Learning Challenges

The program is offered for students with Literacy Deficiencies, Dyslexia, ADD, ADHD and High Functioning Autism.

The objectives are:

  • ♦To provide an opportunity and a pathway for students challenged with learning difficulties or environmental/emotional challenges to be part of a secondary school environment and a semi inclusive programme. 

  • ♦To set suitable learning challenges for students ensuring a wider range of subjects and experiences usually associated with secondary education. 

  • ♦To offer a supportive setting through which students can continue to develop, physical, cognitive, communication, emotional and behavioural skills in order to maximize their knowledge and understanding. 

  • ♦To collaborate with other Educational Institutions and organizations for progression to further education and vocational training. 

  • ♦To work with parents/guardians in the best interest of the student. 

Criteria for admission into the Educational Support Programme

The decision to accept a pupil/student will be made in line with the SASS Code of Practice for Special Educational Needs:

a) Special Educational Needs – can the school meet the child’s needs?

b) Resources – would the placement be an efficient use of resources?

c) Current pupils – would the placement be compatible with the

efficient education of the other children with whom the child will be



Admission will not be detrimental to the needs of other children – no

pupil/student should compromise the opportunities of others within the

school. It is essential that admissions are properly planned.


The school must also be satisfied that the parents of the child are

supportive of the placement.


Documentation required for entry:

a) Communication Profile and / or previous communication reports,

b) Whether the child is looked after and if so the name of the contact

person and key personnel in the placing authority.

c) Name and contact details of the child’s parents or guardians,

d) Statement of Educational Needs/Record of Need,

e) Current care, health, educational plans or relevant personal needs.

f) Details of any matter which makes the child particularly vulnerable

or a danger to others.


After Admission:

A baseline assessment will commence as soon as a pupil /student starts school. The length of time required to complete this assessment will vary, but it is aimed to be completed within two months.

Parental information, teacher observation and assessments carried out by appropriate professionals will contribute to this process. Individual Educational Plans are then drawn up and discussed with parents prior to implementation.

A review meeting is initiated as soon as possible after admission to consider whether the placement is appropriate.

Each pupil/student will be sensitively introduced to the school and supported where needed. This will be done on an individual basis, giving choice and sharing in the decision making with the pupil/student dependant on age and levels of understanding. Assessments to be conducted in order to evaluate success of mainstream.

Parents may be required to seek additional testing with relevant professionals if it is deemed necessary by the assessment team and St Anthony’s does not provide the applicable service.

a. Cognitive ability

b. Communication skills assessed by qualified speech and language therapists.

c. Social skills and independence assessed by psychologists, education and care staff using standardized tests and/or observation

d. Educational attainments assessed by teaching staff using standardized and curriculum assessments.

e. Sensory sensitivities assessed by psychology, education and care staff using standardized assessments and checklists. Advice from Occupational Therapists may be sought for some more complex children.

f. Behaviour assessed by education and care staff.

Copies of the reports that form the assessment will be given to parents and will present the information in a format that is understandable. These will also be shared with those outside bodies who have a professional interest in the child’s wellbeing and education.