Inclusion Policy Overview
The primary purpose of the Inclusion Policy is to provide guidance to teachers, parents and the whole school on the provision of effective Learning Support to students with learning barriers / difficulties.
According to the SEN code of practice (2001) “A child has special educational needs if he or she has a learning difficulty which calls for special educational provisions to be made for him or her.’’
A child has a learning difficulty if he or she:
- a) has significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age;
- b) has a disability, which either hinders or prevents the child from making use of educational facilities of a kind provided for children of the same age in schools.
A child must not be regarded as having a learning difficulty solely because the language or medium of communication at home is different from the language in which he or she is or will be taught.
Principles of Learning Support at DPSS:
- Effective whole-school policy involvement;
- Provision of intensive early intervention;
- Direction of resources towards students in greatest need of support;
- Place a high priority on the enhancement of classroom-based learning and on the prevention of learning difficulties at all levels within the school;
- Support students experiencing low achievement and/or learning difficulties through a team approach which involves the students themselves, their teachers, parents and relevant support personnel;
- Draw up and implement whole-school action plan to support students with low achievement in literacy and numeracy;
- Establish effective home-school partnerships, including the development of support strategies for parents;
- Develop and implement individual learning programmes for each student in receipt of supplementary teaching, based on an assessment of needs and a specification of learning targets for the student. These programmes are drawn up and implemented collaboratively by the student’s form tutor, learning support teacher and parents.
Aims of the Learning Support at DPSS:
The aim of Learning Support is to optimize the teaching and learning process in order to enable students with learning barriers/difficulties to achieve expected levels of achievement in literacy and numeracy. At DPSS we promote the following:
- Identifying a child at risk as quickly as possible and take early action to meet these needs;
- Planning strategically to improve accessibility of the school’s premises and curriculum for all students;
- Monitoring progress and reviewing goals regularly;
- Work in partnership with parents by making regular contact to share progress;
- Work in partnership with students to reach targets and goals;
- Liaise and seek assistance, where appropriate, of outside agencies;
- To develop positive self-esteem and positive attitudes about school and learning in these students;
- To enable these students to monitor their own learning and become independent learners;
- To provide supplementary teaching and additional support and resources for these students in Literacy and Numeracy;
- To involve parents in supporting their children’s learning through effective parent-support programmes;
- To promote collaboration among teachers in the implementation of whole-school policies on learning Support for these students
Learning Support at DPSS for those who do not have a Diagnostic Report:
These are students who do not have a diagnostic report from a specialist, but who have been identified and referred to the Learning Support Department by their form tutor. These students have not made progress in spite of in-class interventions and differentiated teaching. These students will be informally assessed / screened by the Learning Support Department and either supported with push-in/pull-out lessons or strategies and resources will be given to the teachers to help support these students in class.
The school aims to provide for its students with Learning Support requirements, an inclusive and integrated setup across classes and will further encourage them through school activities and events. They are offered full access to a broad, balanced and relevant education, including an appropriate curriculum. Each student is given an opportunity to achieve their potential and to become a confident learner. Students with Learning Support requirement are included with their peers wherever possible. The school recognises the vitality of Learning Support and henceforth the staff and parents take the responsibility in supporting student education and other specific need(s).
Identification of Learning Support Needs Admissions screening process:
All students applying for admission to DPSS will be assessed to determine current levels of performance in literacy and numeracy. The DPSS Admissions team will analyse previous school records and information given by the parents to determine the potential need for Learning Support. The former school of every new student will be asked to forward any details of Learning Support provided in addition to all appropriate testing results that are available. DPSS may also request a statement of medical history, including any significant health, social and/or emotional needs, and information on additional services currently (or previously) provided.
The final decision will be taken when the above mentioned documents are discussed by a specialist team comprising the School Counsellor Primary / Secondary, School Principal and Directors. The authenticity of the documents is an important deciding factor in the final admission.
Any student identified as potentially needing Learning Support with a diagnostic report, should be assessed by the School Counsellor or Learning Support Teacher and a report will be given to Admissions with details from findings and with recommendations.
The learning needs of students and the diagnosis will be discussed with the Learning Support team, school management, and other relevant staff. Parents will then be informed if the school can meet the needs of the student in addition to what the school can provide.