Special educational needs (SEN) policy

Mattlidens Gymnasium believes all students should be given equal opportunities to realize their full potential, and students with a need for inclusive assessment arrangements are supported in order to give them equal possibilities to complete their studies. Diversity in the school community also fosters tolerance and understanding for other people’s needs.

Support can be necessary for students who temporarily have a gap in their studies or for students whose chances of succeeding are reduced due to illness, disability, or social or psychological challenges.

The teaching arrangements for students with special educational needs (SEN) can be partially arranged differently from what is normally required. The support for students with special educational needs can include individual guidance on how learning could be facilitated in the best possible way.

Teaching and exam situations can be arranged to facilitate the student’s individual needs. For example:
· More time for tests when necessary (dyslexia, motoric problems)
· Special seating arrangements (anxiety, panic)
· Allow the use of a computer (physical, medical disability)

The support for students with special educational needs is planned in cooperation with the student, teachers, the SEN teacher and the home. The aim is to map out possible linguistic difficulties and find the relevant supportive means and study skills for completing the DP
studies and the final exams.

The need for special arrangements must be based on current conditions and requirements. If a student has been tested before entering Mattlidens Gymnasium there needs to be a new test / evaluation in Pre DP or IB1.

The student, parents, teachers or DP coordinator can bring up a need for educational support whereafter the SEN teacher, together with the teachers and the DP coordinator, evaluate the need and the supporting arrangements. This must be done within the provision of the Finnish confidentiality law.

Official documentation must be presented as early as possible, after which the arrangements can be put into effect. Educational evidence of the arrangements must be submitted to the IB with the application for special arrangements.

The application for inclusive assessment arrangements to the IB for the final exams is made by the DP Coordinator, with the support of the Principal, and the student’s consent must be obtained.

In the case of a sudden, unforeseen need for special arrangements before or during the final exams the DP coordinator must be contacted immediately, and all circumstances need medical documentation.

Mattlidens Gymnasium has the following personnel responsible for student welfare and students with special educational needs:

Form teachers see their students regularly, monitor their progress, and are in touch with the parents. Form teachers are called to follow-up meetings with the DP coordinator and principal on a regular basis.

A full-time SEN teacher who can be consulted by students, parents or teachers. The SEN teacher meets with students in smaller groups or individually and advises them on where they can be tested for dyslexia or where they can get the medical documentation needed.

A full-time school social worker can be consulted for help with personal problems. The social worker can easily be contacted by sms, phone or e-mail.

A part time psychologist who does psychological assessments and evaluations when necessary can be contacted by phone or e-mail.

The school nurse is available 4 days / week. The nurse performs a health check on all students in their Pre DP year. A doctor is also available at certain times and appointments can be made through the nurse. The doctor performs a full health check on all IB1 students.

The guidance counsellors guide students in their studies and advise the students in their’ choice of IB subjects. In the Pre DP year they gives classes in study skills. The counsellors also help students with school-related problems.

The contact details to these persons are found on the website www.mattliden.fi/gym and in the study guide.