The decision to enrol is a child in a special class is made by Parent’s in conjunction with the child, school and relevant professionals.
This can be a difficult decision and Parents should have access to objective and comprehensive information about the options available and should actively consult with relevant professionals (e.g. school, psychologist, special educational needs organiser (SENO), health professionals) to arrive at an informed decision.
Schools must obtain parents’ written consent before enrolling a student in a special class.
As learning needs may change over time, a student’s enrolment in a special class should be kept under continual review by the school. At a minimum, a review should take place once a year and include a careful examination of the student’s progress in achieving his/her learning targets.
The review should consider:
- Student’s views and those of parents, teachers and other relevant professionals
- The suitability of the special class placement
- Whether the student’s needs might be best addressed in a mainstream setting or whether a more supported setting is required (e.g. special school setting).
Following a decision that the special class is no longer the most appropriate placement, a student may move to:
- a mainstream class in the same school or
- a mainstream class in a school more local to the student’s home or
- a different category of special class or
- a special school.
Where decision is taken to change a child’s educational setting the local SENO should be notified as early as possible. This will allow time for a transition plan to be developed and ensures that resources are in place to support the child upon enrolment.