The school’s special educational needs (SEN) policy is drawn up in accordance with the 2014 SEN Code of Practice and outlines the school’s duties on how to identify, assess and make provision for children with special educational needs.
Special educational needs definition
A child has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for them. This is defined as:
- A significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age or
- has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools.
- A person has a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day to day activities.
The aims of the school with regard to special educational needs
To ensure that:
- Children with SEN engage in the activities of the school alongside pupils who do not have SEN and thus have access to a broad and balanced curriculum.
- It uses their best endeavours to make sure that a child with SEN gets the support they need.
- To designate a teacher to be responsible for co-ordinating SEN provision.
- Parents are informed when they are making special educational provision for a child.
- Special Educational Needs professionals and parents work in partnership with the school.
- There is an early identification of SEN which is built into the monitoring of progress of all pupils.
- The arrangements for identifying and assessing pupils as having SEN are set out in as part of the School Offer
- That all teachers are teachers of children with Special Educational Needs and provide quality first teaching. That they are aware of the importance of differentiating the school day so that the curriculum is accessible to all.
- The management and deployment of resources are designed to ensure that all children’s needs are met. All teachers know the location of these resources.
Arrangement for co-ordinating educational provision
The strategic development of the SEN policy and the determining of the provision for the school is the responsibility of the Headteacher, the governing body, and the SENCO.
Role of the special educational needs coordinator
- Overseeing the day-to-day operation of the school’s SEN policy
- Advising on the deployment of the school’s delegated budget and co-ordinating provision for children with SEN, so that it should match the nature of their need.
- Liaising with, advising and contributing to the in-service of fellow teachers and Teaching Assistants.
- Advising on a graduated approach to provide additional SEN support.
- Ensuring that the records of all children with SEN are kept up to date.
- Liaising with parents from the outset of the recognition of their child’s needs and to draw upon their parental knowledge.
- Liaising with early year’s providers and secondary school external educational agencies, health and social care and to be the key point of contact.
- Ensuring that the school is communication rich and is accessible to everybody.
- Line managing the Teaching Assistants and to ensure there full involvement through regular meetings.
Role of the governors
- The governing body should be fully involved in developing and monitoring the schools SEN policy.
- To ensure that the SENCO is a part of the Senior Management Team.
- To ensure that the Senco has sufficient time and resources to carry out his or her role and responsibilities.
A close liaison is maintained between school and the nursery and any children with specific needs are identified prior to their entry to school and are made known to the SENCO. A school entry plan meeting is held at least one term before the child starts school so that any necessary provision can be put in place. Applications from parents with special circumstances will be given careful consideration and we will seek to meet parental wishes as far as practicable and in the best interest of the child.
Resources for special educational needs
The governors recognise the importance of funding special needs adequately. Resources are directed towards providing both teaching and non-teaching support, educational equipment and books. The SENCO is responsible for the overall resourcing of Special Educational Needs.
Identification and assessment
The identification of SEN is built into the school’s approach to monitoring the progress and development of all pupils. They seek to identify those children who are making less than expected progress.
It is recognised that early identification of any delay in learning and development is essential. The EYFS profile provides parents and teachers with a well-rounded picture of a child’s knowledge, understanding and abilities. It is particularly helpful for children with SEN, and the EYFS coordinator uses it as the basis for her regular meetings with the SENCO. A decision is made at the end of the reception year as to whether a child requires SEN support.
There are four broad areas of need and support:
- Communication and interaction
- Cognition and learning
- Social, emotional and mental health
- Sensory and/or physical needs.
In deciding whether to make special education provision the teacher and SENCO consider all the information gathered from within the school about the pupil’s progress, alongside the national data and expectations of progress.
Where a decision is made that a child needs SEN support, it takes the form of a four-part cycle of assess, plan, do, review.
- Assess- The class teacher and SENCO carry out a clear analysis of the pupil’s needs drawing on the teacher’s assessment and the previous progress and attainment in comparison to national data.
- Plan- The teacher and SENCO agree, in consultation with the parent, what support and intervention should be put in place. The support is always based on a full understanding of the pupil’s strengths and needs.
- Do- The teacher remains responsible for working with the child on a daily basis. Where the intervention involves group or one to one teaching they work closely with teaching assistant and SENCO to assess the impact of the intervention and how it can be linked to classroom teaching.
- Review- The effectiveness of the intervention and its impact on the pupil’s progress is reviewed on an agreed date. This feeds back into the analysis of the pupil’s needs. The teacher and SENCO revise the support in the light of the pupil’s progress and development. Parents will have clear information about the impact of the intervention.
All SEN children will have a plan of work which follows the graduated approach. Parents will be fully involved in this process and will be able to share in the target setting and the reviews.
The school works closely with the local authority and makes good use of the local services. Specialist teachers/advisors are involved at any point, either to help with early identification of SEN or to give advice when a pupil fails to make progress after appropriate intervention. Such specialist services include, but are not limited to:
- Educational Psychologists
- Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
- Speech and Language Therapists
- Language and Communication Team
Education, health and care plan
Where, despite a relevant graduated response, the child has not made expected progress, the school or parents should consider requesting an Education, Health and Care Assessment (EHC). In making their decision with regards to an EHC, the local authority will use evidence provided by the school and the parents and will consult closely with everybody concerned. Once a pupil is in receipt of an EHC plan the school will ensure that arrangements are made to meet their needs, making sure that the child and their parents are at the centre of decision making. There will be a formal review of the plan once a year. If the child’s SEN change, the local authority will hold a review as soon as possible to modify the provision stated in the EHC plan.
Monitoring and review procedures
The SENCO will be responsible for keeping detailed records of all children with special needs. This will include records kept by teaching assistants in respect of additional intervention. Information will be recorded on the school’s assessment system and will be accessible to all professional involved with the pupil and parents. The SENCO operates an open door policy and is always available to talk to parents. In addition, parents are invited to come and talk about their child’s progress termly.
Everybody accessing children’s records must respect the confidentiality of the information.
Special educational needs information report
The governing body is obliged to publish information on the school’s website about the implementation on the school’s policy for pupils with SEN. This is updated annually and will include information about the kinds of special educational needs which are provided for; policies for identification and assessment and the approach to teaching children with SEN.
Any complaint about SEN provision within the school should initially be directed towards the class teacher or SENCO. If the parent is not satisfied by the response that she receives, they should take the matter to the head teacher. Should this remain unresolved after discussions with the head teacher the matter will be referred to the governing body of the school. A meeting will be arranged between the chair of governors, head teacher and parent. If there is an intransigent point on which all parties cannot agree, the parent will be signposted towards the local authority’s complaint procedure.
Links with other schools
We recognise the importance pf positive liaison with other schools. The SENCO has regular meetings with the SENCOS from schools in the cluster group as well as the inclusion manager from the comprehensive. Prior to a pupil’s transition to secondary education, the inclusion manager has a detailed meeting with the SENCO. All records are passed on at this time.
Evaluating the policy
The effectiveness of the SEN Policy will be evaluated by the Governors. The governor with responsibility for special needs will meet regularly with the SENCO in order to monitor the special needs provision and to ensure that the policy is applied in practice.
- To have identified children with special educational needs at the earliest stage possible.
- To have catered for the children and obtained appropriate provision for them.
- Parental confidence in the provision being made.
- The children are motivated by the success they achieve.
- To have met the needs of children with SEN.
It is hoped that through the special needs provision provided by the school, the children will have acquired the self-confidence and requisite skills to help them become independent learners.