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Special Educational Needs Policy











Special Education Needs















In line with the principles of the Code of Practice it is our aim that all children with special educational needs should have access to a broad/balanced education. To this end we will endeavour to ensure that SEN provision will match the nature of the child’s SEN.

In the Education Order 1996 and the CoP 1998, “learning difficulties” means that the child has significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of his or her age and/or a disability which hinders his or her use of everyday educational facilities. Special education provision is defined as “educational provision which is different from (i.e. LSC or special school), or additional to (e.g. adult support) , the provision made generally for children of comparable age. The term SEN is defined in the legislation as “a learning difficulty that calls for special education provision to be made. Therefore, children on the SEN register should be getting additional support, compared to their peers in school.

We recognise the importance of a good working partnership with parents and other professionals.

The Governors and all members of staff of Saint Patrick’s Primary School and Magheradroll Nursery recognise that all children are unique in their diversity and equal in their worth, irrespective of abilities or handicaps, within the ethos of our Catholic School. Therefore, it is the Aim of our school:

  • To      ensure that each child’s entitlement to a broad, relevant and      differentiated education is met by structuring the curriculum to meet      every individual’s needs, abilities and aspirations.
  • To      develop each child’s self confidence and self-esteem.
  • To      provide equal opportunities for all children, regardless of age and      individual needs.
  • To      use strategies which ensure effective learning.
  • To      make parents aware of their child’s needs and to encourage parental support      and involvement as appropriate.
  • To      take the child’s views into account when planning provision.
  • To      ensure that all teachers recognise their responsibilities as teachers of      children with individual and special needs.
  • To      implement an effective record-keeping system.
  • To      identify children with special educational needs as early as possible.
  • To      monitor and continually evaluate current practice.
  • To      ensure that any notable achievements made by each individual are      recognised, when appropriate.


Name of SENCO – Mr Caughey

The designated teacher is responsible for:

  • The day to day operation of the SEN policy
  • Liaising / advising fellow teachers
  • Co-ordinating provision for children with SEN
  • Maintaining the school’s SEN register and overseeing records on all pupils with SEN


  • Liaising with parents
  • Liaising with external agencies when required
  • Attending appropriate in-service training where possible and contributing to in-service training of staff.


  • Liaising with Assessment Coordinator to effectively analyse data to inform individual target setting and groups.


  • Oversee records on pupils with SEN.
  • Build up a caring, trusting relationship with the individual child where self-esteem and self-confidence are developed.


  • Liaising with Classroom Assistants to discuss provision and progress and advise about methodologies relating to a child’s developmental/special needs/conditions.





The teacher should

  • Build up a caring, trusting supportive relationship where self-esteem is developed.


  • Vary teaching style to suit the content and the children.


  • Provide opportunities for all children to develop their reading skills using a wide range of literature.


  • Provide an environment where children see reading as a valuable and valued activity.


  • Provide adequate and attractive resources.
  • Emphasise praise rather than criticism.
  • Encourage group co-operation and tolerance.
  • Use concrete experiences as starting points.
  • Draw up individual or group plans.
  • Review Educational Plans in consultation with SENCo and Classroom Assistant


  • Inform parents of expectations and involve them from the earliest stages.


  • Ensure that the Classroom Assistant is aware of the lessons for the day/timetable/learning intentions and their need for involvement/role in helping the children to achieve.



  • To      support the pupil and all pupils that the assistant comes in contact with,      irrespective of specific responsibilities, since a central principal of      inclusion is that the child with special needs should be helped to work in      the company of other children.
  • To      supervise and assist small groups of pupils in activities set by teachers.
  • To      provide active support in literacy and numeracy activities.
  • To      assist individuals in educational tasks in a balanced manner.
  • To      show interest and raise self-esteem.
  • To      develop pupils’ social skills by supporting them in groups.
  • To      provide feedback to teachers about pupil performance.
  • To keep      records about the individual child/groups of children about their progress      and interventions used
  • To      meet with the SENCo half termly to discuss their role, seek advice and      update the SENCo on the progress/issues relating to the child/children      they are working with



In line with Code of Practice we will continue to build on our existing communication and partnership with parents for the benefit of children with SEN.

We will endeavour to encourage parents to recognise that they have responsibilities towards their child and that the most effective provision will be made when they are open and confident in working in partnership with the school.

Parents of children identified as having special needs and thus being placed on the special needs register will meet with the class teacher and SENCO to discuss the issues below.

  • Explain      the requirements of the C.O.P
  • Review      the child’s progress
  • Discuss      the Education Plans
  • Discuss      ways in which parents may help at home.

Additional meetings will be arranged as and when deemed necessary.



Based on the Code of Practice the following 5 stage model will be adopted:

Stage 1: class teacher identifies a child’s special educational need and consulting the school’s SENCO places the child’s name on register. The teacher will set targets for the child to be addressed within the classroom.

Stage 2: the teacher draws up an education plan (E.P)   After two terms child goes back to Stage 1 or progress is monitored and reviewed- if insufficient progress, may move to Stage 3. The child may receive additional support within/outside the classroom from the learning support teacher.

Stage 3: teachers and the SENCO are supported by specialists from outside the school; Notify Board

Stage 4: boards consider the need for statutory assessment and, if possible, make a multi-disciplinary assessment.

Stage 5: boards consider the need for a statement of special education needs and, if appropriate, make a statement and arrange, monitor and review provision.



The Special Needs Register contains the names of all the children in the school who have been identified as having a special need.

This Register also contains:

  • Child’s      date of birth
  • Child’s      class
  • SEN      status (eg in school provision)
  • The      appropriate stage of the Code for that child
  • Rank     
  • SEN      Need Type
  • The      date of exit from the register, if applicable.


Agreed Criteria for register

A child will be placed on the register when the class teacher feels that there is a specific special need. This need may be confirmed by classroom observation, class test results and standardised test scores. Test scores and standardised scores are only a guide and will not be the sole deciding factor in determining whether to place a child on the SEN. Register.

Records of formal tests and assessment tools are available on SIMS and Assessment Folder in RM Staff as a spreadsheet. They are also recorded in the Red Pupil Portfolios retained by the class teachers. They are transferred between classes and schools to support and ensure the child’s progress

Parents will be invited to discuss their child’s difficulty with the teacher before placing them on the register. Henceforth establish a working partnership with parents. Teachers will then draw up an individual education plan (I.E.P.)   Parents will be asked to sign the I.E.P.

On completion of the I.E.P. it will be reviewed. Again parents will be involved in this review and will be asked to sign the review form.

Following this, further action may take the form of:

q  The child reverting to Stage 1 of the Code of Practice.

q  The child continuing at Stage 2, with a new EP being drawn up.

q  The child exiting from the register

q  The child being placed at Stage 3 and appropriate action taken.

q  At Stage 3 there will be pupils who have been identified as requiring assessment by the Educational Psychologist of the Education Authority (EA). These Pupils will be recorded on a list in the SEN Register. 

q  It is hoped that all children will be assessed by the Educational Psychologist on identification of need. However, should there be occasions when this cannot be provided by EA, pupils will be prioritised on a needs basis. This decision will be made following consultation with the Psychology Department, EA.



  • Step 1: differentiation by class teacher      within class.
  • Step 2: EP – target appropriate / relevant      support

                 EP – will be drawn up to match the child’s need.

  • Step 3: Help from outside agencies


We recognise and believe in equality of entitlement and it is our aim to integrate all children as fully as possible.



The class teacher should be aware of the individual needs of every child in his/her class. It is the class teacher who has the opportunity to detect the early signs of failure. Observation of a child’s behaviour at school and his/her attempts at whatever aspects of the curriculum he is working is the most important part of the diagnostic programme.

The class teacher through differentiation will address the needs of the children at Stage 1 of the Code of Practice and an Education Plan (group or individual) will be drawn up.

For children at Stage 2 (or above) an Education Plan will be drawn up by the class teacher in consultation with the SENCO if necessary. These children may receive withdrawal support/team teaching where appropriate. Teachers providing this support will work in partnership with the class teacher in implementing the plan.


  • Child being identified early as opposed to      later
  • Provision as set out in policy can be      delivered.
  • Assessment is informing the teacher.
  • Record-keeping - clear informative and      easily accessible.
  • How quickly back-up support is provided at      Stage 3 upon request.
  • Assess the success of policy through staff      meetings, discussions observation and liaison.
  • Are parents happy with information available      to them


Consistent with school’s existing curriculum complaints procedure.



A law relating to disability discrimination in education came into effect on 1 September 2005. This law is called the Special Educational Needs and Disability Order(SENDO) 2005. It specifies that no organisation should treat disabled pupils/students and prospective pupils/students less favourably (for a reason relating to their disability) than it treats, or would treat, a person to whom that reason does not or would not apply.

At St Patrick’s and Magheradroll Nursery, we will make all reasonable adjustments to all policies, procedures and practices to ensure that a disabled pupil is not placed at a substantial disadvantage compared to pupils who are not disabled.


It is the policy of this school to evaluate and update this document as necessary or every 2 years.

Recent developments

The out-workings from the most recent legislation, The Special Educational Needs and Disability Act (NI) 2016, is expected to commence in schools in 2019/20. New regulations and a CoP will be made and published in regard to this.

Policy will be amended accordingly as the regulations develop.

Appendix 1a




  • Continuous assessment of 6 areas of curriculum
  • Transition report to Primary 1 (term 3)

P 1


Foundation Stg

  • Baseline Assessment-adapted from CCEA (Term 1)
  • GL Baseline Assessment
  • Letter Sounds / number checks – continuous
  • Running records (Term 3)
  • Literacy and Numeracy Assessments   (Term 3)
  • Reading recovery – book levels (term 3)
  • PASS

P 2


Foundation Stg

  • Letter/Sound/Word Checks
  • Number bond check
  • Maths Recovery
  • MIST - 5th   term in Foundation Stage – Spring Term
  • Standardised Assessments   – PTM & PTE May
  • Running records
  • PASS



Class   assessments given should reflect the programme followed by the children –   i.e. if a child is on an IEP or in a less-able group his/her class assessment   should reflect this

Appendix 1b


P 3


KS 1

  • Literacy and Numeracy Tests
  • Standardised Assessments   PTM & PTE May
  • CAT4A – Precat January
  • SALFORD reading
  • SWST
  • NGRT
  • Maths Recovery
  • Running records
  • PASS
  • Dyslexia Screener


P 4


KS 1

  • SWST
  • NGRT
  • CAT4A
  •  Standardised   Assessments PTM & PTE May
  •  Weekly Spelling   and Mental Maths
  • SALFORD reading
  • Maths Recovery
  • Running records
  • PASS
  • Dyslexia Screener



Class   assessments given should reflect the programme followed by the children –   i.e. if a child is on an IEP or in a less-able group his/her class assessment   should reflect this


Appendix 1c


P 5


KS 2

  • SWST
  • NGRT
  • CAT4B
  •  Standardised   Assessments PTM & PTE May
  • SALFORD reading
  • Maths Recovery
  • Running records
  •  Weekly   Spelling and Mental Maths
  •  PASS
  •  Dyslexia   Screener


P 6


KS 2

  • SWST
  • NGRT
  • CAT4B
  • Standardised Assessments   PTM & PTE May
  • SALFORD reading
  • Maths Recovery
  • Running records
  • Weekly Spelling and Mental Maths
  • PASS
  • Dyslexia Screener

P 7


KS 2

  • SWST
  • NGRT
  • CAT4C
  •  Standardised   Assessments PTM & PTE May
  • SALFORD reading
  • Maths Recovery
  • Running records
  • Weekly Spelling and Mental Maths
  • PASS
  • Dyslexia Screener



Class   assessments given should reflect the programme followed by the children –   i.e. if a child is on an IEP or in a less-able group his/her class assessment   should reflect this