The role of the Class Teacher

The class teacher(s) should be made aware of any children who are already on the Special Educational Needs (SEN) register when he/she begins to teach the class.  It is vital that the class teacher(s) understand(s) the importance of identifying and providing for these children.

A class teacher is likely to have to carry out standardised tests at certain stages of the year and it may be noticeable from the results that there is a problem.

(Northern Ireland)

(Republic of Ireland)

Stage 1

1. It is the class teacher(s) who has overall responsibility to take initial action.

2. The SENCO should be informed.

3.  It is he/she who should make an initial assessment of the child’s needs.

4.  The teacher(s) should explore ways of giving special help to the child, including differentiated work, alternative teaching/learning strategies and/or different classroom organization.

5.  The class teacher(s) should monitor and review progress.

The classroom teacher(s) remains responsible for working with the child in the classroom.

Stage 11. It is the class teacher(s) who has responsibility to take initial action.

2. The problem should be discussed with the parents.

3. Any concerns expressed by either party should be recorded, ideas discussed and an Individual Education Plan drawn up to show what each party will do.

4. If after review, there is still concern, the class teacher should request the help of the support teacher(s).

Stage 2

1.  The class teacher(s) should work with the SENCO to draw up the Individual Education Plan (EP).  This should be related to the curriculum in common with the rest of the class.

2.  The IEP should be implemented mainly in the normal classroom situation.

3.  The class teacher(s) will be expected to monitor and assess the progress on the EP and will take part in the child’s review and re-writing of updated EP.

Stage 21. The class teacher, along with support teacher(s) and parents re-assess the child’s needs and draw up a new IEP.

2.  There may be agreement to ask for help from additional support if the teacher feels it appropriate.

3. Teacher monitors and reviews progress and if there is still concern requests from the parents agreement to move the child to stage 3.

Stage 3

1.  Although external specialists are involved, the implementation of the EP should still be delivered mainly in the classroom situation.

2.  The class teacher(s) monitor progress closely of each of the targets on the EP.

3.  The class teacher(s) will take part in the review of the EP where you might be given further advice on teaching, resources and ICT to help fulfill the child’s needs.

Stage 31. The class teacher will formally request the relevant staff member to prioritise the child for further consultation.

2. The class teacher will take part in discussions with parents, educational psychologist and involved others with regard to further assessment.

3. The class teacher will work with the educational psychologist to explore the problem and a joint action plan will be drawn up.

4. If resource support is given, the child will be withdrawn for a period of time each day but he/she will still be the responsibility of the class teacher. The IEP should be used by both class teacher and resource teacher.

Stage 4

1.  The class teacher(s) will be asked for details of the assessment of, and provision for the child’s special needs during his time at the school.

2.  Any records of his work will need to be sent to the board carrying out the assessment for statementing.

Stage 5

1. A child at this stage must be provided with the support, resources and teaching specified on his statement.   This may mean his attending support services, outside of class, e.g. speech and language therapy, and/or having support services within class.  He/she may be provided with medical aids such as amplified hearing devices, teaching/learning aids such as a word processor or personal help such as a classroom assistant.

2.  The child’s statement will be reviewed annually.  The class teacher(s) may be required to attend.  Whether or not you attend it is likely that you will be required to make available any information gained from teaching the child.

3.  After the review, teachers should receive a report summarizing outcomes and targets for the coming year.

Further Information

The Staged Approach to Special Educational Needs (pdf) (from documents provided by DES)