This policy is being updated with information relevant in September 2017. A
new policy will be written when the imminent changes in SEN and Inclusion
are introduced by the Department of Education NI. Circular number 2017/12
states “..that a targeted stakeholder engagement and public consultation on
the new Code will take place in 2018” and “..the new Framework will be
implemented in 2019”
The Special Needs policy of Lisnagelvin Primary School has been
implemented using recommendations from the Code of Practice on the
Identification and Assessment of Special Educational Needs
(Education (N.I.) Order 1996), the Code of Practice on the Identification and
Assessment of Special Educational Needs (Department of Education 1998),
the supplement to the Code of Practice (2005) and the Special Educational
Needs and Disability (NI) Order 2005 (SENDO).
The school aims to provide support for any child who has special needs at
any point in his/her school career for as long as it is required.
Special Needs categories include –
1) Learning Difficulties
2) Specific Learning Difficulties
3) Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties
4) Physical Disabilities
5) Sensory Impairments (visual and hearing)
6) Speech, Language and Communication Difficulties
7) Medical Conditions
8) Prolonged absence from school
9) Highly able / Gifted
Lisnagelvin School welcomes the opportunity for all children to live and learn
together in a caring environment. Children with Special Needs, who meet the
admissions criteria, will be admitted to the school provided the school can
meet the child’s needs with its present resources or with resources that can
be acquired and that the special needs of the child do not have a detrimental
effect on the education of other children within the school.
Children with Special Needs are included in school life as much as possible
and are encouraged to take part in all activities unless they must be excluded
for medical reasons.
When children, with established Special Educational Needs, transfer to
Lisnagelvin during their school career a meeting with the parents or carers,
Principal, SENCo, other school staff as appropriate and relevant outside
agencies will be held to discuss the child’s needs and to form an initial plan to
meet the child’s educational, social and emotional needs.
The policy has been developed with the approval of the Board of Governors.
The named Governor with responsibility for Special Educational Needs is Mrs
Janet Kane. The Principal has responsibility for the implementation of the
policy and the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) ensures that
it is integrated throughout the school on a day to day basis.
The named teacher with responsibility for co-ordinating Special Educational
Needs is Lynda Doherty. Staffing also currently includes, a Learning Support
Assistant working with the SENCo, fifteen Learning Support Assistants
working with children with Statements of Special Educational Needs
throughout the school employed by the Education Authority and two part-time
Learning Support Assistants employed by the school.
The SENCo is responsible for liaising with the Principal to plan the S.N.
budget for the forthcoming year. The budget is used to provide extra staff
support as well as to provide resources to aid the provision of Special Needs
(including a staff library of reference books and resource materials for
classroom use) and training for the professional development of staff.
The SENCo is responsible for maintaining the school’s SEN register.
The SENCo will attend relevant in-service courses provided by the Education
Authority or other agencies.
The SENCo is responsible for liaising with outside agencies, including
Educational Psychology, and completing (with the help of teachers) the
relevant referral forms.
The SENCo is responsible for liaising with teachers, Educational Psychology
and other outside agencies to identify pupils to be referred for Statutory
Assessment and completing the necessary paperwork.
The SENCo is responsible for delivering or co-ordinating staff training. This
may be informal with an individual teacher or Learning Support Assistant or a
more structured meeting with a group or the whole staff.
The SENCo will disseminate details of training available from the Education
Authority or outside agencies to appropriate members of staff.
The SENCo will aid the Principal in arranging MAST meetings and annual
review meetings for children with statements of special educational needs.
The SENCo is responsible for liaising with outside agencies and ensuring
Education Authority Learning Support Service contracts are fulfilled.
The SENCo is a member of the Senior Management Team and is responsible
for SEN elements of the School Development Plan.
The SENCo is a member of the Curriculum Leadership Team.
The SENCo and the Principal have overall responsibility for the Learning
Support Assistants working with special needs children. However, the class
teacher remains the first line-manager.
The SENCo is responsible for delivering or co-ordinating specific learning
programmes to groups of children or individuals.
The SENCo conducts or aids other teachers with meetings or workshops
related to S.N. topics.
The SENCo is responsible for holding regular meetings with year groups to
discuss general Special Needs topics and individual pupils.
All children with Special Needs are primarily the responsibility of the class
teacher. The teacher provides a broad and balanced curriculum
The tests are administered on-line and the data generated used to inform
provision for individual children.
When a child has been identified his/her name is recorded by the SENCO on
the Special Needs Register with the cause for concern and the child’s current
Stage 1- the class teacher uses strategies to support the child. SENCo
advises. Class teacher contacts parents or carers.
Stage 2 – SEN staff play an active role in delivering or co-ordinating
support to the child. Parents or carers are informed and involved in EP
Stage 3 – outside agencies are involved usually through referral by the
Educational Psychologist. Parental or carer consent and contributions
Stage 4 – Statutory Assessment by the Education Authority is
considered. Parental or carer opinions are sought.
Stage 5 – Child has a statement of Special Educational Needs issued
by the Education Authority. Parents or carers and all professionals are
involved in an annual review.
Children at Stage 5 may be entitled to a level of support from a Learning
Support Assistant. The role of the assistant is concerned with the provision of
support for the child as directed by the Principal and SENCo and in helping
the child to develop their independence where possible.
Special Needs provision from Stage 2 upwards is delivered by the class
teacher with supplementary support from the SEN staff providing advice, inclass
support or withdrawal as appropriate. Children at Stages 2, 3, 4 and 5
have Education Plans written by the teacher in consultation with the SEN
The EP’s are usually written in October and February and reviewed twice a
year in February and June however some children may require more frequent
target setting and reviews. The child should have input into their targets when
appropriate and the EP is shared with parents or carers. Progress is assessed
at each review and, if required, new targets set to reflect the child’s present
need. The child may be retained at the same stage, moved up or down the
stages or removed from the SN register.
Parents are invited to an interview with the class teacher in October and
February to discuss progress and future targets. The class teachers and
SENCo are available for parent consultations throughout the year by prearranged
Contact to inform parents about support other than from the class teacher will
be made by letter from the Principal, SENCo or outside agency.
OUTSIDE AGENCY CONTACTS
Outside agencies with contacts with Lisnagelvin School areEducational
Reading Centre (SpLD Support Service)
Ardnashee Learning Outreach Service
Language and Communication Outreach Service
Ebrington Speech and Language Class
Little Oaks Learning Centre
SEBD Support Team
Child and Family Team (CAMHS and ADHD clinic)
Autism Advisory and Intervention Service
Peripatetic services for the Visually and Hearing Impaired
Inclusion Advisory Service
Speech and Language Therapy (Waterside Health Centre)
Occupational Therapy (Bridgeview House)
Physiotherapy (Bridgeview House)
SALT (Bridgeview House)
Foyle Down Syndrome Trust
National Autistic Society for Northern Ireland
Action for Children
Regional Integrated Support for Education (RISE NI formerly
Children’s Brain Injury Trust (cbit)
The school is pleased to welcome any professional service or charity that can
offer support and advice to the staff, the children and their parents.
The school has strong links with the neighbouring Nursery School and all SEN
reports are passed to the P1 teachers during the third term, prior to allocating
classes and arranging staffing requirements.
The school has established links with the post-primary schools to which the
pupils transfer. Special Needs documentation is passed to appropriate staff
(SENCo or Year 8 Head) to ensure a continuation of provision.
Complaints from parents about the SEN provision within the school will be
dealt with at the first stage by the Principal. If the problem is not resolved to
the satisfaction of the parents an appeal may be lodged with the Board of
Governors, who will investigate the grievance.
This policy will be amended when appropriate and completely reviewed when
the New SEN Framework is implemented.
EVALUATING THE POLICY
The success of the policy will be judged by
the progress made by the children
self appraisal by the staff and evidence of the development of the
Special Needs skills of the teachers (identification, classroom
management and the use of outside agency advice and support)
through capacity building
feedback from parents and outside agencies about the
effectiveness of Special Needs provision within the school.
canvassing the views of the children involved with Special
Educational Needs support
external examination of the school’s SEN provision by Inspectors