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News Archive

INTO SEN Seminar: February 2014

A successful Seminar was held on Wednesday 5 February 2014 for INTO members with an interest in SEN. It provided a valuable opportunity to network and discuss common issues and concerns.

We looked at the role of Speech and Language Therapists(SLT) within the education system. Issues discussed included:

  • The role of SLT
  • How teachers and SLT could support each others’ work
  • How children could be referred to speech and language therapy
  • How to ensure effective use of questions with pupils experiencing language difficulties.

Following much lively discussion we looked at the role and management of classroom assistants. We examined the range of job descriptions and the implications for class teachers who acted as line managers. We also looked at difficulties that could arise and how a class teacher could manage them. A useful booklet for classroom assistants was also distributed.

The presentations from each section are available on our website. Further information is contained within the members' area.

If you have any further queries about this seminar please contact us.

SEN Conference Update: June 2013

A very successful SEN conference was held on 1June 2013 in Belfast. The conference was aimed at supporting teachers with an interest in SEN. Teachers from all sectors and phases attended. The willingness of members to attend this conference on a Saturday morning in June indicates the professionalism of our members and highlights the failure of our employers to meet the capacity building requirements of teachers.

The conference was addressed by Peter McAlister who gave a whistle stop tour of attachment theory.  Schools are focusing upon the reasons for underachievement as part of the drive to raise standards. Attachment Theory can provide some answers and strategies that address underachievement. Pupils who demonstrate secure attachment in school are less dependent on the teacher and are more prepared to take advantage of all learning opportunities. Pupils with insecure attachment can present with challenging behaviour and fail to seize learning opportunities. Teachers who are able to develop positive relationships can act as a bridge for these pupils and support them in developing the techniques to overcome their barriers. The presentation gave some practical advice to teachers on how to manage pupils who may be displaying issues related to attachment.

The conference looked at the issues related to workload and effectiveness of IEPs. The guidance from the Capacity building file was used as a reference point. Participants highlighted that IEPs are sometimes written for pupils who do not require them.  Pupils only require an education plan if they are on stage 2 or higher of the Code of Practice. If a pupil requires differentiation, that can be adequately provided for within the curriculum planning process, then the teacher’s planner is the most appropriate to record this.  The participants found that IEPs were most effective when they were short (1 to 2 A4 pages). The IEPs should be pupil rather than subject focused. The number of targets should be manageable for the pupil. It was noted that teachers undertaking PRSD work on 3 targets. The best IEPs focused upon the strengths of the pupil and the barriers to learning that they encounter.

The conference provided valuable professional development and the opportunity for members to meet and discuss issues. Members should look out for details of our next event. You can preregister your interest by contacting Northern Office:

INTO SEN Sub-Committee Formed

INTO have established an SEN sub-committee to assist us with providing advice and support to teachers working in the area of SEN.

On 1 June 2013 we hosted a Conference for members looking at:

  • Attachment Theory and its application in schools; and
  • Effective IEPs.

The materials from this Conference are in the SEN members' area.

We have written to Minister O’Dowd urging him to progress the SEN and Inclusion Review.