Special Education Needs
Objective of the Policy
At GraftonPrimary School we believe that all pupils have equal rights to access a rich and varied curriculum and enjoy and achieve in all aspects of school life. It is the aim of this policy to underpin procedures and practice which will ensure that:
- All those involved with the education of children are aware of their responsibilities in terms of SEN
- The school identifies and provides for those pupils with SEN, knowing there is a wide range of needs.
- The school provides an inclusive education for all children, so far as is reasonably practical and compatible with the child receiving the special educational provision alongside pupils with whom they are educated.
- The requirements of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act (2001) are met.
- There is accountability for use of SEN resources (School and LA).
- There are active links between school, LA and other external agencies.
- There is a focus on early intervention with regard to ages and levels of need.
- The wishes and feelings of the child are taken into account.
- There is effective partnership with parents, families and carers.
- This policy links with other related policies, such as: Inclusion, Child Protection, Looked After Children, Equal Opportunities and Safeguarding, and the Disability Equality Scheme.
- The principles and agenda of ‘Every Child Matters’ (DCSF, 2004) are supported.
- School staff receive CPD to develop their teaching expertise with regard to supporting children with SEN.
Definition of Special Educational Needs
The School takes its definition of Special Educational Needs from SEN Code of Practice, DfES, 2001
Children have a Special Educational Need if they have a learning difficulty that calls for special educational provision, which is different from and additional to the provision available for all children in the school, to be made for them.
Children have a learning difficulty if they:
- Have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age.
- Have a disability that prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for children of the same age in schools within the area of the local authority.
Children will not be regarded as having a learning difficulty solely because the language or form of language of their home is different from the language in which they will be taught, nor because they have a recognised disability.
Children will have needs and requirements which may fall into at least one of four areas. Some children will have inter-related needs. The impact of these combinations on the child’s ability to function, learn and succeed will be taken into account. In school, these are further broken down to assist in identification and provision planning for pupils with SEN.
The areas of need (as identified in the SEN Code of Practice, 2001) are:
- Communication and interaction
- Cognition and learning
- Behavioural, emotional and social development
- Sensory and /or physical
Identification, Assessment and Provision for children with SEN
Provision for children with SEN is a matter for the school as a whole. In addition to the governing body, the school’s Headteacher, SENCo and all other members of staff have important day-to-day responsibilities. All teachers are teachers of children with special educational needs. This is therefore a whole school responsibility. Specific roles are outlined below.
Roles & Responsibilities
Mr M Nicholson Headteacher
Mrs C Robinson Inclusion Manager
Mrs D Chauhan
Ms A Delaney
S Khanom - Parent Governor elected by parents (SEND) Term of office 15-1-15 to 14-1-19
Graduated Response and Early Identification
In order to help children who have SEN, the school will adopt a graduated response that recognises there is a continuum of SEN and brings increasing specialist expertise to bear on the difficulties that a child may be experiencing.
- Teachers’ ongoing assessment of the progress of individual children will provide information about areas where a child is not progressing satisfactorily. Under these circumstances, teachers will initially consult the SENCo to consider what else might be done.
- We recognise that some difficulties in learning may be caused or made greater by the school’s learning environment/relationships. The class teacher will therefore look at the following matters in order to decide whether these could be developed to enable the child to learn effectively: Classroom organisation, teaching materials, teaching style and differentiation.
- If this intervention does not lead to adequate progress, the class teacher will review, with the SENCo, the strategies which have been used and complete an Inclusion Form.
- This review may lead to the conclusion that the pupil requires help over and above that which is normally available within the particular class or subject. The key test of the need for action is evidence that the child is not making adequate progress despite high quality support in class.
Adequate progress can be defined as follows:
- It closes the attainment gap between the child and their peers.
- It prevents the attainment gap growing wider.
- It is similar to that of peers starting from the same attainment baseline, but less than that of the majority of peers.
- It matches or betters the child’s previous rate of progress.
- It ensures access to the full curriculum.
- It demonstrates an improvement in self-help, social or personal skills.
- It demonstrates improvements in the child’s behaviour.
Please refer to school policy regarding Assessment. If a child’s progress is causing concern but they meet the criteria for adequate progress described above, then Wave 2 support will be considered where appropriate. Information on the interventions that are considered part of the school’s usual differentiated curriculum is included in the School Provision Map. Children are not considered to have SEN just because they require support through Wave 2. This is reviewed and updated termly with the Assistant Headteachers.
When a child has been identified as having SEN, and requires interventions that are additional to or different from those provided as part of the school’s usual differentiated curriculum, the child’s name and details will be placed on the school’s SEN Register, which is reviewed and up-dated termly. This is called School Action. Parents will be part of this process and will be aware that the school has concerns before this point. The triggers for intervention through School Action will be concern, underpinned by evidence, about a child who shows any of the following:
- Despite receiving differentiated learning opportunities makes little or no progress even when teaching approaches are targeted particularly in a child’s identified area of weakness.
- Despite receiving differentiated learning opportunities shows signs of difficulty in developing literacy or mathematics skills which result in poor attainment in some curriculum areas.
- Presents persistent emotional or behavioural difficulties which are not ameliorated by the behaviour management techniques usually employed in the school.
- Has sensory or physical problems, and continues to make little or no progress despite the provision of specialist equipment.
- Has communication and/or interaction difficulties, and continues to make little or no progress despite the provision of a differentiated curriculum.
In some cases, outside professionals from health or social services may already be involved with the child. Where these professionals have not already been working with the school staff, the SENCo will contact them, with parental consent. The SENCo will support the further assessment of the child, assisting in planning future support for them in discussion with colleagues and monitoring the action taken. The child’s class teacher will remain responsible for working with the child on a daily basis and for planning and delivering an individualised programme where necessary. Parents will always be consulted and kept informed of the action taken to help the child, and of the outcome of this action.
The SENCo and the class teacher will decide on the action needed to help the child to progress in the light of their earlier assessment. This may include:
- Different learning materials or special equipment.
- Extra adult time to devise the nature of the planned intervention and to monitor its effectiveness.
- Staff development and training to introduce more effective strategies.
- Access to LA support services for one-off or occasional advice on strategies or equipment.
- Some group or individual support.
School Action Plus
The triggers for School Action Plus will be that, despite receiving individualised support under School Action, the child:
- Continues to make little or no progress in specific areas over a long period.
- Continues working at National Curriculum levels substantially below that expected of children of a similar age.
- Continues to have difficulty in developing literacy and mathematics skills.
- Has emotional or behavioural difficulties which substantially and regularly interfere with the child’s own learning or that of the class group, despite having an individualised behaviour management programme.
- Has sensory or physical needs, and requires additional specialist equipment or regular advice or visits by a specialist service.
- Has on-going communication or interaction difficulties that impede the development of social relationships and cause substantial barriers to learning.
A request for significant support from external services is likely to follow a decision taken by the SENCo and colleagues, in consultation with parents, at a termly review of the child’s needs. At School Action Plus, external support services will usually see the child in order to advise teachers on devising IEP targets and accompanying strategies. Advice given will be implemented mainly in the classroom setting, and is the responsibility of the class teacher.
Statement of Special Education Needs
Where a child at School Action Plus has demonstrated significant cause for concern, a request for statutory assessment can be made by the school to the LA. GraftonPrimary School follows the LA guidelines in making this request.
The School follows the LA guidelines for implementing the Statement. These include holding a meeting to which parents, professionals and relevant school staff are invited:
- Within the first two months after a new Statement is issued, to set targets and discuss strategies to be used.
- After 6 months to review the Statement where the child is under five years of age.
- To annually review the Statement after the age of five years.
The feelings and opinions of the child will be sought before the meeting and the child invited to the meeting/part of the meeting. The review will focus on what the child has achieved as well as on any difficulties that need to be resolved, and any changes that need to be made to the wording of the Statement.
Individual Education Plans (IEPs)
IEPs will be used for children at School Action Plus or with a Statement of Special Educational Need.
The IEP will include information about:
- The short-term targets set for the child
- The teaching strategies to be used
- The provision to be put in place
- When the plan is to be reviewed
- Outcomes (to be recorded when the IEP is reviewed)
The IEP will only record that which is additional to, or different from, the differentiated curriculum. It will focus upon (usually) two to three individual targets which match the child’s needs and have been discussed with the parents and child. It will be reviewed three times yearly, and the child and parent will be involved in the review and target-setting processes. At each review the Record and Review form will also be completed.
It is the aim of the school to provide all support in the most inclusive manner available. All children will participate in assemblies and school productions and have access to the wider curriculum. Children with SEN should generally take part in lessons in their classroom with their peers (with group or individual support where appropriate), but separate provision may be necessary for specific purposes and as a time-focused solution to enable the needs of all children to be met and their entitlement to an appropriate curriculum secured.
This may include small group withdrawal or using individual programmes to enable the acceleration of children’s learning and to develop the skills to enable the children to fully participate in class activities. Strategies employed to enable the child to progress will be recorded clearly on the Record and Review form, which will be reviewed three times yearly.
Allocation of Resources
Funding allocated to SEN (including 5% of the AWPU) is used for provision that is additional to, or otherwise different from, the educational provision made generally for children of their age. This includes personnel (SENCo, SEN Support Staff, some TA hours) and resources. The LA makes no financial contribution to support hours identified within a Statement. Where children present with needs that could not have been foreseen, the SENCo will bid for extra money through the LA Contingency and Dowry Panels. The LA’s Framework will be used yearly to identify funding and allocation of resources across the school.
Special Facilities and Provision
GraftonPrimary School is not funded for specialisation. Moreover, GraftonPrimary School aims to adapt to meet individual needs and include all children. Over recent years the school has successfully integrated children with hearing impairment, children on the autism spectrum, children with Down’s syndrome, children with language disorders and children with Behavioural, social and emotional difficulties. The building has been adapted in some ways to allow for special needs requirements, for example with the installation of ramps and a toilet with disabled access. Social Interaction groups are in place to address social, behavioural and emotional needs, whilst academic needs are addressed through a range of interventions. The school has recently been accredited as an ECAR school (Every Child a Reader) due to its practice of early identification, assessment and tracking of a number of early literacy interventions
Partnership with Parents
The school values the partnership with all parents (including those who have children with special educational needs) and is keen to support them in playing an active and valued role in their children’s education. Parents are informed about changes to our provision in the regular newsletter and at Open Evenings. Partnership with parents plays an essential role in enabling children with SEN to make adequate progress and become successful learners. The school recognises that parents hold key information, knowledge and experience about their child. Parents are encouraged to become involved as volunteers in school, which gives them additional information as to how to help their own children. Home/school diaries may also be used to increase dialogue and monitor progress between parents and teachers.
Parents and carers are involved at all stages when a child is considered to have a special educational need. We consider that the earlier that a parent is made aware of a concern, and the joint plan of action is addressed, the better. Parents will be informed and involved as soon as possible, if the school feels that their child may have Special Educational Needs by the class teacher, sometimes with the support of the SENCo. Termly meetings are held with parents for all children with SEN, and their views are taken into account when devising IEPs and identifying future targets. Parents of children who are at School Action Plus are given a longer appointment with all relevant staff invited to attend. Parents are also involved at all stages of the Annual Reviews for children with Statements. Sometimes parents may have concerns about their child and contact school for support. In these instances, staff will investigate the issues to respond to these concerns and inform the SENCo where necessary.
Children with SEN often have a unique knowledge of their own needs and their views are treated with respect. The school will make every effort to involve children in discussions about their needs because their views are important. Children will be invited to take part in IEP reviews, Annual Reviews and other meetings about them. The ways in which a child may take part could include providing art work, video, or a written report, or attending the meetings if they wish.
Links with other professionals
The School works closely with an allocated Advisory Teacher for SEN from the local Authority. They work closely with the SENCo, Inclusion Manager and Head teacher to ensure that School is meeting the needs of it’s pupils. They also offer advice and direct the School to appropriate external support where possible.
The school maintains links with support agencies and other professionals. Individual assessment, support and advice to teachers are provided. Professionals involved with the school include:
- Educational Psychologist (Carina Embeita)
- Attendance Officer (Sue Chappell )
- Speech and Language Therapist (Lucy Noble)
- Speech and Language Therapy Assistants (Joanne Sayer & Amanda Wilson)
- Occupational Therapist (Pauline Townsend)
- School Nurse (Kathy Priestley)
- Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (Adina Dobre and Sheila Khan)
- Psychotherapists (Eve Grainger and Zeynap Dogen)
- Child Development Team (Dr Rex Obeng)
- LA Advisory Team (Paul Robinson, Christine Green, Colin Merrin and Paola Atkinson)
- Advisory Teacher for Speech and Language (Karen Wright)
- Parent Partnership Services (Vicky Cumberland)
- Family Support Workers (Alison Starkey, Jamie Potts and Sarah Howell)
Pupils with SEN will be admitted to the school in accordance with the requirements of the 1996 Education Act and the LA Admission Policy. The school will seek appropriate support as necessary to ensure that individual needs are met. Liaison with parents and external agencies is particularly important. In the case of children with a statement, liaison with the LA will clarify whether resources to meet the child’s needs will be in place as the child is admitted. Phased entry may be helpful in ensuring a smoother integration for some children.
When children transfer to GraftonPrimary School, the SENCo and any staff involved with the child, make use of written records, consultations and meetings to ensure a smooth transition. A full schedule of visits, consultations and documentation is followed before Nursery and Reception children enter the school, which may lead to SEN provision being made for them if needed.
As children progress through the school, their current and new class teacher will meet to discuss the children’s’ needs and any strategies that will support them as they progress. The school recognises these transitions may be difficult for some children. Therefore measures will be put into place to support them. Parents play a key role in helping their child adjust to a new setting and communicating their child’s needs with the class teacher. The school will actively involve parents in any transition strategies to support their child’s needs.
Where children transfer to another school mid-term, the school’s Transfer Form is completed by the class teacher to ensure all appropriate information is passed on to the new school. If children transfer to Grafton Primary mid-term, the Transfer Form may be sent to their previous school to gain information as required. At the end of Key stage 2, the school will liase with Secondary schools to share information about the children’s needs and records passed on.
Links with other schools
The SENCo liaises with the SENCos of local Early Years providers and the SENCos of Secondary Schools. Children’s files are passed on at the end of the Summer Term. The school’s Transfer Form ensures that relevant information is passed on when children leave the locality and meetings are not possible.
As a school, we are committed to furthering our knowledge of any new developments that will further our vision for inclusion for all children. Staff members will attend courses and information will be shared through informal arrangements and through INSET. The SENCo has been awarded the National SENCo Accreditation and Enhanced and Specialist Speech and Language Accreditation, and will continue to attend CPD as necessary, both through the LA and SENJIT at the Institute of Education.
Staff have made use of the IDPs provided by the National Strategies to supplement their knowledge of SEN and continue to attend training as necessary, as laid out within the yearly SEN action plan.
Common Assessment Framework (CAF)
In accordance with ECM: Change for Children (2004) the school will use the CAF as a means of referral for integrated support where appropriate, maintaining confidentiality between services and ensuring safeguarding of the child. The CAF will always be completed with the permission of the parent/carer of the child. There are a number of people trained within the school including the Mr Nicholson (Head teacher,) Mrs Robinson (Assistant Head/Inclusion Manager/CP Lead,) Mrs Gray (Assistant Head/Early Years Co-ordinator,) and Miss Murdoch (SENCo).
Initially, complaints or concerns about specific elements of the school’s provision for SEN should be discussed with the class teacher, who will refer to the SENCo or Headteacher, who will investigate the matter. If the matter is not satisfactorily resolved, then the matter should be raised with the Governing Body, in line with the school complaints policy which can be located in the school office.