Additional Educational Needs

Additional Educational Needs (AEN)

The principal aim of supporting students with special education needs in Scariff Community College is to provide a positive learning environment which will foster their academic, social and emotional development and to enable each student to realise their individual potential. In line with our ethos and Department of Education and Skills recommendations , learning support strategies will actively seek to include the diverse range of cultures and abilities of its students.


Mission Statement:

In Scariff Community College it is our policy to view the development of the student in the widest possible sense, seeking to provide a learning experience both of a formal and informal nature which will lead to the development of the total personality of the student. Through a broad curriculum we seek to facilitate the development of our students, so that each may leave the College equipped with good life skills. Our school motto is ‘Beart do reir ár mbriathar : Action according to our word’.

“Special education needs means a restriction in the capacity of the person to participate and benefit from education on account of enduring physical, sensory, mental health or learning disability, or any other condition which results in a person learning differently from a person without the condition”
(Education for Persons with Special Education Needs Act 2004)
January 2006

The importance of the individual student is emphasised in the Aims and Philosophy of Scariff Community College. It is therefore the policy of Scariff Community College to identify and to endeavour to provide for those students who have additional education needs.

The objectives and values underpinning this policy are:

  • To support students who have any form of additional educational need and to minimise its impact on their education and development, thus fostering positive self-esteem.
  • Promoting an environment which meets the student’s learning, physical, social, emotional and sensory needs
  • Acknowledgement of and support for each student’s role in the school community
  • Priority given to the nurturing of teaching and learning relationships
  • Recognition of individual talents and abilities
  • Promoting strong collaborative relationships between students, staff, guardians and support agencies
  • To ensure that every student has as wide an access to the curriculum as possible.
  • Clarity of policies, roles, responsibilities and tasks.

It must be noted that this AEN Policy should be considered in tandem with the relevant DES circulars, the ‘Rules and Programmes for Secondary Schools’ and the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) Guidelines, NEPS Continuum of Support, using the ‘Education for Persons with Special Education Needs Act’ 2004 (EPSEN), Education Act 1998, Education Welfare Act 2002, Disability Act 2005 as a framework.

The procedure of supporting children with Additional Educational Needs in Scariff Community College is as follows:

1. Identification:

  • Pupil Passport (NCCA Guidelines 2016) transfer from Primary School to include 6th class report card, My Profile, My Child’s Profile.
  • Visit to the main feeder primary schools by school management.
  • Completion of Additional Education Needs Questionnaire by parent/guardian of all students registering for a place in the school.
  • Addition Education Needs presentation at Open Night prior to enrolment.
  • Individual meeting with parents/guardian of children with AEN (Additional Educational Needs) can also be facilitated at this early stage, as it will help to fully inform the school.
  • Specialised Induction & Orientation for students with complex needs.

Individual Student files are initiated and kept in the School office. Information given by parents and in reports is treated with the upmost sensitivity. A summary of needs and supports allocated is disseminated by the A.E.N. Coordinator to all teaching staff and is maintained on a password protected shared server.

2. Categorisation of AEN:

The school categorises special educational needs in line with current descriptions outlined in the EPSEN Act 2004 and Circular 007/2014. These are detailed as follows:


  • Physical Disability
  • Hearing Impairment
  • Visual Impairment
  • Emotional Disturbance
  • Severe Emotional Disturbance
  • Moderate General Learning Disability
  • Severe/Profound General Learning Disability
  • Autism/Autistic Spectrum Disorder
  • Specific Speech and Language Disorder
  • Down Syndrome
  • Multiple Disorders
  • Disability arising from an assessed syndrome

High Incidence

  • Mild/Borderline General Learning
  • Disability
  • Specific Learning Disability

Students where English is an addition language EAL alone with students with exceptional ability are identified and additional support may be offered if resources allow.


3. Profiling Students:

All students in the school undergo:

Cognitive Ability Testing CAT 4 – Verbal, Numerical, Non Verbal & Spatial Ability

New Group Reading Test NGRT

Wide Range Achievement Testing WRAT 4 Spelling

Some Students:

Wide Range Achievement Testing WRAT 4, Wechsler Individual Achievement Test Second Edition, Dyslexia Screening Assessment, School Progress Report, Student Profiles from NEPS Continuum of Support, Educational Assessments and other Clinician Assessments

Additional Information for Student Profiling from:

Teacher Observation Sheets, AEN Weekly Meetings, SNA Observations, Parent Teacher Meetings, Parent meetings.

4. Provision of Resources:

Allocation of resources is based on additional teaching hours and Special Needs Assistant support granted annually from National Council for Special Education (NCSE) and in accordance with Circular 0014/2017. Resource deployment is supported by Student Profiling outlined above.

Resource teaching is granted

  • Extraction for Individual Teaching if appropriate
  • Extraction to a Small Group Setting
  • Team Teaching where possible.

Learning support is offered in Maths and English based on findings of Student Profiling. As recommended by the SERC Report, pupils who achieve scores that are at or below the 10th percentile in the standardised tests can be regarded as having low achievement. The selection of students for supplementary teaching/learning support is prioritised and consideration given to pupils who are performing at or below the 10th percentile in English reading and/or mathematics. The purpose of learning support is to enhance a student’s learning and attainment in literacy and numeracy. There is flexibility to provide for changing and emerging needs and is dependent on available resources in the school.

Access and support from a Special Needs Assistant is given to students in accordance with allocation from NCSE and in conjunction with recommendation from Clinician reports. Individual care needs of the student are central to the support offered from the SNA. Cognisance is given to emerging needs of students and diminishing needs as student progresses through post primary education. Core aim is to foster independence and develop self-management and organisational skills.

An Individual Student Plan is prepared for each student with low incidence allocation.

5. Support Agencies:

In keeping with the ethos of the school with emphasis on the holistic development of the child the school works in a collaborative nature with the following support agencies

  • NEPS–National Educational Psychologist Services
  • Primary Care Speech and Language Therapists & Occupational Therapists,
  • SENO–Special Education Needs Organiser through National Council for Special Education
  • School Age Intervention Services – CEIS
  • Child Adolescent Mental Health Services CAMHS HSE
  • Visiting Teacher Services for Deaf and Visual Impaired
  • Limerick Clare Education Training Board LCETB
  • Educational & Clinical Psychologists
  • Medical Personnel

Permission is sought from parents before consultation is initiated. Supporting the needs of the student and family is central to engagement with support agencies.

6. Whole School Monitoring, Evaluation and Ongoing Review:

As with all school policies this policy is evaluated on an ongoing basis, this can be subject to changing Department of Education Policy, continual evaluation by School Management and Additional Educational Needs Team.

Ratified at the Board of Management