What is a special educational need?
'A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for them. A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if they:
(a) have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age; or
(b) have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational
facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post -16 institutions.
A child under compulsory school age has special educational needs if they fall within the definition at (a) or (b) above or would do so if special educational provision was not made for them (Clause 20 Children and Families Act)'
Code of practice:
The kinds of SEND that are provided for in our academy are:
Moderate Learning difficulties (MLD)
Specific Learning difficulties (SLD)
Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH)
Visual impairment (VI)
Hearing impairment (HI)
Physical Difficulties (PD)
Social, Language and Communication need (SLCN)
Multi-sensory impairment (MSI)
What is a disability?
The Equality Act 2010 states that a person has a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment and the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
A physical or mental impairment includes: learning difficulties including specific learning difficulties; medical conditions including epilepsy, diabetes, more severe forms of asthma and eczema; autism; speech, language and communication impairments.
If the impairment has a substantial and long-term effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities it may amount to a disability.
What should I do if I think my child has special needs or a disability?
If you feel that your child may have SEND then you should ask to speak to your child's class teacher in the first instance. Your child's class teacher may also feel that it would be helpful to have the SENCO attend the meeting. The school closely monitors all of its children with special needs and at the meeting we may feel that we do need to put in place some strategies and interventions to try and remove your child's barriers to learning.
For many children, simple changes to the way that the curriculum is delivered can make a significant impact on removing the barriers to their learning and with these changes in place they are soon able to catch up with their peers and make expected levels of progress. In school we call this 'differentiating the curriculum'.
For some children this may not be enough to help them make adequate progress and they may need something which is 'additional to and different from' that which is normally provided for all children. If a child requires this type of support the school will monitor them according to the SEND Code of Practice. This could mean that the class teacher may be using different strategies to help your child to learn, or perhaps your child will be receiving some additional support in a small group alongside other children with similar needs. At this point a child would be given a Support Plan. Small targets will be given to your child which are needed for them to achieve. These are monitored, evaluated and discussed with you.
Often this level of support in addition to the classroom curriculum differentiation is sufficient to mean that your child no longer has barriers to their learning and they start to make progress. However, for some children this may not be enough and the school, with your agreement, will make the decision to increase the level of support provided. This simply means that the academy have decided to involve some external professionals or agencies to provide them with more specialist advice and guidance in order to support them to remove the barriers to your child's learning. This external support might be from an:
· Educational Psychologist
· Speech and Language Therapist
· Occupational / Physiotherapist
· Communication and Interaction Team
· Learning and Cognition Team
· A medical professional, including CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service).
· Hearing Impairment Service
If your child's needs are wide ranging or more complex, then it may involve several of these people who will need to work in a co-ordinated way.
As more people become involved in helping the school to meet your child's needs the SENCO may talk to you about holding an Early Help Assessment (EHA) meeting. Once established, the EHA will help the school to organise a "Team Around the Child" meeting where everyone involved (including yourself) can sit down together and discuss the best way forward to help the school help your child to make progress.
Only a very small percentage of children require support of an additional nature beyond this. If this is the case, then the SENCO may discuss with you the possibility of asking the Local Authority to undertake a statutory assessment of your child's needs. If this is considered appropriate, then the school will collect together all your child's information and evidence of all the carefully evaluated additional strategies and interventions that have been put in place and with your permission send it off to the Local Authority for them to consider the information at a panel meeting and make a decision whether or not to carry out a statutory assessment of your child's needs. This would then result in your child having a EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plan).
What can I expect the school to be do in order to meet my child's special educational needs?
'Quality First Teaching' is an entitlement for all children and Laithes Primary School are constantly striving to ensure that this is of a 'good' or 'outstanding' quality at all times in school. This is the classroom teaching that your child receives on a daily basis from the class teacher. Lessons are carefully differentiated to take account of different learning styles and abilities. In addition, the school staff receive training to gain knowledge and skills from other agencies for Dyslexia, Speech, Language and Communication needs, Attachment, Behaviour and Autism, which enhance their daily teaching practice in order to make the classroom environment and the delivery of the curriculum more accessible for children with needs. Teaching and learning is carefully targeted to meet individual needs. This is called personalised learning.
Where appropriate, children may have access to additional small group activities for short periods of time alongside other children with similar needs. This may be to undertake work on particular intervention programmes or simply as a means of facilitating opportunities to re-visit skills, or knowledge where they may need addition practice or over-learning. The work carried out in small groups is carefully overseen by the class teacher or SENCo who is responsible for monitoring the child's progress and targeting the support carefully.
Some children may require interventions of a 1/1 nature for very short periods of time. Again these are overseen by the class teacher and progress is carefully monitored. The Headteacher/SENCO is responsible for the allocation of 1/1 / group interventions support timetable for the school. This information is detailed within the School's Provision Map.
Visual cues are clearly displayed in classroom and communal areas in order to facilitate easier access for our children who require a communication friendly environment. Visual timetables are clearly displayed in all classrooms.
The school is working towards the achievement of a dyslexia friendly environment. A wide range of dyslexia friendly strategies are evident in all classrooms ensuring a consistent approach for children with literacy difficulties of a specific nature.
How will my child's learning needs be assessed and their progress monitored?
The school has a rigorous programme for assessing children's learning. Some assessment takes place at the end of specific pieces of work to inform teacher's of the children's next steps in learning. Also, on-going assessments take place on a regular basis to ensure that the opportunities presented to children are appropriate and aid their learning and development.
The school sets aspirational targets for all its children including those with special educational needs. Individual targets are shared with children so that they are aware of what they need to learn next. Children with special educational needs who have a Support Plan are aware of their learning targets and are engaged in the discussions relating to how much progress they feel they have made.
Parents are invited to discuss their Support Plan and their contribution to the setting of new targets are welcomed. Once a new Support Plan has been written the school will carefully monitor the progress being made. If it is felt that the targets are inappropriate for any reason then the school will discuss more appropriate targets with parents at the earliest opportunity rather than waiting for an inappropriate Support Plan to run its full course.
How effective is the School's provision for children with special educational needs?
The school has a robust policy for special educational needs. The policy is implemented by all members of staff and its effectiveness is monitored and evaluated by the Governing Body on an annual basis. The SENCO meets with the SEN Governor regularly, enabling up to date general information on the progress of children with SEN and the provision made for them to be shared with the whole governing body.
We have an excellent Parent Support Adviser (PSA) which liaises with the SENCo on a regular basis. They alongside the support staff support the emotional and social development of the children and work closely with parents and the community. Additionally, other agencies such as the Educational Psychologist and Stronger Families team support this. This is provided through a range of strategies such as: lego therapy, emotional literacy, social stories, SEAL groups, self-esteem groups, maintenance crew, circle of friends, counselling support and our school council representatives.
How does transition work?
Transitional procedures begin early. All children take part in a transitional period when moving to a new class. Children with more complex needs are given more time to adjust to a new class. Children are introduced to key adults and the environment earlier than the non-SEND children. We have close links with our secondary colleagues; the secondary SENCO is invited to all meetings within year 6. Pupils with additional needs are introduced to the secondary setting at a much earlier time.
What Interventions are available at Laithes?
•Social, Emotional and Mental Health
•Individualised/Group self esteem and anger management programs
•Strong links to additional agencies to support intense BESD (CAMHS, Youth Inclusion and Support Panel , School Nurse, Family Intervention Service, Community Health Worker Team, Stronger Families, Speech and Language)
•Now and Then boards
•Communication and Interaction
•Visual Prompts/Timetables/ Feeling Board
•Small interaction groups which are modelled
•Board Game groups
•Learning and Cognition
•Ed Mark Reading Programme
•Catch up Reading Programme
•Read Write Ink
•5 minute Box
•Number Patterns/ Max Marvellous Math
•Sensory and Physical
What support do we have for parents?
Within our setting we have a wide range of staff to support our families. You can always book an appointment with your child's class teacher. At the school we have a lead practitioner who runs our EHA (Early Help Assessments) and offers any advice or guidance to support parents. We can offer guidance on finance, housing, substance misuse, domestic abuse, parenting (intense family intervention support), health and school admissions to feeder schools.
Within school we offer a range of courses for parents including :
•Webster Stratton—positive parenting course which supports parents with their children at home in their emotional and behavioural needs.
•We have a Parent Forum - this a parental voice forum which allows our academy to move forward through joint decisions.
•We have mother and toddler groups.
What is a EHA?
A EHA is a Early Help Assessment , it begins with a gathering of information, once established, the EHA will help the school to organise a "Team Around the Child" meeting (TAC), this involves everyone involved considering the best way in which your child can be supported. For the majority of children, actions taken using this graduated approach often means that the child begins to make adequate or expected levels of progress. If this is the case, the school may decide that your child no longer needs additional support because they are making the appropriate progress.
*Previously named a CAF (Common Assessment Framework)
How will we support your child when they are leaving this school? OR moving on to another class?
We recognise that transitions can be difficult for a child with SEND and take steps to ensure that any transition is a smooth as possible.
If your child is moving to another school:
We will contact the school SENCo and ensure he/she knows about any special arrangements or support that needs to be made for your child. We will make sure that all records about your child are passed on as soon as possible.
When moving classes in school:
Information will be passed on to the new class teacher IN ADVANCE and in most cases, a planning meeting will take place with the new teacher. All Support Plans will be shared with the new teacher. If your child would be helped by a book to support them understand moving on then it will be made for them.
In Year 6:
The SENCo will meet with the relevant receiving secondary teachers to discuss the specific needs of your child, records will be transferred prior to your child starting. Your child will do focused learning about aspects of transition to support their understanding of the changes ahead. Wherever possible your child will make additional visits to their new school to help familiarise them with the setting and the staff.