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Coláiste Mhuire

Br. Ráth Tó,
B.Á.C. 7.

Special Needs Policy
2014-15
Ratified by the Board of Management
28-01-2014

Coláiste Mhuire- Type of School

Coláiste Mhuire is a Catholic Voluntary, all-Irish Secondary School for boys and girls
between 12 and 18 years of age under the trusteeship of the Edmund Rice Schools Trust.
The school supports the Religous and Educational Philosophy of ERST. Consequently the
school’s ethos is embedded in the following 5 key elements:
 Nurturing faith, Christian spirituality and Gospel-based values
 Promoting partnership in the school community
 Excelling in teaching and learning
 Creating a caring school community
 Inspiring transformational leadership
As an indication of that, we strive to create a fair and understanding atmosphere in the
school where we focus on the needs of the young person including education, development
and excellence
The school is managed by a Board of Management on behalf of the Trustees. The Dept. Of
Education & Skills funds the school and the school functions in accordance with the rules
and guidelines that the Dept. may issue from time to time. The school has an active Parents
Council and Student Council.
Department: Special Needs
In the Special Needs Department, students are welcomed that were in receipt of resources
for special needs and that have a current psychological report.
In keeping with the philosophy of this school the full development of the student is the most
important thing. It is the responsibility of the Board of Management and the staff of Coláiste
Mhuire, together with parents and guardians of the students, to provide a learning
environment that is inclusive and provides support to students.As such, children with
special needs stay in the class to particip-ate in the curriculum and culture of the school as
much as possible. As well as that, resource classes and other resources, if necessary, will be
available to provide support to the student.
We understand in Coláiste Mhuire that needs of students vary and that different supports
will be required based on those needs. Student support is according to the following NEPS
Continuum of Support.
The Continuum in Coláiste Mhuire

School
Support Plus
(For a few)
Individual
Support
(For Some)
Individual / Group
Approaches

Support for All
Whole School Approaches/ Classroom /Subject
Support

What is meant by support for all is to prevent learning problems that may occur through
effective mainstream teaching and to identify learning problems early. This is available for
all students and usually it is effective for the majority of students.
What is meant by support for some is assessment and intervention for some students
through making extra support available. That support can be made available individually or
in small groups, depending on the school’s resources. This is short-term support.
What is meant by school support plus for a few is intensive intervention on an individual
basis. This kind of support is based on needs that are complex and enduring needs. This
level of support is based on an individual education plan (IEP).

Individual Education Plan
If a student has been identified as having special needs, contact will be made with the
parents to compile a plan. A meeting will be arranged with the parents and the resource
teacher to discuss this plan.
Times will be given to the students during the week to implement this plan and special
mediation to attend to the difficulties they have. A start will be made on the plan for any
new students the year beforehand.
An individual education plan will be compiled for each student receiving help based on their
special needs. The plan will be based on the recommendations of the psychological
services. Because of this, contact will be made with the primary schools when the student
is in 6th class to get the reports early, with the parents’ permission, so that there can be
continuity in support, as recommended by the Department of Education and the National
Educational Psychological Service.
The reports will be kept in a safe, locked place to ensure the privacy of the student. It is
accepted that the information in the reports is confidential and will only be available to
those who are relative to the student.
An application to the National Council for Special Education for resources will then be made.
Resource and Support hours are awarded at the discretion of the Department of Education
and Skills to second level schools.
Aims
Junior Students (Years 1-3):
The most important thing in first and second year is to improve literacy and numeracy skills
so that students with difficulties or special needs can participate in the curriculum as much
as possible. If a student is not able for a particular subject, these times can be freed for
special classes. Contact will be made with class teachers also to identify difficulties early so
that help can be given to them as early as possible.
With regard to third year students, the help will be directed towards the challenges of the
Junior Certificate. Emphasis will be placed on study skills and organizational skills. If
necessary, an application for reasonable accommodations in the state examinations will be
made to the State Examinations Commission.
Senior Students (Years 4-6):
The supports provided in transition year will be based on basic skills of literacy and
numeracy. As part of the individual education plan, there will be an emphasis on preparing
the student for senior cycle.

In fifth and sixth year, supports will be based on the needs of the student. Weaknesses of
the student in terms of in terms of a subject with an ongoing emphasis on study skills and
organizational skills.
If necessary, an application for reasonable accommodations will be made to the State
Examinations Commission.
Special Needs Department Team
Tomás Ó Murchú, Principal
Clár Chapman, Guidance Counsellor
Bláithín Ní Dhubhlaoich, Resource Teacher (1:1 Classes, 1:2 & small groups)
Seosamh Ó Griallais Resource Teacher and Learning Support
Síle Ní Chearbhaill Resource Teacher and Learning Support
M Ní Mhuilleoir Múinteoir Resource Teacher and Learning Support
Muire NicCharthaigh Special Needs Assistant, 5 th Year
Julie Browning Special Needs Assistant, 3rd Year
Laura Connor Special Needs Assistant, 3rd Year