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Learning Support Policy

Glenamaddy Community School must “ensure that the educational needs of students, including those with disability or special needs, are identified and provided for.” (The Education Act 1998, Section 9, p.13).
“Disability” (Education Act 1998) or “Special Educational Needs” (Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act 2004) means in relation to a person, a restriction in the capacity of the person to participate in and benefit from education on account of an enduring physical, sensory, mental health or learning disability, or any other condition which results in a person learning differently from a person without that condition.” (The Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Bill 2004, Section 52, p.36), This is also known as the EPSEN Act.

Mission Statement

Glenamaddy Community School dedicates itself to providing a holistic education, where the uniqueness and potential of each student is fostered and celebrated in a variety of ways. With our Educational Partners we strive to create a caring, nurturing environment of mutual respect, where each individual is cherished and nurtured to a personal, intellectual and moral maturity. We find our inspiration in the Christian message of faith, hope and love.

Learning Support and Special Educational Needs - Operating Context

•    Learning Support/SEN provision is designed to help children with learning difficulties achieve adequate levels of proficiency in literacy and numeric ability before leaving school. It aims to develop positive self-esteem and positive attitudes to school and learning.
•    Learning Support/SEN is a whole school policy in keeping with the terms and conditions of the Education Act 1998 and the EPSEN Act 2004.
•    Partnership between class teachers, learning support teachers and parents is essential for effective learning support.
•    Supplementary teaching should focus on the learning needs of individual pupils with Special Educational Needs and individuals who have been identified as achieving significantly lower attainments than their peers.
•    The Principal has overall responsibility for the learning support programme within the school under the EPSEN Act 2004.

The Special Educational Needs/Learning Support Team

•    The SEN/LS support team is a group of individuals in the school who have particular responsibility for students who have SEN.
•    It consists primarily of the Principal, the Learning Support Co-ordinator  and Learning Support/ SEN Teachers. The team works closely with both mainstream teachers and other specialist staff members, such as Special Needs Assistants, and other subject teachers, where relevant.
•    The SEN/LS team liaise with the Deputy Principal in the timetabling of allocated hours for LS classes, appropriate to the needs of the student.
•    This team links with the Year Head and pastoral care/Guidance team in the school in order to cater for the educational, social and emotional needs of Students with SEN.
•    The SEN team meet on a weekly basis to monitor and evaluate the progress of students with SEN.

Methods of Identifying Students with Special Educational Needs

Pre enrolment:

•    The Learning Support Co-ordinator visits local national schools to identify possible students with SEN.
On enrolment:
•    The Learning Support Co-ordinator and Principal meet with parents. All relevant documentation in relation to the student with SEN should be passed on to the school, in accordance with the Admissions Policy of Glenamaddy Community School. Any documentation in relation to a student with SEN will be referred to the Special Educational Needs Organiser (SENO), who decides what resources should be made available e.g. allocation of resource hours, Special Needs Assistant allocation etc.

Screening of First Year students

•    All first years are screened using a standardised screening test in literacy e.g. the Edinburgh Reading Test 4. and a non-standardised test in numeracy.
•    Students who are achieving below the 10th percentile in literacy and numeracy will be selected for further diagnostic assessments e.g. Neale Analysis of Reading Ability, as well as informal assessments in literacy and numeracy in order to ascertain the need for Learning Support. / Resource teaching.
•    Parents will then be informed that their child will be offered Learning Support or Resource Teaching.
•    Further referrals will be made to outside agencies i.e. the HSE, NEPS, Child Guidance – where it is deemed appropriate by the Learning Support /SEN team or Principal, in consultation with parents and the SENO.

Allocation of Resources and Teaching of Students with SEN

•    Resources in school must be directed towards the students in greatest need i.e. those in receipt of resource hours from the NCSE, or who are below the 10th percentile in standardised tests.
•    The Learning Support/SEN team will interpret the outcome of assessments and consider the most appropriate form of intervention for the pupil, in consultation with parents, subject teachers, Special Needs Assistants and relevant outside agencies.
•    In so far as possible students with Special Educational Needs will be educated in inclusive setting within the class group. This may take the form of team-teaching particular subjects, where the SEN/LS teacher goes into the classroom with the subject teacher to facilitate the needs of SEN students.
•    If withdrawal of SEN pupils from mainstream classes for supplementary or resource teaching is deemed necessary, parents’ permission will be sought.
•    Students may be timetabled with a subject teacher for LS, if the SEN team deem it appropriate. The timetabling of such classes is reviewed on a regular basis by the LS/SEN team.

Students with SEN who transfer from another post-primary school.

Any student with SEN who transfers from another post-primary school will be assessed according to the criteria used for assessing first year students and will have the appropriate resources made available to them.

Transition from post-primary education to a post-school setting.

The SEN/LS team, in co-operation with the Guidance Counsellor, facilitate the transition of a student with SEN to a post-school setting by liaising with the appropriate agencies and making available all information and documents to parents, and where appropriate to the management of the new setting.

Reasonable Accommodations

The LS/SEN Team liaise with the Examinations Secretary to provide reasonable accommodations for students with SEN during State Examinations. Applications for Junior Certificate students take place in November of the school year when the examination takes place. Applications for Leaving Certificate/Leaving Certificate Applied students take place in May of the previous school year. Parental permission is always sought at this stage.

Students who have English as a second language

The SEN/Learning Support team, where appropriate, supports the work of subject teachers in working with students who have English as a second language. The SEN/LS team will liase with the pastoral care/guidance team and the Year Head to support such students who may have Special Educational Needs.

Students who are Gifted and Talented

The Learning Support/Special Educational Needs team recognise and support where possible the education of students who are deemed to be especially gifted and talented, through allocation of resources, materials etc.

Individual Learning Profiles and Storage of Documents

•    The Learning Support team, in consultation with parents and subject teachers, will develop an individual profile and learning programme.
•    All planning and progress records in relation to students with SEN will be maintained.
•    All records of a sensitive nature relating to students of SEN, e.g. educational psychologists’ reports, will be stored in a secure location by the Learning Support Co-ordinator, in accordance with the Data Protection Acts (1988,1998 and 2003).



Glenamaddy Community School, Church Street, Glenamaddy, Via Castlerea, Co. Galway, F45KF50 


Telephone +353(0)94 9659315 | Fax +353(0)94 9659354 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

RCN: 20149543