IPPN Update on AON process

Update Button PNG ImageOn Thursday, 27th October, IPPN, along with the other partners in education at both primary and second level, attended a meeting with the DE and the NCSE.

The purpose of the meeting was to surface the issues which have arisen in schools around the AON process and to work to resolve these issues. The frustrations and concerns of schools, and school leaders in particular, relating to the AON process, were clearly articulated to the DE and NCSE. Some progress was made and clarity was received on a number of issues that school leaders have raised.

Currently 66 schools, at primary and second level, have received a request to complete a School Report form for assessment of educational need. The Department/NCSE will be contacting those 66 schools and sending in the same teams that worked with the 17 schools who were involved in this process before the summer. These teams are composed of inspectors, NEPs psychologists and NCSE personnel.

The 66 schools are not required to complete the form until this team arrives to assist them. Effectively, the 66 schools will become part of an extended pilot. No further AON forms will be sent to any school until the extended pilot has been evaluated and further consultation has happened with the partners in education.

Clarity was sought around the legal liability of schools. The legal liability rests with the HSE. The HSE requests the NCSE to provide an educational component to the HSE Assessment of Need. The NCSE then requests schools to assist and support the drawing up of the educational component of the HSE Assessment of Need. The information contained in the School Support Plan may be used by schools to populate the AON form from the NCSE. This form is then sent back to the NCSE. It will form one component of the HSE’s Assessment of Need.

The DE will re-evaluate the process once the 66 schools have completed the assessment of educational need and feedback has been provided. A further meeting with the education partners will then be convened to consider the workload issues around the AON process.

The expertise of school staffs has been recognised for the purpose of assisting a completion of an AON. We hope to clarify that this same expertise will be recognised in applications for other SEN resources.

There is still much more work to be done on the AON process. We will work closely with the other partners at primary and post-primary to try and achieve a satisfactory outcome for pupils with additional needs, but also for school leaders and school personnel who would be involved in the completion of the School Report form for assessment of educational need. We will keep you updated of any developments in this regard.

We hope that you will enjoy a well-deserved break next week.

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