This policy complies with the statutory requirement laid out in the SEND Code of Practice 0-25 (June 2014) and has been written with reference to the following guidance and documents:
Aims and Objectives of the Policy
The school does not discriminate against the admission of pupils on the grounds of special educational needs or disability. The school does not presently have any special arrangements for access to the buildings by pupils with physical difficulties. School does not have any specialist provision for a particular type of SEN.
Definition of Special Educational Needs (SEN)
“A pupil has SEN where their learning difficulty or disability calls for special educational provision, namely provision different from or additional to that normally available to pupils of the same age.
Making higher quality teaching normally available to the whole class is likely to mean that fewer pupils will require such support.” (Code of Practice 6.15)
Our school assesses each pupil’s current skills and levels of attainment on entry, building on information from previous settings and key stages where appropriate. At the same time, we should consider evidence that a pupil may have a disability under the Equality Act 2010 and, if so, what reasonable adjustments may need to be made for them.
Class teachers, supported by the SENCO, should make regular assessments of progress for all pupils. These should seek to identify pupils making less than expected progress given their age and individual circumstances. This can be characterised by progress which:
• is significantly slower than that of their peers starting from the same baseline
• fails to match or better the child’s previous rate of progress
• fails to close the attainment gap between the child and their peers
• widens the attainment gap
It can include progress in areas other than attainment – for instance where a pupil needs to make additional progress with wider development or social needs in order to make a successful transition to adult life.
The first response to such progress should be high quality teaching targeted at their areas of weakness. Where progress continues to be less than expected the class or subject teacher, working with the SENCO, should assess whether the child has SEN. While informally gathering evidence (including the views of the pupil and their parents) we should not delay in putting in place extra teaching or other rigorous interventions designed to secure better progress, where required. The pupil’s response to such support can help identify their particular needs.
For some children, SEN can be identified at an early age. However, for other children and young people difficulties become evident only as they develop. All those who work with children and young people should be alert to emerging difficulties and respond early. In particular, parents know their children best and it is important that all professionals listen and understand when parents express concerns about their child’s development. They should also listen to and address any concerns raised by children and young people themselves.
Definition of Special Educational Provision
Special educational provision means:
For a child of over two years, educational provision that is additional to, or otherwise different from, the educational provision made generally for children of the child’s age in maintained schools, other than special schools in the area.
The range of SEN is very wide, from relatively mild degrees of learning difficulty to profound and multiple disabilities. The wide spectrum of needs are frequently overlapping or interrelated within one individual, although there are also specific needs which relate directly to particular types of impairment.
Children will have needs and requirements which fall into at least one of four areas, frequently more than one. The impact of combinations of need, where these exist, on the child’s ability to access the curriculum, should be considered.
The areas of need are:
Communication and interaction – e.g. speech and language difficulties; autistic spectrum disorders.
Cognition and Learning – e.g. dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia or general learning difficulties.
Social, emotional and mental health – e.g. children who are withdrawn or isolated, disruptive and disturbing, hyperactive and lack concentration, where these are the main presenting needs.
Sensory and/or physical impairment – e.g. visual impairment, deafness, milder hearing impairment, physical disabilities.
(SEN Code of Practice, 2014)
Children with SEN will be given access to the curriculum through the SEN provision provided by the school as is necessary, as far as possible, taking account of the wishes of the parents and the needs of the individual.
Every effort will be made to educate pupils with SEN alongside their peers in a mainstream classroom setting. In class provision and support are deployed effectively to ensure the curriculum is differentiated where necessary. We set appropriate individual targets that allow children to succeed and we celebrate achievements at all levels.
Regular training and learning opportunities for staff on the subject of SEN are provided in school.
Roles and Responsibilities
Provision for children with SEND is a matter for the school as a whole.
Every teacher is responsible and accountable for all pupils in their class wherever or with whoever the pupils are working
Class teachers are responsible for the initial identification or ongoing assessment of pupils with SEN. Where a child’s SEN has been identified at the pre-entry stage, the class teacher will gather information from the pre-school setting, the child’s parents and any other involved agencies.
Teachers will use their own professional judgement to make informed decisions about children they consider to be performing at a level significantly different to that of their peers, using information from formative and summative assessment. The assessment process is a continuous cycle of assessing, planning, teaching and reviewing. It focuses on:
Assessment opportunities are timetabled within the academic year, including:
The Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) is Mrs Sue Callaghan, who is also the Headteacher. As Headteacher, she also has the day to day responsibility for management of all aspects of the school’s work, including provision for pupils with SEN. She has over 10 years experience as SENCO and holds a post graduate diploma in Specific Learning Difficulties and has achieved a Level 3 Portfolio Certificate from the Autism Education Trust. The SENCo is responsible for:
The SENCo chairs the half termly Saddleworth and Lees SENCO collaborative meetings, chairs the Oldham School Alliance SEND workhub and attends the Primary SENCO forum. She is also currently involved with several local authority initiatives and is a member of the SEND partnership board which meets monthly.
Teaching assistants play an important role in supporting the class teacher in the delivery of a differentiated curriculum that allows accessibility for all. They deliver programmes of work, usually in Literacy, Numeracy or Speech and Language, to children who require additional provision. They are involved in the development of the school’s SEN policy and are fully aware of the school’s SEN procedures and monitoring arrangements. They are involved with the day to day planning for pupils with SEN, and feed back regarding the pupil’s progress to the class teacher. Teaching Assistants are encouraged to attend SEN review meetings for pupils they work with.
The Governing Body
Christ Church’s Governors have a statutory duty towards pupils with SEN. The Governing Body works closely with the Headteacher to determine the school’s general policy and approach to provision for children with SEN and establish appropriate staffing arrangements. They oversee the funding of SEN through the school’s use of teaching assistant support. The Headteacher provides the Governors with a termly update on SEN. Provision within the school through the Headteacher’s Report. Mrs Sharon McGladdery is the appointed governor for SEN. She meets termly with the Headteacher.
Parents and carers
Parents and carers have a wealth of knowledge and information about their child. They can also provide a valuable source of support for their child’s learning at home. For these reasons we involve parents as soon as a concern is raised regarding a child’s possible SEN. The nature of the child’s needs is discussed sensitively with parents and carers and they are given the opportunity to provide any background information which may enhance understanding of the child’s needs.
At review meetings with parents/carers we ensure that the child’s strengths as well as weaknesses are discussed. Where we make suggestions as to how parents/carers can help at home, these are specific and achievable. Where necessary, materials such as games or worksheets can be sent home for parents and child to work on together.
Christ Church School has a number of agencies involved in giving advice as to SEN provision for individuals and groups of children. Parental permission is obtained before any referral can be made.
The agencies include:
The SEN records of all children who have had additional provision made for the at Christchurch school are sent to the SENCo at the receiving secondary school. For pupils who have statements of SEN, an Educational, Health and Care Plan or those at SEN support, the SENCo of the receiving school will be invited to the final Review meeting in the Summer term when the child is in Year 6. This enables good liaison and the devising of an effective Transition action plan. As a collaborative, we have a transition project to support children with communication and interaction difficulties, particularly those children with ASD. The children and teaching assistants meet regularly and take part in various activities before making visits to their chosen secondary school.
Arrangements for supporting pupils with SEN
Pupils’ action plans and targets are implemented in a variety of ways. These may include:
Arrangements for co-ordinating SEN provision
SEN takes a high priority within the School Improvement Plan (SIP). The Action Plan for SEN feeds directly into the SIP, based on an audit for need of SEN provision within Christ Church School, and also the need to have regard to national initiatives.
The SEN policy is reviewed annually in consultation with the school’s staff, and the Governing Body. The implementation of the policy is the responsibility of all staff and is monitored by the Headteacher/SENCo.
We aim to keep all school staff up to date with relevant training and developments to meet the needs of the children with SEN.
We have regular staff meetings where SEN issues are discussed. These are related to specific concerns relevant to the needs identified, or in ensuring that staff keep up to date with information and legislation. The SENCo attends relevant training and disseminates the details to all the staff as appropriate or signposts relevant SEN focused external training opportunities. The SEN services of the LA, e.g. the QEST Team or the Educational Psychologist allocated to the school, can be asked to give training in school on specific areas.
The transfer of SEN information, when pupils are moving from one class to the next, takes place at the end of the Summer term. Receiving class teachers then have the summer holidays to become familiar with the needs and learning style of the pupil so that they can plan to meet the pupil’s needs from the start of the Autumn term.
The SENCo meets with each class teacher at least each term to discuss any SEN issues and attends the person centred review meetings for children at SEN support or who have a statement/ EHC plan. The SENCo, who is also the Headteacher, monitors the quality and effectiveness of provision for pupils with SEN through classroom observation.
The support timetable is reviewed annually by the SENCo and other staff, in line with current pupil needs; educational initiatives such as literacy and numeracy strategies; and the school budget, along with any additional funding allocated to individual pupils by the LA.
The Graduated Approach to SEN Provision
Initial Concern and Monitoring stage
At this stage the class teacher becomes aware, through observation, assessment or in response to parental concern, of the child’s SEN. Concerns are discussed with parents/carers, and the pupil’s progress is monitored. The class teacher meets the pupil’s needs through differentiation by adopting a “high quality teaching” approach:
If the child does not make adequate progress, a decision is taken to move the child to:
Where it is decided to provide a child with SEN support, the parents must be formally notified. The teacher and the SENCO should agree, in consultation with the parent and the pupil, the adjustments, interventions and support to be put into place, as well as the expected outcomes such as the impact on progress and development.
At this stage outside agencies may be involved and have direct input into setting targets. Reviews are held each term through a structured conversation approach, a person centred review or a 4 plus 1 question review when parents, staff and outside agencies (if involved) meet to discuss progress and produce a new action plan.
The support provided consists of a four part process- assess, plan, do, review. This is an ongoing cycle to enable provision to be refined and revised as the understanding of the needs of the pupil develops. This cycle allows the identification of those interventions which are the most effective in supporting the pupil to achieve good progress and outcomes.
This involves analysing the child’s needs using teacher assessment and experience of working with the child, details of previous progress and attainment, comparisons with peers and national data, as well as the views and experiences of parents. The child’s views and where relevant, advice from external support services will also be considered.
Planning will involve consultation between the teacher, SENCO and parents usually at the review meeting to agree the adjustments, interventions and support that are required; the impact on progress and development both at school and at home.
The class teacher remains responsible for working with the child on a day-to-day basis. They will retain responsibility even if the interventions are delivered by the teaching assistant. They will work closely to assess the impact of support and interventions used. Support and advice will be provided by the SENCO.
The termly review will evaluate the impact and quality of the support and interventions and will take account of the views of the SENCO, class teacher, teaching assistant, child, parent and outside agencies. A new action plan will be produced following each review to support the child.
Referral for an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC)
If a child has lifelong or significant difficulties they may undergo a Statutory Assessment Process which is usually requested by school but can be requested by a parent. The decision to make a referral for an EHC plan will be taken at a review meeting and will combine information from everyone involved with the child. The school is required to submit evidence to the LA’S Statutory Assessment Moderating Panel (SAMP), who meet monthly. They will make a judgement about whether the child’s needs can be met through a combination of the resources available to school and extra funding. This judgement is made using the LA’s criteria; school has no part in the decision. Parents have a right to appeal against a decision not to initiate a statutory assessment leading to an EHC plan. Once agreed, the school and the child’s parents will be involved in developing and producing the plan. It is then reviewed formally on an annual basis, enabling provision for the child to be evaluated and any changes to be agreed such as reducing or increasing levels of support.
Managing children’s SEN needs
All children with SEN support or more have a 1 page profile which details important information about the child, including areas of strengths and weaknesses and a current action plan to allow children to achieve the outcomes agreed at the review meeting. Person centred tools may also be used to collect information. High priority SEN support children will also have an individual assessment plan (IAP) which is a working document and will be updated to reflect the current needs of the child. All information is shared at the review meetings.
There are 3 levels of support for children with SEN
Criteria for exiting the existing level of support
If it is felt that children are making progress which is sustainable then their level of support may be reduced or withdrawn. This may also be applicable if the area of need is well supported through high quality teaching and the SEN need is not creating a barrier to the child’s learning in school. If this is the case, then the views of the teacher, SENCO, teaching assistant, pupil, parents and any professionals involved need to be taken into account. If it is agreed, the pupil will continue to be monitored through pupil progress meetings. If it is felt that the pupil requires additional assistance at a later date then the procedures outlined in this policy will be followed.
Supporting children at school with medical conditions
We recognise that children at school with medical conditions should be properly supported so that they have full access to education, including trips and physical education. Some children with medical conditions may be disabled and where this is the case the school will comply with its duties under the Equality Act 2010. Some may also have SEN and may have a statement or EHC plan which brings together health and social care needs, as well as their special education provision and the SEND Code of Practice (2014) is followed.
The Local Offer
As part of the Code of Practice, local authorities must publish a Local Offer setting out in one place information about provision they expect to be available across education, health and social care for children and young people in Oldham who have SEN or are disabled. The Local Offer has two key purposes
POINT (Parents of Oldham in touch)
POINT is Oldham’s established Parent Forum for parents and carers of children and young people aged 0-25 with additional needs, who live in or access services in Oldham. Their aim is to pro-actively represent families, ensuring that parents and carers have greater choice and control to meet their current needs and have a voice in shaping future services. The website is packed with information to support children or young people. They are determined that through their collaborations across Health, Education and Social Care, that together, they can improve the life chances and aspirations of children and young people with additional needs and disabilities.
If a parent/carer has any concerns about the SEN provision made for their child, they should raise it with the SENCo in the first instance. In the unlikely event of issues remaining unresolved at this stage, parents can request details of the school’s Complaints Policy from the school office.
This policy was developed and agreed by staff and governors on 20th May 2015
Local Offer: www.oldham.gov.uk/localoffer