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Special Class


Special Class Policy


The Special Class in Scoil Mhuire is designated for pupils with Mild General Learning Disability



Mission Statement

We at Scoil Mhuire Tullamore aim to develop the full potential of every child in our special class.


We address the challenges they face, be it academic, social or emotional and aid them with skills and strategies to overcome these challenges in order to live a full and happy life.


We endeavour to work in partnership with our parents and professional agencies to extend every opportunity for success to our children.


We provide a positive, stimulating, child centred environment in which the children in our care are supported to be both confident and happy in developing their potential skills and talents.




We decided to formulate this policy in response to our current and future enrolment of children with a Mild General Learning Disability.





  • To enable the children to participate in the National Curriculum at their own level

  • To guarantee inclusion of pupils with their peers in a mainstream setting

  • To develop positive self esteem and a positive attitude to school and learning

  • To establish communication structures for all significant adults involved with the MGLD class

  • To give clear outline to procedure and practice to be followed in relation to pupils within the MGLD class







    Procedure for Enrolment

    Applications to the Special Class, will only be processed on the basis of a Psychological Assessment with the outcome being a primary diagnosis of Mild General Learning Disability (MGLD) / Borderline Mild General Learning Disability and a firm recommendation for educational placement in a Special Class environment.

    Children with a diagnosis of MGLD and who may also have an additional diagnosis are welcome to apply to the admissions process.


    Prospective parents and children are encouraged to arrange an informal visit to the class.


    Psychological Assessment

    Each child must have upon entry to the special class a Psychological Assessment with a primary diagnosis of MGLD.


    This assessment will be kept confidentially by the teacher, in the child’s individual file, to be referred to during the creation of the child’s Individual Education Plan (IEP).


    A child may receive a re-assessment prior to discharge from our Special Class.



    Admissions Process

    The school will hold an annual Admission & Discharge meeting. This meeting will take place on the first Thursday following the annual February mid-term break and may be attended by representatives of the following:

    The school Special Education Team




    Early Intervention Team                                        


    This multi-disciplinary team will together decide on the enrolment of pupils to the Special Class for the forthcoming September. Places will be decided upon and offered to potential pupils on the basis of need.


    Offer of Place

    Following the formal meeting of the multi-disciplinary team, offers to potential pupils will be made in writing.


    Places must be accepted in writing within 10 working days of the date of offer. Failure to do so may result in the offer being withdrawn.


    Unsuccessful applicants will be made aware of any places that may subsequently arise during the academic year. Unsuccessful applicants may reapply in the same way as above for the following year. This will be treated as a new application and will be again judged on the basis of need.


    In the event that not all of the available places are filled following the multi-disciplinary meeting, the remaining places will be filled on a first come first served basis, providing all other qualifying criteria are met.



    Once the place has been offered and accepted in writing, a standard school enrolment form must be completed along with a Special Class Enrolment form and Transport form (if required) as supplied by NCSE.


    To support the enrolment procedure the following documents will be required-

    Psychological Assessment

    Birth Cert

    Baptismal Cert (if applicable)

    NCSE forms

    Irish Exemption (if already obtained)


    Please note:

    If a child from the MGLD class voluntarily leaves the school and returns at a later date he/she will forfeit their place in the class and so they must repeat the admissions process.


    Irish Exemption

    Children attending the special class are entitled to an Irish exemption and so Irish is not taught in the special class. The school will present a formal exemption certificate, if requested by the parent, to the child during his/her time in the school.


    Individual Education Plan & Class Planning

    Each pupil will have an IEP, which will be co-ordinated by the Special Class teacher and reviewed twice yearly.


    IEP’s will focus on the child’s literacy and numeracy targets as well as language and communication skills, integration opportunities & personal and social development.


    Parents, teachers and where applicable, SNA and therapists are involved in creating the IEP in order to ensure a consistent approach to the child’s development.

    The IEP will indicate objectives to be aimed for and a record of skills achieved. 


    We include a blank copy of our IEP with our policy.


    Further individual planning will be carried out by the teacher in the areas of literacy and numeracy on a monthly basis.

    Group subjects, for example, SESE, SPHE, Art etc. are planned as a group activity and are differentiated accordingly.



    Diagnostic Testing

    During the child’s time in Special Class they will undergo diagnostic testing in the areas of both English and Mathematics. This testing will be done on an individual basis as required.


    Other diagnostic tests may be administered.


    The tests administered will be age appropriate. The results of which will be considered during the creation of the child’s IEP.




    Homework is set on an individual basis, as the learning needs and styles of the child, needs to be taken into account.




    At Scoil Mhuire, arrangements are made for the appropriate integration of pupils with special educational needs attending Special Classes (DES Circular Sp. Ed. 09/99)


    As our Special Class is located within a mainstream school, it allows for integration experiences for every pupil at every level.


    Integration is based on the understanding that it is a process which we can meet the needs of the individual pupils, educationally, socially and personally.

    Our main emphasis for the children is social interaction and it is seen as a two way process with benefits for both the children of the special class and the mainstream children.


    Playtimes, whole school events, outings and tours are valuable inclusion experiences, however we also offer more discreet inclusion experiences where our children are paired with a specific age appropriate class during specific subjects. 


    The subjects for which the children are integrated will depend on the interests and needs of the child, taking into consideration that for some children they may be academically stretched at some subjects.


    Integration will take place after liaison between the special class teacher and the mainstream teacher has taken place. It will also be reviewed and evaluated regularly.


    Success Criteria

    Our success criteria will be based on the achievement of our objectives. We will use the following indicators as our benchmark for success or otherwise of the policy


  • Inclusion of pupils with MGLD into our school

  • Progress of pupils with MGLD in our school

  • Parental feedback



    Transition to Further Education

    We aim to make the transition into our class and from our class as comfortable as possible for all our MGLD pupils.



    We will therefore, where necessary, adopt one or more of the following strategies,


  • Visit an incoming pupil with in his/her current placement

  • Facilitate an incoming pupil with a visit to our school in which he/she may stay for a short period with the class and teacher

  • Visit a school that the child may be moving on to, be it another primary placement or post primary placement

  • Liase with past teachers or future teachers in regards to the child’s academic, social or emotional needs


    We will also adhere to any transition strategies in place in the schools that our pupils are moving on to.


    Communication between the school, SENO and NEPs psychologist is used to ease the process for all involved in the transition process.



    Please note:

    Scoil Mhuire can only accommodate boys up to and including First Class.


    Although the Special Class in Scoil Mhuire is a feeder school to both the Special Classes in Scoil Bhride (primary boys) and Tullamore College (post primary mixed), transition to these schools or any other school, must be sought by the parents and the admission process in these schools adhered to.






    The policy is implemented from September 2011


    Timeframe for Review

    This policy will be reviewed in 2013






This revised policy was ratified by________________________________

 Chairperson Board of Management on _____________________________