Additional Educational Needs (AEN) Policy

(Draft) Additional Educational Needs (AEN) Policy, Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh, Bishopstown, Cork.

Roll number: 62580U

School Patron: Presentation Brothers Schools Trust



Section 1: Introduction, Ethos and Values of Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh

Section 2: Aims of our AEN policy and AEN department in CSN

Section 3: Rationale & Context of AEN Policy 

Section 4: Roles & Responsibilities of AEN Partners

Section 5: Legal and Policy Context of Additional Education Needs Policy 

Section 6: Models of Provision and the Continuum of Support

Section 7: Allocation of Support to Students

Section 8: Communication

Section 1: Introduction: Ethos, Vision and Values of Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh 


Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh is a boys post primary school in the western suburbs of Cork City. It is within the trusteeship of the Presentation Brothers School Trust (PBST). The Additional Educational Needs (AEN) Policy of Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh is published in accordance with the Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs (EPSEN) Act 2004, Education Act 1998, the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 and the Equal Status Act 2000.

The policy is informed by best practice as outlined in all current and relevant Department of Education circulars and guidelines including NCSE Continuum of Support, Guidelines for Post-Primary Schools – Supporting Students with Special Educational Needs in Mainstream Schools, and Circulars 14/17 and 12/05. Accordingly, and in line with the Presentation Brothers School Trust charter document and the school’s Mission Statement, Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh welcomes all students with Additional and Special Educational Needs (AEN/SEN) for whom the school can provide an appropriate and inclusive education.

The AEN policy is intended to be read in conjunction with and exists alongside Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh’s other policy documents and ongoing initiatives. In particular: the PBST School Charter, the Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh School Mission Statement, the CSN Admissions Policy, CSN Whole School Guidance Policy, the CSN Code of Positive Behaviour and other related policies.


Ethos and Values:

The core values of Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh are the gospel values of caring, respect, inclusion and equality. These values combine to provide and support an atmosphere which is conducive to excellence in teaching and learning.

Our values are reflected in how we live together as a school community. The unique and intrinsic value of each member of the school community is recognised and respected. All are treated equally, regardless of race, gender, religion/belief, age, family status, marital status, civil status, sexual orientation, membership of minority cultures, ability, disability or socio-economic status.

Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh, provides a safe physical and social environment that reinforces a strong sense of belonging to the school community. We strive to enable every student to realise their full potential regardless of any aspect of their identity, culture or background. We aim to foster growth of self-worth and confidence through development of the whole person, and also to equip students with life-skills, and grow towards leadership roles in society.



Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh is a Catholic school which seeks to create a caring environment, in which Christian values permeate all aspects of school life and teachers and students find fulfilment. The school believes in the vital importance of respect and good relationships between teachers, students and parents and is conscious of its role in the broader community. We aim to:

  • Promote academic excellence by encouraging all students to reach their full potential.
  • Foster the growth of self-worth and confidence through the development of the whole person.
  • Equip students with life-skills and develop their leadership qualities by enabling them to take up leadership roles.
  • Nurture the importance of caring for the wellbeing of staff and students.
  • Provide students with opportunities to live their faith through liturgies, and by engaging in social action programmes.
  • Empower students to take responsibility for care of the environment.

Section 2: Aims of our AEN Policy and AEN Department in Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh

 Aims of the AEN Department:

The aim of the AEN Department is to facilitate the social, emotional and educational (including literacy and numeracy) and physical wellbeing of students with additional educational needs. In particular to


  • Ensure that there is a coordinated, continuous, appropriate and caring response to students with SEN/AEN.
  • Ensure that Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh is an inclusive learning environment that enables students with Additional Educational Needs to live a full life and to realise their full potential as a unique individual through access to an appropriate broad and balanced curriculum and through engagement with appropriate co-curricular and extra-curricular activities.
  • Enable students with Additional Educational Needs to function as independently as possible in society through the provision of such educational supports as are necessary to realise that potential.
  • Help students with Additional Educational Needs develop the skills they need to continue learning in adult life.
  • Ensure that parents/guardians are involved in decisions about their children’s education.

This policy as a working document is a reflection of our current practice in Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh in relation to facilitating and promoting a whole school approach to additional educational needs.

Aims of this policy:

This policy aims to outline our procedures and practices of how we:


  • Identify additional educational needs that our students have.
  • Allocate resources to effectively meet the needs of our students with additional needs including those that may be particularly gifted.
  • Divide the roles and responsibilities among our school community in relation to students with additional needs.
  • Track, monitor, review and report on the progress of students with additional needs.
  • Communicate information between the AEN team, guidance teachers, the Pastoral Care Team, school management, teaching staff and parents/guardians.

Section 3: Rationale and Context of AEN Policy 

Additional Needs are defined in the Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs (EPSEN) Act (2004) as,

“a restriction in the capacity of the person to participate in and benefit from education on account of an enduring physical, sensory, mental health or learning disability or any other condition which results in a person learning differently from a person without that condition…”

As per our school admission policy, Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh welcomes students with Additional Educational Needs (AEN) and endeavours to “provide that the education of people with such needs shall wherever possible take place in an inclusive environment” (ibid, 2004).

The various categories of additional educational needs, the definitions of these categories are set by the Department of Education (DE) and the National Council for Special Education (NCSE), and are as follows:

  • Physical disability
  • Hearing impairment
  • Visual impairment
  • Emotional disturbance and/or behaviour problems
  • Severe emotional disturbance and/or behaviour problems
  • Mild general learning disability
  • Borderline general learning disability
  • Specific learning disability
  • Moderate general learning disability
  • Students who have significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of the students in their class group
  • Students with temporary emotional trauma
  • Students who fall behind from the general level of progress of the class because of other reasons (i.e. illness)
  • Students whose first language is not English – English as an additional language (EAL)
  • Students who are particularly gifted and need additional stimulus
  • Autism/autistic spectrum disorder
  • Students with special educational needs arising from an assessed syndrome
  • Specific speech and language disorder
  • Multiple disabilities

The policy applies to all students with AEN, including students with exceptional ability, who attend  Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh. It is also intended to inform best practice and policy across the school community including Board of Management,  the Principal, the teaching and ancillary staff and parents.

Section 4: Roles and Responsibilities of Additional Education Needs Partners

The AEN partners are the Principal, Deputy Principals, the AEN Coordinator(s) and the Guidance Counsellors, the Pastoral Care Team, AEN teachers, Mainstream teachers, SNAs/ISAs, parents and students. The AEN Coordinator works closely with Year Heads, Class Teachers and mainstream teachers when the need arises. The team is advised by the Special Education Needs Organiser (SENO), the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) psychologist as well as other agencies and professionals involved with students with AEN in the school.

The Role of the Board of Management is to:

  • Ensure the development, implementation, and review of this policy.
  • Ensure that a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum is provided so that students learn the skills necessary to participate in society.
  • Ensure that necessary resources are sought and provided on behalf of students with AEN.
  • Promote inclusion by ensuring that an awareness of AEN is instilled in all the school community.

The Role of the Senior Management Team is to:

  • Inform the Board of Management of issues with AEN.
  • Provide a secure facility for storage of records relating to pupils in receipt of special needs and learning support services.
  • Appoint an AEN Coordinator and work closely with the Co-ordinator.
  • Deploy staff and allocate resources in collaboration with the AEN coordinator.
  • Consult with the AEN Coordinator and other personnel who liaise with the Department of Education and the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) regarding needs and provisions.
  • Ensure the effective and efficient use of resources, including the allocation of resource hours and funds.
  • Access available resources and promote a whole school approach to additional educational needs.
  • Make all staff aware of their responsibilities in this area and to provide appropriate staff development in this area.
  • Promote the development of positive partnerships with parents of AEN students.
  • Provide leadership in developing relevant whole school policies: enrolment/assessment, inclusion/integration.
  • Manage the implementation of policies and practices.
  • Ensure that systems are in place for effective sharing of relevant information on students’ needs with all subject teachers.
  • Direct the work of the Inclusion Support Assistants (ISAs).

The Role of AEN Coordinator (AENCO) is to:

  • Oversee the day-to-day operation of the AEN Department.
  • Communicate with the Senior Management Team in relation to AEN/SEN matters on an on-going basis.
  • Coordinate provision for students with AEN in conjunction with senior management.
  • Lead policy development and promote best practice.
  • Create and maintain a school register of students with AEN.
  • Assist in the identification of students with AEN.
  • Collaborate with the AEN team in providing additional support.
  • Ensure that Student Support Files (SSF’s) / Personal Pupil Plans (PPP’s) / Individual education plans (IEPs) are up to date.
  • Support collaboration between Subject Teachers and Additional Educational Needs Teachers (AENTs) through team-teaching.
  • Assist the School Management Team in the allocation of resources.
  • Ensure that reasonable accommodation is provided for learning and for state examination.
  • Administer, correct and oversee standardised assessments in collaboration with the AEN team.
  • Ensure that applications are made for Reasonable Accommodations for Certificate Examinations at State Examinations (RACE).
  • Provide RACE in-house exams where possible given the resources available in collaboration with the AEN team.
  • Liaise with outside professionals.
  • Liaise and communicate with parents to plan and review student progress.
  • Ensure that systems are in place for the referral of students by teachers, parents etc.
  • Facilitate a weekly meeting of the AEN core team.
  • Liaise with primary schools to aid the transition from primary school.
  • Support, advise and collaborate with ISAs around the care needs of relevant students.
  • Develop and review the practice of the AEN core team.

The Role of the AEN Core Team is to:

  • Develop, implement, and monitor a whole-school approach to the education of students with additional educational needs.
  • Develop, implement, and monitor a whole-school approach to the assessments of students with additional educational needs.


The Role of the Year Head is to: 

  • Support the creation of an inclusive climate within the school and contribute to the work of the AEN team, where appropriate.
  • Facilitate the inclusion of any individual student with additional educational needs by monitoring the student’s progress within the year group.

The Role of the Additional Education Needs Teacher(s) (AENT) is to:

  • Provide direct teaching to a student with AEN either to reinforce the teaching that takes place in the classroom or to improve upon the core skills that may be necessary to successfully access the second level curriculum.
  • Provide team teaching when withdrawal from the classroom may not be the most appropriate means of supporting the student.
  • Provide diagnostic and informal assessments for students at regular intervals to monitor progress and evaluate the effectiveness of an intervention.
  • Collaborate with subject teachers on teaching methodologies best suited to the student.
  • Collect and interpret school-wide screening data, including first year screening assessment, transfer information, attendance and behavioural records. This also includes gathering information from subject teachers / other staff.
  • Plan, implement and review individual and/or group interventions.
  • Advise ISAs around the care needs of relevant students.
  • Report on progress of their allocated student.
  • Meet where necessary, the relevant professionals from outside agencies.
  • Advise teachers of the recommendations made in professional assessments relating to individual students.


The Role of the Year Head is to: 

  • Support the creation of an inclusive climate within the school and contribute to the work of the AEN team, where appropriate.
  • Facilitate the inclusion of any individual student with additional educational needs by monitoring the student’s progress within the year group.

The Role of the Guidance Counsellors’ role is to:

  • Work closely with Year Heads and the AEN team to identify students requiring support.
  • Facilitate individual appointments for students in third year, transition year and sixth year to support them in making career decisions.
  • Advise students and parents on subject choice and subject load.
  • Assist with the administration of testing e.g. CAT4, WRAT4, WIAT etc.
  • Liaise with students, parents and the AEN team in relation to DARE / HEAR applications and to process them.

The Role of the Chaplain is to:

  • Support students through collaboration with the AEN Department, Guidance Counsellor and school management.

The Role of the Inclusion Support Assistants (ISAs) is to:

  • Provide care assistance to named students with AEN.
  • Be involved in the Personal Pupil Plan (PPP) devised by their primary AENT and give guidance on their role in the successful implementation of this plan.
  • Recognise their role in the health and safety of the student, and in their social, emotional and educational development, without developing a culture of dependency.
  • Attend weekly ISA meetings and staff meetings when appropriate.
  • Assist/escort students on school trips.
  • Give special assistance as necessary for students with difficulties e.g. Helping students with AEN with typing, writing or other use of equipment.
  • Assist with clothing, feeding, toileting and hygiene and, where appropriate, administering medication.
  • Be mindful of the health and safety needs of the student
  • Assist with RACE for in house examinations (when appropriate).
  • Assist teachers in the supervision of students during assembly, recreation and in movement from classroom to another.
  • Accompany individuals or small groups who may be withdrawn temporarily from the class.
  • Participate with school development planning, when appropriate, and cooperate with any such changes with policies and practises arising from the school development process.
  • Engage with parents of students with AEN as required.
  • Treat all matters relating to school business and their work, as strictly confidential.
  • Provide and update a timetable during the school year, and furnish the School Management Team and AEN Coordinator with a copy.

The Role of the Mainstream Teacher is to:

  • Be aware of the school policy and procedures for supporting students with AEN, and ensure the needs of students are met.
  • Differentiate teaching and learning methodologies for students, including exceptionally able/gifted students.
  • Seek advice from the AEN Department regarding students with AEN.
  • Plan for the effective use of an ISA for students in the class. This can be done in consultation with AEN Teacher.
  • Support / encourage independence in the student.
  • Identify students who may be at risk (considering general progress or organisational, communicational, behavioural, emotional, or social needs).
  • Complete referral forms or information forms as required by the AEN team.
  • Create a positive environment for all students.
  • Create opportunities for success.
  • Establish behavioural and learning expectations.
  • Assess/monitor progress.
  • Inform parents of the progress of students through parent teacher meetings, school reports and VSware.
  • Contribute to school development planning for their subject area to include students with AEN. 

The Role of Parents/Guardians is to:

Collaboration and sharing of relevant information between home and school are essential elements of our AEN plan. Parents/Guardians through their unique knowledge of their own children have much to contribute to their child’s learning. 

Parents/Guardian should:


  • Share any information, reports or reports pending from health professionals, and/or concerns regarding their child’s development. Copies of up-to-date professional reports should be provided to the school at the enrolment stage.
  • Support the work of the school and keep the class teacher informed of the progress and challenges they observe in their child’s learning
  • Attend parent-teacher meetings.
  • Inform Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh of their child’s needs, at the transition stage.

The Role of Students is to:

Students who are in receipt of support teaching should, as appropriate: 


  • Become familiar with the targets that have been set for them.
  • Be given the opportunity to contribute to the setting of learning targets.
  • Develop ‘ownership’ of the skills and strategies that are taught 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.

Section 5: Legal and Policy Context of Additional Education Needs Policy 

Our AEN policy aims to outline our commitment to creating an inclusive and supportive learning environment for all our students. This commitment is underpinned by the ethos, aims, vision, values  and culture of Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh and our patrons, the PBST and is guided by relevant legislation including: 


  • The Education Act (1998)
  • The Equal Status Act (2000)
  • The Education (Welfare) Act (2000)
  • The Equality Act (2004)
  • The Data Protection Acts (1988, 1998, 2003 and 2018)
  • The Freedom of Information Acts (1997 and 2003)
  • The Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act (2004)
  • The Disability Act (2005)
  • The Education Admission to Schools Act (2018)

This policy is drafted in the context of:


  • DES Circular letters and specifically the Special Education Circular 0014/2017
  • The guidelines published by the NCSE
  • The guidelines on the Individual Education Plan Process 2006
  • The guidelines on the Continuum of Support Post-Primary Schools (NEPS)
  • The guidelines published by the Special Education Needs Support Service (SESS)
  • Guidelines for Post-Primary Schools: Supporting Students with Special Educational Needs in Mainstream Schools published by the DES

Section 6: Models of Provision and the Continuum of Support

Continuum of Support:

The model of assessment and intervention, as practised by Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh, is underpinned by the recognition that additional education needs occur along a continuum, from mild to severe and from  transient to long term. Our response to the needs of students is organised according to NEPS’ Continuum of support.

Prior to Entering Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh:

Parents have the opportunity to meet with members of the AEN team at the school’s Open Night. All sixth class students enrolling in Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh are required to complete the Cognitive Abilities Test 4 (CAT4) prior to entering CSN. This test identifies strengths and needs across four different areas.  Students who achieve below a threshold percentile in any of these areas will be considered for AEN support.

Once a place in the school has been accepted, parents are asked to complete the Essential Information form indicating if their child has had educational / medical reports relevant to supporting them in school and/or if they previously attended AEN classes.   Copies of IEPs/ student support files from the primary school are also requested from the parent by the AEN team for those students identified as having either an emergent need or a known one.

Students with AEN are also identified following consultation with the feeder primary schools. Principals and teachers from primary feeder schools, with parental consent, inform Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh of areas of concern and forward relevant information in the AEN Transfer Form. This includes a description and category of needs, individual learning programmes as well as any educational, medical or psychological reports and/or multi-disciplinary team reports relevant to the education of the student.

Where they are available, Primary School Passports containing information such as the Drumcondra Primary Mathematics Test and the Mary Immaculate Reading Attainment Test (Micra T) STEN scores and teacher observations/comments are reviewed by the AEN Department.

School Based AEN Identification within CSN:

Identification of educational needs is central to our policy. By using the Continuum of Support framework, we can identify pupils’ educational needs to include academic, social and emotional needs, as well as needs associated with physical, sensory, language and communication difficulties. This, in turn, allows us to respond to needs in a flexible and appropriate way.

If parents/guardians have concerns regarding their child’s progress, they should contact the school in order to discuss the matter with a member of the AEN team.   A Subject/Class Teacher or Year Head can refer any student about whom they have concerns to the AEN Team.

Once a referral is made, a process of formal and informal assessment is undertaken by the AEN team.

Means of Informal Assessment:

  • Observations from mainstream teachers, AENTs and ISAs
  • Consultations with parents/guardian/primary school
  • Meetings with pupil

Means of Formal Assessment:

  • Review of entrance assessment/CAT4 result/Primary School Passport
  • Review of class tests and in-house exams and reports
  • Behavioral record if appropriate.
  • Consultation with Guidance Counsellors.
  • Administration of Individualised assessments such as the WIAT III.

The senior management team or any member of the AEN team, having consulted with the parents and teachers involved, may propose a student for appropriate school based individualised assessment and/or consequent assessment through NEPS. The Principal and AEN co-ordinator, in consultation with the NEPS psychologist, will determine which student(s) are to undergo a NEPS assessment.

If a student transfers during the year into the school, information is sought from their previous  school (Educational Psychologist report, School reports, attendance). Any relevant information is then passed on to the AEN Co-ordinator.

Means of Standardised Testing:

The Cognitive Abilities Test (CAT 4) is administered to incoming First Years and the results of these tests may indicate a need for additional support. The Differential Aptitude Test (DATs) is carried out in Transition Year to review progression and evaluate career options. All first-year students are screened for literacy difficulties using screening assessments, such as the Post-Primary Assessment and Diagnosis – English (PPAD-E). The Maths Competency Test (MCT) is also administered in first year and standardised.

Students with Emerging Needs:

For students with emerging needs, including the exceptionally able, the concerns may have been identified through the whole school screening and monitoring systems (CAT4), in class assessment(s), informal observation(s), parental concern(s).  Some students will need further diagnostic testing to identify the nature of their needs.  Parents are contacted and consent is sought before tests are administered.

Models of AEN Provision: 

In assessing and deciding which students need to be in receipt of supplementary teaching, and which students may benefit from support within the mainstream context the following options are considered:

  • Curricular differentiation
  • Curricular reduction – for students with an AEN who have challenges coping with the breadth of the current curriculum and a reduction in the number of subjects taken is considered. This occurs after all avenues have been exhausted and there is consultation with Parent/Guardian, Year Head, class teacher and the guidance counsellor if necessary.
  • Team Teaching/ Co teaching
  • In class support
  • Inclusion of ISA in specific classes
  • Small group withdrawal
  • Individual withdrawal
  • Level 2 Learning Programmes (L2LP), a programme that is designed for specific students with general learning disabilities in the higher functioning moderate and low functioning mild categories.
  • Resource enriched class – depending on the make-up of a year group and the level of need. A smaller resource enriched class may be created in a Junior Cycle Year group.
  • Allocation of suitable resources as available for students who are particularly gifted.  

The period of intervention for each student is dependent on the nature and extent of their individual need.

Section 7: Allocation of Support to Students 

Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh uses the Continuum of Support Framework to identify and support children with additional needs. A staged approach is used to ensure that our support and interventions are incremental, moving from class based interventions to more intensive and individual support, and are informed by careful monitoring of progress. The Continuum of Support model, as recommended by the DES, is a problem solving model of assessment and intervention that enables us to gather and analyse data, as well as to plan and review the progress of individual students. 

Once pupils’ needs have been identified, AENTs are deployed to address these needs as required. We deploy AEN Teachers in a variety of ways in order to effectively meet pupils’ needs. We aim to strike a balance between in-class  group, and individual support while ensuring that the needs of students with additional needs are met inclusively.  

Importantly, the level and type of support reflects the specific targets of individual students, as set out in their support plans and are informed by careful monitoring and review of progress. In this way, following a period of intervention, some students may no longer require additional teaching supports, some may require the same level, while others may require more intensive supports.  

In planning the allocation of additional teaching supports, the overriding principle is that resources are deployed to address the identified needs of pupils. Importantly, those with the highest level of need should have access to the greatest level of support. We consider methodologies best suited to promoting meaningful inclusion such as differentiation, heterogeneous grouping, team-teaching, and small group teaching.  

In addition to literacy and numeracy difficulties, many pupils will have specific needs in such areas as oral language, social interaction, behaviour, emotional development, motor skills and application to learning. 

Stages of Learner Support:

Stage 1: Classroom Support

  • First response to emerging needs
  • Begins when a teacher or parent has concerns about an individual student
  • Strategies are considered by invested parties

Stage 2: School Support

  • Class teacher involves the AEN Team in  the problem solving process when this is deemed necessary
  • Systematic gathering of information,
  • Development and monitoring of the students additional needs and if necessary a Student Support Plan

Stage 3: School Support Plus

  • Additional needs identified as severe and/or persistent will require intensive support
  • Student Support Plus will generally involve personnel outside the school team in the problem solving, assessment and intervention process

Student Support Plans / Individual Education Plan contain the following information:

A Student Support File or Individual Education Plan is devised for students with AEN who attend an AET for additional support.  All first year students with an AENT for additional support will have a Student Support Plan (SSP) / Student Support File (SSF).  These will correlate with the guidelines for Post-Primary Schools, Supporting Students with Special Educational Needs in Mainstream Schools.

 These include:


  • Personal/ background details.  
  • Educational details, assessment, and formal testing results. 
  • Categorisation of the need based on assessment reports. 
  • A general profile based on formal/informal assessment. 
  • The AEN provision for the student. 
  • A highlighting of priority needs.  
  • Targets set for the student’s priority learning needs by the AENT, in consultation with the student
  • Strategies to enhance learning and the resources required. 
  • The date for review. 

Reasonable Accommodations for State and In-House Examinations (RACE): 

 Applications are made for RACE provision for students with AEN sitting a Junior Cycle or Leaving Certificate examination. The school makes applications for relevant accommodations for students who meet the criteria as laid down by the SEC at Junior Cycle, and these accommodations can be reactivated for Leaving Cert, with the school being satisfied that the student still has a need.

Where is is deemed appropriate an, and resources permit, readers, scribes and other accommodations are available to students who qualify for such accommodation at mock exams and other in-house assessments.

Exemption from Irish

Certificates of exemption from the study of Irish must be submitted with the enrolment  application. Every effort is made to arrange withdrawal for additional support for students with AEN, who do not study Irish, during the timetabled Irish classes. This is not guaranteed as it may be limited by staff availability and timetabling restrictions, and is completed in accordance with the Guidelines for Post Primary Schools: Supporting Students with Special Educational Needs in Mainstream Schools.  

New applications for Irish exemptions are made in writing to the School Management Team.  The guidelines set down by the DES will be strictly adhered to (Circular 0053/2019). In particular, parents / guardians must provide certificates for the exemption from the study of Irish. Requests for exemption in Post Primary schools will be processed as per circular 0053/2019.

Section 8: Communication 

Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh recognises that effective communication between teachers, parents, and students is essential to addressing the needs of students with AEN.

AEN Team: 

The AEN Coordinator and AEN core team meet formally once a week. Informal meetings occur on a daily basis.  Members of the AEN team can meet mainstream teachers formally or informally. The AEN Team aims to communicate with each other as much as possible through school email, Google classroom, while adhering to GDPR guidelines. Ongoing one-to-one contact with other AENTs, subject teachers, ISAs/SNAs and Guidance Counsellors throughout the school year. At the end of each year AENT makes recommendations on the student’s IEP/ SSP (SSF) to use as a reference, should a change of AENT happen. 

Mainstream Teachers: 

At the beginning of each school year, the AEN Coordinator updates a register of information focusing on the incoming First Year students with AEN. This information is shared on VSWare  and all teachers are made aware of its existence at the start of year staff meeting and  encouraged to consult it regularly.  

All first year students with a diagnosis from an outside professional, have a Student Support File. This comprises of an explanation of the diagnosis, strengths and learning needs identified by referral reports, parents and primary school. In addition to, suggested strategies made by the AEN team. Relevant portions of these are included in their VSWare personal file, under the SEN section. Teachers are made aware of these.  Information is also communicated via the Year Head and student support structures such as the Pastoral Care Team.  

Communication with Parents:

VSWare and the school journal are used for straight-forward communications with parents. Parent-teacher meetings are held once a year for face-to-face communication and the AEN team are available to meet with the parents of the students who engage with them. Regular communication is available through direct email to the AEN Coordinator and person-to-person meetings on request. In all cases, where a student is withdrawn for assessment or additional teaching support, parents are consulted, and their permission sought. Parents are actively encouraged to contact the school should they have concerns regarding their son’s progress or otherwise.

 The email address of the AEN department at Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh is 

Where there is more than one AEN teacher working with a student, a designated AEN teacher will be aligned to that student. This teacher will be responsible for filling out reports, communicating to parents and gathering targets from other teachers.  Parents help the school by keeping the teachers informed of the progress / difficulties, they observe in their child’s learning as they progress through post primary school. This should include showing an interest in the completion of homework and familiarising themselves with approaches taken in school.  

 Other methods of communication may include, but are not limited to :

  • School open night 
  • Email to parents 
  • Inclusion of parents (where appropriate) in meetings involving external agencies
  • Meetings with the AEN Coordinator and Principal/Deputy Principal/ Guidance Counsellor/Year Head where relevant

Record Keeping:

A full record of psychological reports, outside agency reports, and records of meetings are kept in individual student’s files in the AEN Coordinator’s classroom/ office in a locked cabinet. All information is managed in accordance with the directives of both the Freedom of Information Acts, and Data Protection Acts. Student records are destroyed after five years. 

Review by Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh Staff : 10th November 2022

Review by Parents Association :19th November 2022

Review by Students Council : 5th December 2022

Ratified by Board of Management: 31st January 2023

Signed by Chairperson of the Board of Management.


Signed by Principal

Date: 31st January 2023.