Learning Support Policy
Whole School Policy for Learning-Support/Resource
This Draft Policy on Learning-Support / Resource (LSR) Provision in Ennis Educate Together taking cognisance of directives contained in the 1998
Education Act; the Learning-Support Guidelines (2000); the Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act (EPSEN) 2004; and recent DES Circulars,
The Draft Policy will be discussed and further developed by the teaching staff of
Ennis Educate Together during the first term of school year 2010-2011
The Draft Policy will be discussed by the Board of Management of
Ennis Educate Together as soon as possible.
This Draft Policy on LSR Provision in Ennis Educate Together NS contains the
Updated Draft Whole School Policy for Learning-Support / Resource
Ennis Educate Together NS was allocated 2 LSR teachers under the General Allocation
Model (GAM) for June 2009. The school also has a number of pupils who have been diagnosed as having low incidence learning disabilities and high incidence learning disabilities.
School Roll 20086B
This policy is the LSR Policy for Ennis Educate Together NS; but also contains a section which
outlines the cluster-wide policy for Screening, Assessment, Caseload, Selection,
Permissions and Review
2. Aims of Learning-Support.
The principal aim of learning-support provision, “is to optimise the teaching and
learning process in order to enable pupils with learning difficulties to achieve
adequate levels of proficiency in literary and numeracy before leaving primary
school” (LSG: p. 15). This support may be provided by the class teacher and / or the
LSRT (See Appendix 1: The Staged Approach, described in Circular 02/05).
2.1 Subsidiary aims.
_ To enable pupils to participate in the full curriculum for their class level
_ To develop positive self esteem and positive attitudes about school and
learning in pupils
_ To enable pupils to monitor their own learning and become independent
_ To provide supplementary teaching and additional support in English and / or
_ To involve parents in supporting their children through effective parent support
_ To promote collaboration among teachers in the implementation of whole school
policies on learning support for pupils
_ To establish early intervention programmes designed to enhance learning and
to prevent / reduce difficulties in learning
_ To guard the self-esteem and self-image of the learner.
Effective learning programmes are based on the following principles:
_ Effective whole-school policies and parental involvement
_ Prevention of failure
_ Provision of intensive early intervention
_ Direction of resources towards pupils in greatest need.
4. Roles and Responsibilities.
The role of supporting learning is a collaborative responsibility shared by all:- The
Board of Management, Principal Teacher, Class Teachers, LSRT, Parents and
Children. It is important that everyone contributes in the planning and implementation
of our school plan on LSR Provision.
4.1 Role of the Board of Management.
The Board of Management shall:
_ Oversee the development, implementation and review of the LSR policy.
_ Ensure that adequate classroom accommodation and teaching resources are
provided for the LSRTs.
_ Provide adequate funds for the purchase of LSR materials.
_ Provide a secure facility for storage of records relating to pupils in receipt of LSR.
4.2 Role of the Principal Teacher.
“The principal teacher has overall responsibility for the school’s learning-support
programme and for the operation of services for children with special educational
needs”. (Learning-Support Guidelines, p.38). The Education Act (1998) and the
EPSEN Act (2004) have all reiterated this responsibility.
The Principal Teacher is required to:
_ Assume overall responsibility for the development and implementation of the
school’s policies on learning-support and special needs in co-operation with the
_ Work with teachers and parents in the development of the school plan on learningsupport
and special needs.
_ Monitor the implementation of the school plan on LSR and special needs on an
_ Monitor the selection of pupils for supplementary teaching, ensuring that this
service is focused on the pupils with very low achievement.
_ Oversee the implementation of a whole-school assessment and screening
programme to identify pupils with very low achievement and learning difficulties
so that these pupils can be provided with the support they need.
_ Keep teachers informed about the external assessment services that are available
and the procedures to be followed for initial referrals.
_ Help teachers increase their knowledge and skills in the area of learning-support.
_ Liaise regularly with the LSRTs, “In order to support the implementation of
school policy on learning support as outlined in the school plan, the principal
teacher should arrange a meeting with the learning-support teacher at least once
each school term to discuss the implementation of the school plan on learning
support” (Learning-Support Guidelines, p. 40).
_ Assume direct responsibility for co-ordinating LSR and special needs services.
The role of co-ordinating learning-support and special needs services may be
filled by the principal teacher him / herself. Alternatively the principal teacher
may assign these duties to another teacher such as a special education teacher,
LSRT or post holder.
Typically, the duties assigned to this role would include the following:
_ Maintaining a list of pupils who are receiving supplementary teaching
and / or special educational services
_ Help to co-ordinate the caseloads / work schedules of the learningsupport
and resource teachers
_ Supporting the implementation of a tracking system at whole-school
level to monitor the progress of children with learning difficulties
_ Advise parents on procedures for availing of special needs services
_ Liaising with external agencies such as psychological services to
arrange assessments and special provision for pupils with special needs
_ Arrange for classroom accommodation and resources, as appropriate.
_ Organise and co-ordinate the construction of IPLPs / IEPs
4.3 Role of the Class Teacher.
_ Circular 02/05 demands the implementation of the Staged Approach. Stage 1 of
this approach requires class teachers to support their pupils’ learning, in the first
instance (See Appendix 1 of this policy).
_ The Staged Approach requires class teachers to construct simple, individual
plans of support, and to implement this plan for a specified time before referring
the child for Stage 2 interventions (See Appendix 1 of this policy).
_ Circular 02/05 demands that, “Interventions with pupils at stages 2 and 3 should
include a classroom support plan to ensure that the pupils’ needs are met for the
whole school day” (p. 7).
_ The Learning Support Guidelines (2000) advocate a significant change in the role
of the class teacher, in terms of increasing emphasis on consultation with the
learning-support teacher and with parents.
_ The class teacher has primary responsibility for the progress of all pupils in her /
his class, including those selected for supplementary teaching.
_ “A particular responsibility of the class teacher is to create a classroom
environment in which learning difficulties can be prevented or at least
alleviated”, (Learning-Support Guidelines, p. 42).
This can be achieved by:
_ Grouping pupils for instruction
_ Providing lower-achieving pupils with strategies for reading, spelling
and problem solving
_ Adapting learning materials for lower-achieving pupils
_ Liaising closely with their parents.
_ When supplementary teaching cannot be provided for a pupil, or is being phased
out or discontinued, the class teacher will need to develop and implement a
support programme that meets the pupil’s changing needs, in consultation with the
_ In supporting the development and implementation of the school plan on learning
support the class teacher should administer and score appropriate screening
measures, and discuss the outcomes with the LSRT.
_ The class teacher plays an important role in the initial identification of pupils who
may have general or specific learning disabilities. The class teacher will carry out
appropriate screening measures him / herself and / or refer the pupil to the
learning-support teacher for appropriate screening.
_ For each pupil who is in receipt of supplementary teaching, the class teacher will
collaborate with the learning-support teacher in the development of an Individual
Profile and Learning Programme (IPLP) by identifying appropriate learning
targets and by organising classroom activities to achieve those targets.
_ For each pupil who is in receipt of supplementary teaching, the class teacher will
adjust the class programme in line with the agreed learning targets and activities
on the pupil’s IPLP and maintain a record of the pupil’s progress towards
achieving those learning targets.
_ With regard to teaching pupils with low achievement, the following general
approaches and methods are recommended:
_ Group teaching
_ Modifying presentation and questioning techniques to maximise the
involvement of pupils with low achievement in class activities
_ Placing an emphasis on oral language development across the
_ Providing pupils with extra tutoring in the key basic skills in literacy
_ Setting learning targets at an appropriate level
_ Providing learning activities and materials which are suitably
challenging but which also ensure success and progress
_ Carrying out error analyses of a pupil’s work to pinpoint specific areas
of difficulty, for particular attention in subsequent lessons
_ Setting up ‘buddy systems’ in class (high achievers collaboratively
working with low achievers).
_ A key role of successful learning-support is a very high level of consultation
and co-operation between the class teacher and the learning-support teacher.
Central to this consultation is the development, implementation and review of
IPLPs. This consultation will be achieved through formal timetabling at
least once per instructional term, and through informal consultation as
the need arises.
_ It is accepted practice for class teachers to consult with the parents of all their
pupils from time to time. However, for parents of pupils who are in receipt of
supplementary teaching, additional time should be devoted to consultation and
collaborative planning. In the case of each pupil who has been identified as
experiencing low achievement and / or a learning difficulty following
administration of an appropriate screening measure, the class teacher should:
_ Make parents aware of the concerns of the school about their child’s
_ Outline the school’s practices regarding the administration of
diagnostic tests by the LSRT and seek the approval of the pupil’s
parents to proceed with such assessment
_ Outline the support that is available in the school to pupils who
experience low achievement and / or learning difficulties
_ Indicate to the pupil’s parents that a meeting with the LSRT will
follow the assessment
_ After the diagnostic assessment, attend, if possible, the meeting
between the pupil’s parents and the LSRT and indicate how the pupil’s
class programme will be modified in order to achieve the agreed
learning targets in the pupil’s IPLP.
4.4 Role of the Learning-Support / Resource Teacher (LSRT).
The activities of the learning support teacher should include both teaching and nonteaching
duties. According to the Learning-Support Guidelines (2000) “The
particular balance that the learning-support teacher achieves between supplementary
teaching and consultative activities will depend on the specific circumstances of the
school” (p. 32). The LSRT’s activities should include, where possible:
_ Assisting in the implementation of a broad range of whole-school strategies
designed to enhance early learning and to prevent learning difficulties.
_ Provide supplementary teaching commensurate with the child’s particular and
_ Research the pupil’s specific learning difficulty, to become au fait with this
impediment to learning.
_ Implement recommendations from outside agencies, wherever possible, and
liaise with outside agencies pertinent to the children in their care.
_ Development of an IPLP for each pupil who is selected for supplementary
teaching, in consultation with class teachers and parents.
_ Maintaining planning and progress record, or equivalent, for each
individual or group of pupils in receipt of learning support.
_ Delivering intensive early intervention programmes and providing
supplementary teaching in English and / or Mathematics to pupils in the junior
section of the school (Senior Infants to 2nd Class), caseload permitting.
_ Providing teaching in English and / or Mathematics to pupils in the senior
section of the school who experience low achievement and / or learning
_ Co-ordinating the implementation of whole-school procedures for the
selection of pupils for supplementary teaching, giving due consideration to:
_ The selection criteria specified in this LSRT policy.
_ Teachers’ professional observations
_ Input from parents
_ Contributing to the development of policy on LSR at the whole school level
and at the cluster level.
_ Providing advice to the Class Teacher (if requested) about pupils who are
experiencing learning difficulties in such areas as:
_ Individual pupil assessment
_ Programme planning
_ Curriculum differentiation
_ Approaches to language development
_ Approaches to reading
_ Approaches to spelling
_ Approaches to writing
_ Approaches to Mathematics
_ Meet with parents of each pupil who is in receipt of LSR to discuss targets and
ways in which attainment of the targets can be supported at home.
_ Meet with parents of each pupil who is in receipt of LSR at the end of each
instructional term, if appropriate.
_ To review the pupil’s attainment of agreed targets
_ To discuss the next instructional term
_ To revise the pupil’s IPLP.
_ Contributing at the school level to decision making regarding the purchase of
learning resources, books and materials to be made available to pupils with
learning difficulties in their mainstream classrooms and in the learning-support
_ Performing a defined role in co-ordinating the provision of special needs and
learning-support services in the schools in our cluster, as requested and time
_ Liaising with external agencies such as educational psychologists, speech and
language therapists etc… to arrange assessments and special provision for
pupils with special needs.
_ Collaborate with the principal teacher and meet with him / her at least once
each school term to discuss issues relating to the development and
implementation of the school plan on LSR, and to the provision of LSR.
_ The LSRT should work closely with class teachers to implement school
policies on preventing learning difficulties, screening pupils for learning
difficulties, interpreting the outcomes of diagnostic assessments and providing
supplementary teaching and other forms of learning-support, where it is
_ The LSRT plays an important role in co-ordinating the selection of pupils for
supplementary teaching. The LSRT shall:
_ Co-ordinate the administration by class teachers of a whole-school
screening programme to identify pupils with very low achievement and
/ or learning difficulties in English and Mathematics in conjunction with the EAL teachers.
_ Consult with class teachers on the identification of pupils who may
need diagnostic assessment, taking into account the pupils’ scores on
an appropriate standardised screening measure, agreed criteria for
identifying pupils, teachers’ own views of the pupils’ difficulties and
needs and the number of pupils to whom LSR can be provided
_ Carry out a comprehensive diagnostic assessment of each pupil who
has been identified as experiencing low achievement and / or learning
difficulties and, in consultation with the class teacher and parents,
identify the type and level of LSR that is needed to meet the pupil’s
_ In addition to providing supplementary teaching to pupils, the LSRT is
involved in administering a range of formal and informal assessments and in
maintaining records of the outcomes of those assessments. The LSRT shall:
_ Conduct an initial diagnostic assessment of each pupil who has been
identified as having low achievement and / or a learning difficulty,
based on results of an appropriate screening measure and record the
findings of the assessment in the pupil’s IPLP.
_ Monitor the ongoing progress of each pupil in receipt of supplementary
teaching in relation to the attainment of agreed learning targets and
short-term objectives that arise from them, and record the observations
in the Weekly Planning and Progress Record, or equivalent.
_ Review the progress of each pupil at the end of an instructional term
and record it on the pupil’s IPLP.
_ As one of our LSRTs is shared between 2 schools, the following caution
contained in the Learning-Support Guidelines, is particularly relevant to our
situation: “Teachers providing learning-support services in a cluster of
schools face additional challenges in meeting the learning needs of pupils”
(Learning-Support Guidelines, p.51).
4.5 Role of Parents.
“Parents through their unique knowledge of their own child, have much to contribute
to their child’s learning programmes” (Learning-Support Guidelines, p.52). Parents
can prepare for and support the work of the school by:
_ Providing a home environment in which there are opportunities for adults and
children to participate together in language, literacy and mathematical
activities in the early years before formal schooling begins.
_ Supporting the work of the school by participating with their child in such
_ Using Information and Communications Technology (ICTs), where
available, to support learning in English and / or Mathematics
_ Book sharing / reading stories
_ Paired reading (listening to and giving supportive feedback on oral
_ Discussions about school and other activities to build vocabulary and
_ Writing lists and short accounts about children’s experiences
_ Counting and measuring and other activities involving number
_ Visits to the zoo, museum, library etc… to broaden the range of their
_ Talking positively about school and school work;
_ Availing of real-life situations to discuss the importance of language, literacy
_ Modelling involvement in language, literacy and mathematical activities at
home by engaging in and talking about these activities.
_ Where their child is in receipt of supplementary teaching, implementing
suggested home-based activities outlined in their child’s IPLP and discussing
the outcomes with the child’s teachers.
_ Parents should keep the class teacher informed of the progress that they
observe in their child’s learning. They should also let the school know of any
learning difficulties that they observe in their child at home. If, following
diagnostic assessment, the child has been identified as requiring
supplementary teaching, the parents can attend a meeting with the learningsupport
teacher to discuss:
_ The results of the assessment
_ The learning targets in the child’s IPLP
_ The actions to be taken by the school to meet those targets
_ The ways in which attainment of the targets can be supported at home.
_ Where a child is in receipt of supplementary teaching from the learningsupport
teacher, the parents can:
_ Discuss their child’s progress with the LSRT at the end of each
instructional term, and, in cases where supplementary teaching is to be
continued, discuss the revised learning targets and activities in their
_ At the discontinuation of supplementary teaching, discuss with their
child’s teachers how the child’s future learning needs can continue to
be met at school and at home
_ Participate in activities organised by the school that are designed to
increase the involvement of parents in their children’s learning
_ Become familiar with and contribute to the development of the school
plan on learning support individually and through involvement in
4.6 Role of Pupils.
Pupils who are in receipt of supplementary teaching should, as appropriate:
_ Become familiar with the medium and short-term learning targets that have
been set for them and they should be given the opportunity to contribute to the
setting of such targets.
_ Contribute to the selection of texts and other learning materials that are
relevant to the attainment of their learning targets.
_ Develop ‘ownership’ of the skills and strategies that are taught during
supplementary teaching and learn to apply these learning strategies and skills
to improve their own learning.
_ Contribute to the evaluation of their progress by participating in appropriate
assessment activities, including self-assessment.
“The involvement of pupils in the development, implementation and review of their
own learning programmes is an important principle underlining effective
supplementary teaching” (Learning-Support Guidelines, p.54).
5. Prevention and Early Intervention.
Prevention / early intervention is a cornerstone of LSR.
5.1 Prevention Strategies.
Our strategies for preventing learning difficulties include:
_ The development of agreed approaches to the teaching of programs in English and language of Maths in order to ensure progression and continuity from class to class.
_ Provision of additional support in language development and relevant early
literacy and mathematical skills to pupils who need it
_ Implementation of a whole school parental involvement programmes that
focus on developing children’s oral language skills, shared books with
children and developing their early mathematical skills
_ Implementation of paired reading programmes involving adults / parents and
pupils in the school
_ Ongoing structured observation and assessment of the language, literacy and
numeracy skills of pupils in the infant classes to facilitate early identification
of possible learning difficulties
_ Close collaboration and consultation between the Infant teacher and the LSRT.
5.2 Early Intervention Programmes.
_ Early intervention is a vital component of the LSR provision in this school,
caseload permitting. Early intervention programmes may be provided by the class
teacher and / or by the LSRT, in accordance with the Staged Approach, outlined
in Circular 02/05 (pp. 21-22), and available here in Appendix 1.
_ Close collaboration and consultation between the class teachers and the LSRT,
will identify pupils who may be in need of early intervention. Teacher observation
and professional opinion will be given due consideration in the selection of pupils
for early intervention programmes.
_ Intensive early intervention programmes in the early primary classes can be an
effective response to meeting the needs of children with low achievement. These
_ Be set within a specific time frame (13-20 weeks)
_ Be based on a shared expectation of success by everyone involved
_ Involve small group teaching or one-to-one teaching where small
group teaching has not been effective
_ Include a strong focus on oral language, laying the foundation for
meaningful reading activities and further development of language and
_ Emphasise the development of phonemic awareness and a range of
other word identification skills
_ Engage the pupils in frequent supervised oral and silent reading of
texts at appropriate levels of difficulty and monitor their
_ Stress the interconnected nature of listening, speaking, reading and
_ Focus on language development in mathematics, and in the
development of mathematical procedures and concepts and through the use of concrete materials.
6. Policy on Screening, Assessment, Caseload, Selection,
Permissions and Review.
This section of the policy refers to policy in relation to screening etc… in
Ennis Educate Together NS and it also incorporates cluster-wide arrangements.
6.1 Parental communications.
(1)Parents will be informed when their children require learning-support.
(2) Parents will be informed when the LSRT to undertakes
individual, diagnostic testing (Circular 02/05).
6.2 Initial Screening: Class teachers will carry out the initial screening tests. Class
teachers will also correct and record results for both Micra-T and Sigma-T
6.3 Diagnostic Assessment: The LSRT will discuss each class’s recorded results with
the class teacher, and carry out further screening tests and / or diagnostic assessments
where it is deemed necessary. The results of these tests will be available for the end of
year staff meeting.
6.4 Caseload Decisions:
Large caseloads have led to a dilution of LSR provision, and
this is to be avoided, as is the inclusion of average-achieving pupils on the LSRT
caseload. The Staged Approach (See Appendix 1 of this policy), together with current
guidelines (the LSG), and DES directives must inform all decision-making regarding
the LSRT’s caseload.
The school may also use team teaching techniques to address learning needs, a teacher may choose to instruct learning support children while the learning support teacher instructs other more able children.
1.1 Selection Criteria:
The following selection criteria encompass all current guidelines and general good
practice. The LSRT will select pupils in accordance with these criteria, stopping at (1)
if his / her caseload is full, but will continue on to point (2) caseload permitting, and
so on through the selection criteria.
(1) Pupils diagnosed as having Low Incidence learning disabilities.
(2) Pupils diagnosed as having High Incidence learning disabilities.
(3) Pupils scoring at/below the 10th percentile on standardised assessments in literacy.
(4) Pupils scoring at/below the 12th percentile on standardised assessments in literacy
(to allow for a margin of error).
(5) Early intervention in literacy (Infants-2nd class pupils who continue to experience
difficulty, despite Stage One interventions by the class teacher).
(6) Pupils scoring at/below the 10th percentile on standardised assessments in
(7) Pupils scoring at/below the 12th percentile on standardised assessments in
mathematics (to allow for a margin of error).
(8) Early intervention in mathematics (Infants-2nd class pupils who continue to
experience difficulty, despite Stage One interventions by the class teacher).
(9) Pupils scoring above the 12th percentile on standardised assessments in literacy,
who continue to experience difficulty, despite Stage One interventions by the class
teacher, under the Staged Approach.
(10) Pupils scoring above the 12th percentile on standardised assessments in
mathematics, who continue to experience difficulty, despite Stage One interventions
by the class teacher, under the Staged Approach.
6.6 Deploying Resources: The 6 Steps from Circular 02/05.
(1) Step 1 Circular 02/05, p. 7. A list of every pupil in the school, who has been
highlighted as being in need of support, will be compiled by
The school Principal
(2) Step 2 Circular 02/05, p. 7. This list will be examined in consultation with
Circular 02/05, and each child will be allocated support, as appropriate, under the
terms of the Staged Approach.
(3) Step 3 Circular 02/05, p. 7. A list of members of the teaching staff will be
compiled by the school Principal;
(4) Step 4 Circular 02/05, p. 8. A member of staff will be allocated to support the
learning of each pupil identified, taking into account: the Staged Approach; the needs
of the pupils; the expertise and experience of the teacher; and practical considerations.
(5) Step 5 Circular 02/05, p. 8. Pupils with similar needs may be grouped for
(6) Step 6 Circular 02/05, p. 8. A tracking and recording system will be established
by the learning support teachers. Teachers will actively monitor the progress of pupils.
1.1 Staff Meetings.
The LSRTs will attend and contribute to staff meetings, as usual. LSR will be
included on the agenda for staff meetings at least once per instructional term. The
shared LSRT will attend staff meetings at the other schools, when possible. The
‘out of school’ element of staff meetings will be fulfilled in the base school only.
1.2 Parent-Teacher Meetings.
The nature of LSRT means that meetings with parents are on-going and regular. The
LSRT will fulfil the ‘out of school’ requirement of parent-teacher meetings at the base
1.3 Lunchtime Supervision.
If the shared LSRT has opted in to this scheme, he / she will complete lunchtime
supervision at the base school only.
6.10 Travelling Time.
The shared LSRT ensures that the time spent travelling between schools is kept to the
minimum possible, while providing regular support to pupils. The cluster
acknowledges that 2 schools are involved.
7. Continuing and Discontinuing Supplementary Teaching.
_ An instructional term is generally taken to mean 13-20 weeks of instruction.
However, where the LSRT is shared between schools and is unable to meet
pupils more than 2-3 times a week, an instructional term may be longer than
_ A meeting may be held at the end of each instructional term with the parents in
cases where supplementary teaching is to be continued to discuss the revised
learning targets and activities in the pupil’s IPLP.
_ Supplementary teaching will normally be discontinued where the targets have
been met and the pupil (on assessment) is performing above the percentile laid
down in the criteria for receiving learning-support.
_ The school may decide to discontinue supplementary teaching with some
pupils (who have made satisfactory progress), in order for the LSRT to
provide early intervention / prevention for Senior Infants, after the analysis of
the MIST screening test results in February (pupils who have not responded to
Stage One interventions by the class teacher, under the Staged Approach).
_ Due consideration will be given to the overall needs of the school and all of its
pupils, and to the cluster, as appropriate.
8. Monitoring Progress.
Monitoring the academic progress of the pupils in this school will be accomplished
_ Ongoing structured observation and assessment of the language, literacy and
numeracy skills of the pupils in the infant classes to facilitate early
identification of possible learning difficulties by the class teacher.
_ Formal and informal testing and observation of work by the class teacher.
_ Implementing the school policies on screening and the selection of pupils for
supplementary teaching in English and / or in Mathematics by administering
and scoring appropriate measures:
_ For Senior Infant pupils: MIST each year in February
_ For Senior Infant pupils: Micra-T each year in May
_ For 1st to 6th Class pupils: Micra-T each year in October
_ For 1st to 6th Class pupils: Sigma-T each year in May
_ Standardised and diagnostic testing by the learning-support teacher.
_ Record keeping (Children have a file where records, test results and
assessments are kept in a secure filing cabinet).
_ Non-academic progress of pupils in this school will be reviewed informally,
for example under the headings of improvements in the pupil’s self esteem;
school attendance; attitude to learning; attitude to school and general
9. Liaising with Parents.
Effective communication with parents is critically important to the success of a
9.1 Communication with Parents.
_ Teachers will take every opportunity to make parents familiar with the
purpose and procedures of the school’s learning-support team.
_ Activities may be organised in our school, from time to time, to increase the
involvement of parents in their children’s learning, e.g. Paired / Shared
_ Parents will be encouraged to support their child’s learning through:
_ Developing children’s oral language through discussion
_ Motivating children to read more
_ Creating a home environment where literacy can thrive
_ Selecting books that interest children
_ Counting, measuring and other activities involving number.
9.2 Principal Teacher Liaising with Parents.
While the learning-support teacher will consult with parents and outside agencies on
an ongoing basis, the principal teacher can facilitate the involvement of parents in the
learning-support process by:
_ Establishing school policies and procedures, which enable parents to become
involved effectively in the provision of learning-support.
_ Encouraging the organisation of information sessions for all parents on issues
relating to the school’s learning-support service.
_ Overseeing the development of links between teachers and the providers of
assessments and other services.
_ Facilitating the involvement of other members of the community (for example,
grandparents, older siblings, retired adults) in contributing to the learningsupport
programme by inviting them to train for and participate in activities
such as paired reading, story telling and library time.
9.3 Class Teacher Liaising with Parents.
_ Once a pupil has come to the attention of the school because of low
achievement it will be possible for the class teacher in the context of ongoing
contact with the parents to make them aware of the situation and to ascertain
the parent’s views about the child’s performance at school.
_ Inform the parent that you are proceeding with diagnostic assessment, which may
lead to supplementary teaching.
When a child is selected for LSR, the parent is informed in writing.
_ Indicate that a meeting with the LSRT and the parents may take place
following diagnostic assessment and prior to the commencement of
_ Seek the parent’s permission for their child to attend supplementary teaching
with the LSRT (Draft letter for this purpose, Appendix 5).
9.4 The LSRT Liaising with Parents.
In addition to providing general information to parents about the LSR services that are
available in the school, the LSRT should:
_ Meet with the parents of each pupil who has been selected for diagnostic
assessment (if such a meeting is requested at this point by the parents).
_ After the initial diagnostic assessment has been completed, meet with each
pupil’s parents to discuss the outcomes of the assessment.
_ Discuss the learning targets in the child’s IPLP with the parents, the actions to
be taken by the school to meet those targets and the ways in which attainment
of the targets can be supported at home (if it is decided that supplementary
teaching will be provided by the LSRT).
_ Communicate on an ongoing basis with the parents of each pupil who is in
receipt of supplementary teaching so that progress can be positively affirmed
and any difficulties in implementing the pupil’s learning programme at school
or at home can either be anticipated and avoided or addressed without delay.
_ Consult with the parents of each pupil who is in receipt of supplementary
teaching at the end of the instructional term to review the pupil’s attainment of
agreed learning targets, to discuss the level of supplementary teaching (if any)
that will be provided in the next instructional term and to revise the pupil’s
IPLP, as necessary.
_ Consult with parents when supplementary teaching is to be discontinued and
identify ways in which the pupil’s learning can continue to be supported at
school and at home
_ Demonstrate techniques and strategies to parents that will enable them to help
with their child’s development in such areas as oral language, reading, writing,
spelling and mathematics
_ Where relevant, collaborate with other teachers to advise parents on ways in
which they can support their children’s learning at home.
10. Monitoring and Reviewing this Policy.
Monitoring of the Learning-Support Policy is an ongoing and developmental process.
The whole school staff of this school will discuss this LSR Policy at least once per
year at a staff meeting, and review as necessary. A cluster meeting will be held in the
last term of each school year in order to review the cluster-wide policy.
The Staged Approach to Assessment, Identification and Programme Planning
(Appendix 3 of Circular 02/05).
A class teacher or parent may have concerns about the academic, physical, social,
behavioural or emotional development of certain pupils. The teacher should then
administer screening measures, which may include screening checklists and profiles
for pupils in senior infants and first class, standardised, norm-referenced tests for
older pupils and behavioural checklists where appropriate.
The class teacher should then draw up a short, simple plan for extra help to be
implemented within the normal classroom setting, in the relevant areas of learning
and/or behavioural management. The success of the classroom support plan should
be reviewed regularly, with appropriate parental involvement. If concern remains
after a number of reviews and adaptations to the plan, the special education support
team or the learning support/resource teacher in the school may be consulted about
the desirability of intervention at stage II.
If intervention is considered necessary at stage II, then the pupil should be
referred to the learning support/resource teacher, for further diagnostic testing.
In the case of pupils with learning difficulties, if the classroom support plan fails to achieve the desired outcome the pupil should be referred to the learning support teacher/resource teacher, for further diagnostic testing. If this diagnostic assessment suggests that supplementary teaching would be beneficial, this should be arranged. Parents will be informed when a pupil is receiving learning support.
The class teacher should be involved with the learning-support/resource teacher in drawing up the learning programme, which would include appropriate interventions for implementation in the home, in the classroom, and during supplementary teaching.
The learning support/resource teacher and the class teacher should review regularly,
in consultation with the parents, the rate of progress of each pupil receiving
supplementary teaching. If significant concerns remain after a number of reviews and
adaptations to the learning programme, then it may be necessary to provide
interventions at stage III.
In the case of pupils with emotional or behavioural difficulties, it is recognised that,
with serious difficulties, more urgent action may be needed. In these cases the pupil’s
needs should, with parents’ permission, be discussed with the relevant NEPS
psychologist and/or the case should be referred to the clinical services of the Health
Services Executive. This may lead to a more detailed behavioural management
programme to be implemented at home and in class, or to referral for further specialist
assessment (stage III).
Some pupils who continue to present with significant learning needs will require
more intensive intervention at stage III. The school may formally request a
consultation and, where appropriate, an assessment of need from a specialist outside
the school in respect of pupils with learning difficulties or with mild or moderate
behavioural problems (or both) who have failed to make progress after supplementary
teaching or the implementation of a behavioural programme and in respect of pupils
with serious emotional disturbance and/or behavioural problems. Such specialist
advice may be sought from psychologists, paediatricians, speech and language
therapists, audiologists, etc.1
The learning support/resource teacher, resource teacher, if available, and the class
teacher, in consultation with the relevant specialist or specialists should then draw up
a learning programme that includes identification of any additional available
resources that are considered necessary in order to implement the programme. The
parents should be fully consulted throughout this process. This programme should be
the subject of regular reviews, leading to revisions of the learning programme and
referral for specialist review, as necessary.
In the case of pupils identified at an early age as having very significant special
educational needs, intervention at stage III will be necessary on their entry to school.
Support in the classroom will be an essential component of any learning programme
devised for such pupils, and primary responsibility for the pupil will remain with the
class teacher, in consultation with the learning support/resource /or resource teacher.
List of Assessments available in Ennis Educate Together NS:
To be purchased this school year
Letter Seeking Parental Permission for Teachers to Administer Selection /
To be added
Draft Letter Seeking Parental Permission for their Child to Attend
To be added
Resources Maintained by the Learning-Support Teacher
Resources available to the LSRT in this School:
To be completed
Department of Education and Science (1999) Primary School Curriculum. Your
child’s learning. Guidelines for parents, Dublin: Stationery Office.
Department of Education (1988) Guidelines on Remedial Education, Dublin:
Government of Ireland, Department of Education and Science (2005) Circular 202/05,
Dublin: Stationery Office.
Government of Ireland, Department of Education and Science (2004) Education for
Persons with Special Education Needs (EPSEN), Dublin: Stationery Office.
Government of Ireland, Department of Education and Science (2003) Circular 24/03,
Dublin: Stationery Office.
Government of Ireland, Department of Education and Science (2002) Circular 08/02,
Dublin: Stationery Office.
Government of Ireland, Department of Education and Science (2001a) Report of the
Task Force on Autism, Dublin: Stationery Office.
Government of Ireland, Department of Education and Science (2001b) Report of the
Task Force on Dyslexia, Dublin: Stationery Office.
Government of Ireland, Department of Education and Science (2000) Learning-
Support Guidelines, Dublin: Stationery Office.
Government of Ireland & National Council for Curriculum Assessment (1999a)
Primary School Curriculum, Introduction, Dublin: Stationery Office.
Government of Ireland & National Council for Curriculum Assessment (1999b)
Primary School Curriculum. English Language. Teacher Guidelines, Dublin:
Government of Ireland & National Council for Curriculum Assessment (1999c)
Primary School Curriculum. English Language, Dublin: Stationery Office.
Government of Ireland & National Council for Curriculum Assessment (1999d)
Primary School Curriculum. Mathematics, Dublin: Stationery Office.
Government of Ireland & National Council for Curriculum Assessment (1999e)
Primary School Curriculum. Mathematics. Teacher Guidelines, Dublin: Stationery
Government of Ireland, Department of Education and Science (1999f) Circular 08/99,
Dublin: Stationery Office.
Government of Ireland, Department of Education and Science (1998) The Education
Act, Dublin: Stationery Office.
Government of Ireland, Department of Education and Science (1993) Report of the
Special Education Review Committee (SERC), Dublin: Stationery Office.
Irish National Teachers Organization (2001) Literacy in the Primary School, Dublin:
Irish National Teachers Organization (1997) Teaching and Learning: Issues in
Assessment, Dublin: I.N.T.O. Publication.
Irish National Teachers Organization (1994) Remedial Education. A Review, Dublin:
Shiel, G; Morgan, M; Larney, R; (1998) Study of Remedial Education in Irish
Primary Schools, Dublin: Stationery Office.