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Special Education, Glossary

In this section meanings are given to various words and phrases appearing in other sections of the site and that are likely to be unfamiliar to parents.

 

Advice
Advice is the name given to the written contribution by professionals to the Statutory Assessment process.

 

Amended Statement
An Amended Statement is a Statement of Special Educational Needs where the contents have been changed without a Statutory Re-assessment.

 

Annual Review
An Annual Review is the review of a Statement of Special Educational Needs that must take place within 12 months of making a statement or, as the case may be, of the previous review. An Annual Review is commissioned by the Board and organised by a child’s teachers.

 

Appeal
An appeal is a means of asking if a decision that is considered unfair can be re-considered. Parents may appeal either to the local Board, to the DARS or to the SENDIST.

 

Code of Practice
The Code of Practice on the Identification and Assessment of Special Educational Needs as published by the Department of Education (Northern Ireland).

 

Criteria
Criteria are standards that must be met in order for a child to qualify to receive special provision.

 

DARS
DARS stands for: Dispute Avoidance and Resolution Service. DARS is an independent service designed to settle disputes between parents and Education and Library Boards.

 

Differentiation
Differentiation refers to special teaching arrangements so that the special educational needs of pupils can be met.

 

Disapplication
Disapplication is the removal or lifting of a programme of study, attainment target, assessment or any other component of the curriculum.

 

Educational Assessment
An Educational Assessment is an exploration of what a person has already learnt with a view to determining what might be reasonably learnt in the future.

 

Educational Diagnosis
An Educational Diagnosis is where an assessment explores reasons why a child may not be leaning.

 

Education Plan
An Education Plan is a document prepared by a child’s teachers that sets out procedures for meeting the child’s Special Educational Needs.

 

Grant-aided School
A Grant-aided School is a school that is approved and funded by the Department of Education. Most school in the Province of Northern Ireland are Grant-aided.

 

Integration
Integration is the association of pupils with special educational needs and pupils without such needs in an educational setting. This association may be both educational and social. Integration also refers to the principle of educating children with special educational needs with children who do not have special educational needs wherever possible.

 

Learning Difficulties
Learning difficulties are any difficulties in learning that are significantly greater than those among the majority of children of the same age. The term ‘learning difficulty’ also covers a disability that hinders a child’s use of everyday educational facilities.

 

Mainstream School
A Mainstream School is any school that principally meets the needs of pupils who do not have special educational needs.

 

Medical Advice
Medical Advice is the written contribution of a qualified doctor to a Statutory Assessment. Medical Advice also refers to all contributions provided to a Statutory Assessment by Health and Social Service Trust staff.

 

Modifications
Modifications are changes in a programme of study, attainment target, assessment or any other component of the curriculum in order to give a child better access to that area of the curriculum.

 

Named Officer
A Named Officer is the person from the Education and Library who liases with parents over the arrangements relating to Statutory Assessment and the making of a Statement. Boards tell parents who the Named Officer is when they notify parents that they plan to make a Statutory Assessment of their child.

 

Note in Lieu
A Note in Lieu is a document issued by an Education and Library Board as an alternative to making and maintaining a full Statement of Special Education Needs. In Lieu is French for “instead of.” The note should describe the child’s special educational needs, explain why the Board will not make a statement and make recommendations about appropriate provision for the child. All the advice received during the Statutory Assessment process should be attached to the note.

 

Parental Submission
The Parental Submission is the written contribution made by parents to their child’s Statutory Assessment.

Progress A child is said to be making progress when s/her learns new and useful skills. For children with special educational needs progress may be slow and difficult to measure. In other cases, special educational provision may be such that a child with special educational needs makes satisfactory or better progress.

 

Proposed Statement
A Proposed Statement is a Statement of Special Educational Needs that the Board intends to make and maintain on a child.

 

Psychological Advice
Psychological Advice is the written contribution of an Educational Psychologist to a Statutory Assessment.

 

SENCO
Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator: A teacher with responsibility for co-ordinating special needs support within a school.

 

SENDIST
SENDIST stands for: Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal. SENDIST is an independent body established to decide appeals by parents against decisions on assessments and statements. The SENDIST’s decisions are legally binding on both parties.

 

Special Educational Needs
Special Educational Needs are any learning difficulties that a child has that call for Special Educational Provision to be made.

 

Special Educational Needs Register
A Special Educational Needs Register is a list of pupils maintained by a school. Among other information, this register contains details of the stage at which any particular pupil with special educational needs is registered.

 

Special Educational Provision
Special Educational Provision is any resources necessary to meet a child’s special educational needs. Normally this is different from, or additional to, the provision made generally for children of the same age.

 

Special School
A Special School is a school that is specially organised to make special provision for pupils with special educational needs.

 

Special Unit
A Special Unit is a class or classes in a mainstream school specially organised to make special provision for pupils with special educational needs.

 

Stage
A particular level within the staged assessment of pupils’ special educational needs. Each stage is characterised by the amount and variety of resources deployed to meet the special educational needs of pupils who are registered at that level.

 

Stage 1
Pupils with special educational needs that are being met through differentiated instruction by class/form teacher alone.

 

Stage 2
Pupils with special educational needs that are being met through differentiated instruction by class/form teacher supported by the school’s SENCO.

 

Stage 3
Pupils with special educational needs that are being met through differentiated instruction by class/form teacher supported by the school’s SENCO and using an Education Plan informed by an outside professional such as an educational psychologist.

 

Stage 3 Support Services
Stage 3 Support Services are services provided by a Board that can be accessed at Stage 3 provided the pupil meets the necessary criteria. Stage 3 Support Services are normally teachers with specific expertise. They give appropriate, specialist advice and support to the child and school. Usually this help is provided and reviewed on a termly or medium-term basis.

 

Stage 4
Pupils with special educational needs who are undergoing Statutory Assessment

 

Stage 5
Pupils with a statement of special educational need made and maintained by an Education and Library Board.

 

Stage 5 Support Services
Stage 5 Support Services are services provided by a Board that can be accessed at Stage 5 provided the pupil meets the necessary criteria. Stage 5 Support Services are normally teachers with specific expertise. They give appropriate, specialist advice and support to the child and school. Often this help is provided on a long-term basis.

 

Staged Assessment
Staged Assessment refers to the process of assessment whereby children’s special educational needs are identified at particular stages on a continuum of need.

 

Statement
A Statement is a document made and maintained by a Board that is intended to protect the resources necessary to meet a child’s special educational needs.

 

Statutory Assessment
Statutory Assessment is the multi-disciplinary assessment (at Stage 4) whereby the Education and Library Board examines a child’s special educational needs by means of multi-disciplinary assessment and decides whether or not to make and maintain a Statement of Special Educational Needs.

 

Statutory Re-assessment
A Statutory Re-assessment is a Statutory Assessment carried out on a child who already has a Statement of Special Educational Needs made and maintained by an Education and Library Board.

 

Transition Plan
A Transition Plan is a plan drawn-up by a school, in consultation with parents and professionals as a step towards preparing for the transition of a pupil’s with Special Educational Needs to adult life. The Transition Plan should form part of the first Annual Review after the child’s 14th birthday.

 

Welfare Advice
Welfare Advice is the written contribution of a Social Worker to a Statutory Assessment.

 

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