Cara Community Special School
Cara Community Special School, Enfield, Co. Meath is a Community Special School that provides an appropriate education for students, aged 4 to 18 years old, who have a diagnosis of Autism and complex learning needs, with a professional recommendation for a Special School who require the support of a Special School setting. Cara Community Special School is under the patronage of Louth and Meath Education and Training Board (LMETB).
The student must have reached 4 years on or before 31st August of the school academic year for which they seek enrolment. To facilitate this age band, the range of classes extend from primary to post primary and are based on relevant and appropriate peer groupings and the individual needs of each child. As per DE regulations, students will leave school at the end of the school year in which they reach the age of 18 years old.
The school operates within the regulations as outlined by the Rules for National Schools and relevant circulars and directives issued by the Primary/Special Education sections of the Department of Education. The school is funded by grants from the Department of Education. Staffing allocations are in line with those set out by the Department of Education.
Under the direction of the Patron, the school will be managed on an interim basis by a Single Manager pending the appointment of a Board of Management. The Board of Management is made up of representatives of the Patron, parents, school staff and the community.
Cara Community Special School, Enfield, Co. Meath delivers the curriculum as prescribed by the Department of Education and adapted to meet the educational needs of each student. A variety of methodologies and strategies are adopted to maximise the students’ learning potential. Supported by the child’s multidisciplinary team, the teachers and staff provide a caring and challenging learning environment which fosters personal, social and academic development. All students have an Individual Educational Plan designed specifically for them.
Our school is a place where everyone feels a sense of belonging and ownership. The school is characterised by respectful and positive relationships which support the dignity of every individual. We are committed to ensuring a safe environment where our students can maximise their potential.
Forging meaningful relationships with the students, their parent(s)/guardian(s) and all involved in their care and education, is essential to ensuring a quality educational experience for our learners.
LMETB look forward to opening Cara Community Special School and welcoming students in the 2024/2025 academic year.
Director of Schools, LMETB / Single Manager Cara Community Special School
Board of Management
This brief note has been written to give parents of children attending our school an overview of the role of the Board of Management.
What does the Board of Management do?
Under Section 15(1) of the 1998 Education Act it is the duty of the Board of Management to manage the school on behalf of and in cooperation with the patron (Louth & Meath Education and Training Board (LMETB) and for the benefit of students and their parents and to provide or cause to be provided an appropriate education for each student. The principal is responsible for the day-to-day management of the school and is accountable to the Board of Management/ETB.
In carrying out its functions the Board of Management shall:
- Adopt the educational plan within approved resources in each year
- Act in accordance with the policies of the Minister and ETB
- Uphold the characteristic spirit of the school
- Consult and keep the patron informed of decisions and proposals
- Publish the policy of the school concerning admission, participation, expulsion and suspension
- Have regard to the principals and requirements of a democratic society
- Have regard to the efficient use of resources
- Use resources provided to make reasonable provision for students with a disability or other special educational needs
In consultation with the Principal and subject to regulations be responsible for carrying out minor repairs and for the choice and replacement of books, stationery, furniture and other materials. The Board may delegate their functions in this regard to the Principal subject to such conditions as they may think appropriate
Prepare a Code of Behaviour for students
How often does the Board of Management meet?
The Board of Management is required to meet at least five times during the school year.
Are nominees acting as representatives?
No, they are nominated to the board to ensure that the board is open to views from all sectors of the school community, not to act as representatives. Decisions taken by the board should reflect the views of the board members nominated by parents, staff, the patron and the wider community within the school’s catchment area. Board members have an overriding responsibility to act ethically and in the best interest of the school and its students at all times. The board makes its decisions collectively, members are bound by collective decision making and the board is accountable to the patron for its decisions.
Confidentiality is required in respect of the business of a board of management and no public disclosure of the business of a board may be made without the authority of that board. As a matter of good practice, a board may decide to issue an agreed report of board meetings to the parents and staff of the school/college.
Communication by Board of Management
All communication on behalf of the Board of Management is carried out by the Secretary of the Board, who is the Principal. Queries received by individual board members regarding Board matters should be referred to the Principal.
How do I contact the Board of Management?
All correspondence with the Board of Management is to be addressed to the Secretary of the Board, who is the Principal. Correspondence for the Board is not to be addressed to individual Board members.
If I have a complaint about the school, can I send that complaint to the Board of Management?
Your complaint may eventually come to the attention of the board. However, all complaints are dealt with in accordance with the school’s complaints procedure. Each school has a complaints procedure which is available from the policies section of the school website. This policy has been developed in order to ensure that all complaints are dealt with in a fair and efficient manner. All complaints should be directed, in the first instance, to your child’s class teacher.
Under the direction of the Patron, Cara Community Special School will be managed on an interim basis by a Single Manager pending the appointment of a Board of Management.
The Board of Management once appointed will be made up of representatives of the Patron, parents, school staff and the community.
Each LMETB School and College has a Child Safeguarding Statement in place.
The name of the designated liaison person and deputy designated liaison person for child protection matters is prominently displayed in each school’s reception area.
All teachers are aware that they are mandated persons and of their responsibilities in that regard.
As per Chapter 9 of the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2017, the Principal provides a Child Protection Oversight Report to the members of the Board of Management at each meeting.
The Board of Management of each school and college engages in a yearly review of the Child Safeguarding Statement and notification of this review issues to LMETB, parents/guardians/students over 18 and staff at the school.
Procedures and Guidelines
- Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post- Primary Schools 2023
- Circular 0036/2023 — Publication of 2023 “Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post- Primary Schools”
ETBI Patron's Framework on Ethos
Over recent decades, Ireland has experienced major cultural, religious, political, social and demographic changes. As ETB schools are ‘state’ schools, they have particular responsibilities in respect of the ‘common good’ in an increasingly diverse society. It is therefore imperative that ETB schools have a clear understanding of the ethos underpinning life in their schools and are guided in their realisation of this ethos.
The ETBI Patrons’ Framework on Ethos has been developed by ETBI and the Centre for Evaluation, Quality and Inspection, Dublin City University (DCU) in conjunction with Ireland’s 16 ETBs and ETB schools, primary and post-primary.
The Framework aims to describe what an ETB school is, locally and nationally by providing:
- ETB school communities and other relevant stakeholders with a common understanding of the ethos of the ETB school sector
- practical guidance to ETB schools on how the ethos can be lived out on a day-to-day basis
- a decision-making Framework for ETB school leaders and Boards of Management
- Department of Education
- National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA)
- National Council for Special Education (NCSE)
- National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS)
- Children’s Disability Network Team (CDNT)
LMETB Community Special Schools
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