Learning Support Plans at EIPACA
Educational Support Coordinator: Mrs Veronica Pinches
Any requests for learning support up to the end of S5 are made and decided upon by the School Management and Learning Support coordinator. The procedure is detailed below.
Requests for any alterations to the format of the European Bac exams in S6 and S7 are decided by the inspector responsible for Learning Support, together with a team of experts. Parents must submit the relevant forms to the school management by the end of September of S5. The school will give their opinion and then scan and send the documents to the European Schools Inspectors in a secure manner. All information is treated in a strictly confidential manner. Once the request has been studied (in Brussels), the school will be notified of the outcome. This is then communicated to the family and the pedagogical team.
Special Arrangements up to and including S5
When a student would benefit from a special arrangement in order to compensate for a physical or learning difficulty, teachers or parents can request this from the Director of Studies. Parents are informed that special arrangements have been recommended for their child and parents are asked to provide a medical/psychological/psycho-educational/multidisciplinary report explaining the need for special arrangements. The Director of Studies takes the final decision to allow special arrangements and to define in which subjects these can be applied. Any special arrangements taken are recorded in the student’s file.
Medical reports should include the original test results as well as the recommendations based on the impact the test results show regarding the student’s learning. Approval of requests will depend on the original test results.
Criteria for the Reports
- Be legible, on headed paper, signed and dated
- State the title, name and professional credentials of the expert(s) who has/have undertaken the evaluation and diagnosis of the student
- Through medical/ psychological/ psycho-educational or multidisciplinary report, state specifically the nature of the student’s medical and/or psychological needs and the tests or techniques used to arrive at the diagnosis
- Report for learning disorders need to describe the student’s strengths and difficulties (cognitive assessment) and their impact on learning (educational evidence) and the tests or techniques used to arrive at the diagnosis.
- Report for medical/ psychological issues need to specify the student’s medical/ psychological needs and their impact on learning (educational evidence).
- All reports need a summary or conclusion and stating the accommodations required as well as where appropriate, recommendations for teaching/learning for the school’s consideration.
- This documentation must be regularly updated and not be more than two years old. In case of permanent and unchanging disability and when the Support Advisory Group agrees, no retesting other than regular updates will be required.
- In order to avoid possible conflict of interests, the expert assessing students will be neither an employee of the European School nor a relative of the student.
- If not written in one of the working languages, be accompanied by a translation into French, English or German.
- A need for Intensive Support is identified either on enrolment or during the school year by a student’s legal representatives or teachers.
- A written request is made to the Learning support coordinator for Intensive Support by the teachers or a student’s legal representatives.
- The support coordinator contacts the student’s legal representatives and requests documentation (as outlined above) so that a meeting of the Support Advisory Group can be held.
- The Support Advisory Group meeting is held to discuss how best to meet the student’s needs and to advise the Director on the arrangements to be put in place.
- The Support Advisory Group meeting is chaired by either the Director or his/her delegate.
- The support coordinator prepares the minutes of the Support Advisory Group meeting and the Intensive Support Agreement for signing by the Director and the student’s legal representatives.
- Following the signing of the Intensive Support Agreement the support coordinator organises the Intensive Support and any other arrangements required.
- An ILP is written by the support teacher(s) in cooperation with the subject/class teacher and/or support coordinator.
- The Intensive Support Agreement is valid for one school year only and a full Support Advisory Group meeting should be held each year to begin, renew or terminate Intensive Support.
- If necessary, a meeting of the Support Advisory Group, in either plenary or restricted session, may be held at any point during the school year to evaluate and/or amend the Intensive Support Agreement.
- When the school cannot provide an appropriate education for a child it can declare itself unable to meet the child’s needs.
- In such cases, the Director takes the final decision, taking the Support Advisory Group’s opinion into account.
Request for Special Arrangements in the European Baccalaureate
All requests for special arrangements in the European Baccalaureate cycle must be accompanied by a justifying medical / psychological / psychoeducational and/or multidisciplinary report. The reports must fulfill the following criteria:
- Be up to date. It must not be more than two years old, i.e., it must not be dated earlier than October when in year s3 and not later than October when in year s5.
- Be legible, on headed paper, signed and dated.
- If not written in one of the working languages, be accompanied by a translation into French, English or German.
- State the title, name and professional credentials of the expert(s) who has/have undertaken the evaluation and diagnosis of the pupil.
- Provide a clear diagnosis according to DSM-V or ICD-10.
- State the nature of the pupil’s medical/ psychological/psycho-educational needs.
- Contain a summary or conclusion stating the special arrangements required as well as where appropriate, recommendations for teaching/ learning for the school’s consideration.
- Reports for learning disorders need to describe the pupil’s strengths and difficulties through standardised scores (cognitive assessment) and their impact on learning (educational evidence) and the tests or techniques used to arrive at the diagnosis.
- Reports for medical/psychological issues need to specify the pupil’s medical/psychological needs and their impact on learning (educational evidence).
The schools will check that the reports adjust to the above criteria before submitting them to the Office of the Secretary General of the European Schools
In order to avoid possible bias and/or conflict of interests, the expert assessing pupils will be neither an employee of the European Schools nor a relative of the pupil.
List of Special Arrangements and Codes
The special arrangements listed below may be authorised by the school Director for s6 and s7:
D1 – Separate room for the test/examination/assessment.
D2 – Change of seating arrangements.
D3 – Taking of medication and/or refreshment in the case of a medical condition, for example, diabetes.
D4 – An assistant to provide physical care for a pupil to ensure his or her well-being and safety. This assistant may not be a relative of the pupil or a teacher of the subject that is being examined.
D5 – The use of a specific learning aid which is normally used in class, for example, a magnifying glass; a hearing aid; coloured overlay; a low vision aid; coloured lenses.
D6 – For colour-blind pupils, colours can be substituted with words on the test/examination paper or a reader can name the colours for the pupil.
D7 – Extra-time maximum of 25 % for situations of pupils with duly justified dyslexia. In this situation, the Schools must inform the BAC unit. If the Director does not grant the requested extra-time, the request will be submitted to the Bac Unit for analysis of the JBI or the inspector in charge of Special Arrangements.
The special arrangements listed below may only be authorised by the Board of Inspectors (Secondary) or the Inspector responsible for Support (Secondary). The justification for any of these arrangements needs to be contained in the specialist’s report and/or recommended by the school.
I1 – Modifications to the format of the examinations: size of paper and font, contrast, alignment, line spacing, spatial presentation and printed pages. A paper and digital Braille version of the exams may also be made available.
I2 – A maximum of 25%. of extra time can be granted for the written examinations. For oral examinations, a maximum of 25% of extra time can be granted only for the preparation. The oral examinations will take 20 minutes in any case. The examination time will not be extended.
I3 – Use of a computer or laptop or any approved device and the corresponding approved software to replace handwriting for pupils diagnosed with dyslexia, dysgraphia or any other disorder affecting written expression. The school ensures that any computer/laptop being used is cleared of stored information and the spell check function and is not connected to the Internet. It should be noted that in examinations, other than language examinations, content/skills and not language errors are assessed.
I4 – Use of a spell checker because of dyslexia. This request must be confirmed by the School.
I5 – Disregard of spelling mistakes in language tests/exams in cases of severe dyslexia in case a spellchecker is not granted.
I6 – a) Approved speech-to-text software/device; or
- b) a scribe to transcribe word for word the pupil’s dictated answers and to read back the pupil’s answers where necessary
I7 – An audio recording of answers because a scribe is not available and because of dyslexia.
I8 – a) Approved text-to-speech software/device or
- b) a reader to read both the assessment paper and to read back the answers because of severe dyslexia.
I9 – Use of a simple arithmetic calculator, whenever no calculator at all would be allowed, because of diagnosed dyscalculia, because of diagnosed dyslexia, ADHD or Working memory deficit.
I10 – Rest period(s) – during this time, a pupil may not read, write, or take notes of any kind and may leave the room under supervision.
I11 – A communicator to provide assistance to a hearing-impaired candidate through sign language or lip speaking.
I12 – a) Approved software/applications or
- b) a prompter to assist a candidate with severe concentration difficulties or neurological disability in paying attention to the assessment’s tasks.
I13 – Written instructions for a deaf or hard of hearing candidate, For those candidates, questions and instructions during oral exams are given in writing, exercises using audio files or videos are replaced by written exercises or pupils receive a script of audio file or video.
I14 – Written answers for oral examinations for a candidate who has severe difficulties in oral expression.
I15 – Others
The list above is not intended to be exhaustive. Where the pupil’s needs cannot be met by any of these arrangements, further appropriate arrangements may be proposed. These arrangements will be only applied if the school is able to provide them.
These arrangements will be only applied if the school is able to provide them.
Once the request has either been accepted or denied, a Learning Support meeting is called with the student and family and an ILP produced. This is then sent to all teachers of the student, with recommendations from the Learning Support Coordinator. Any arrangements are monitored by the Support Advisory Group, the form teacher, and the secondary secretary’s office, especially for implementing any special arrangements with regards to BTests or exams. Any computers that are authorized for use in exams are provided by the school, with either a QWERTY or AZERTY keyboard, depending on the language of the exam.
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