St Michael's College is an inclusive school in keeping with the Spiritan Ethos of the College. It aims to fulfil the fiduciary obligations of schools under relevant legislation as directed by the Board of Management of the College. The Special Educational Needs policy of St. Michael's College Senior School aims to comply with the following definition from the EPSEN Act (2004): “A special educational need 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 leaning disability or any other condition which results in a person learning differently from a persona without that condition…”
Key legislation informing best practice includes:
· Education Act (1998)
· Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act (2004)
· The Education for Persons with Disabilities Act (2004)
Students with Additional Needs are;
· Students with general learning difficulties
· Students with average and above average ability who experience specific learning difficulty. (SLD's include Dyslexia and Dyscalculia)
· Students with Exceptional Ability
· Students with a physical handicap or sensory impairment
· Students with a diagnosed social, emotional, behavioural or communication difficulty
· Students for whom English is a second language
· Students whose education has been interrupted for a significant period.
The aim of the SEN Department is to identify and support all students who have additional needs in the college and to provide an appropriate, coordinated, continuous and caring response to these needs as students' progress through the school. This involves educating these students in an inclusive environment, and ensuring that they share a complete an educational experience with their peers.
The SEN Dept. at St. Michael's works collaboratively and in confidentiality with students, parents and the school community to provide equality of opportunity and access for all students with additional needs. The SEN coordinator is part of the school Core Care Team and liaises with outside support agencies such as the following:
· NEPS The National Educational Psychological Service
. SEC: The State Examination Commission (Reasonable Accommodations)
· NCSE: National Council for Special Education via the SENO (Special Educational Needs Officer)
· The Lucena Clinic & St. John of God
· Educational Psychologists
· Occupational Therapists
· HSE & Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services
· Speech & Language Therapists
· Visiting Teacher Service for Visually & Hearing Impaired
Educational Support for students with Additional Needs: Resource and Learning Support teaching is provided for students with assessed special educational needs and those who qualify for resource hours under Dept. of Education guidelines. Support is delivered according to the National Educational Psychological Service's guidelines “A Continuum of Support”. A Learning Plan is drawn up for students who have Resource Hours in conjunction with student, staff and parents. Support teaching is delivered as part of a whole class setting, via team-teaching, small group settings or individual support classes. This is determined according to the needs of the student. Learning Support teachers provide support in the curriculum primarily in the areas of Literacy and Numeracy. Students can also avail of study skills, social skills courses and subject specific support. SNA's work as part of the SEN department, supporting students with additional care needs.
Irish Exemptions: The Dept. of Education have strict guidelines regarding the granting of an exemption from the study of Irish at Post-Primary Level. For further information, please see the following link: Click HERE.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Reasonable Accommodations: The SEN Department works in conjunction with parents and the State Exam Commission to ensure that all students in St Michael's College have the necessary accommodations to allow them equality of access to the state examinations. The link for Reasonable Accommodation information is at the State Examination Commission. Click HERE.
Parents should contact SEN Coordinator Susan Healy for further information at email@example.com
School SEN Policy: To view the St. Michael's SEN policy and plan in full please see here: Click HERE.
Here are some websites that offer more information and support on Special Educational Needs in an Irish context: