consent forms to the school regarding withdrawal for support teaching.

· Talking positively about school and school work.

· Keeping the class teacher informed of any home factors which may be affecting their child’s progress.

· Participating in activities organised by the school that are designed to increase the involvement of parents in their children’s learning.

· Helping children to develop their organisational skills.

· Helping children to look after school books and other resources which are loaned to the children for use at home.

· Supporting programmes and initiatives implemented by the school

Role of Children

The role of the child with SEN will be that of active participant in their own learning; the extent and nature of this will depend on their strengths and needs.

Role of External Bodies and Agencies

Our school liaises with external professionals such as NEPS Psychologists, Special Education Needs Organisers (SENO), the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) Support Service, the HSE (Health Service Executive), Early Intervention Teams, School Age Teams, Tusla, Visiting Teachers for children with vision impairment, Visiting Teachers for children with hearing loss, and the Inspectorate.

We acknowledge that the needs of many children span both health and education services. We therefore liaise with and contribute to health-led assessment and delivery of interventions and facilitate meetings between parents and various support services. We also endeavour to incorporate relevant recommendations from health professionals in developing support plans at each level of the Continuum of Support.

5. Prevention and Early Intervention Strategies

We believe it is very important to identify and assess children with special needs as early as possible so that effective interventions can be put in place.The use of early intervention and prevention programmes helps mitigate the development of learning, social and emotional difficulties. Early intervention programmes may be provided by the Class Teacher and/or the Special Education Teacher, in accordance with the Staged Approach outlined in the Continuum of Support. Collaboration and consultation between the Class Teachers and the Special Education Teachers, should identify children who may be in need of early intervention. Teacher observation and professional opinion will be given due consideration in the selection of children for early intervention programmes at Classroom Support/School Support level.

We use the following prevention and early intervention strategies:

· Ongoing structured observation and assessment of the language, literacy and numeracy skills of pupils in the infant classes to facilitate early identification of possible learning difficulties.

· Observation of pupils’ social interactions and behaviour in the classroom and the yard to facilitate early identification of social, emotional and behavioural needs.

· The M.I.S.T. (Middle Infants Screening Test) is administered to all pupils in Senior Infants during the second term of the school year. Pupils who present with scores below a given point are selected for additional literacy support.

· Provision of additional support in language development and any relevant early literacy and mathematical skills to pupils who need it.

· In class support and team teaching e.g. Literacy Lift Off, Mata sa Rang, Aistear.

· Close collaboration and consultation between the Infant Teacher and the SET team.

· Differentiation of the curriculum by the mainstream class teacher to cater for individual strengths and needs.

· Withdrawal of individuals/groups for extra support where required.

· The development of agreed approaches to the teaching of Literacy and Numeracy in order to ensure progression and continuity from class to class. (See School Plans for Literacy & Numeracy)

· Parental involvement in promoting literacy and numeracy e.g. Homework Policy Guidelines for Parents.

6. Identifying Pupils with Additional Needs

We use the Continuum of Support Framework set out by the Department of Education to identify and support children with additional needs. Like this framework, we recognise that special educational needs occur along a continuum, ranging from mild to severe, and from transient to long-term and that pupils require different levels of support depending on their identified additional needs. By using this framework, it helps us implement a staged approach to ensure that our support and interventions are incremental, moving from class-based interventions to more intensive and individualised support, and are informed by careful monitoring of progress.

The Continuum of Support is a problem-solving model of assessment and intervention that enables us to gather and analyse data, as well as to plan and review the progress of individual pupils.

This problem-solving process is illustrated as follows:

The Continuum of Support (Primary) | National Council for Special Education - CPD and In-School Support

Identification of educational needs is central to our policy and the new allocation model. By using the Continuum of Support framework, we can identify pupils’ educational needs, to include academic, social and emotional needs, as well as needs associated with physical, sensory, language and communication difficulties. This, in turn, allows us to identify and respond to needs in a flexible way.  

 

The Continuum of Support suggests the following levels of support: 

The Continuum of Support (Primary) | National Council for Special Education - CPD and In-School Support

 STAGE 1 CLASSROOM SUPPORT  

Classroom Support is the most common, and typically the first response to emerging needs. It is a response for pupils who have distinct or individual educational needs and who require approaches to learning and/or behaviour which are additional to or different from those required by other pupils in their class. Problem-solving at this level typically begins when a parent or teacher has concerns about an individual pupil. The class teacher and parents discuss the nature of the problem and consider strategies which may be effective. The class teacher may seek advice from Special Education Teachers at this stage. Classroom Support incorporates the simple, informal problem-solving approaches commonly used by class teachers to support emerging needs.  

 

STAGE 2 SCHOOL SUPPORT  

In some cases, interventions at classroom support level are not enough to fully meet the pupil’s special educational needs. If standardised test results and teacher observation indicate this to be the case, School Support may, therefore, be required. The class teacher involves the Special Education Teacher Team (SET Team) in the problem-solving process at this point and it involves more systematic gathering of information and the development and monitoring of a School Support Plan. Where progress is such that the child is no longer giving cause for concern, the child will revert to the usual differentiated curriculum available to all children.  

 

STAGE 3 SCHOOL SUPPORT PLUS  

If a pupil’s special educational needs are severe and/or persistent, they are likely to need intensive support. If interventions at classroom support and school support levels are not enough to fully meet the child’s special education needs, a School Support Plus plan is required. School Support Plus will generally involve personnel outside the school team in the problem solving, assessment and intervention process. An assessment may be arranged at this point from a relevant and suitably qualified professional to provide more information to help the school and parents to meet the needs of the child. If the child is assessed as having care needs then an application will be made to the SENO for SNA support. Where it is recommended that a child requires specialised equipment the school will make an application for this equipment and arrange for the use of this equipment to be demonstrated to the relevant staff. However, the information from Classroom and School Support work will provide the starting point for problem-solving at this level.  

 

Page Break 

Table 1: Identification of Educational Needs through the Continuum of Support Process  
Classroom  

Support   

The class teacher considers how to differentiate the learning programme effectively to accommodate the needs of all pupils in the class.  

 

A classroom support plan is developed and/or adjusted over time for those pupils who do not respond appropriately to the differentiated programme.  

 

This is informed by:  

  • Parental consultation   
  • Teacher observation records  
  • Teacher-designed measures/assessments  
  • Basic needs checklist   
  • Learning environment checklist 
  • Pupil consultation – My Thoughts About School Checklist  
  • Literacy and numeracy tests  
  • Screening tests of language skills  

 

A classroom support plan runs for an agreed period of time and is subject to review.   

School  

Support   

  

 

At this level a support plan is devised and informed by:  

  • Teacher observation records  
  • Teacher-designed measures/assessments  
  • Parent and pupil interviews   
  • Learning environment checklist  
  • Diagnostic assessments in literacy/numeracy  
  • Formal observation of behaviour including ABC charts, frequency measures  
  • Functional assessment as appropriate, including screening measures for social, emotional and behavioural difficulties  

  

A support plan at this level may detail suitable teaching approaches including team-teaching, small groups or individual tuition.  

A school support plan operates for an agreed period of time and is subject to review.  

School  

Support  

Plus   

This level of the continuum is informed by a detailed, systematic approach to information gathering and assessment using a broad range of formal and informal assessment tools, reports from outside professionals (as appropriate) and may include:  

 

  • Teacher observation and teacher-designed measures  
  • Parent and pupil interviews  
  • Functional assessment  
  • Results of standardised testing such as measures of cognitive ability, social, emotional and behavioural functioning, adaptive functioning etc
     

Data generated from this process is used to plan an appropriate intervention and can serve as a baseline against which to map progress.   

A support plan at this level is likely to be more detailed and individualised, and to include longer term planning and consultation. 

 

  1. Meeting Children’s Additional Learning Needs

 

Once pupils needs have identified they may be supported in a variety of ways. Children at Classroom Support level will be supported in the classroom by the class teacher. Special education teachers and class teachers will work together to support children at School Support and School Support Plus level. This support may take the form of in-class support or withdrawal of groups/individuals. Interventions will be planned to address pupils’ priority learning needs and to achieve the targets identified in the relevant Continuum of Support plan.  

We take into account the different backgrounds, experiences, interests and strengths that influence the way in which children learn when we plan our approaches to teaching and learning. In planning our support, the ‘Planning Template’ outlining the 6 point action plan below will be utilised. 

 

Good target setting is central to effective teaching and learning for pupils with special educational needs. Targets should be few in number; informed by priority learning needs and directly linked to suitable interventions. We will consult parents when setting targets and when reviewing progress. The views of pupils may also be included in this process, through their direct involvement in the discussion or by gathering their views in advance of the review process. This collaboration will help ensure that targets are relevant, meaningful, realistic, and that they draw on the strengths and interests of pupils.  

Planning Template to Guide the Allocation of Additional Teaching Supports for Pupils with Special Educational Needs 

Action 1: Identification of pupils with special educational needs  Review existing information on pupils’ needs, using school-based data and any information from parents and external professionals. Engage in additional screening and data gathering as required, using informal and formal assessment approaches (for example, teacher observations, information on social and emotional competence, standardised tests, diagnostic tests).  

Identify all pupils with special educational needs in the school. Match their needs to the appropriate level on the Continuum of Support. 

Action 2: Setting targets  Based on individual needs, set clear learning targets for each pupil at each level of the continuum of support. 
Action 3: Planning teaching methods and approaches  Identify the level and type of intervention required to meet targets for each pupil on the continuum of support. Schools should consider methodologies best suited to promoting meaningful inclusion such as differentiation, heterogeneous grouping, team-teaching and small group teaching. They should also be mindful that the interventions and supports that they are using are evidence-informed.  
Action 4: Organising early intervention and prevention programmes  Based on identified needs, choose evidence-informed early intervention/prevention programmes to address concerns. Identify time needed and staffing commitment required. 
Action 5: Organising and deploying special education teaching resources 

Cross-reference the needs of pupils at school support and school support plus levels and consider common needs that can be met by grouping to ensure effective and efficient teaching and learning approaches. Agree which teacher(s) will cater for these groups/individuals and when and where the teaching will take place.  

Be mindful of the requirement that pupils with the greatest level of need should receive the greatest level of support from teachers with relevant expertise.  

Action 6: Tracking, recording and reviewing progress 

Establish a tracking and recording system, to ensure that the progress of all pupils in meeting their identified targets is monitored:  

  • At whole-school and classroom support level by all teachers  
  • At the school support and school support plus levels by class teachers and special education teachers.  

 

  1. Monitoring and Reviewing Progress

 

Pupils’ progress in relation to achieving their targets will be regularly and carefully monitored. This stage of the process is informed by effective measurement of baseline performance, including the use of criterion-referenced tests and other methods of assessment (for example, teacher-designed tests, checklists, samples of work, observation) that allow pupils to demonstrate their progress. This will lead to the establishment of specific targets to be achieved within a defined timeframe as outlined below.  

  

 Determine current level of performance

Identify specific time bound targets

Measure progress

 

  

Monitoring outcomes is part of a dynamic process of identification, target-setting, intervention and review, which in turn should lead to adjustments in support plans. The Student Support File will be used to support and record this process. It includes a Support Review Record to guide teachers when monitoring progress and reviewing outcomes with parents and pupils. Such monitoring of progress, and subsequent adaptation of support plans, are key drivers of effective practice.   

  

In addition to monitoring outcomes at the individual level, it is also important to review outcomes at group, class and whole-school level. This review will include some of the following measures: attainment, communication, independence, attendance, social inclusion and well-being (for example, sense of belonging and connectedness to school) for pupils with special educational needs.   

 

 

9. Continuing and Discontinuing Supplementary Teaching

School Support and School Support Plus Plans will be reviewed in September/October and January/February. A decision will be made regarding the continued level of support and revised targets will be set in the Support Plan. Supplementary teaching may be discontinued when satisfactory progress has been made and targets have been met.  

 

10. Monitoring Progress 

  • The Support Review Record on the Continuum of Support will be completed by the Special Education Teacher in collaboration with the Class Teacher. This will be carried out at the end of each instructional period.  
  • Self Reflection (by the child) – as part of the Continuum of Support Review Record if appropriate.  
  • Teacher designed tasks and tests 
  • Termly Assessments if applicable (teacher designed or from publishers).  
  • Standardised Tests at end of year (1st – 6th) English and Maths.  
  • Senior Infant end of year test –Middle Infant Screening Test (MIST).  

 

11. Record Keeping 

Student Support File 

 

We use student support files to plan interventions and to track and record a pupils’ progress. The student support file should include: 

  • Cover Sheet (pupil details & date file opened) 
  • Log of Actions 
  • Permission Slip 
  • Support Plans & Support Review Records 
  • School Assessments 
  • Reports from external professionals/agencies 
  • Copies of correspondence with professionals/external agencies (referral forms etc.) 
  • Record of phone calls/conversations with external professionals 
  • Personal Pupil Plan (where relevant) 

 

Student Support Files for pupils at Classroom Support level will be maintained by the class teacher. If the pupil progresses to School Support or School Support Plus level the file will be passed to the relevant SET.  

Student Support Files for pupils at School Support and School Support Plus will be maintained by special education teachers. Student Support Files will be stored in a locked filing cabinet in the special education room.  

Professional Reports will be maintained by the Principal. A copy of these reports will also be kept in the Student Support File.  

 

12 SEN Policy Success Criteria 

A whole school approach to the implementation of our SEN policy will:  

  • ensure that children with SEN gain access to a broad, balanced curriculum and have opportunity of access to an appropriate education.  
  • develop positive self-esteem and positive attitudes to school and learning among our pupils.  
  • improve standards of academic performance and achievement.  
  • enhance parental involvement in supporting their child’s learning.  
  • increase collaboration between school personnel.  
  • The achievement of these success criteria will be assessed through: feedback from teachers, children and parents/guardians; child’s achievements and ongoing analysis of children’s academic performance and attainment of personal targets.  

The purpose of this policy document is to provide information to school personnel and parents on how we organise provision for teaching and support of children with special educational needs. The term special educational needs is broad and includes children who have difficulty acquiring literacy and/or numeracy skills, children with difficulties with fine or gross motor skills, children who have English as an additional language (if that impacts on their progress) and children who have diagnosed disabilities.

This policy is informed by the following DES documents:

· Circular 13/2017 Circular to the Management Authorities of all Mainstream Primary Schools Special Education Teaching Allocation

· Guidelines for Primary Schools Supporting Pupils with Special Educational Needs in Mainstream Schools (2017)

· Special Educational Needs – A Continuum of Support (NEPS 2007)

· Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties – A Continuum of Support (NEPS)

1. School Context

Dripsey N.S. caters for children from Junior Infants to 6th Class and is under the patronage of the Catholic Bishop of Cloyne. The school currently has 4 mainstream class teachers, 1 Special Class Teacher and 2 Special Education teachers. The school has 3.5 Special Needs Assistants (SNAs). The allocation of both Special Education teachers and Special Needs Assistants is subject to review.

2. Aims of SEN Support

Our school is committed to helping our pupils achieve their full potential. The provision of a quality system of SEN support teaching is integral to this commitment.

Through the implementation of our SEN policy we aim to:

· support the inclusion of children with SEN in our school

· develop positive attitudes about school and learning in our children

· ensure that the Staged Approach/Continuum of Support is implemented (see below)

· optimise the teaching and learning process in order to enable children with learning difficulties to achieve adequate levels of proficiency in literacy and numeracy before leaving primary school

· enable children to participate in the full curriculum

· support appropriate differentiation in the classroom

· support children’s development both socially and emotionally

· enable children to understand themselves as learners

· involve parents in supporting their children

· promote collaboration among teachers in the implementation of whole-school policies on learning support for our pupils

· promote early intervention programmes designed to enhance learning and prevent/reduce difficulties in learning.

3. Principles of SEN Support

The provision of SEN support in our school is based on the following principles:

· All our children have a right to an education, which is appropriate to them as individuals. We want all our children to feel that they are a valued part of our school community.

· The resources provided to support pupils with special educational needs will be used to facilitate the development of a truly inclusive school.

· Supports provided to pupils with special educational needs will be based on identified needs and be informed by regular reviews of progress (in consultation with parents and pupils) as outlined in the Continuum of Support Guidelines.

· The class teacher has primary responsibility for the progress and care of all pupils in the classroom, including pupils with special educational needs.

· Pupils with the greatest levels of need will have access to the greatest level of support, and whenever possible, these pupils will be supported by teachers with relevant expertise who can provide continuity of support.

4. Roles and Responsibilities

The role of supporting learning is a collaborative responsibility shared by all the school community: The Board of Management, Principal Teacher, Parents, Class Teachers, Special Education Teachers, SNAs, Children and external bodies and agencies.

Board of Management

The Board of Management will:

· oversee the development, implementation and review of school policy on support for children with additional needs

· provide adequate class accommodation and teaching resources

· provide a secure facility for storage of records.

Principal Teacher

The principal has overall responsibility for the day-to-day management of provision. He will work closely with school staff and will keep the BOM informed about the working of this policy. It will be the role of the principal to:

· develop inclusive whole-school policies and monitor their implementation

· assign staff strategically to teaching roles, including special education roles

· co-ordinate teachers’ work to ensure continuity of provision for all pupils

· ensure that whole-school procedures are established to facilitate the effective involvement of parents, pupils and external professionals/agencies

· ensure that effective systems are implemented to identify pupils’ needs and that progress is monitored methodically

· facilitate the continuing professional development of all teachers in relation to education of pupils with special educational needs, and ensure that all school staff (class teachers, special education teachers and special needs assistants) are clear regarding their roles and responsibilities in this area

· maintain a list of pupils who are receiving supplementary teaching

· select children for psychological assessment in consultation with class and support teachers and with NEPS

· liaise with external agencies such as NEPS to arrange assessments of children with SEN

· liaise with SENO regarding all aspects of special education provision

· arrange for exemptions from the study of Irish for pupils for whom this is appropriate.

Class Teacher

The Class Teacher has primary responsibility for the progress of all children in his/her class, including those selected for supplementary teaching.

The Class Teacher will:

· create a positive learning environment within the classroom

· differentiate teaching strategies, approaches and expectations to the range of experiences, abilities, needs and learning styles in their class

· meet with parents regarding any concerns about their child and update them regarding their progress

· gather information and assess children presenting with needs to inform teaching and learning using the Continuum of Support

· open a Student Support File once additional needs have been identified and require Classroom Support

· develop Classroom Support plans for children in receipt of Classroom Support

· collaborate with Special Education Teachers to develop School Support Plans and School Support Plus Plans for each pupil in receipt of School Support and School Support Plus

· meet with Special Education Teachers, parents/guardians and other staff members to identify priority learning goals for each pupil in receipt of School Support and School Support Plus

· meet with Special Education Teachers, relevant staff to review Support Plans

· where applicable, collaborate with the SET team regarding teaching aims and activities for team teaching

· administer and correct standardised tests of achievement in literacy and numeracy, following the school’s guidelines

· discuss outcomes of standardised testing with SET team to assist in the selection of children for supplementary teaching

· co-ordinate the role and responsibilities of the SNA in relation to the needs of pupils with SEN within the class(es) to which they are assigned

Special Education Teachers (SET)

The central roles of the Special Education Teacher will be to:

a) support the class teacher in optimising teaching and learning opportunities and

b) provide specialised teaching to those children with identified special educational needs.

The Special Education Teacher will:

· familiarise themselves with a wide range of teaching approaches, methodologies and resources to cater for particular learning styles and to meet a variety of needs

· assist in the implementation of a broad range of whole school strategies aimed at prevention and early intervention

· meet with Class Teachers, parents/guardians and other staff members to review and develop School Support Plans and to identify priority learning goals for pupils in receipt of School Support or School Support Plus

· monitor the ongoing progress of each child in receipt of supplementary teaching in relation to the attainment of agreed learning targets

· maintain planning and progress records for each individual or group of pupils in receipt of school support

· update and maintain the Student Support Files of pupils in receipt of School Support and School Support Plus

· administer and interpret diagnostic tests and inform class teachers and parents of the outcomes

· meet with parents regarding any concerns about their child and update them regarding their progress

· administer a range of formal and informal assessments and maintaining records of the outcomes of those assessments

· contribute to the development of SEN policy.

· provide advice to the Class Teacher (if requested).

· liaise with external agencies such as speech and language therapists etc., and implementing suitable recommendations, wherever possible.

Special Class Teacher

The Special Class Teacher helps to provide an education which meets the needs and abilities of children assessed as having a diagnosis of an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (i.e. Childhood Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome, mild Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified). The SCT teaches children with exceptional and average IQ along with children with mild to moderate learning difficulties. In addition, the SCT will

advise and liaise with other teachers, parents and other professionals in the pupil’s interests. More specifically, the Special Class Teacher has responsibility for:

· being the main point of contact for the child’s parents/guardians

· involving parents in the educational process, e.g. Individual Education Plans (IEPS), Home School Communication Diaries, etc.

· preparing a pupil’s IEP in consultation with parents, and in liaison with other staff working with the child.

· initiating a review of that IEP each term and organising venue, date and time to consult with parents, mainstream class teacher and SNAs

· planning and implementing educational provision for children enrolled in the class. IEPs being used as long-term planning and fortnightly plans for short-term planning to enable progression over time

· co-ordinating the supporting work of the Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) on an ongoing basis

· working with the mainstream class teacher to identify regular opportunities for integration or reverse integration, where appropriate

· working with the mainstream class teacher to identify and implement accommodations that the child with ASD may need to be successful in the mainstream classroom, where appropriate

· upholding the Code of Behaviour of the school, where appropriate

Role of SNA

The role of an SNA will be to carry out duties based on the care needs of the child. The tasks associated with these duties can be of a primary or secondary nature. (Circular 0030/2014)

The primary care support tasks may include:

· Administration of medicine.

· Assistance with toileting and general hygiene.

· Assistance with mobility and orientation.

· Assisting teachers to provide supervision in the class, playground and school grounds, and at recreation, assembly and dispersal times.

· Assisting children while at play as appropriate.

· Provision of non-nursing care needs associated with specific medical conditions.

· Care needs requiring frequent interventions including withdrawal of a child from a classroom when essential.

· Assistance with moving and lifting of children, operation of hoists and equipment.

· Assistance with severe communication difficulties including enabling curriculum access for children with physical disabilities or sensory needs and those with significant, and identified social and emotional difficulties. The secondary care support tasks may include:

· Preparation and tidying of workspaces and classrooms or assisting a child who is not physically able to perform such tasks; to prepare and tidy a workspace, to present materials, to display work, or to transition from one lesson activity to another.

· Assistance with the development of Personal Pupil Plans (PPP) for children with Special Educational Needs, with a particular focus on developing a care plan to meet the care needs of the child concerned and the review of such plans.

· Planning for activities and classes where there may be additional care requirements associated with particular activities.

· Attending meetings with Parents, Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENO); National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS); or school staff meetings with the agreement and guidance of Class Teacher/Principal.

· Assistance with enabling a child to access therapy or psycho-educational programmes such as anger management or social skills classes, under the direction of appropriate personnel.

· Assistance to attend or participate in out of school activities: walks, or visits, where such assistance cannot be provided by teaching staff.

Role of Parents/Guardians

The central role of parents/guardians of children with SEN is the same as all parents/guardians, i.e to support the work of the school and to optimise teaching and learning opportunities for their child at home. The Continuum of Support process and use of the Student Support File provide valuable opportunities to engage with parents and to build a collaborative approach to identifying and responding to the needs of pupils with special educational needs.

When we identify a child as having additional needs we expect the child’s parents/guardians to help us to explore all possibilities to help the child to achieve their potential. Any parent who refuses our support or refuses to access School Support/School Support Plus or SNA support will have to sign a disclaimer saying they understand that the school has offered support and that they are turning it down.

Parents and guardians can prepare for and support the work of the school by:

· Supervising, assisting with, showing interest in and signing homework.

· Reading and telling stories to their child/children.

· Listening to and giving supportive feedback on oral reading.

· Where their child is in receipt of supplementary teaching, implementing suggested home-based activities and discussing the outcomes with the child’s teachers.

· Signing and returning consent forms to the school regarding withdrawal for support teaching.

· Talking positively about school and school work.

· Keeping the class teacher informed of any home factors which may be affecting their child’s progress.

· Participating in activities organised by the school that are designed to increase the involvement of parents in their children’s learning.

· Helping children to develop their organisational skills.

· Helping children to look after school books and other resources which are loaned to the children for use at home.

· Supporting programmes and initiatives implemented by the school

Role of Children

The role of the child with SEN will be that of active participant in their own learning; the extent and nature of this will depend on their strengths and needs.

Role of External Bodies and Agencies

Our school liaises with external professionals such as NEPS Psychologists, Special Education Needs Organisers (SENO), the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) Support Service, the HSE (Health Service Executive), Early Intervention Teams, School Age Teams, Tusla, Visiting Teachers for children with vision impairment, Visiting Teachers for children with hearing loss, and the Inspectorate.

We acknowledge that the needs of many children span both health and education services. We therefore liaise with and contribute to health-led assessment and delivery of interventions and facilitate meetings between parents and various support services. We also endeavour to incorporate relevant recommendations from health professionals in developing support plans at each level of the Continuum of Support.

5. Prevention and Early Intervention Strategies

We believe it is very important to identify and assess children with special needs as early as possible so that effective interventions can be put in place.The use of early intervention and prevention programmes helps mitigate the development of learning, social and emotional difficulties. Early intervention programmes may be provided by the Class Teacher and/or the Special Education Teacher, in accordance with the Staged Approach outlined in the Continuum of Support. Collaboration and consultation between the Class Teachers and the Special Education Teachers, should identify children who may be in need of early intervention. Teacher observation and professional opinion will be given due consideration in the selection of children for early intervention programmes at Classroom Support/School Support level.

We use the following prevention and early intervention strategies:

· Ongoing structured observation and assessment of the language, literacy and numeracy skills of pupils in the infant classes to facilitate early identification of possible learning difficulties.

· Observation of pupils’ social interactions and behaviour in the classroom and the yard to facilitate early identification of social, emotional and behavioural needs.

· The M.I.S.T. (Middle Infants Screening Test) is administered to all pupils in Senior Infants during the second term of the school year. Pupils who present with scores below a given point are selected for additional literacy support.

· Provision of additional support in language development and any relevant early literacy and mathematical skills to pupils who need it.

· In class support and team teaching e.g. Literacy Lift Off, Mata sa Rang, Aistear.

· Close collaboration and consultation between the Infant Teacher and the SET team.

· Differentiation of the curriculum by the mainstream class teacher to cater for individual strengths and needs.

· Withdrawal of individuals/groups for extra support where required.

· The development of agreed approaches to the teaching of Literacy and Numeracy in order to ensure progression and continuity from class to class. (See School Plans for Literacy & Numeracy)

· Parental involvement in promoting literacy and numeracy e.g. Homework Policy Guidelines for Parents.

6. Identifying Pupils with Additional Needs

We use the Continuum of Support Framework set out by the Department of Education to identify and support children with additional needs. Like this framework, we recognise that special educational needs occur along a continuum, ranging from mild to severe, and from transient to long-term and that pupils require different levels of support depending on their identified additional needs. By using this framework, it helps us implement a staged approach to ensure that our support and interventions are incremental, moving from class-based interventions to more intensive and individualised support, and are informed by careful monitoring of progress.

The Continuum of Support is a problem-solving model of assessment and intervention that enables us to gather and analyse data, as well as to plan and review the progress of individual pupils.

This problem-solving process is illustrated as follows:

The Continuum of Support (Primary) | National Council for Special Education - CPD and In-School Support

Identification of educational needs is central to our policy and the new allocation model. By using the Continuum of Support framework, we can identify pupils’ educational needs, to include academic, social and emotional needs, as well as needs associated with physical, sensory, language and communication difficulties. This, in turn, allows us to identify and respond to needs in a flexible way.  

 

The Continuum of Support suggests the following levels of support: 

The Continuum of Support (Primary) | National Council for Special Education - CPD and In-School Support

 STAGE 1 CLASSROOM SUPPORT  

Classroom Support is the most common, and typically the first response to emerging needs. It is a response for pupils who have distinct or individual educational needs and who require approaches to learning and/or behaviour which are additional to or different from those required by other pupils in their class. Problem-solving at this level typically begins when a parent or teacher has concerns about an individual pupil. The class teacher and parents discuss the nature of the problem and consider strategies which may be effective. The class teacher may seek advice from Special Education Teachers at this stage. Classroom Support incorporates the simple, informal problem-solving approaches commonly used by class teachers to support emerging needs.  

 

STAGE 2 SCHOOL SUPPORT  

In some cases, interventions at classroom support level are not enough to fully meet the pupil’s special educational needs. If standardised test results and teacher observation indicate this to be the case, School Support may, therefore, be required. The class teacher involves the Special Education Teacher Team (SET Team) in the problem-solving process at this point and it involves more systematic gathering of information and the development and monitoring of a School Support Plan. Where progress is such that the child is no longer giving cause for concern, the child will revert to the usual differentiated curriculum available to all children.  

 

STAGE 3 SCHOOL SUPPORT PLUS  

If a pupil’s special educational needs are severe and/or persistent, they are likely to need intensive support. If interventions at classroom support and school support levels are not enough to fully meet the child’s special education needs, a School Support Plus plan is required. School Support Plus will generally involve personnel outside the school team in the problem solving, assessment and intervention process. An assessment may be arranged at this point from a relevant and suitably qualified professional to provide more information to help the school and parents to meet the needs of the child. If the child is assessed as having care needs then an application will be made to the SENO for SNA support. Where it is recommended that a child requires specialised equipment the school will make an application for this equipment and arrange for the use of this equipment to be demonstrated to the relevant staff. However, the information from Classroom and School Support work will provide the starting point for problem-solving at this level.  

 

Page Break 

Table 1: Identification of Educational Needs through the Continuum of Support Process  
Classroom  

Support   

The class teacher considers how to differentiate the learning programme effectively to accommodate the needs of all pupils in the class.  

 

A classroom support plan is developed and/or adjusted over time for those pupils who do not respond appropriately to the differentiated programme.  

 

This is informed by:  

  • Parental consultation   
  • Teacher observation records  
  • Teacher-designed measures/assessments  
  • Basic needs checklist   
  • Learning environment checklist 
  • Pupil consultation – My Thoughts About School Checklist  
  • Literacy and numeracy tests  
  • Screening tests of language skills  

 

A classroom support plan runs for an agreed period of time and is subject to review.   

School  

Support   

  

 

At this level a support plan is devised and informed by:  

  • Teacher observation records  
  • Teacher-designed measures/assessments  
  • Parent and pupil interviews   
  • Learning environment checklist  
  • Diagnostic assessments in literacy/numeracy  
  • Formal observation of behaviour including ABC charts, frequency measures  
  • Functional assessment as appropriate, including screening measures for social, emotional and behavioural difficulties  

  

A support plan at this level may detail suitable teaching approaches including team-teaching, small groups or individual tuition.  

A school support plan operates for an agreed period of time and is subject to review.  

School  

Support  

Plus   

This level of the continuum is informed by a detailed, systematic approach to information gathering and assessment using a broad range of formal and informal assessment tools, reports from outside professionals (as appropriate) and may include:  

 

  • Teacher observation and teacher-designed measures  
  • Parent and pupil interviews  
  • Functional assessment  
  • Results of standardised testing such as measures of cognitive ability, social, emotional and behavioural functioning, adaptive functioning etc
     

Data generated from this process is used to plan an appropriate intervention and can serve as a baseline against which to map progress.   

A support plan at this level is likely to be more detailed and individualised, and to include longer term planning and consultation. 

 

  1. Meeting Children’s Additional Learning Needs

 

Once pupils needs have identified they may be supported in a variety of ways. Children at Classroom Support level will be supported in the classroom by the class teacher. Special education teachers and class teachers will work together to support children at School Support and School Support Plus level. This support may take the form of in-class support or withdrawal of groups/individuals. Interventions will be planned to address pupils’ priority learning needs and to achieve the targets identified in the relevant Continuum of Support plan.  

We take into account the different backgrounds, experiences, interests and strengths that influence the way in which children learn when we plan our approaches to teaching and learning. In planning our support, the ‘Planning Template’ outlining the 6 point action plan below will be utilised. 

 

Good target setting is central to effective teaching and learning for pupils with special educational needs. Targets should be few in number; informed by priority learning needs and directly linked to suitable interventions. We will consult parents when setting targets and when reviewing progress. The views of pupils may also be included in this process, through their direct involvement in the discussion or by gathering their views in advance of the review process. This collaboration will help ensure that targets are relevant, meaningful, realistic, and that they draw on the strengths and interests of pupils.  

Planning Template to Guide the Allocation of Additional Teaching Supports for Pupils with Special Educational Needs 

Action 1: Identification of pupils with special educational needs  Review existing information on pupils’ needs, using school-based data and any information from parents and external professionals. Engage in additional screening and data gathering as required, using informal and formal assessment approaches (for example, teacher observations, information on social and emotional competence, standardised tests, diagnostic tests).  

Identify all pupils with special educational needs in the school. Match their needs to the appropriate level on the Continuum of Support. 

Action 2: Setting targets  Based on individual needs, set clear learning targets for each pupil at each level of the continuum of support. 
Action 3: Planning teaching methods and approaches  Identify the level and type of intervention required to meet targets for each pupil on the continuum of support. Schools should consider methodologies best suited to promoting meaningful inclusion such as differentiation, heterogeneous grouping, team-teaching and small group teaching. They should also be mindful that the interventions and supports that they are using are evidence-informed.  
Action 4: Organising early intervention and prevention programmes  Based on identified needs, choose evidence-informed early intervention/prevention programmes to address concerns. Identify time needed and staffing commitment required. 
Action 5: Organising and deploying special education teaching resources 

Cross-reference the needs of pupils at school support and school support plus levels and consider common needs that can be met by grouping to ensure effective and efficient teaching and learning approaches. Agree which teacher(s) will cater for these groups/individuals and when and where the teaching will take place.  

Be mindful of the requirement that pupils with the greatest level of need should receive the greatest level of support from teachers with relevant expertise.  

Action 6: Tracking, recording and reviewing progress 

Establish a tracking and recording system, to ensure that the progress of all pupils in meeting their identified targets is monitored:  

  • At whole-school and classroom support level by all teachers  
  • At the school support and school support plus levels by class teachers and special education teachers.  

 

  1. Monitoring and Reviewing Progress

 

Pupils’ progress in relation to achieving their targets will be regularly and carefully monitored. This stage of the process is informed by effective measurement of baseline performance, including the use of criterion-referenced tests and other methods of assessment (for example, teacher-designed tests, checklists, samples of work, observation) that allow pupils to demonstrate their progress. This will lead to the establishment of specific targets to be achieved within a defined timeframe as outlined below.  

  

 Determine current level of performance

Identify specific time bound targets

Measure progress

 

  

Monitoring outcomes is part of a dynamic process of identification, target-setting, intervention and review, which in turn should lead to adjustments in support plans. The Student Support File will be used to support and record this process. It includes a Support Review Record to guide teachers when monitoring progress and reviewing outcomes with parents and pupils. Such monitoring of progress, and subsequent adaptation of support plans, are key drivers of effective practice.   

  

In addition to monitoring outcomes at the individual level, it is also important to review outcomes at group, class and whole-school level. This review will include some of the following measures: attainment, communication, independence, attendance, social inclusion and well-being (for example, sense of belonging and connectedness to school) for pupils with special educational needs.   

 

 

9. Continuing and Discontinuing Supplementary Teaching

School Support and School Support Plus Plans will be reviewed in September/October and January/February. A decision will be made regarding the continued level of support and revised targets will be set in the Support Plan. Supplementary teaching may be discontinued when satisfactory progress has been made and targets have been met.  

 

10. Monitoring Progress 

  • The Support Review Record on the Continuum of Support will be completed by the Special Education Teacher in collaboration with the Class Teacher. This will be carried out at the end of each instructional period.  
  • Self Reflection (by the child) – as part of the Continuum of Support Review Record if appropriate.  
  • Teacher designed tasks and tests 
  • Termly Assessments if applicable (teacher designed or from publishers).  
  • Standardised Tests at end of year (1st – 6th) English and Maths.  
  • Senior Infant end of year test –Middle Infant Screening Test (MIST).  

 

11. Record Keeping 

Student Support File 

 

We use student support files to plan interventions and to track and record a pupils’ progress. The student support file should include: 

  • Cover Sheet (pupil details & date file opened) 
  • Log of Actions 
  • Permission Slip 
  • Support Plans & Support Review Records 
  • School Assessments 
  • Reports from external professionals/agencies 
  • Copies of correspondence with professionals/external agencies (referral forms etc.) 
  • Record of phone calls/conversations with external professionals 
  • Personal Pupil Plan (where relevant) 

 

Student Support Files for pupils at Classroom Support level will be maintained by the class teacher. If the pupil progresses to School Support or School Support Plus level the file will be passed to the relevant SET.  

Student Support Files for pupils at School Support and School Support Plus will be maintained by special education teachers. Student Support Files will be stored in a locked filing cabinet in the special education room.  

Professional Reports will be maintained by the Principal. A copy of these reports will also be kept in the Student Support File.  

 

12 SEN Policy Success Criteria 

A whole school approach to the implementation of our SEN policy will:  

  • ensure that children with SEN gain access to a broad, balanced curriculum and have opportunity of access to an appropriate education.  
  • develop positive self-esteem and positive attitudes to school and learning among our pupils.  
  • improve standards of academic performance and achievement.  
  • enhance parental involvement in supporting their child’s learning.  
  • increase collaboration between school personnel.  
  • The achievement of these success criteria will be assessed through: feedback from teachers, children and parents/guardians; child’s achievements and ongoing analysis of children’s academic performance and attainment of personal targets.  

This Child Safeguarding Statement was adopted by the Board of Management on 20/01/2022 .

Signed: _Jim O’Connell            Bernard Sheehan

Chairperson of Board of Management      Principal/Secretary to the BOM

Child Safeguarding Statement and Risk Assessment

Child Safeguarding Statement

Dripsey National School is a primary school providing primary education to pupils from Junior Infants to Sixth Class.

In accordance with the requirements of the Children First Act 2015, Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017, the Addendum to Children First (2019), 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 Dripsey has agreed the Child Safeguarding Statement set out in this document.

  1. 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 Bernard Sheehan
  • The Deputy Designated Liaison Person (Deputy DLP) is Sarah Lucey
  • 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 above named DLP as the ‘Relevant Person’ (as defined in the Children First Act 2015) to be the first point of contact in respect of the school’s 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 these procedures
  • 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.

Note:  The above is not intended as an exhaustive list. Individual Boards of Management shall also include in this section such other procedures/measures that are of relevance to the school in question. 

This statement has been published on the school’s website and has been provided to all members of school personnel, the parents’ association (if any) 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 January 20th 2022.

Signed: Jim O’Connell                                     Signed:  Bernard Sheehan

Chairperson of BOM                 Principal/Secretary to the BOM

Date:     22/01/2022                                           Date:    22/01/2022­­­

Child Safeguarding Risk Assessment

Written Assessment of Risk of Dripsey National School

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 Dripsey National School.    

  List of school activities  The school has identified the following risk of harm in respect of its activities    The school has the following procedures in place to address the risks of harm identified in this assessment  
Lack of training of school personnel in Child Protection mattersHarm not recognised or reported promptly
Child Safeguarding Statement & DES procedures made available to all staff   DLP& DDLP to attend PDST face to face training All Staff to view Túsla training module & any other online training offered by PDST   BOM records all records of staff and board training
One to one teachingHarm by school personnel
School has policy in place for one to one teaching Open doors Glass in window in door More than one teacher has full access to every Homework folder on MS Teams/OneNote
Care of Children with special needs, including intimate care needsHarm by school personnelPolicy on intimate care
Toilet areasInappropriate behaviour
supervision policy  (one child coming into toilet from yard at a time, have to ask teacher on yard)
Curricular Provision in respect of SPHE, RSE, Stay safe.Non-teaching of same
School implements SPHE, RSE, Stay Safe in full
Child going to office for somethingHarm by school personnelChild waits in corridor
Daily arrival and dismissal of pupilsHarm from older pupils, unknown adults on the playgroundArrival and dismissal supervised by Teachers
Managing of challenging behaviour amongst pupils, including appropriate use of restraintInjury to pupils and staff
Health & Safety Policy Code Of Behaviour
Sports CoachesHarm to pupils
Policy & Procedures in place Visiting coaches to present Tusla certification and/or vetting certificate
Students participating in work experienceHarm by student
Visiting student vetted (if over 16) Child Safeguarding Statement.
Recreation breaks for pupilsHarm from other pupils
Supervision policy Anti bullying policy
Whole Class teachingHarm by school personnel
All staff vetted and trained in Child Protection Substitutes to be vetted
Sporting Activities  Harm from unknown strangers, school personnel, other pupils 
Anti bullying policy, child protection policy, staff to be vetted and trained in child protection
SwimmingHarm from unknown strangers, school personnel, other pupils 
Anti bullying policy, child protection policy, child safeguarding statement,  staff to be vetted and trained in child protection
Fundraising events involving pupils  Harm from unknown strangers, school personnel, other pupils 
Anti bullying policy, child protection policy, child safeguarding statement,  staff to be vetted and trained in child protection, pupils to be under supervision of parents/staff
Administration of Medicine Administration of First Aid  Misuse of medicines, harm by school personnel
Substance misuse policy, administrations of medicines policy, first aid policy, staff training.
Prevention and dealing with bullying amongst pupilsBullying not identified/dealt with
Anti bullying policy, full implementation of the SPHE policy
Use of external personnel to supplement curriculum    Harm by external personnel, harm not recognised by external personnel
  external personnel to be vetted/provide certificate of Tusla training, Child protection policy, child safe guarding statement        
Care of pupils with specific vulnerabilities/ needs such as  Pupils from ethnic minorities/migrantsMembers of the Traveller community Lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) childrenPupils perceived to be LGBTPupils of minority religious faithsChildren in careChildren on CPNS (Child Protection Notification System)  Bullying by other pupils Harm by othersAnti bullying policy Child protection Statement  
Recruitment of school personnel including – TeachersSNA’sCaretaker/Secretary/CleanersSports coachesExternal Tutors/Guest Speakers Volunteers/Parents in school activities  Harm not recognised or properly or promptly reported   Harm by school staff
Child Safeguarding Statement & DES procedures made available to all staff   Staff to view Tusla training module OR any other online training offered by PDST   Vetting Procedures   Policy of Parents / Volunteers    
Use of Information and Communication Technology by pupils in school  Bullying
ICT policy Anti-Bullying Policy Code of Behaviour
Students participating in work experience in the school  Harm not recognised or properly or promptly reported   Harm by work placement  pupils
Pupils not on a 1 to 1 with work placement students.   Work placement students to be vetted (if over 16 years of age)
Student teachers undertaking training placement in school  
Harm not recognised or properly or promptly reported   Harm by student teacher
Vetting procedures student teacher to be presented with safe guarding pack    
Use of video/photography/other media to record school events  Staff member looses phone
Permission slips , pupils in groups and not named Photos transferred to school computer and deleted
After school use of school premises by other organisations  
Harm not recognised or properly or promptly reported Harm of pupils by other personnel
Other organisation to have Child Safeguarding Statement and staff to provide proof of vetting
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 the general health & 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.

Examples of Activities, Risks and Procedures
The examples listed in this document are provided to assist schools in undertaking their risk assessment under the Children First Act, 2015.  Schools should note that this list of examples is not intended to be exhaustive. It is the responsibility of each school to ensure, as far as possible, that any other risks and procedures that are relevant to its own particular circumstances are identified and specified in the written risk assessment and that adequate procedures are in place to address all risks identified.

It is acknowledged that schools already have in place a range of policies, practices and procedures to mitigate the risk of harm to children while they are participating in the activities of the school and that some school activities will carry low or minimal risks of harm compared to others.  In the context of the risk assessment that must be undertaken by schools, the Children First Act, 2015 refers to risk as ‘any potential for harm’.  Therefore, it is important that as part of its risk assessment process, each school lists and reviews all of its various activities (which shall include identifying those that may carry low risk of harm as well as those that carry higher risks of harm).  Doing so will help the school to (1) identify as required under the Children First Act, 2015 any risks of harm that may exist in respect of the school’s activities, (2) identify and assess the adequacy of the various procedures already in place to manage those risks of harm and (3) identify and put in place any such additional procedures as are considered necessary to manage any risk identified.

The Addendum to Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children published in January 2019 clarifies that organisations providing relevant services to children should consider the specific issue of online safety when carrying out their risk assessment and preparing their Child Safeguarding Statement.

The Guidance on Continuity of Schooling for primary and post-primary schools (April 2020) advises of the importance of teachers maintaining the safe and ethical use of the internet during distance learning and assisting parents and guardians to be aware of their role also. Schools should ensure that their Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) informs and guides remote or distance learning activity.

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 the general health & safety risk.  The definition of harm is set out in chapter 4 of the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017.

Examples of School Activities:

  • Daily arrival and dismissal of pupils
  • Recreation breaks for pupils
  • Classroom teaching
  • One-to-one teaching
  • One-to one learning support
  • One-to-one counselling
  • Outdoor teaching activities
  • Online teaching and learning remotely
  • Sporting Activities
  • School outings
  • School trips involving overnight stay
  • School trips involving foreign travel
  • Use of toilet/changing/shower areas in schools
  • Provision of residential facilities for boarders 
  • Annual Sports Day
  • Fundraising events involving pupils
  • Use of off-site facilities for school activities
  • School transport arrangements including use of bus escorts
  • Care of children with special educational needs, including intimate care where needed
  • Care of any vulnerable adult students, including intimate care where needed
  • Management of challenging behaviour amongst pupils, including appropriate use of restraint where required
  • Management of provision of food and drink
  • Administration of Medicine
  • Administration of First Aid
  • Curricular provision in respect of SPHE, RSE, Stay Safe
  • Prevention and dealing with bullying amongst pupils
  • Training of school personnel in child protection matters
  • Use of external personnel to supplement curriculum
  • Use of external personnel to support sports and other extra-curricular activities
  • Care of pupils with specific vulnerabilities/ needs such as: 
    • Pupils from ethnic minorities/migrants
    • Members of the Traveller community
    • Lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) children
    • Pupils perceived to be LGBT
    • Pupils of minority religious faiths
    • Children in care
    • Children on CPNS
    • Children with medical needs
  • Recruitment of school personnel including:
    • Teachers/SNA’s
    • Caretaker/Secretary/Cleaners
    • Sports coaches
    • External Tutors/Guest Speakers
    • Volunteers/Parents in school activities
    • Visitors/contractors present in school during school hours
    • Visitors/contractors present during after school activities
  • Participation by pupils in religious ceremonies/religious instruction external to the school
  • Use of Information and Communication Technology by pupils in school
  • Application of sanctions under the school’s Code of Behaviour including detention of pupils, confiscation of phones etc.
  • Students participating in work experience in the school
  • Students from the school participating in work experience elsewhere
  • Student teachers undertaking training placement in school
  • Use of video/photography/other media to record school events
  • After school use of school premises by other organisations
  • Use of school premises by other organisations during the school day
  • Breakfast club
  • Homework club/evening study

Examples of Risks of Harm:

  • Risk of harm not being recognised by school personnel
  • Risk of harm not being reported properly and promptly by school personnel
  • Risk of child being harmed in the school by a member of school personnel
  • Risk of child being harmed in the school by another child
  • Risk of child being harmed in the school by a volunteer or visitor to the school
  • Risk of child being harmed by a member of school personnel, a member of staff of another organisation or other person while the child is participating in out of school activities e.g. school trip, swimming lessons 
  • Risk of harm due to inappropriate use of online remote teaching and learning communication platform such as an uninvited person accessing the lesson link, students being left unsupervised for long periods of time in breakout rooms
  • Risk of harm due to bullying of child
  • Risk of harm due to racism
  • Risk of harm due to inadequate supervision of children in school
  • Risk of harm due to inadequate supervision of children while attending out of school activities
  • Risk of harm due to inappropriate relationship/communications between child and another child or adult
  • Risk of harm due to children inappropriately accessing/using computers, social media, phones and other devices while at school
  • Risk of harm to children with SEN who have particular vulnerabilities, including medical vulnerabilities
  • Risk of harm to child while a child is receiving intimate care
  • Risk of harm due to inadequate code of behaviour
  • Risk of harm in one-to-one teaching, counselling, coaching situation
  • Risk of harm caused by member of school personnel communicating with pupils in appropriate manner via social media, texting, digital device or other manner
  • Risk of harm caused by member of school personnel accessing/circulating inappropriate material via social media, texting, digital device or other manner

Examples of Procedures to Address Risks of Harm:

  • All school personnel are provided with a copy of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement
  • The Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017 are made available to all school personnel
  • 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 adhere to the Children First Act 2015
  • The school implements in full the Stay Safe Programme
  • The school implements in full the SPHE curriculum
  • The school implements in full the Wellbeing Programme at Junior Cycle
  • 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
  • The school undertakes anti-racism awareness initiatives
  • The school has a yard/playground supervision policy to ensure appropriate supervision of children during, assembly, dismissal and breaks and in respect of specific areas such as toilets, changing rooms etc.
  • The school has in place a policy and clear procedures in respect of school outings 
  • The school has a Health & Safety Policy
  • The school adheres to the requirements of the Garda Vetting Legislation and relevant DES circulars in relation to recruitment and Garda Vetting
  • The school has a Code of Conduct for school personnel (teaching and non-teaching staff)
  • The school complies with the agreed disciplinary procedures for teaching staff
  • The school has a Special Educational Needs policy
  • The school has an Intimate Care Policy/Plan in respect of students who require such care
  • The school has in place a policy and procedures for the administration of medication to pupils
  • The school:
    • Has provided each member of the school 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
    • Maintains records of all staff and board member training
  • The school has in place a policy and procedures for the administration of First Aid
  • The school has in place a Code of Behaviour for pupils
  • The school has in place an ICT policy in respect of usage of ICT by pupils
  • The school has in place a Mobile Phone Policy in respect of usage of mobile phones by pupils
  • The school has in place a Critical Incident Management Plan
  • The school has in place a Home School Liaison Policy and related procedures
  • The school has in place a policy and procedures for the use of external persons to supplement the delivery of the curriculum
  • The school has in place a policy and procedures for the use of external sports coaches
  • The school has in place a policy and clear procedures for one-to-one teaching activities
  • The school has in place a policy and procedures for one-to-one counselling
  • The school has in place a policy and procedures in respect of student teacher placements
  • The school has in place a policy and procedures in respect of students undertaking work experience in the school
  • The school has in place a policy and procedures in respect of pupils of the school undertaking work experience in external organisations

Midterm Greeting

Good morning all,

I am sure that many of you were looking out the window yesterday morning wondering if it was going to snow.

Some of might even have been wondering if I would have “closed the school” for the day had there been snow.

Believe it or not but I was doing the exact same as you. Unfortunately, all we had was cold rain and some sleet.

You may know that we are having Midterm next week (Thursday and Friday, some of you may have siblings in secondary school who are off for the full week). I am sure that you are all looking forward to the break from Teams/OneNote/Aladdin.

Today marks the end of our 5th week of Distance Teaching this year and I am really proud of much work everyone has done. It has not been easy for you, well done.

The teachers have decided that we will be giving less work each day next week than we have been doing up to now.

However T’s & C’s apply to this decision.

  1. Today’s work is to be completed in good spirits, no trying to get away from the table to take a break or anything like that.
  2. Next week’s reduced work is also to be completed in good spirits, no trying to get away from the table to take a break, no excuses or anything like that.
  3. Children are to use their extra time to help out with whatever their parents ask them to do next week. *

*this T&C is for the children, the others apply to the children and adults!

I have sent out a YouTube of me reading this message so it can be played for the younger children.

Take care.

Bernard Sheehan

Elf on the Shelf

Here is a compilation of the Elf on the Shelf pictures that were submitted.

Enjoy

Nollaig Shona

Dear Parents/Guardians

 

Returning to school in September has been very different to previous years and I appreciate the support that everyone has given. It is something I am very grateful for.

 

I am very appreciative of the keen sense of responsibility everyone had shown over the last number of months. Our children have adapted brilliantly to the changes that have been necessary and have shown great resilience in the face of all the challenges the year has brought.

 

I know that many of the children’s favourite activities have been postponed or changed due to the restrictions and that is why the school staff felt it especially important to make school as normal and enjoyable as possible for the children this year.

 

The children have had a fantastic time in school, culminating in the past week of 

  • Lego Workshops
  • Pantomine (Cinderella)
  • Christmas Jumper Day in aid of BUMBLEance (Go raibh maith agaibh Rang a Cuig agus a Sé) which raised €450
  • No Uniform Day today (another Christmas Jumper Day?)
  • Treats from the Parents’ Association  
  • A Christmas Disco in the school yard 
  • A whole school recording of the poem Twas the night before Christmas 

Many thanks to Dripsey CLG for providing 2 excellent coaches for the children over the course of this school term.

I would also like to thank the Parents’ Association for organising Halloween treats, paying for Lego workshops, the incredible Christmas treats/Teddies, Halloween competitions etc. These bits have been the cherry on top for the children.

On behalf of the school staff, I would like to thank you and your families for all the support they have given the school.

Finally, I have attached an audio of The Night before Christmas for your listening pleasure. Many thanks to Miss Lucey and her class for compiling this. You may recognise some of the voices…

I look forward to seeing you all in 2021 and I am sure we will not have to be looking at each other from afar.

Nollaig Shona agus Athbhlian faoi Mhaise daoibh go léir.

Bernard Sheehan

Drop-off and Collection Routines

Dear Parent / Guardian,

The BoM and the School Leadership Team have been working to ensure a safe return to school for all pupils and staff in two weeks’ time.   We have now finalised our plans for drop-off and collection of the children every day. 

Dripsey NS appreciates your support as we try to safely reopen the school building. If at all possible we request you not to come into the school playground or into the school building unless it is essential. We appreciate that dropping off the Infant pupils to their yard may be necessary, but for the older pupils a drop off in the yard is desirable. Working together we hope to be able to progress the reopening in as safe a manner as possible for all.

We would ask all parents to familiarise themselves with the following drop-off and collection routines for the safe delivery and collection of pupils from school.  Please be patient as we endeavour to embed these necessary precautionary and protective practices at the beginning of the school year.

It is imperative that

  • adults do not come within 2m of each other
  • parents do not try to have meetings with members of staff in the playground at drop-off and collection times – meetings between parents and teachers can only take place by prior arrangement. (This may have to be more restrictive depending on guidance – it is quite possible that the recommendation will be for remote meetings/telephonic communications.)
  • all parents adhere to the drop-off and collection plans as outlined below

Drop-off Plan

  1. Students from First Class, Second Class, Third Class and Fourth class are to be dropped off between 9:00 and 9:10.  These students will be going to class at 9:10 and commencing their school day.
  2. Students from Junior Infants, Senior Infants, Fifth Class and Sixth class are to be dropped off between 9:10 and 9:20.

On the first morning (September 1st), the Junior Infants are to be brought to their classroom door at 9:25. After this, it will be left to the discretion of these parents to bring their child to the door (once the other classes have left the yard) or to bring their child to the yard (while following Public health guidelines)

  • The School Bus will be arriving shortly before 9:10 so as to facilitate the above. Parents with children in both drop-offs may do likewise.

Late arrival:

If a child arrives late he/she is to go to the external door of their classroom for entry. The classes will be entering and exiting the building via these doors for the foreseeable so they will know where to go if necessary.

Collection Plan

  1. Students from First Class, Second Class, Third Class and Fourth class are to be collected at 2:50.
  2. Students from Fifth Class and Sixth class are to be collected at 3:00.
  3. Infants are to be collected at 2:00 (Junior Infants will be finishing at 12:00 until September 11th and it is anticipated that they will be finishing at 12:50 for the 2 weeks from September 14th. Miss Dineen will inform you of the precise date in the middle of the week of September 7th

If a parent needs to collect a child at a time other than the above, please inform the school in advance and collect the child from their classroom’s external door.

Bernard Sheehan

Physical Distancing and Safe School Attendance

Dear Parent / Guardian,

We are currently working on upgrading our procedures and routines within the school to ensure that there is as much Physical Distancing as is possible in our building. We will apply physical distancing in a practical and sensible way, recognising that the learning environment cannot be dominated by a potentially counterproductive focus on this issue.

Physical Distancing will be achieved in two ways: –

Increasing Separation.  This will be achieved by re-configuring the classrooms to maximise physical distancing. Each class will be referred to as a bubble and we will ensure that there is as little contact as possible between children in different bubbles.  Within the bubbles, children will be organised into pods.  A pod is a group of children who will sit together and who will stay in their pod while in the bubble, or classroom. 

Decreasing Interaction. This will be achieved by decreasing the potential for children from different bubbles to interact.  Bubbles will have different mid-morning and lunch-time access to the playground.  We will make these routines enjoyable activities for the children, emphasising safety at all times.

While all children will be welcome back to school, we would inform parents that, where children are displaying colds, coughs or flu like symptoms, they should not be sent to school.  Children who display such symptoms in school will be isolated and parents asked to collect them from the school.

Children who have travelled from countries not on the Green List should not attend school during the 14-day self-isolation period

Further information on COVID-19 symptoms in children is available at: –

https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/if-your-child-has-symptoms.html

Teachers will make children aware of the proper hygiene procedures regarding hand washing and etiquette related to sneezing, coughing or spitting.  We would be grateful if you could also practise correct hand washing and “elbow catching” with your children at home as part of the preparation for returning to school.

Our aim remains to re-open the school in an orderly safe manner, while reassuring the children and making them feel comfortable, safe and relaxed with their friends in the new school environment.  This will be achieved by all of us working towards this common goal.

Kind regards

Bernard Sheehan

Re-opening of Dripsey National School

Dear Parent / Guardian,

I hope you and your families are keeping well.

As you are aware, our school has now been closed since 12th March due to the COVID-19 situation.  We are now looking forward to re-opening our school safely, in line with current guidance and recommendations on September 1st.

Re-opening the school safely will require the co-operation of all members of our School Community – BoM, School Leadership, Staff, Parents and Pupils. We will all be called on to play our part in ensuring that re-opening of the school is done in a safe manner which prevents the spread of the virus and allows the vital work of Teaching and Learning to proceed with as little disruption as possible.

We have been working on our plan for the safe reopening of the school for some weeks now and have published the DES COVID-19 Response Plan for the safe and sustainable reopening of Primary and Special Schools on our school website.  The Response Plan gives details of

  • Physical preparation, signage, hand sanitiser stations,
  • Advice, procedures and training for the safe return to working in the school for all school staff and pupils
  • General and specific advice on how all pupils, staff, parents and visitors will prevent the spread of the virus

Our BoM will keep you informed as to the progress of our re-opening plans and provide you with the information required by you to play your part in safely re-opening the school.

We are really looking forward to welcoming our children back to school and will be doing all that we can to ensure that the return to school is a safe and enjoyable experience for the children. We will be in touch with you again before school re-opens.

Kind regards

Bernard Sheehan

The following websites provide further information on COVID-19 and on government advice and recommendations regarding the re-opening of schools: –