SEN Provision

Special Educational Need Provision

How do we support our students?

(For SEN policy please refer to Policies section)


Prior to entry to St. Paul’s

The early identification of students with Special Educational Needs begins with the application for enrolment. Parents are requested to alert the school by indicating on the form of any such needs. The SEN co-ordinator will write to all who have been accepted for enrolment and indicated an SEN on their applicat6ion form to provide more details. In conjunction with the Year Head for First Years, the Special Needs Co-ordinator will visit or contact the feeder Primary School. St Paul’s sees this intervention as an important step in ensuring proper identification of students with special educational needs and the continuity of provision for them. Where possible, visits are arranged for students and their parents with special educational needs prior to their transfer to St. Paul’s.

Students with an exemption from the study of Irish

In first and second year students who are exempt from studying Irish receive resource help in Maths and English. In Second Year the school offers those who are exempt from Irish the opportunity to cease studying French. Any decision will be a collaborative one between the student, parents, French teacher and SEN co-ordinator. Depending on the number of students who choose this option, the school may offer additional resource classes or an additional practical subject. In exam years, the focus will shift to additional subject specific support, this will depend on the availability of subject teachers at the time of those timetabled classes.

Reasonable Accommodations (RACE)

The Special Educational Needs co-ordinator, in consultation with other members of the SEN Department and school management identify students in need of reasonable accommodation in school and state examinations. Psychological reports that recommend reasonable accommodation for certain students must be acted on and applications forwarded to the ‘Reasonable Accommodations’ section of the State Examinations Commission.

In-school assessment will continue to be administered to those students identified as potential candidates requiring reasonable accommodation. Applications for reasonable accommodation will be made for those students that meet the criteria necessary for additional supports.

Everyday class routine

Class teachers will make themselves aware of the special educational needs of students in their classes. Reading Age, Maths Age plus a short profile of all pupils with a psychological assessment is made available to all teachers at the first staff meeting of the new school year and is available through the co-ordinator on request. Teachers take steps to inform themselves of the special needs of any student in their classes and to bring any concerns regarding such a student to the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator. Teachers are responsible for tailoring their lessons to cater for the various special educational needs and to have a subject related Individual Student Plan (ISP) for each SEN student


Role of the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO)

The SEN co-ordinator is responsible for the overall co-ordination of Resource/Learning Support within the school. The SEN co-ordinator duties are as follows

  • Assists with arrangements for the successful transfer of students from their primary school to St. Paul’s Secondary School and in gathering information about students, including those with special educational needs, before this transfer.
  • Co-ordinates SEN provision in the school
  • Liaises with parents/guardians of SEN students and prospective students
  • Liaises with NEPS psychologists regarding assessment of priority students
  • Communicates with relevant staff regarding essential information regarding SEN students
  • Facilitates and chairs SEN department meetings
  • Provides updates and details of all matters SEN to the School Authorities
  • Liaises with the SENO in relation to all matters SEN including; assessment reports, learning support/resource provision, SNA access and applications to the NCSE
  • Maintains and updates SEN files as well as the yearly SEN Register
  • Administers and maintains records of assessment tests carried out throughout the school year
  • Makes application for Reasonable Accommodation to the SEC
  • Liaises with the Carer Guidance Counsellor about those SEN students who want to continue to third level and assists in the DARE application
  • Processes Exemptions from Irish
  • Liaises with the School Authorities regarding timetabling
  • Strives to develop a climate of confidentiality regarding the sensitive information of all the partners involved in SEN
  • Liaises with school management regarding specific and whole school professional development.

Role of the Special Needs Assistant (SNA)

The duties of the Special Needs Assistants involve tasks of a non teaching nature such as:

  • Attending both Staff and Departmental meetings when appropriate.
  • Assisting / escorting students on school trips.
  • Giving special assistance as necessary for students with particular difficulties e.g. helping special needs students with typing, writing or other use of equipment.
  • Assisting with clothing, feeding, toileting and general hygiene and being mindful of health and safety needs of the student.
  • Assisting with reading/scribing examinations (if appropriate).
  • Assisting the teacher in the supervision of pupils during assembly and in movement from one classroom to another.
  • Accompanying individual or small groups who may be withdrawn temporarily from the classroom.
  • General assistance of the subject teacher of a non-teaching nature. Special Needs Assistants may not act as either substitute or temporary teachers. In no circumstances may they be left in sole charge of a class.
  • Participation with school development planning, where appropriate, and co-operation with any such changes with policies and practices arising from the school development process.
  • Engagement with parents of special needs pupils in both formal and informal structures as required.
  • Other appropriate duties as may be determined by the needs of the pupils and the school. Special Needs Assistants may be re-assigned to other appropriate work when special needs students are absent or when particularly urgent work demands arise.
  • Special Needs Assistants are expected to treat all matters relating to school business and their work as strictly confidential.