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Parents

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Parents Association

In St. Michael’s House SNS, we are very fortunate to have a very actve Parents' Association. As a parent of a child in Raheny School, you are automatically deemed a member of the Parents' Association. Parents are encouraged to come to meetings, join in achieves and to bring in lots of new ideas. The PA runs many events throughout the year, which help to raise valuable funds for our school. As our catchment area is so vast, the PA can be an meeting parents who can advise and support each other. The focus is on FUN, so if you can help in any way, please don’t hesitate to join in.

Parents' Association Commiee Members 2014-2015

Chairperson    Phil Cummins
Secretary    Anne Marie Sherlock
Treasurer    Tom Mullins
Committee Members    Orla O'Loughlin
Bernadette Dowling
Anita & Ken Dolan
Elaine Sheppard
Debbie Corr
Marie Ni Chinneide
Mary Adetoro
Siobhain Crowley

The PA meets every 8 weeks and the Annual General Meeting is held in September /October each year. All are welcome to these meetings.

If you wish to be added to the mailing list for Minutes of the PA Meetings, updates about events, or have any other queries, the Parents' Association can be contacted via email at smhrahenypa@gmail.com

The Parents' Association help organise and/or provide assistance for the following:

  • Credit Union Savings Scheme
  • Communion and Confirmation Party
  • Graduation Dance
  • Coffee mornings for parents
  • Bag Packing in Dunnes Stores, Donaghmede
  • Teas/Coffees for Special Events

Fundraising Events in 2014/2015 include

  • July 2014: Malahide Tennis Club Competition
  • December 2014: Bag Pack, Dunnes Stores, Donaghmede
  • June 2015: Mini Marathon

The Raheny school’s Parents' Association is affiliated to the National Parents' Council

parents council logo

Child Protection Policy

The Board of Management recognises that child protection and welfare considerations permeate all aspects of school life and must be reflected in all of the school’s policies, practices and activities. Accordingly, in accordance with the requirements of the Department of Education and Skills’ (DES) Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools and Child First Guidance, 2011, the Board of Management of St. Michael’s House Special National School (SMH SNS), Raheny, has agreed the following child protection policy:

  1. The Board of Management has adopted and will implement fully and without modification the Department’s Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools as part of this overall child protection policy.
  2. The Designated Liaison Person (DLP) is Mary Downes.
  3. The Deputy Designated Liaison Person (Deputy DLP) is Grace Winston.
  4. In its policies, practices and activities, SMH SNS, Raheny, will adhere to the following principles of best practice in child protection and welfare:

    The school will:

    1. recognise that the protection and welfare of children is of paramount importance, regardless of all other considerations.
    2. fully co-operate with the relevant statutory authorities in relation to child protection and welfare matters.
    3. adopt safe practices to minimise the possibility of harm or accidents happening to children and protect workers from the necessity to take unnecessary risks that may leave themselves open to accusations of abuse or neglect.
    4. develop a practice of openness with parents and encourage parental involvement in the education of their children.
    5. fully respect confidentiality requirements in dealing with child protection matters.
  5. The school will also adhere to the above principles in relation to any adult pupil with a special vulnerability.
  6. When dealing with allegations or suspicions of child abuse as laid down by the DES, the Designated Liaison Person in St. Michael’s House will also be notified.
  7. The following school policies are particularly relevant to child protection: Code of Behaviour, Anti Bullying Policy, Intimate Care, Internet Safety/ Use of Photography, Bus Supervision, Yard Supervision at St. Michael’s House Special National School and School Transport/ Escorts. The following school practices and activities are also relevant to child protection: Accidents, Attendance, Children travelling in staff cars, Communication, Horse Riding, Induction of staff, Induction of pupils, Record keeping, Swimming, Vetting and Visibility (Note Appendix 1 for explanation of practices and activities).
    The Board has ensured that the necessary policies, protocols or practices as appropriate are in place in respect of each of the above listed items.
  8. This policy has been made available to school personnel and the Parents’ Association and is readily accessible to parents on request. A copy of this policy will be made available to the Department and the patron if requested.
  9. This policy will be reviewed by the Board of Management once in every school year.

This policy was adopted by the Board of Management on 24th April, 2014

Signed:


Chairperson of Board of Management

Signed:


Principal

Date of next review:

May 2016

APPENDIX 1

NOTE ON SCHOOL PRACTICES AND ACTIVITIES

Accidents

While every precaution will be taken to ensure the safety of children, we realise that accidents will happen. Accidents will be noted in our Incident book and will be addressed as part of Health and Safety Guidelines and Parent School Communicaion Policy. Parents will be informed of all accidents pertaining to their child. Where a significent injury is sustained and a child has to be taked to the doctor or hospital, the SMH online accident form will also be completed.

Attendance

Our school attendance will be monitored as per our attendance policy. With regards to child protection we will pay particular attention to trends in non-attendance. We will also monitor nonattendance in correlation with signs of neglect/physical/emotional abuse.

Behaviour

Bullying behaviour will be addressed under our Anti-Bullying policy. If the behaviour involved is of a sexualised nature or regarded as being particularly abusive then the matter will be referred to the DLP who will record it and respond to it appropriately.

Bullying

Bullying behaviour will be addressed under our Anti-Bullying policy. If the behaviour involved is of a sexualised nature or regarded as being particularly abusive then the matter will be referred to the DLP who will record it and respond to it appropriately.

Children travelling in staff cars

Members of the school staff will not carry children alone in their cars at any time.

Communication

Every effort will be made to enhance pupil-teacher communication. If pupils have concerns they will be attended to sympathetically. The SPHE / Oral Language curriculum allow for open pupil-teacher communication, which is hoped will aid the pupil-teacher relationship. If staff have to communicate with pupils on a one-to-one basis they will inform another member of staff that they are doing so.

Horse Riding

Pupils who participate in horse riding are brought to their lesson on the school bus accompanied by a teacher and/or Special Needs Assistants (if two buses are required). Staff and Riding for the Disabled (RDA) volunteers assist with the preparation of the group ensuring the pupils are wearing the correct clothing and safety equipment and helmets. All volunteers are Garda vetted by RDA. Only pupils who furnish the school with completed RDA consent forms signed by both parents and their G.P. can participate in this activity.

Induction of Staff

The DLP will be responsible for informing all new teachers and ancillary staff of the DES Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2011, Department of Health and Children - Children First, National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2011 and St. Michael’s House: Policy and Procedures for the Protection of Children and Adults from Abuse and Neglect. All new teachers will follow the Social Personal Health Education curriculum as outlined by the DES. New teachers will be informed of record keeping procedures within the school.

Induction of new Pupils

All parents and children will be made aware of attendance rules and their implications as laid down in the Education Welfare Act (2000). All parents will be informed of the programmes in place in the school that deal with personal development e.g. RSE, Walk Tall, Stay Safe and SPHE. Parents are encouraged to make an appointment with the class teacher/principal if they wish to discuss their child’s progress. All new parents are given a copy of the school’s Code of Behaviour, Child Protection Policy, Intimate Care Policy and Anti-Bullying Policy.

Record Keeping

Teachers will keep each child’s file updated with pupils work records, reports, dates and details of meetings, notes from parents and any meetings with clinicians. Sensitive information regarding children will be shared on a need-to-know basis. All educational files of pupils who no longer attend this school are kept securely in the office store. All records of pupils currently attending SMH SNS, Raheny are kept securely in the filing cabinet in the secretary’s office and the Principal’s office.

Supervision

The school’s supervision rota will be followed by all staff to ensure that there is comprehensive supervision of children at all breaks and immediately before and after school. The Principal/ Deputy Principal will be involved with supervision at arrival time and dismissal time. A further rota will be displayed to cover morning and lunchtime breaks.

Swimming

Children will be brought by bus to the swimming pool. Staff will assist with supervision and changing in the changing rooms in order to ensure the safety of all. All adults will act in ‘loco parentis’ and as such will act as prudent parents in helping children to return to school fully dressed and as dry as possible. Normally there will be 3 school staff for each class. Volunteers will assist in the pool, under the direction of the swimming teacher.

Training

Training for school staff is delivered by the DES through information seminars for D.L.P. and D.D.L.P. arranged from time to time through the Education Centres. In-school training is delivered by C.A.P.P. – Child Abuse Protection Programme. This training covers both the content and procedures in relation to the DES Guidelines and the delivery of the Stay Safe Programme for schools. SMH SNS, Raheny has availed of both and will periodically request in-school training as needed or as recommended by the DES.

Visibility

Teachers will ensure that children are visible in the school play ground at all times. Children will not be allowed to spend time in classrooms, school or toilets where they would not be under adult supervision. Pupils are not to leave the school play ground or to engage with adults who are outside of the school play ground unless they are accompanied by a staff member.

Visitors

Visitors/ clinicians must be let into the school by the secretary using a buzzer system. General queries will be dealt with at the hatch in the secretary’s office. Entry into the school building will be on a needs basis.

Vetting of Volunteers

Every effort will be made to make sure that all volunteers are suitable to work with children. In keeping with DES guidelines, all volunteers, including parents, who aid and assist with school activities will undergo Garda vetting and be required to complete letters of undertaking and statutory declaration. The Principal or Chairperson of the Board of Management will contact the previous employer or college, and all references will be followed up. No person will be employed if, at the recruitment stage, there is any doubt or suspicion that the person is unsuitable to work with children.

Vetting of Staff

All new staff will be Garda Vetted as per DES guidelines and be required to complete letters of undertaking and statutory declaration. The Principal or Chairperson of the Board of Management will contact the previous employer or college, and all references will be followed up.

Parents Complaints Procedure

Admissions Policy

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1. INTRODUCTION

This Admission Policy complies with the requirements of the Education Act 1998, the Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018 and the Equal Status Act 2000. In drafting this policy, the board of management of the school has consulted with school staff, the school patron and with parents of children attending the school.

The policy was approved by the school patron on 9th June 2020. It is published on the school’s website and will be made available in hardcopy, on request, to any person who requests it.

The relevant dates and timelines for St. Michael’s House Special National School (SMH SNS), Raheny admission process are set out in the school’s annual admission notice which is published annually on the school’s website at least one week before the commencement of the admission process for the school year concerned.

This policy must be read in conjunction with the annual admission notice for the school year concerned.

The application form for admission is published on the school’s website and will be made available in hardcopy on request to any person who requests it.

2. CHARISTERISTIC SPIRIT AND GENERAL OBJECTIVES OF THE SCHOOL

St. Michael’s House School, Raheny is a special school under the Patronage of St. Michael’s House. The school supports the principles of:

  • Inclusiveness of all students
  • Equality of access and participation in the school of all students
  • Parental/ guardian choice in relation to enrolment
  • Respect the diversity of values, beliefs, traditions, language and ways of life in society.

The school is managed by the Board of Management (BOM) representative of the Patron, Parents/ Guardians, School staff and the community.

3. ADMISSION STATEMENT

SMH SNS will not discriminate in its admission of a student to the school on any of the following:

  1. the gender ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
  2. the civil status ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
  3. the family status ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
  4. the sexual orientation ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
  5. the religion ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
  6. the disability ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
  7. the ground of race of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
  8. the Traveller community ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned, or
  9. the ground that the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned has special educational needs

As per section 61 (3) of the Education Act 1998, ‘civil status ground’, ‘disability ground’, ‘discriminate’, ‘family status ground’, ‘gender ground’, ‘ground of race’, ‘religion ground’, ‘sexual orientation ground’ and ‘Traveller community ground’ shall be construed in accordance with section 3 of the Equal Status Act 2000.

SMH SNS, Raheny is a school which, with the approval of the Minister for Education and Skills, provides an education exclusively for students with a category or categories of special educational needs specified by the Minister, i.e. a moderate general learning disability, and does not discriminate in relation to the admission of a student who does not have the category of needs specified.

4. CATEGORIES OF SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS CATERED FOR IN THE SCHOOL

SMH SNS, Raheny with the approval of the Minister for Education and Skills, provides an education exclusively for students whose primary assessed disability is Moderate General Learning Disability (GLD).

The school is coeducational catering for students aged 4 to 18 years. The BOM is bound by the DES rules which provide that students may only be admitted from the age of 4 years and upwards, though compulsory attendance does not apply until the age of 6 years, and as per DES regulations, students leave school at the end of the school year in which they turn 18. To facilitate this age band, the range of classes extend from primary to post primary and are based on relevant and appropriate peer groupings. There is capacity for 8 classes in the school. There are currently 4 primary and 4 post primary classes.

CATCHMENT AREA

The catchment area for this school is north of Collin’s Avenue, Donnycarney, Dublin 9; east of Swords Road, following onto the R132; south of R106, Swords, Co. Dublin; stretching to the east coastline. See attached map.

GOVERNANCE

The school operates within the regulations as outlined in the Rules for National Schools and the relevant circulars and directives issued by the Department of Education and Skills (DES). It is funded by grants from the DES. The school is under the administration of the Primary / Special Education Sections of the Department of Education & Skills. Teachers, Special Needs Assistants, Ancillary Staff and Bus Escorts are funded by the DES. Additional staffing allocations are determined by the National Council for Special Education.

SCHOOL ETHOS

SMH SNS is a co-educational school for students with a moderate learning disability where the students are treated with dignity and respect and are enabled to participate, to the best of their ability, in an educational programme tailored to their individual needs to help support them to live a full and independent life within their families and their communities.

SMH SNS is multi-denominational and welcomes students of all religions and none. There is no religious instruction provided. A values-based programme is integrated into the life and ethos of the school and seeks to promote respect, love, tolerance and caring for one another and our environment.

CURRICULUM

Our school is a stimulating centre of education where each person is cherished as an individual whose ability, potential and needs are recognised and nurtured. The curricular programmes provided by the school are adapted to meet the particular educational needs of each student and a variety of methodologies and strategies are adopted to maximise the students’ learning potential. The teachers, staff and multi-disciplinary team provide a challenging, sensitive and caring environment which fosters personal, social, academic development, independence and achievement. All students have an Individual Education Plan designed specifically for them.

St. Michael’s House Special School, Raheny delivers the state curriculum under the Guidelines for students with Moderate General Learning Disabilities and where applicable, programmes that lead to ASDAN and/ or Junior Cycle Level 1 and Level 2 Awards.

CLASSROOM CAPACITY

Classroom capacity varies according to the range of needs of the children we are catering for at a particular time. As a result, class groups may vary in size depending on the number of students within a class presenting with additional needs.

SCHOOL YEAR

The school operates a school calendar for primary schools which is effective from the week of 1st September to the week of 30th June with traditional openings and closing at Summer, Christmas, Easter and Mid-terms as laid down and directed in Circulars issued by the DES regarding Standardisation of the School Year.

SCHOOL MULTI-DISCIPLINARY TEAM - SCHOOL AGE TEAM (SAT)

In addition to fulfilling the formal role of School Patron, as required by the DES, St. Michael’s House, as part of PDS (Progressing Disability Services) provides clinical support to the school in the form of a multi-disciplinary team which combines the expertise from the fields of psychology, psychiatry, social work, speech and language therapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, pediatrician and dietician. Access to the SAT is on a referral basis. Referrals are then prioritized by SAT and there can be a waiting list. New applicants may be discussed with the MDT team as part of the admissions process.

Teaching and school staff collaborate with clinicians as appropriate to enhance the educational potential for students and where required to devise guidelines and programmes to maximise the student’s educational and social functioning.

Please note successful applicants may not have automatic access to additional supports such as Special Needs Assistants (SNAs), bus escorts, clinical support or nursing staff. If a school place is offered, the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is the agency that processes applications for SNAs and bus escorts. The NCSE requires that a student’s need for access to such additional resources must be clearly outlined in the relevant professional reports. Decisions relating to clinical support will be made by the clinical team.

5.ADMISSIONS OF STUDENTS

This school shall admit each student seeking admission except where –

  1. the school or an age/needs specific class is oversubscribed (please see section 6 below for further details)
  2. a parent of a student, when required by the principal in accordance with section 23(4) of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000, fails to confirm in writing that the code of behaviour of the school is acceptable to him or her and that he or she shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with such code by the student.

Note: The Code of Behaviour includes the Positive Behaviour Support & Use of Restrictive Practice Policy and a copy will be provided to parents.

SMH SNS provides an education exclusively for students whose primary assessed disability is Moderate General Learning Disability (GLD) and may refuse admission to a student, where the student does not have the specified category of special educational needs provided for by this school.

An application will be valid when the documents listed below (see 1-4) have been received by the school by the final date for receipt of applications as published in the Annual Admissions notice.

  1. Fully completed application form signed by one or both parents/guardians
  2. A birth cert for the student
  3. Proof of address for the student (utility bill, household, dated within the last four months)**
  4. Psychological assessment (completed not more than 2 years earlier than the date of application). It is important that this report clarifies the cognitive level of functioning of the student, the recommendation of a place in a special school, and, where appropriate, the need for additional support of a special need’s assistant and bus escort, stating clearly the grounds for each.

** Used in case of oversubscription only

Note: The school does not facilitate visits prior to the closing date of applications. However, an appointment will be made with parents/guardians whose children are being offered a place to view the school and to collect all documentation relating to the admissions process.

6. OVERSUBSCRIPTION

In the event that the school is oversubscribed or exceeds the number of vacancies in an age/needs appropriate class within the school, the school will, when deciding on applications for admission, apply the following selection criteria in the order listed below to those applications that are received within the timeline for receipt of applications as set out in the school’s annual admission notice:

  1. The student lives within the designated catchment area of the school
  2. The availability of a age &/ needs appropriate class to meet the needs of the student
  3. Students with a moderate GLD, as stated in psychological assessment
  4. Students with a moderate GLD and additional special needs, as stated in psychological assessment

In the event that there are two or more students tied for a place or places in any of the selection criteria categories above (the number of applicants exceeds the number of remaining places), the following arrangements will apply:

Priority will be given to applicants in order of age, prioritizing the youngest child, for each class age group, within the school.

In the event that more than one student shares a date of birth, catchment will be used as the deciding criterion, with the child living closest to the school and therefore, availing of a shorter journey to and from school, as the determined by Google Maps, will be offered the school place.

7. WHAT WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED OR TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT

In accordance with section 62(7)(e) of the Education Act, the school will not consider or take into account any of the following in deciding on applications for admission or when placing a student on a waiting list for admission to the school:

  1. a student’s prior attendance at a pre-school or pre-school service, including naíonraí,
  2. the payment of fees or contributions (howsoever described) to the school;
  3. the occupation, financial status, academic ability, skills or aptitude of a student’s parents;
  4. a requirement that a student, or his or her parents, attend an interview, open day or other meeting as a condition of admission;
  5. a student’s connection to the school by virtue of a member of his or her family attending or having previously attended the school;
  6. the date and time on which an application for admission was received by the school,
  7. The special educational needs of the student will be taken into account to ascertain that they have the assessed disability catered for in this school.

    This is subject to the application being received at any time during the period specified for receiving applications set out in the annual admission notice of the school for the school year concerned.This is also subject to the school making offers based on existing waiting lists (up until 31st January 2025 only).

8. DECISIONS ON APPLICATIONS

All decisions on applications for admission to SMH SNS, Raheny will be based on the following:

  • Our school’s admission policy
  • The school’s annual admission notice (where applicable)
  • The information provided by the applicant in the school’s official application form received during the period specified in our annual admission notice for receiving applications

(Please see section 14 below in relation to applications received outside of the admissions period and section 15 below in relation to applications for places in years other than the intake group.)

Selection criteria that are not included in our school admission policy will not be used to make a decision on an application for a place in our school.

9. NOTIFYING APPLICANTS OF DECISIONS

Applicants will be informed in writing as to the decision of the school, within the timeline outlined in the annual admissions notice.

If a student is not offered a place in our school, the reasons why they were not offered a place will be communicated in writing to the applicant, including, where applicable, details of the student’s ranking against the selection criteria and details of the student’s place on the waiting list for the school year concerned.

Applicants will be informed of the right to seek a review/right of appeal of the school’s decision (see section 18 below for further details).

10. ACCEPTANCE OF AN OFFER OF A PLACE BY AN APPLICANT

In accepting an offer of admission from SMH SNS, you must indicate—

  1. whether or not you have accepted an offer of admission for another school or schools. If you have accepted such an offer, you must also provide details of the offer or offers concerned and
  2. whether or not you have applied for and awaiting confirmation of an offer of admission from another school or schools, and if so, you must provide details of the other school or schools concerned.

11. CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH OFFERS MAY NOT BE MADE OR MAY BE WITHDRAWN

An offer of admission may not be made or may be withdrawn by SMH SNS, Raheny where—

  1. it is established that information contained in the application is false or misleading.
  2. an applicant fails to confirm acceptance of an offer of admission on or before the date set out in the annual admission notice of the school.
  3. the parent of a student, when required by the principal in accordance with section 23(4) of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000, fails to confirm in writing that the code of behaviour of the school is acceptable to him or her and that he or she shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with such code by the student; or
  4. an applicant has failed to comply with the requirements of ‘acceptance of an offer’ as set out in section 10 above.

12. SHARING OF DATA WITH OTHER SCHOOLS

Applicants should be aware that section 66(6) of the Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018 allows for the sharing of certain information between schools in order to facilitate the efficient admission of students.

Section 66(6) allows a school to provide a patron or another Board of Management with a list of the students in relation to whom—

  1. an application for admission to the school has been received,
  2. an offer of admission to the school has been made, or
  3. an offer of admission to the school has been accepted.

The list may include any or all of the following:

  1. the date on which an application for admission was received by the school;
  2. the date on which an offer of admission was made by the school;
  3. the date on which an offer of admission was accepted by an applicant;
  4. a student’s personal details including his or her name, address, date of birth and personal public service number (within the meaning of section 262 of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005).

13. WAITING LIST IN THE EVENT OF OVERSUBSCRIPTION

In the event of there being more applications to the school year concerned than places available, waiting lists of students whose applications for admission to SMH SNS, Raheny were unsuccessful due to the school being oversubscribed will be compiled and will remain valid for the school year in which admission is being sought. The waiting lists will be organised in accordance with the available spaces in an age/ needs appropriate class.

Placement on the waiting list of SMH SNS, Raheny is in the order of priority assigned to the students’ applications after the school has applied the selection criteria in accordance with this admission policy.

Offers of any subsequent places that become available for and during the school year in relation to which admission is being sought will be made to those students on the waiting list, in accordance with the order of priority in relation to which the students have been placed on the list.

14. LATE APPLICATIONS

All applications for admission received after the closing date as outlined in the annual admission notice will be considered and decided upon in accordance with our school’s admissions policy, the Education Admissions to School Act 2018 and any regulations made under that Act.

15. PROCEDURES FOR ADMISSION OF STUDENTS TO OTHER YEARS AND DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR

The procedures of the school in relation to the admission of students who are not already admitted to the school to classes or years other than the school’s intake group are as follows:

Places will be offered to students where vacancies arise in age &/ needs appropriate classes throughout the school, priority given to youngest child, as per section 6.

The procedures of the school in relation to the admission of students who are not already admitted to the school, after the commencement of the school year in which admission is sought, are as follows:

Where a vacancy exists or becomes available in an age &/ needs appropriate class, the next suitable applicant on the waiting list will be offered the place.

16. DECLARATION IN RELATION TO THE NON-CHARGING OF FEES

The board of SMH SNS, Raheny or any persons acting on its behalf will not charge fees for or seek payment or contributions (howsoever described) as a condition of-

  1. an application for admission of a student to the school, or
  2. the admission or continued enrolment of a student in the school.

17. ARRANGEMENTS REGARDING STUDENTS NOT ATTENDING RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION

There is no religious instruction programme in SMH SNS, Raheny.

18. REVIEWS/ APPEALS

Review of decisions by the Board of Management

The parent of the student, or in the case of a student who has reached the age of 18 years, the student, may request the board to review a decision to refuse admission. Such requests must be made in accordance with Section 29C of the Education Act 1998.

The timeline within which such a review must be requested and the other requirements applicable to such reviews are set out in the procedures determined by the Minister under section 29B of the Education Act 1998 which are published on the website of the Department of Education and Skills.

The board will conduct such reviews in accordance with the requirements of the procedures determined under Section 29B and with section 29C of the Education Act 1998.

Note: Where an applicant has been refused admission due to the school being oversubscribed, the applicant must request a review of that decision by the board of management prior to making an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998.

Where an applicant has been refused admission due to a reason other than the school being oversubscribed, the applicant may request a review in writing of that decision by the board of management prior to making an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998.

Please refer to DES Circular 0069/2020, New Arrangements and Procedures for Appeals under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998 Effective from 12 November 2020 Onwards’ for DES procedures and timeframe on Section 29 Appeals.

Right of appeal

Under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998, the parent of the student, or in the case of a student who has reached the age of 18 years, the student, may appeal a decision of this school to refuse admission.

An appeal may be made under Section 29 (1)(c)(i) of the Education Act 1998 where the refusal to admit was due to the school being oversubscribed.

An appeal may be made under Section 29 (1)(c)(ii) of the Education Act 1998 where the refusal to admit was due a reason other than the school being oversubscribed.

Where an applicant has been refused admission due to the school being oversubscribed, the applicant must request a review of that decision by the board of management prior to making an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998. (see Review of decisions by the Board of Management)

Where an applicant has been refused admission due to a reason other than the school being oversubscribed, the applicant may request a review of that decision by the board of management prior to making an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998. (see Review of decisions by the Board of Management)

Appeals under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998 will be considered and determined by an independent appeals committee appointed by the Minister for Education and Skills.

The timeline within which such an appeal must be made and the other requirements applicable to such appeals are set out in the procedures determined by the Minister under section 29B of the Education Act 1998 which are published on the website of the Department of Education and Skills.

This policy was ratified by the Board of Management on 18th June 2020.

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Signed:


John Lawless, Chairperson, Board of Managemnet

Admissions Notice 2021-2022

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A copy of the school’s Admission Policy and the Application Form for Admission for the 2021 – 2022 school year is available as follows: – To download at: www.smhraheny.net

On request: By emailing rahenyschool@smh.ie or writing to: St. Michael’s House Special National School, Raheny Road, Raheny, Dublin 5.

PART 1 - Admissions to the 2021 - 2022 school year

Application and Decision Dates for admission to 2021 – 2022 school year

The following are the dates applicable for admission to this school:

The school will commence accepting applications for admission on 9th November 2020
The school shall cease accepting applications for admission on 22nd January 2021
The date by which applicants will be notified of the decision on their application is 12th February 2021
The period within which applicants must confirm acceptance of an offer of admission is From date of offer to 26th February 2021

Note: the school will consider and issue decisions on late applications in accordance with the school’s admission policy.

Failure to accept an offer within the prescribed period above may result in the offer being withdrawn

Number of places being made available in 2021 - 2022 school year

The number of places being made available in junior school is 2** (4-6 year old’s only)
The number of places being made available in senior school is 0

**subject to change, depending on category of disability of child being offered a place.

PART 2 - Admissions to the 2020 - 2021 school year

Information regarding the admission process for the Intake Group for the 2020 - 2021 school year

In respect of the 2020 - 2021 school year, the total number of applications for admission received by the school was 27.

Breakdown of places allocated for the 2020 - 2021 school year:

Number of places available: 2
Number of applications received: 27
Number of Offers made and accepted under each criteria:
  • The availability of a place for the child in a classroom of compatible peers to ensure a positive educational experience for all existing pupils and any new applicants: 2
  • The child will be able to tolerate a classroom environment alongside other pupils:2
  • The pupil/teacher ratio will be appropriate to the needs of the child: 2
  • The impact on the educational and welfare interests of all pupils in the school: 2
  • The capacity of the school to provide an appropriate educational service and the necessary nursing/medical support (where applicable): 2
  • The capacity of the school to provide a suitable physical environment for the needs of the child:2
Total number of offers made 2
Number of names placed on waiting list for the school year concerned. 9

Information on this form was correct at time of publication.

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Health & Safety Statement

1. Health & Safety Policy

The Board of Management has a commitment to ensure that the school is as safe as is reasonably practicable. The safety statement outlines the health and safety management system that the school has in place.

The Board of Management brings to the attention of its staff the following arrangements for safeguarding the safety, health and welfare of those employed, working and/or visiting the school.

This policy requires the co-operation of all employees. It shall be reviewed annually or more frequently if necessary, in the light of experience, changes in legal requirements and operational changes. St. Michael’s House health and safety department shall carry out a safety audit annually and a report made to the Board of Management nominee (the Principal) for health and safety. All records of accidents and ill-health will be monitored in order to ensure that any safety measures required can be put in place to minimise the recurrence of such accidents and ill-health.

The Board of Management is committed to:

  • Manage and conduct school activities so as to ensure the safety, health and welfare of staff, pupils and all visitors (clinicians, parents,etc.);
  • Provide safe means of access and egress;
  • Provide safe plant and equipment;
  • Provide safe systems of work;
  • Prevent risk to safety and health from any article or substance;
  • Provide appropriate information, instruction, training and supervision;
  • Provide appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and clothing where hazards cannot be eliminated;
  • Prepare, review and revise emergency plans;
  • Designate staff for emergency duties;
  • Provide and maintain welfare facilities;
  • Appoint a competent person to advise and assist in securing the safety, health and welfare of staff.



Sign off Chairperson:

This safety statement has been prepared following consultation with employees, both staff and management.

2. Introduction and School Profile

This safety statement outlines the health and safety policy of St. Michael’s House Special National School, Raheny and in doing so aims to fulfill the requirements of all relevant legislation, in particular the:

  • Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005,
  • Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations, 2007.

The Board of Management under the patronage of St. Michael’s House runs Raheny school. As such Raheny SNS will adopt and follow SMH policies and procedures as appropriate and where requirements are not set out by the Department of Education and Skills.

Raheny SNS is a school that provides a service to pupils with Moderate and Multiple General Learning Disabilities. Both ambulant and non-ambulant pupils would require some form of assistance when leaving the building.

The school is located on Raheny Road and is a two storey building. The junior classrooms, canteen, hall and staffrom are located on the ground floor and the senior classrooms, multisensory room, soft play room, library, home economics room, assisted bathroom, medical room, meeting rooms are located on the first floor.

The school staff consists of:

  • 58 pupils
  • 10 teachers (including the Deputy principal)
  • 20 SNAs
  • 1 Administrative Principal
  • 1 school secretary, 1 house mother and 2 cleaners

Clinicians visit the school at varying times during the week.

2.1 Resources for health and safety in the school

St. Michael’s House health and safety department provide advice and support to the school in relation to health and safety matters. Additional health and safety resources that are required are requested through the Board of management.

3. Roles and responsibilities

3.1 Board of Management:

  • Complies with its legal obligations as employer under the 2005 Act;
  • Ensures that the school has written risk assessments and an up to date safety statement;
  • Reviews the implementation of the SMS (Safety Management System) and the safetystatement;
  • Sets safety and health objectives;
  • Receives regular reports on safety and health matters and matters arising from same are discussed;
  • Reviews the safety statement at least annually and when changes that might affect workers’ safety and health occur;
  • Provision for the particular needs of individual pupils;
  • Reviews the school’s safety and health performance;
  • Allocates adequate resources to deal with safety and health issues;
  • Appoints competent persons as necessary, to advise and assist the Board of Management on safety and health at the school.

3.2 St. Michael’s House – patron body

  • To support the Board of Management in fulfilling it duties under health and safety legislation
  • Provide advice around health and safety issues and concerns as requested

3.3 Designated person for safety and health acting on behalf of the Board, e.g. the Principal:

  • Complies with the requirements of the 2005 Act;
  • Reports to the Board of Management on safety and health performance;
  • Manages safety and health in the school on a day-to-day basis;
  • Communicates regularly with all members of the school community on safety and health matters;
  • Ensures all accidents and incidents are investigated and all relevant statutory reports completed;

3.4 Post-Holders (with particular functions in safety and health):

  • The Deputy Principal with duties related to safety and health must fulfill the duties as assigned.
  • Although ultimate responsibility for safety and health rests with the employer, the deputy principal must fulfill those duties assigned to which he/she agreed. These include:
    • Complete a Health and Safety Audit of the school every two months with the safety representative;
    • Review all classroom audits every two months with the safety representative.
    • Reports to the Principal on safety and health performance;
    • Organise a fire drill once a term.

3.5 Safety Representative

In accordance with Section 25 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, Raheny School recognises the right of all employees to elect a Safety Representative and also recognises the duties and rights attached with such a position.

The role and statutory rights of the Safety Representative are summarised as follows:

  • A safety representative has the right to information as is necessary to ensure the health and safety of employees at the place of work.
  • The Safety Representative shall be informed when an inspector from the H.S.A. enters the place of work, and shall accompany the inspector on an inspection tour, if requested.
  • The Safety Representative has the right to make representation to the Board of Management on any aspects of health and safety.
  • The Safety Representative, in conjunction with the Deputy Principal, may investigate accidents and dangerous occurrences provided he or she shall not interfere or obstruct the performance of statutory provisions.
  • The Safety Representative has the right to make oral or written representation to inspectors on any health and safety issue.
  • Receive advice and information from H.S.A. inspectors.
  • Attend interviews with employees after an accident / dangerous occurrence, if required.
  • Carry out safety inspections with prior consent and agreement.
  • Investigate potential hazards and complaints made by other teachers or employees.
  • Accompany an inspector on the investigation of an accident by prior request to do so.
  • Receive, without loss of remuneration, time off from his/her regular duties for the purpose of acquiring knowledge to discharge his/her functions, and time off to discharge this function.
  • The Safety Representative shall not be placed at any disadvantage in relation to his employment for discharging his/her function.
  • In the absence of the Principal and Deputy Principal have responsibility for H&S in Raheny SNS.

3.6 Teaching/Non-teaching staff:

  • Comply with all statutory obligations on employees as designated under the 2005 Act;
  • Read and understand the Safety Statement;
  • Co-operate with school management in the implementation of the safety statement;
  • Formally check classroom/immediate work environment to ensure it is safe and free from fault or defect;
  • Check that equipment is safe before use;
  • Select and appoint a safety representative(s);
  • Take care of their own safety and that of any person who may be affected by their action or omissions at work;
  • Report accidents, near misses, and dangerous occurrences or faulty equipment to relevant persons as outlined in the safety statement;
  • Use Protective Equipment provided and safe systems of work to eliminate unavoidable risks.

3.7 Other School Users:

Other school users, e.g. pupils and visitors should comply with school regulations and instructions relating to safety and health.

3.8 Contractors

The St. Michael’s House technical services department organises and manages any building related works.

Contractors must comply with statutory obligations as designated under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 and any other relevant legislation such as the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations 2006.

  • Raheny School will make available the relevant parts of the safety statement and safety file (where one exists) to any contractors working in the school on behalf of the school.
  • Raheny School will provide the school regulations and instructions relating to safety and health.
  • Contractors must make available relevant parts of both their safety statement and risk assessments in relation to work being carried out.
  • The contractor must make direct contact with the principal before initiating any work on the school premises.
  • Any noise should be avoided wherever possible during school hours and shall at all times be reduced to the minimum necessary.
  • The contractor and his workmen shall not create any hazard, permanent or temporary, without informing the principal and shall mark any such hazard with warning signs or other suitable protection.

4. Risk assessment

Hazards

Raheny School is committed to identify hazards and to make suitable provisions for the elimination or reductions of those found to be present. To this end, it shall secure the assistance of competent external safety advice in conjunction with its internal resources to fulfill this role on an annual basis or as required as deemed necessary. These hazards shall be identified in a systematic manner through the use of a safe system audit. This will involve inspection of the school, examinations of the work place, equipment, procedures and records to date.

Our staff and visitors who may detect a hazard or hazardous operation are requested / obligated to report such without delay to the Principal. The hazards listed below are the main risks to staff while working in Raheny SNS. These include:

  • 4.1  Challenging Behaviour
  • 4.2  Exposure to a blood borne infection and other biological hazards e.g. human waste, respiratory discharges, contact with broken skin
  • 4.3  Slips, trips and falls
  • 4.4  Manual handling activities
  • 4.5  Use and storage of cleaning chemicals
  • 4.6  Food Safety – reheating of pupils’ lunches
  • 4.7  Administration of medication
  • 4.8  School Trips
  • 4.9  Unauthorised access and egress
  • 4.10  Fire in the school
  • 4.11  School transport
  • 4.12  First Aid
  • 4.13  Playgroung equipment and general supervision
  • 4.14  Safe use of assistive equipment
  • 4.15  Staffroom safety

Download Risk Assessment forms

5. Welfare Facilities

Raheny School provides suitable welfare facilities in accordance with applicable statutory provisions. We recognise that this provision is an essential element in securing safety, health and welfare for all.

Suitable washing and sanitary facilities

To include water flush toilets with washing facility which is subject to daily cleaning.

Canteen

There is a staffroom available for staff, which includes facilities to make tea/coffee and heat/prepare their own lunches. Staff must co-operate in maintaining a high standard of hygiene in this area. All hot drinks are required to have a lid if taken from the staffroom.

Drinking Water

Of suitable drinking quality as provided by council services.

Medication/ Intoxicants

Employees must not come to work whilst under the influece of intoxicants or whie taking medication that may affect their ability to carry out duties safely.

Clothing/ Jewellery/ Accessories

Comfortable, respectable clothes and footware must be worn. Jewellery must be kept to a minimum, e.g. no dangly earrings, necklaces, bracelets, etc.

6. Emergency procedures, fire safety, first-aid, accidents and dangerous occurrences

6.1 First Aid and Medical Attention.

  • The following are qualified first aiders working within Raheny school:
    Jane Stewart
    Yvonne Durran
    Lynn Gayton
    Irene Doyle
    Miriam English
    Laragh O' 'Donnell
    Jenny Flemming
    Magaret Brady
  • First-Aiders are requested to attend refresher courses every two years.
  • The First - Aid box is provided and stationed in the secretary’s office. A second one is kept in the assisted bathroom upstairs. It is the responsibility of the Staff Representative and the Deputy Principal to ensure these boxes are fully equipped.
  • When a child is enrolled in the school information is sought on any known allergies and / or sickness and specific illnesses such as diabetes etc.
  • In case of a medical emergency, an injured person should be brought to the nearest hospital.
  • It is important that First - Aiders keep records of any treatment given.
  • It is also the schools policy that in case of an accident or injury to a pupil, the pupils’ parents or guardian is contacted and invited to the school to take the pupil to the doctor depending on the severity of injury.
  • Failure to contact parents/guardian in the event of an emergency means that the pupil is taken to Temple Street Hospital.
  • If necessary the insurance company may be informed.

6.2 Emergency Evacuation

On discovery of Fire

  1. Operate the fire alarm system – by breaking the glass in the Manual Fire Alarm Break Glass Unit (red break glass window to raise the alarm, green break glass window to open doors). (N.B. The Fire Alarm System may operate automatically).
  2. Call the Fire Brigade immediately:
    1. Lift receiver and dial 999
    2. Give the operator your telephone number (8511600) and ask for the Fire Brigade.
    3. When the Fire Brigade replies say there is a fire at: St. Michael’s House Special N.S., Raheny Road, Raheny, Dublin 5

State clearly that it is a St.Michael’s House School providing a service to people with learning disabilities, and wait for the fire brigade to repeat the address correctly before ringing off.

Do not replace the receiver until the address has been repeated by the fire brigade.

  1. Locate the room on fire, evacuate and close all doors, evacuate building. (Please note if the fire is a single burning item consider extinguishing the fire using appropriate equipment if safe to do so.)
    Mary Downes and Deirdre Bradshaw will go to the fire panel and see where the fire is.
    Deirdre will check the lift to ensure it is empty.
    Use exits furthest away from fire.
  2. If you hear the Fire Alarm:
    1. Leave building, close all doors and go to the relevant assembly point-see evacuation map.
    2. In the case of a staff member with the responsibility for a pupil/s this staff member has to ensure that the pupil/s are evacuated safely from building (see class evacuation plan).
    3. Visiting clinicians who are engaged with pupils will evacuate students they are working with and assemble at nearest assembly point – see evacuation map.
  3. Evacuate all occupants and move them away from fire area in the direction of theappropriate exit- see evacuation map.
  4. Move ambulant occupants first, then move those requiring assistance as soon as possible.
  5. Be familiar with the mobility of pupils (as detailed on the Fire Safety – Class Evacuation Plan) and evacuation chair and albac blanket usage for certain students.
  6. Every teacher will take charge and will ensure no one is left in the classroom or toilet.
  7. Deirdre Bradshaw will stay by the intercom system to inform staff and non-ambulant pupils in the stairwell of progress and whether to evacuate or not.
  8. Mary Downes will take charge of padlock keys, medication, mobile phone and roll books and will collect them on exit. Mary will also liaise with the Respite Houses and inform them of the fire.
  9. Staff and pupils should remain in appropriate assemble point and Mary will conduct roll call to ensure all persons are safe at the assembly point and will be able to inform the fire brigade accordingly.
  10. Mary Downes will assist the fire brigade upon their arrival.
  11. If the staff and pupils are required to evacuate the school grounds, the new assembly point will be the Grange Woodbine Club.

If Mary Downes is absent, Grace Winston will ensure the pupils are out of the classroom and will then take on the duties of the Principal. If Deirdre Bradshaw is absent, Susan Mooney will take over her duties.

Fire Safety Equipment

The school is also aware of its duties under the Fire Services Act of 1981, in the provision and maintenance of the following: -

  1. Fire detection equipment.
  2. Fire extinguishers and other means of fire prevention.
  3. Warning systems.
  4. Exit signs.
  5. Emergency lighting and notices.
  6. Appropriate instruction and training of staff.
  7. The holding of evacuation drills.
  8. Safe means of escape.

Fire fighting equipment is located around the school and the locations can be seen on the emergency evacuation maps.

  • There is a fire fact file present, which is regularly updated and documented
  • Grace Winston (Deputy Principal) and Rachel McGrath (Staff Representative) have been designated as the local fire and deputy fire officers.
  • Staff will be trained by SMH In House Fire Advisor
  • They will be trained by SMH In House Fire Advisor in the use of fire extinguishers.

6.3 Accident Recording & Notification

  • The importance of recording all accidents and dangerous incidents is recognized by the school to identify possible hazards and to reduce further risks.
  • Any accident or dangerous occurrence must be notified to the principal or person in charge as soon as is reasonably practicable.
  • The principal will then carry out an investigation into the incident (as deemed necessary). A full record of the incident will be written into the school’s Accident Book and onto the Accident e-form, if required.
  • All serious accident/ incident forms will be submitted into an SMH database that will allow reports to be generated to monitor accidents and challenging behaviour incidents.
  • The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 requires the School to notify the HSA if the following applies:
    • The incident is included in the dangerous occurrences outlined in the 12th Schedule of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007
    • If any person is prevented from performing his/her normal work for more than three consecutive days after the incident (not including the day of the incident but including non working days)
    • In the case of death. If an accident is fatal the scene of the accident must be left undisturbed for 3 days after notice has been given, other than for rescue purposes.
    • A pupil that is injured as a result of a work related activity and requires medical treatment by a registered medical practitioner

Notification to the HSA must be given. This is completed on line through the HSA website by the SMH Admin Manager in the North East region.

6.4 Procedure for percutaneous bites

  • Any staff member that has received a bite needs to
    • Encourage bleeding of the wound under running water
    • Wash the wound thoroughly
    • Cover the wound with a waterproof dressing
    • Report the incident to the Principal
    • Infection control Nurse or Nurse Manage on Call to be advised
    • Follow Guidelines as Per Policy Document “Guidelines for the Management of Occupational Blood Exposures St. Michaels House”

7. Health and safety training for staff Information. Training & Instruction

Raheny School will endeavour to provide instruction, information and training for each employee in relation to their safety, health and welfare. It is our wish to have a workforce and pupils that are proactive and aware of health and safety. We will provide adequate finances to obtain this objective.

There are a number of training requirements that have been identified for staff that are working in Raheny SNS. They are as follows:

  • Health and safety Induction training including Hand Hygiene and Fire Safety
  • Manual handling training
  • Challenging Behaviour and CALMS training
  • First Aid training
  • Risk assessment training
  • Teachers also avail of ongoing training themselves; these records are stored on school file
  • Clamping on school transport (where appropriate)

Mandatory Health and safety training and training that is run by SMH is provided and organized through the SMH Staff Training and Development department.

The principal or nominated person monitors the training needs for the staff in the school. The SMH Staff Training and Development department can be contacted to obtain this information when requested. This person contacts the Staff Training and Development department to organize any training/refresher that is required. Any other training deemed necessary is organized and provided by Raheny SNS.

8. Consultation

The safety statement will be brought to the attention of all staff upon commencement of employment as per Section 20(3) of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005. All staff are required to read and sign off as having read the safety statement. The safety statement will be reviewed on an annual basis. Changes will be made as and when necessary to reflect changes within legislation, work processes or introduction of work equipment that affects the contents of the safety statement. Any changes will be communicated to the staff team as required.

8.1 Safety representative

Raheny School recognises that employee involvement in health and safety is an integral part of the operations of the school, and sees health and safety as being of value within these operations. Thus the Board of management encourages employees to elect from their ranks a Safety Representative.
The Safety Representative will consult with the Principal and the Board of management through procedures on any relevant health and safety issue. The Board will at all times consider and act, if appropriate, on any issue brought to their attention by the Safety Representative. The Board of Management will provide any necessary training and information to the Safety Representative in accordance to Section 25 Part 4 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, to enable the Safety Representative to fulfill his/her duty.

9. Measuring performance

The Board of Management will measure, monitor and evaluate its safety and health management system to make sure it is robust. This will be measured against agreed standards such as:

  • Legislative requirements;
  • The school safety and health policy and the written risk assessments contained in the safety statement;
  • Safety and health objectives, as part of the school plan
  • The Board of Management meetings will contain Health and Safety on the agenda

Health and safety audits

An annual health and safety audit will take place of the building and its activities. This will be completed by the health and safety department of SMH. The Board of Management is provided with a comprehensive report on its findings and recommendations for any corrective actions that are required.

Internal safety inspections

Every two months the Deputy Principal and Staff Representative will complete a health and safety checklist of the building. This is to highlight any environmental or system issue that will need to be addressed. Reports are then submitted to the Principal. On a quarterly basis these checklists are discussed with the Chairperson of the Board to review on-going health and safety issues for the school. Every classroom team will complete a health and safety checklist of their classroom every two months. This is to highlight any environmental issue that will need to be addressed.

Results from audits will be combined with information from on going measuring of performance to improve the school’s overall approach to safety and health management.

10. Non-compliance by employees

If employees disagree with the Safety Statement, every effort will be made to ensure that they fully understand the relevance and importance of the Safety Statement. If an employee continues to not comply with the Safety Statement, this will be discussed with the School Principal and if noncompliance persists, the Principal will refer to the DES Grievance Procedures.

11. Links to other school policies

This statement shoud be read in conjunction with the schools Code of Behaviour, Anti Bullying Policy and the school's Enrolment Policy.

12. Ratification and Review

This statement was ratified by the Board of Management on 18th February 2015 and will be reviewed annually. This policy will be made available to parents/ guardians of children in the school.




Chairperson, Board of Management

Code of Behaviour

This policy was drawn up by the teaching and S.N.A. staff and discussed by the wider school community including Parents, Pupils, Escorts, Clinicians, Board of Management and the Patron.

Rationale

It was necessary to review the existing code of behaviour (2003) to ensure the school policy is in compliance with legal requirements and good practice as set out in the” Developing Code of Behaviour Guidelines for Schools “ (NEWB 2008. )

The Relationship to the School’s mission statement goals and values

This policy has been drawn up in keeping with the school’s mission statement, goals and values which are to create a happy, stimulating and welcoming atmosphere for all our pupils where we aim to:

  1. Enable each pupil lead a full and satisfying life as a child.
  2. Aid and assist each pupil to reach his / her fullest potential.
  3. Prepare each pupil for as independent and capable an adulthood as the potential of the pupil allows.

Communication with parents / guardians / respite is an important element in maintaining a positive approach in dealing with our pupils. Co-operation and Communication with parents / guardians / respite is seen as an important factor in encouraging positive behaviour. The following methods of communication are used at all levels within the school:

  • Informal parent/teacher meetings and formal parent/teacher meetings
  • Through children’s homework journal
  • Letters / notes to and from school to home / respite.
  • Meetings held in the school
  • School Newsletters and Annual Report
  • Phone call to/from home/respite
  • The school will include a report on Behaviour in the School in its annual report. (Education Act 1998 section 20).

Recognition of Special Needs of our Pupils

All children are required to comply with the Code of Behaviour. The school recognises that specialised behaviour plans may have to be put in place in consultation with parents and the class teacher, to assist pupils with behaviour. If necessary members of the clinic support team, and or the Principal may need to assist pupils where necessary. All will work closely to ensure that optimal support is given. Professional advice from the psychologist in the form of written management guidelines and the intervention of psychiatrist may be invaluable to certain pupils. Parents and teachers should develop a joint strategy to address specific difficulties, in addition to sharing a broader philosophy which can be implemented at home and in school.

Content of Policy

This code of behaviour will address:

  1. The standards of behaviour expected in the school from adults and children.
  2. The plan for promoting good behaviour.
  3. The ways in which the school responds to unacceptable behaviour.
  4. The plan for implementing our Code of Behaviour.
  5. School procedures for the use of suspension, expulsion and appeals.
  6. Record keeping
  7. Procedures for notification of pupil absences from school
  8. Reference to other Policies
  9. Review and Time frame

Aims of the Code

In reviewing and devising this code of behaviour, consideration has been given to the particular needs and circumstances of this school. We are a school designated by the D.E.S. as catering for pupils with Moderate General Learning Disability.

Our aims are:

  • To provide a safe and secure learning environment for all our pupils.
  • To ensure that the individuality of each child is accommodated while acknowledging the right of each child to education in a relatively disruptive-free environment.
  • To respect and safeguard the dignity and the particular needs of individual pupils.
  • To allow the school to function in an orderly way where children can make progress in all aspects of their development.
  • To promote positive behaviour while noting the differences between children and the need to accommodate these differences.
  • To create an atmosphere of respect, tolerance and consideration of others.
  • To teach, foster and encourage socially acceptable behaviour within the school and in community at large.
  • To assist parents and pupils in understanding the systems and procedures that form part of the code of behaviour and to seek their co-operation in the application of these procedures.
  • To ensure that the system of rules, rewards, consequences and sanctions are implemented in a fair and consistent manner throughout the school.
  • To ensure that pupils behave in a respectful way towards members of the school staff and members of the wider school community.

1. Standards of Behaviour

The most effective methodology in attempting to manage behaviour that might challenge is to try to prevent it happening in the first place. All members of the school community are expected to behave in ways that show respect for others. Behaviour will reflect values such as respect, kindness, courtesy, fairness, forgiveness, respectful ways of resolving difficulties and conflict. Standards are also a way of signalling the kinds of behaviours that are not acceptable in school e.g. behaviour that is hurtful, demeaning, behaviour that interferes with teaching and learning, Behaviour that is threatening or causes physical hurt to another person (pupil / staff), Behaviour causing damage to property or theft.

Promoting high standards of behaviour is the central aim of this code of behaviour. Teachers, staff and the wider school community need a range of strategies for promoting good behaviour at class and school level. Pupils are more likely to behave well when they understand why the code is important and their part in making it work. They need to see that the code works in a fair way. The standards of behaviour set high expectations for pupils and the standards are clear, consistent and widely understood. A code of behaviour works well when there are good relationships between teachers, S.N.A.s, pupils, parents, and the wider school community.

2. The Plan to Promote Positive Behaviour

A whole school approach will help to create, maintain and foster a positive school climate that will support and promote good behaviour. We hope to do that by:

  • Creating a positive and encouraging attitude to pupils at all times.
  • Create a calm structured environment in all aspects of school life.
  • Create uniform and consistent approach to pupils by all staff.
  • Promote self esteem amongst pupils at all times.
  • Create a sense of fairness taking into account, the competence, understanding and functional abilities of the pupil. These are crucial in deciding on the appropriate responses to behaviour.
  • Make rules positive, “do’s” rather than “don’ts” in a language that is appropriate to the pupil’s ability to understand.
  • Develop and support relationships between pupils / pupils and staff.
  • Using class and school settings e.g. circle time, school playground and school assembly to promote and encourage positive behaviour.
  • Using positive language appropriate to the pupils’ level of understanding that is affirmative, respectful and fair.

Encouraging and Promoting Good Behaviour:

Positive everyday interactions between teachers , SNAs and pupils, good school and class routines, parents informing the school where situations arise at home that might influence behaviour in school, clear boundaries and rules for pupils, helping pupils themselves to recognise and affirm good behaviour, recognising and giving positive feedback about behaviour, involving pupils in the preparation of the school and classroom rules, foster a respect for themselves, for their peers, adults and for school property, to encourage pupils to participate to the best of their ability.

All of these strategies will be implemented, in the school, in the classroom , on the school bus, in the playground, on school related activities e.g. school tours, swimming, football, horse riding, travel training, class outings etc.

The School Rules

The school rules are being kept to a minimum and are positively stated in terms of what the pupils should do:

  1. Be kind, courteous and show good manners to everyone.
  2. Be co-operative at all times.
  3. Behave in a safe way.
  4. Always try to do your best.
  5. Listen and follow instructions from staff.
  6. Tell the truth.
  7. Share with others and take your turn.
  8. Show respect for yourself, others and your environment.
  9. Refrain from using offensive language

Class Rules

Each class teacher will develop and maintain class rules appropriate to the age and needs of the pupils. The teacher and SNA will aid and assist the implementation of the class rules. Class rules should be kept to a minimum. Rules will be applied in a fair and consistent manner and reflect school rules.

Incentives

We recognise that pupils in our school may need to be taught how to relate cause and effects of behaviour in more tangible ways e.g. through pictures, charts, film or role play. We also recognise that our pupils use a variety of approaches to internalise and learn new skills. Pupils will be encouraged, praised and listened to at all times by adults in the school. Praise is earned by the maintenance of good standards as well as by particularly noteworthy personal achievements. Rates of praise for behaviour should be as high as for work. A high level of co-operation and open communication is seen as an important factor encouraging positive behaviour in the school. Structures and channels designed to maintain a high level of communication among staff and between staff, pupils and parents have been established and are being reviewed regularly. Parents should be encouraged to talk in confidence to teachers about any significant developments in a child’s life, in the past or present, which may affect the child’s behaviour.

The following are some samples of how incentives / praise might be given to pupils;

  • A quiet word or gesture to show approval
  • A comment in a pupil’s home school note book
  • Choice of favorite activity e.g. session on computer, story in library, listening to music.
  • An outing e.g. trip to local shop
  • A visit to another member of Staff for commendation
  • A visit to the Principal for commendation
  • A word of praise in front of a group or class by the Principal or other staff member
  • A system of merit marks or stickers e.g. star charts
  • Delegating some special responsibility or privilege e.g. message or job
  • A mention to parent, written or verbal communication.
  • Receipt of certificate to encourage continued behavior
  • Announcement giving praise over the P.A. system

3. Responding to Unacceptable Behaviour

Interventions

Interventions that will assist the pupil will be used at the earliest opportunity if behaviour is becoming an issue. These interventions will be recorded and monitored by the class teacher. The result of interventions will be noted. Parents will be advised and be involved in finding a solution to the behaviour that is challenging. The intervention of psychologist or counselling may be sought, where appropriate. Any other interventions such as family support, involvement of Social Worker or any support service that may help in solving the particular behaviour may be called upon.

Intervention in the form of suspension may allow additional or alternative interventions to be made e.g. modification to a classroom, adjustment to a school bus, adjustment in medication etc. Intervention in the form of suspension may help teachers and other staff or pupils affected by the behaviour to recover from severity of the impact of the undesirable behaviour.

4. The Plan for implementing the Code of Behaviour

Three levels of misbehaviour are recognised: Minor, Serious and Gross.

Minor - Examples of minor misbehavior might include, breaking class rules, ignoring teacher instructions,leaving the classroom without permission, interfering with another pupil’s work, lunch or property, dropping to the ground when asked to move, giving cheek, rude gestures/language, slamming the door etc. Everyday instances of a minor nature will be dealt with by the class teacher, member of the teaching staff, or S.N.A.s under the general direction of a teacher.

Serious - Examples of serious misbehaviour include: Behaviour that is hurtful, offensive, (including bullying, harassment, discrimination and victimisation), name calling, disrespectful remarks about a pupil or his /her family, spitting. Behaviour that seriously interferes with teaching and learning e.g. disrupting class lessons, continuous dropping to cause delay, encouraging others to break the rules, shouting out in class. Threats of or physical hurt to oneself e.g. head bang, scratch, bite or another person e.g. threatening to hit, scratch, pull hair, falsely accusing others of verbal/physical hurt. Damage to property or theft of property

Gross - Examples of gross misbehaviour include: Assault on a staff member or pupil or member of the wider school community, e.g. hitting, throwing objects at a person with intent to harm, serious damage to school property e.g. deliberately breaking school equipment or school furniture. Cases of repeated serious misbehaviour or single instances of gross misbehaviour will be relayed to the Principal. Parents will be involved at an early stage and invited to meet the teacher and/or the Principal to discuss their child’s behaviour. Aggressive, threatening or violent behaviour towards a staff member or pupil will be regarded as gross misbehaviour.

Sanctions

  • A sanction is a form of positive intervention and should be used to help the pupil. The aim of any sanction is to try to prevent the behaviour occurring again. All staff members should ensure that in applying any sanction, the duty of care to the pupil is maintained e.g. the pupil must be appropriately supervised at all times and child protection guidelines are observed. Consistency will apply in the use of agreed sanctions or consequences. Sanctions will be proportionate to the nature and seriousness of the behaviour, and be appropriate to the age and developmental stage of the pupil. Sanctions, as far as possible, relate to and be applied as near as possible in time to the unacceptable behavior.
  • It must be clear why the sanction is being applied
  • It must be made clear what changes in behaviour are required to avoid future sanctions
  • Group punishment will not be used
  • The level of sanction will relate to the level of the unacceptable behavior i.e. minor, serious and gross behaviour.
  • It should be the behaviour rather than the person that is the focus

Ladder of Referral

The following steps will be taken by member of teaching staff when a pupil behaves inappropriately. The school will use /apply sanctions in accordance with the level of understanding of the pupils.

They are listed below in order of severity

  1. Reasoning with pupil
  2. Verbal reprimand including advice on how to improve
  3. Temporary separation from peers within class for a specified period of time
  4. Loss of privileges e.g. going on a local trip, time in the school library
  5. Temporary removal to another class which is under the supervision of another teacher.
  6. Detention during break time- under supervision
  7. Communication with parents to advise of behaviour and elicit support
  8. Meeting with parents to outline behavior and agree management plan for behavior.
  9. Referral to Principal if behavior is serious or continuing
  10. Contact member(s) of clinic support team and elicit support as necessary.
  11. Principal communicating / meeting with parents
  12. Suspension
  13. Expulsion

Sanctions should relate as closely as possible to the behaviour. Pupils will not be deprived of engagement in a Curricular Area as a sanction, except on the grounds of health & safety. Detention at break time (with supervision) will be invoked (without prior notice to parents) if used as an effective and immediate consequence to misbehavior. . For gross misbehaviour or repeated instances of serious misbehaviour suspension may be considered and in these instances the ladder of referral will commence at 7 above

Strategies may be developed and implemented to assist the pupil and may include individual timetables, individual behavior management programmes with specific incentive schemes, and development of appropriate management techniques. These measures will be reviewed, monitored and evaluated on an ongoing basis for individual pupils.

5. School Procedures for the use of Suspension and Expulsion

Definition of Suspension

The Board of Management has the authority to suspend a pupil. This authority has been delegated to the Principal, formally and in writing. The authority delegated to the Principal in respect of suspension has limits and the Principal is accountable to the B. O. M. for his or her use of that authority.

Suspension is defined as: requiring the student to absent himself/herself from the school for a specified, limited period of school days. During the period of a suspension, the pupil retains their place in the school

Immediate suspension: The Principal may consider an immediate suspension to be necessary where the continued presence of the student in the school at the time would represent a serious threat to the safety of students or staff of the school, or any other person.

Informal/ unacknowledged suspension/ voluntary withdrawal: The Principal may consider the exclusion of a student for part of the school day, or ask parents to keep a child from school, or arrange to have the pupil taken home early from school to deal with inappropriate behaviour. Parents may wish to co-operate in a voluntary way with this form of suspension because of the special needs of their child, none the less, any of these requests are in effect a suspension and will be recorded as such.

Open-ended suspension: This refers to a suspension for an indefinite period. This would be considered a” defacto” expulsion. It would be most unusual to invoke this form of suspension

Rolling suspension:A pupil will not be suspended again shortly after they return to school unless they engage in serious/gross misbehaviour that warrants suspension. Fair procedures will be observed and judgement will be the same and applied as for any other student

Procedures in relation to suspension

Before serious sanctions such as suspension or expulsion are used, communication between school and parents will take place. Suspension will be in accordance with the Rules for National Schools and the Education Welfare Act 2000.

  • Parents will be informed by phone or in writing, depending on the seriousness of the matter. Written notification will be signed by the Secretary to the B.O.M. and has the benefit of ensuring that there is a formal and permanent record of having informed parents. It also ensures that parents are clear about what their son or daughter is alleged to have done. It serves the important function of underlining to parents the seriousness with which the school views the alleged misbehaviour.
  • Except in the case of immediate suspension parents will be invited to come to the school to discuss their child’s case. Parents and pupil will be given an opportunity to respond before a decision to suspend is made and before any sanction is imposed. This meeting will provide an opportunity to ask questions about the misbehaviour, and for the school to explore with parents how best to address the student’s behaviour. Failure to attend a meeting or a re-scheduled meeting will allow the school to make its own decision to respond to the negative behaviour. The school will record the invitations made to parents and their response.
  • Where there are repeated instances of serious misbehaviour, the Chairperson of the Board of Management will be informed and the parents will be requested in writing to attend at the school to meet the Chairperson and/or the principal.
  • Prior to suspension, where possible, the Principal may review the case in consultation with teachers and other members of the school community involved, with due regard to records of previous misbehaviours, their pattern and context, sanctions and other interventions used and their outcomes and any relevant medical information.
  • Where an immediate suspension is considered by the Principal to be warranted for reasons of the Safety of the student, other pupils, staff or others, a preliminary investigation will be conducted to establish the case for the imposition of the suspension. The formal investigation will immediately follow the imposition of the suspension. All of the conditions for suspension apply to immediate suspension. In the case of an immediate suspension, parents will be notified, and arrangements made with them for the pupil to be collected. The school will have regard to its duty of care for the pupil; the pupil will be supervised at all times while waiting for a parent /guardian to collect the pupil.
  • A pupil will not be suspended for more than 3 days by the Principal. If a proposal in excess of 3 days is being considered the matter will be referred to the B.O.M.
  • A period of up to 5 days may be sanctioned by the Chairperson in circumstances where a meeting of the B.O.M. cannot be convened in a timely fashion.
  • The B.O.M. can place a ceiling of 10 days on any one period of suspension imposed by it.
  • The Board will formally review any proposal to suspend a student, where the suspension would bring the number of days for which the student has been suspended in the current school year to 20 days or more.

Written notification

The Principal will inform the parent in writing of the decision to suspend. The letter will confirm:

  • Period of the suspension and the dates on which the suspension will begin and end
  • Reasons for the suspension
  • Arrangements for returning to school, including any commitments to be entered into by the student
  • Provision for an appeal to the Board of Management
  • Right to appeal to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Science (Education Act 1998, section 29)

Expulsion

Expulsion may be considered in an extreme case. A pupil is expelled from school when a Board of Management makes a decision to permanently exclude him or her from the school. The B.O.M. has the authority to expel a student. Expulsion of a pupil will only be undertaken in extreme cases of serious willful behaviour. This measure will only be undertaken after every effort has been made to support, help and address the behaviour so as to avoid the expulsion. Before suspending or expelling a pupil, the Board will notify the Local Welfare Education Officer in writing in accordance with Section 24 of the Education Welfare Act. 2000.

Procedures in respect of expulsion

The procedural steps will include:

  • A detailed investigation carried out under the direction of the Principal.
  • A recommendation to the Board of Management by the Principal.
  • Consideration by the Board of Management of the Principal’s recommendation; and the holding of a hearing.
  • Board of Management deliberations and actions following the hearing.
  • Consultations arranged by the Educational Welfare Officer.
  • Confirmation of the decision to expel.

These procedures assume that the Board of Management is the decision-making body in relation to expulsions (NEWB Guidelines p79-87)

The Board of Management will ensure that:

  • Fair procedures are used for suspension and expulsion and that all staff is aware of those procedures.
  • Fair procedures are accessible to those from different language or cultural backgrounds.
  • There are no undue delays in an investigation and in making decisions about the imposition of suspension or expulsion.
  • All matters to do with an investigation of alleged misbehaviour are dealt with in confidence.
  • However, in circumstances of particular complexity, school authorities may need to seek legal advice to support their decision-making.

Appeals

Section 29 of the Education Act 1998, gives parents (and pupils over 18) the right to appeal decisions made by a B.O.M (or a person acting on behalf of the Board) to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Science

The following decisions may be appealed

  1. Refusal to enrol
  2. Decisions to suspend made by the Board of Management where the total number of days for which the student has been suspended in the current school year reaches twenty days.
  3. Permanent exclusion from school

The Appeals procedure is detailed in Circular 22/02. Appeals must be lodged within 42 calendar days from the date the decision has been notified to parents.

There are basically three layers to these procedures:

  1. Both parties will be asked if an accommodation can be reached at local level.
  2. Should that fail and where the Appeals Committee considers that it may be possible to facilitate agreement between the parties, a facilitator will be appointed to contact the parties at the earliest opportunity.
  3. Finally, an appeal may be referred for hearing by an Appeals Committee established by the Minister for Education and Science.

An internal appeal can be facilitated if a parent writes to the Secretary of the BOM. In response, the Secretary will inform the parent/guardian of the date of the B.O.M meeting and the process that will follow.

Removal of Suspension (Reinstatement)

Following or during a period of suspension, the parent/s/ guardians may apply to have the pupil reinstated to the school. The Principal must be satisfied that the pupil’s reinstatement will not constitute a risk to the pupil’s own safety or that of the other pupils or staff. The Principal will facilitate the preparation of a behaviour management plan for the pupil if required and will re-admit the pupil formally to his/her class. The parents must commit to full co-operation with the school. A letter of reinstatement will be issued to facilitate the return of the pupil to school.

Removing a Suspension

A suspension may be removed if the Board of Management decides to remove the suspension for any reason or if the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Science directs that it be removed following an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998.

Clean slate

When any sanction, including suspension, is completed a student should be given the opportunity and support for a fresh start. A record of the behaviour and any sanction imposed will be kept but once the sanction has been completed the school will expect the same behaviour of this student as of all other students. .The school will arrange for a member of staff to provide support to the student during the re-integration process.

6. Record Keeping /Monitoring / Recording Behaviour

A standardized system of Record Keeping /Monitoring / Recording Behaviour will be implemented throughout the school. This will enable the school to balance subjective opinion with factual information about what is actually happening. It will use consistent terminology. Regular monitoring will:

  • Alert school staff to emerging problems for a particular student or group of students
  • Show trends and patterns, for example, the time of day, location or circumstances associated with either poor behaviour or instances of particularly good behaviour
  • Provide information to help the school to look at possible causes of particular behaviour or whether certain groups of students are the targets of harassment or bullying.
  • Provide information about successes and what is working well
  • Avoid the risk of labelling a student unfairly from class to class or year to year, by providing factual data for any judgement about behaviour.

A standardised record system will allow the school to track an individual pupil’s behaviour and to check whether efforts to change behaviour are working. All interventions aimed at helping the pupil to deal with unacceptable behaviour will be recorded, including contact with parents or referral to clinicians. Positive responses by a pupil, and evidence of changed behaviour, will also be recorded, as will any sanction used, together with the reason why the sanction was imposed. Parents and pupils should be told when a record is being made about their behaviour, and the reasons for keeping a record.

A written record of behaviour may be kept in relation to a pupil’s behaviour in class, in the playground, on the school bus or when engaging in any other school activity.

Behaviour will be recorded on individual record sheets. Current behaviour record sheets will be kept by the class teacher in a behaviour folder. At the end of each school term they will be stored securely in the pupil’s file in the Principals office. At all times records of behaviour will be treated as confidential. Formal written records will be made available to the N.E.W.B.

The Principal, will examine the information gathered from the monitoring of the code on a regular basis. This information will be relayed to the B O M.

Records will be kept in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1988 and the Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003. (Appendix A).

7. Notification of a child’s absence from school

A pupil’s attendance in school is part of the code of behaviour. The procedures to be followed by parents in relation to a child’s absence are:

  • Parents must let the school know of their child’s absence for any reason.
  • Parents must inform the school on first day of absence by phoning the school or informing the bus escort to relay the message to the school.
  • Parents can inform the school in the home school notebook, or phone the school, if they know in advance of the absence.
  • Parents need to give detailed information to the school about the reasons for absence following a period of absence
  • Parents are advised to send in the doctor’s certificate for significant absences due to Illness.
  • Failure to notify the school about a pupil’s absence will be followed up by phone call.
  • The actual reason for the absence should be given on a letter to school regarding the absence. (Education Welfare Act 2000 section 23(2) (e) & section 18).

8. Reference to other Policies

The following school policies and documents have been referred to and have a bearing on the code of behaviour: NEWB Guidelines (2008)

  • Education Act 1998
  • Circular 22/02
  • Admissions Policy, (2008)
  • Health & Safety Statement, (2009)
  • SPHE Plan,
  • Bullying Policy,
  • School Attendance Policy (2005)

9. Review, Timeframe, Roles, Responsibility

The school will be happy to deal with any concerns a parent /guardian, or staff member may have about behaviour or about any aspect of this Code of Behaviour. Members of the school community can do this both formally and informally by contacting the Principal or Chairperson of B.O.M

The school will provide parents with a copy of the Code of Behaviour before registration of their child as a pupil of the school. Parents will be asked to confirm in writing that the code is acceptable to them and they will undertake to make all reasonable efforts to assist their child to comply with its contents. (Section 23 (4) of the Education (Welfare Act 2000). This Reviewed Code will be issued to all existing parents and a similar request will be made.

This policy was reviewed and formulated over a period between 01.05.2009 & 0.0.2010. The resulting Code of Behaviour was ratified by the B.O.M. on 24 March, 2010
Reviewed and ratified without change by the B.O.M. on 29 March, 2011

Appendix A

Behaviour Record

behaviour_record

Appendix B

The eight rules of data protection apply to personal records kept in school:

  1. Obtain and process information fairly.
  2. Keep it only for one or more specified, explicit and lawful purposes.
  3. Use and disclose it only in ways compatible with these purposes.
  4. Keep it safe and secure.
  5. Keep it accurate, complete and up-to-date.
  6. Ensure it is adequate, relevant and not excessive.
  7. Retain it for no longer than is necessary for the purpose or purposes.
  8. Give a copy of his/her personal data to an individual on request.

School Self Evaluation Report

Numeracy

Roll Number: 19373U

Evaluation period: November 2014 - June 2015

Report issue date: 15th June 2015

School Context

  • This is a school for pupils with a moderate learning disability, ranging in age from 5-18 years. Many pupils present with additional difficulties such as sensory needs, Autistic Spectrum Disorder Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties or hearing impairment.
  • The school currently has 58 pupils enrolled, an administrative principal, 10 class teachers and 20 SNAs.
  • In 2012 the school introduced the ASDAN programme to the senior school and plans to introduce L2LP in Autumn 2015.
  • The school building is 3 years old and is generally very well resourced, with an IWB in every classroom and both multi sensory and soft play rooms.

Focus of the evaluation.

This was evaluated through teacher questionnaires, audits of resources and assessments and through discussion at staff meetings. There was broad agreement on the issues below.

Areas of Strength: Numeracy

Areas for Development

  • All areas of the Numeracy curriculum are being taught in every class room.
  • The school is generally well resourced.
  • There is strong emphasis on functional numeracy.
  • A wide variety of teaching approaches are used.
  • Differentiation is in evidence across a very broad range.
  • Good use being made of ICT to teach numeracy.
  • Good collaborative practices.
  • Need for consistency in assessments used;
  • Need for specific numeracy resources.
  • Need to raise pupilsproficiency to deal with money.
  • Need for an agreed approach to numeracy homework.
  • Need for improved use of numeracy displays to reflect and augment teaching.
  • Need for teacher training in Numicon.

Priorities for self improvement:

  • All pupils will have a numeracy target based on Money included in their IEP;
  • Have a school tuck shop once a week;
  • Offer pupils the opportunity to bank with the Credit Union within the school once a week.
  • Teachers will use the CAT as 1 of their assessment tools.
  • Increase agreed resources and use agreed text books.
  • Teachers to complete summer course in Numicontraining (where possible).

School Self Evaluation

Strand: Measures
Strand unit: Money -Current levels of Ability across the School

Skill

Not Addressed

In Progress

Achieved

Understands that money pays for goods Grad.-1 J.1-2
j.2-2
j.3-2
Gr.-1
Rec.-1
J.1-4
J.2-3
J.3-4
S.1-7
S.2-7
S.3-
S.4-5
Gr.-5
Sorts & matches coins Rec.-4
J.1-1
J.3-1
S.4-2
Rec.-1
J.1-5
J.2-2
J.3-2
S.1-4
S.£-2
Gr.-1
Rec.-1
J.1-4
J.2-3
J.3-3
S.1-3
S.2-7
S.3-4
S.4-4
Gr.-6
Recognises coins & notes Rec.-6
J.1-1
J.3-1
S.4-2
Gr.-1
J.1-6
J.2-5
J.3-2
S.1-7
S.2-1
S.3-6
Gr.-4
J.3-3
S.2-6
S.4-4
Gr.-6
Uses correct vocabulary Rec.-6
J.1-6
J.2-2
J.3-2
S.4-2
Gr.-1
J.2-3
J.3-3
S.1-7
S.2-2
S.3-6
S.4-1
Gr.-5
S.2-5
S.4-3
Gr.-1
Calculates simple bills Rec.-6
J.1-1
J.2-5
J.3-4
S.1-5
S.4-2
Gr.-1
J.1-5
J.3-2
S.1-2
S.2-1
S.3-4
S.2-6
S.4-1
Gr.-1
Uses a savings account J.1-6
J.3-6
Rec.-2
J.2-3
S.1-4
S.4-4
Gr.3

Parent and Pupil Voice

Parent’s voice

  • 30% of parents responded and of these 64% identified money as a priority learning area.
  • 82% would like their children to get numeracy homework.
  • A few parents felt that homework could be a strain if pupil was tired after school.

Pupil’s voice

Student Voice Survey Interview 4th June 2015
6 students present (Senior 1 to Senior 4 classes)

Do you like money?
All replied yes for the following

  • You can buy things in the school tuck shop
  • Buy stuff to eat
  • Buy clothes with money
  • If you have 50c, can buy sweets
  • Can buy crisps, drink and bar/ chocolate

What is money for?

  • Tuck shop
  • Shop with Mam and Dad to buy milk, bread, rashers and stuff for breakfast
  • Buy drinks in the tuck shop

Do you save any money?

  • 50c under my pillow to buy shoes
  • Can get money from the bank
  • Save money with the credit union (in school)

School Self Evaluation Plan for Improvement

Improvement Targets

Required Actions

Success Criteria

Persons Responsible

Time frame for actions

All Pupils will have an Numeracy IEP target based on money. Agee a smart money target for each child Raising of competency with money based /money related skills. Teacher + Parents Sept - June
Teachers will use CAT for assessment & planning. CAT template to be accessed from shared folder. Completion of assessments D.P. Sept. 2015 onwards for money skills; Sept 2016 for all of Numeracy curriculum
Pupils will get regular money based home work. Teachers will devise and agree on a homework policy. Raising of competency with money based /money related skills. Teachers & parents November onwards
School tuck shop to be held once a week. Agree & purchase stock & pricing, reflecting levels of ability. Rotate duty around classes. Conduction of monetary transactions by all pupils. Teachers Seniors- Jan 2015, Juniors- Sept 2015.
Teachers to get Numicon training Teachers to access CPD summer course in Numicon. July 2015 onwards

School Self Evaluation Plan for Improvement

Year

Literacy: Oral Language

Numeracy: Money

2013-14 Pupils will improve their Oral Language performance
2014-15 Pupil profile folders to be set up which will include informal assessment targets in Oral language & communication. Reading programme Edmark to begin in Senior school Permanent teaching staff to complete Numicon training. Basic numeracy resources to be purchased over next number of years. CAT to be used as a planning & assessment tool. Tuck shop to be held on weekly basis. Credit Union banking to run on a weekly basis. IEPs to contain a numeracy target. Money homework to be given weekly. To review School Numeracy Policy.
2016-17 Standardised assessment to be administered. Computing money?
2016-17 Debit cards for senior pupils? Class piggybanks?
2017-18
2018-19
2019-20

Class Allocation & Placement Policy

1. INTRODUCTION

This policy was formulated as a result of a consultative approach between the School Principal and School Staff of St. Michael’s House Special National School (SMH SNS) with the intention of providing a clear plan regarding how class staff allocations and pupil placements* are decided. This plan is considered to be essential for the school to meet both individual needs and also to ensure the overall well-being of our pupils and staff.

This policy will also provide parents with information regarding the decision-making process involved in placing their child in a particular class and as it outlines the factors that are taken into consideration when creating class groups in SMH SNS.

*In this policy, ‘class allocation’ refers to assigning staff to classes and ‘class placement’ refers to placing pupils in class groupings.

2. RELATIONSHIP TO THE CHARACTERISTIC SPIRIT OF THE SCHOOL

SMH SNS is committed to providing an individualised education programme for each pupil with the intention of enabling children to reach their full potential. Through a considered approach, the School Principal aims to balance the individual strengths and needs of each pupil with the strengths and needs of each child's class grouping and also with those of the whole school community. The School Principal also aims to allocate staff to classes and place children in class groupings in such a way that enables Teachers and Special Needs Assistants to support children in their learning in the best way possible. Provision is also made, where possible, to provide for the professional development of school staff by supporting a variety of teaching experiences.

3. RATIONALE

This policy ensures that school staff and parents have a clear understanding of how decisions in relation to class placements are reached when the School Principal is considering in which class to place each child. This policy outlines the transparent consultative process conducted by the School Principal with school staff to gain the input of those working directly with each child.Information is sought regarding each child's individual and collective strengths and needs as they are divided into class groupings. The intention of this policy is also to reassure parents that their child's individual needs are taken into consideration by the School Principal during the planning of class placements with the aim of ensuring that all children benefit from a happy school life.

4. AIMS

This policy aims to:

  • To facilitate the smooth, efficient running of the school
  • To provide for the safety, health and well-being of all pupils and school staff
  • To ensure that all children enjoy a happy school life
  • To provide for the educational and care needs of all pupils in a balanced way
  • To maximise the learning opportunities of each child through prudent class placement which utilises to the optimum, the varied range of individual teaching expertise in special educational needs within the teaching staff and also the individual knowledge and skills provided by the Special Needs Assistants
  • To provide a consultative process through which the School Principal can liaise with school staff who can then express their views and have input into class allocations and class placements
  • To provide for the professional development of school staff through varied class allocations
  • To communicate to parents in a transparent way the process that is used by the school to decide on class placements
  • To ensure that a balance of needs exist in each class so that all pupils’ needs can be met equally and fairly
  • To ensure that the schools’ ability to meet the needs of existing pupils is not negatively impacted by the admission of new pupil(s) where the professional reports of applicants indicate that their needs as reported, could, in the professional judgement of the principal and Deputy Principal, taking into consideration the criterion contained in this policy, create an imbalance in the needs of proposed class placement options.

5. DECISION-MAKING PROCESS

The pupil/teacher ratios and staffing allocations of Teachers and Special Needs Assistants made available to the school by the Department of Education and Skills and the National Council for Special Education are considered to be a significant factor when determining class placements for pupils and staff.

6. STAFF ALLOCATIONS

The allocation of teaching and assisting duties within the school is a matter for the School Principal. However, it is the policy of the school to, where possible, reach collective agreement and consensus when distributing teaching and assisting duties.

“The School Principal is responsible for the creation, together with the Board, parents of students and the teachers, of a school environment which is supportive of learning among the students and which promotes the professional development of the teachers”. (Education Act – Section 23)

The School Principal facilitates this process in a fair and equitable way by consulting with staff in the following ways:

SMH SNS currently has nine special classes. In the third term of each year, all Teachers and Special Needs Assistants are requested to complete the Consultation Re. Class Preference Form in which they list the classes that they would prefer to be assigned to for the coming year in order of preference.

When allocating classes, it is preferable for collective agreement to be reached with options such as deferring a move for a year being considered and additional professional development undertaken.

7. CRITERIA FOR DECIDING STAFF ALLOCATIONS TO CLASSES

In deciding on allocations, the School Principal will allocate classes according to the Consultation Re Class Preference Form completed by school staff. The School Principal will also take other factors into account when making these decisions such as:

  • Experience in teaching and working with children with a moderate general learning disability and /or autism and complex needs
  • Contribution to overall school development in relation to teaching and learning
  • Range of classes already taught/not taught or worked with
  • Motivation
  • Personality
  • Special talents
  • Opportunities for development, such as SESS In-Service Courses
  • Flexibility and adaptability

Some teachers may have larger classes than colleagues. This normally ‘evens itself out’ over a number of years, so that an equitable workload is achieved.

Class allocation relies heavily on compromise and consensus. If this is not possible to reach, the School Principal will make an informed decision based on suitability, experience (whether a particular teacher has had the class before), special talents, courses taken and what is in the best interests of the children concerned. An interview is not held for the purpose of allocating classes.

8. NOTIFICATION OF STAFF PLACEMENTS AND PUPIL ALLOCATIONS

Class allocation is usually completed by the end of June. However, in the case of temporary staff who are not CID holders, allocations will be made following appointment.

9. PUPIL PLACEMENTS

A great deal of thought goes into placing children in classes each year. The process is also time- consuming, as the School Principal focuses on each child’s needs. Every effort is made to place each child in a learning environment where they will be most successful. This learning environment incorporates several factors.

The School Principal uses the following criteria when compiling classes. This criterion is used to inform decision-making on an individual and collective basis with the aim of ensuring a balance in the overall needs of pupils across classes. This criteria is used in conjunction with the criteria ‘balance of needs’ that is contained in the SMH SNS Admissions Policy.

  • Age
  • Language and communication
  • Behaviour
  • Sensory
  • Application to work
  • Care needs
  • Personality
  • Attachments
  • Additional Information

This policy is intended to inform parents of the placement procedures already in place at SMH SNS. The following section addresses parents’ questions regarding those procedures by providing responses to typical questions posed by parents.

10. FURTHER INFORMATION FOR PARENTS – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How are children placed in classes?

Each year, the Principal and Deputy Principal meet to look at pupil placement. Teachers will be consulted, particularly if there have been challenges in the class in any given year. This information is then used by the School Principal to inform her decision-making regarding the compilation of class lists.

Parents of existing pupils are informed of their child’s class, teacher’s name, SNAs names and the Christian names of the other children in the class in the form of a social story that can be read to their child throughout the summer, in preparation for the new academic year.

Throughout this process, changes and adjustments are made. Each time a change is made it can cause a chain reaction of other changes.

Due to all of the points mentioned above, the final decision on pupil placements needs to rest with the School Principal. This is necessary, as the School Principal is the only person who is in possession of all of the information regarding every child’s needs and can therefore take an overall view of what is best across all classes.

My child is NEW to SMH SNS. How does the school place a child when they don’t know him/her as well as the other pupils?

Through the admission process, the School Principal is already aware of a significant amount of information in relation to each pupil, i.e. information gained from the professional reports submitted prior to the closing date for admission for the following September.

Further information is gained by the school when new pupils are invited to the school for a transition visit to see the building and meet some of our school staff. The school principal will have the opportunity to observe the child on this visit and parents will be asked if there is any additional information that the school should know to assist in placing the child in their class for the coming year.

When will I know my child’s class placement?

Most parents will know their child’s placement by the end of June. However, where new staff have to be appointed, parents will be informed as soon as is practicably possible.

Can I request a particular Teacher and/or Special Needs Assistant for my child either in writing or in discussion with the School Principal and/or my child’s present Teacher?

You may, if you give the specific reasons, in writing before June. However, parents are requested to please remember that there are no guarantees that all requests can be granted.

Parents should be reassured by the fact that all staff, who know their child and have been working with them on a daily basis, are consulted by the School Principal as part of the decision-making process.The School Principal will always endeavour to match the individual needs of each pupil with the best possible class placement for every child. However, whilst parents may have reasons for their child to be placed in a particular class, they are not privy to the individual needs of the other pupils in SMH SNS and therefore, are not in a position to make the best decision for the overall needs of each class. It is considered to be essential that the needs of all children are considered equally and it is the remit of the School Principal to examine the multiple factors, as per earlier criteria, regarding pupil placements.

Can I request my child’s class is placed with another child in a class? Or, can I request my child NOT be placed with another particular child?

Consideration is given to attachments/friendships that a pupil may have formed during the year and this is part of the placement criteria that the School Principal refers to when compiling class lists. We are very aware of how important it is to foster and support ‘buddies’/friendships among our pupils in every way possible. Equally, if a child has repeated difficulty with another pupil, the School Principal will try to separate non-constructive relationships in as far as is practicably possible.

Do teachers request that certain pupils are placed in their class?

No. Teachers are concerned about their class balance. Teachers want their colleagues to have successful years with their pupils. Additionally, Teachers are expected to be able to meet the needs of a variety of pupils and adapt to changes from year to year.

When I get my child’s class placement, will it be changed?

The vast majority of pupils remain in their assigned class, however, it may be necessary to move children to ensure the safety, well-being and happiness of all pupils is maintained and all pupils have the best opportunity to maximise their opportunities for learning.

Parents are advised that moving a pupil may cause a chain reaction within the class balance and it may be necessary to move other children to ensure that the overall needs of everyone are best met. While we always consider the individual child, parents must realise that their child is part of a complex equation in school placements. So, a degree of flexibility and trust is requested of Parents in relation to changes in pupil placements.

If a parent has concerns about their child’s class placement or that their child is moved class, they may talk to the School Principal about any concerns and be assured that those concerns will be shared with the Teacher so that your child’s anxieties will be addressed. Teachers are expected to have the skills to help our pupils’ transition and subsequently, adjust to their new class and staff and by working together we can try to create the right environment so that all our pupils can be happy in school.

Finally, we want to stress to parents that all information about their child is valued and heard. Teachers want to construct the smoothest transitions possible for their pupils. Parents can also help by being as positive and encouraging as possible to their children during the transition process to a new class, which impacts pupil, parent and teacher a great deal

11. CLASSROOM ALLOCATION

The Blue, Yellow, Red and Green Rooms are located together on the ‘Junior Corridor’ downstairs. Venus, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter Classes are located together on the Senior Corridor. Graduation Class and the Number 1 Room are located at the far end of the Senior Corridor.

In as far as is practicably possible, classes following similar curriculum will be located together in the school building.

12. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

All staff, under the guidance of the School Principal, participates in and contributes to the implementation of an effective and equitable class allocation policy. Grievances are dealt with at school level by the School Principal and will only transfer to the Board if a compromise cannot be reached.

SUCCESS CRITERIA

The school evaluates the success of the policy through;

  • Participation of all staff in the policy
  • Smooth hand over of classes
  • Calm and happy pupils
  • Feedback from all staff
  • Staff satisfaction
  • Parental satisfaction

13. REVIEW AND IMPLEMENTATION

A review will be conducted based on the success criteria outlined, or where consensus and compromise is not achieved.

14. RATIFICATION

This policy was ratified by the Board of Management on 6th February 2020. A copy has been given to all staff members and can be accessed in the secretary’s office. Parents can access this policy on the school website

15. REFERENCES

  • Education Act 1998 – Sections 22 and 23
  • Circular 16/73