THORNHAM ST. JAMES’ SCHOOL
SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS POLICY
Updated and reviewed September 2018.
Welcome to our Special Educational Needs Policy which is written in line with the Special Educational Needs Disability (SEND) Code of Practice (January 2015).
At Thornham St James’ we are committed to working together with all members of our school community, including pupils, parents/carers, governors, and members of staff. We believe that ‘every teacher’ is a teacher of every child- including those with SEN and or disabilities
We would welcome your feedback and future involvement in our work with children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities, so please do contact us.
The school's Special Educational Needs co-ordinator (SENCo) is Mrs Smith.
Aims and objectives
- We aim to provide every child with access to a broad and balanced differentiated curriculum. This includes the National Curriculum in line with the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: January 2015.
- To ensure that all pupils with SEN have their needs identified early in order to remove the barriers for learning, to put in effective support & to maximise their academic progress in all areas of development & learning
- To ensure that all children with SEN experience success and feel valued for their achievements
- To develop a close working partnership with parents and carers of children with SEN
- To create a school environment where pupils feel safe to voice their opinions of their own needs.
- We aim to continue to build a supportive school community, which fosters high achievement for all pupils and encourages staff to share and build on existing knowledge to increase learning and participation for all pupils
Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities – What does it mean?
The term SEN is a legal definition. The Code of Practice defines SEN as:
“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 him or her. A child of compulsory school age has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:
(a) Has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age; or
(b) Has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in a mainstream school.”
The Equality Act 2010’s definition of disability is:
“A person has a disability (for the purpose of this Act) if (s)he has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his/her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities”.
(Section 1.1 Disability Discrimination Act 1995)
This definition of disability in the Equality Act includes children with long term health conditions such as asthma and diabetes. Children with these conditions do not necessarily have SEN, but there is often a significant overlap between disabled children and those with SEN (eg – a child who is on the Autistic Spectrum). Children may therefore be covered by both SEN and disability legislation.
Special Educational Needs Policy and SEND Code of Practice 0-25 (DfES 2014) identifies 4 broad categories of need:
Communication and interaction
- It covers difficulty with different aspects of speech, language & communication
Cognition and learning
- It covers learning difficulties , including moderate learning difficulties (MLD), severe learning difficulties (SLD), profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD), where children are likely to have severe and complex learning difficulties as well as a physical disability or sensory impairment. It also includes specific learning difficulties (SpLD), which could affect one or more specific aspects of learning. This encompasses a range of conditions such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia.
Social, emotional and mental health difficulties
- It covers a wide range of social and emotional difficulties, such as anxiety or depression, self-harming, substance misuse, eating disorders or physical symptoms that are medically unexplained. Other children and young people may have disorders such as attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder or attachment disorder.
The following needs are NOT considered to be SEN but they may impact on a child’s progress and attainment:
- Attendance and Punctuality
- Health and Welfare
- Receiving a pupil premium allowance
- Being a looked after child
Definition of special educational provision
For children aged two or more, special educational provision is educational or training provision that is additional to or different from that made generally for other children or young people of the same age by mainstream schools or maintained nursery schools. DISABLED CHILDREN
- A child has a disability, which either prevents or hinders the child from making use of the educational facilities of a kind provided for children of the same age in schools within the area of the LA
- A disabled person is one who has a physical or mental disability, which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. This covers physical disabilities, sensory impairments and learning disabilities. Often a disabled pupil will also have SEN, but this is not always the case.
- All reasonable steps are taken to ensure that disabled children are not placed at a substantial disadvantage to those who are not disabled, in accordance with the Disability and Equality Act 2010. However, Thornham St James' physical environment may mean’ that considerable building modifications would be necessary.
How special needs is identified at Thornham St James'.
- A Child has Special Educational Needs if he or she has a learning difficulty, which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her.
- A child has a learning difficulty if he or she has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age.
- A child is not regarded as having a learning difficulty solely because the home language is different from that in which he or she is taught.
Children may be identified as having special educational needs requiring SEN support if they :
- Makes no or little progress
- Shows difficulty developing literacy or mathematical skills, which result in poor attainment in some curriculum areas
- Presents persistent emotional or behavioural difficulties which do not improve with intervention
- Has sensory or physical problems and makes little progress despite the provision of specialist equipment
- Has communication and/or interaction difficulties and continues to make little progress.
Children may be identified as having special educational needs as a result of:
- Class Teacher assessment, in consultation with the SENCO.
- Information from parents, external sources eg. Health Visitors, Educational Psychologist, QEST Team, Early Years Special Needs Services, Occupational Therapy, Speech Language Therapists and the School Nurse.
Assessment of a child’s needs involves collecting information about the child, including:
- Individual assessments,
- Outcomes from Foundation Stage Profile (FSP) and SATS
- Standardised test results
- Information from external agencies.
How is the decision made about what type and how much support is needed?
If there are concerns regarding a child already in school:
The Class Teacher consults the SENCO
The Class Teacher, SENCO and parents would then meet to share information and concerns and further assessments are undertaken.The Class Teacher and SENCO collect all available information about the child, including, with parental permission, information from other professionals. This is kept in the child’s individual file.
The Class teacher and the SENCo:
- Identify the needs of pupils with SEN is done by gathering information from parents, education, health and care services prior to the child’s entry into the school.
- The Headteacher, SEN Co-ordinator (SENCO) and staff meet termly to discuss children on the SEN register and also any child who is causing concern. The SENCO advises class teachers, takes the lead in managing the provision for children with special educational needs, monitors, updates and reviews recording and liaises with parents and external agencies.
- Progress of all children, including those who have SEN is monitored by their teachers & discussed the half termly progress meeting
- Appropriate provision will be made for those pupils who are falling significantly behind the peers. For example group interventions, 1:1 , Power of Two.
- This will be co-ordinated by the SEN coordinator team and the leadership team.
- SEN provision will be carefully monitored and regularly reviewed in order to ensure that individual targets are met and that all pupils are making adequate progress
- Involving parents in all stages of their child’s education. This includes supporting them in terms of understanding SEN procedures and practices, providing regular reports on their child’s progress, and providing information on the provisions for pupils, and the effectiveness of the school’s SEN work.
- Support from outside agencies is sort when needed
The Class Teacher remains responsible for working with the child on a daily basis, making adjustments to Quality First Teaching and devising interventions additional to or different from those provided as part of the school’s usually differentiated curriculum. This is recorded on the Individual/Group Weekly Planning and Evaluation Sheet.
The Class Teacher, SENCO, teaching assistants and parents keep copies of provision maps. These are reviewed at least twice a year.
The school will record the steps taken to meet the needs of individual children across the school. The SENCO has responsibility for ensuring that all SEN records are kept and available as needed.
For some learners we might want to seek advice from specialist outside teams and agencies. In our school, we have access to various specialist services, including an Advisory Learning Support Teacher (from the Local Authority QEST Teams and VI,HI,PD Specialist Teams), and frequently refer to the Educational Psychologist, Speech and Language Therapist and teams working within Community Pediatrics. Within school we have many members of staff specifically trained in working to support children with speech, language and communication needs; behavioural, emotional and social difficulties and general delays in development.
The SENCO suggests and oversees intervention programmes, in addition to training and supporting TAs to deliver the interventions.
When school seeks the help of support services, those services will need to see the child’s records in order to establish which strategies have already been employed and which targets have been set and achieved. The specialist may act in an advisory capacity, providing more specialist assessments to inform planning and the measurement of a pupil’s progress and / or give advice on the use of new or specialist strategies or materials. They may be involved in teaching the child directly on a regular basis or providing support for particular activities. The details will be recorded in an Integrated Assessment Plan (IAP) for the child. This will set out fresh strategies for supporting the child’s progress. The delivery of the interventions and strategies recorded in the IAP continues to be the responsibility of the class teacher. However the child’s progress is monitored more thoroughly by the SENCO and the Strategy Team.
The IAP 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
A graduated approach
At Thornham St James’ Early identification is vital and the school uses a graduated response to identify children’s special educational needs as outlined in the Code of Practice. The class teacher makes an initial identification and informs the SENCO and parents at the earliest opportunity to share concerns and complete a Cause for Concern form with parents.
- All pupils requiring adjustments to be made, by the class teacher, to ensure inclusion in the day to day setting, must be identified on class provision maps. This will include pupils who may not be SEN funded but whom are on the ‘monitoring register’.
- The SENCO, class teacher and curriculum co-ordinator will identify additional or different provision within school to enable the child to learn more effectively. The advice from QEST in relation to Waves of Support, and the Inclusion Development Programme (IDP) will be used to aid provision. The child’s progress will be carefully monitored and reviewed termly – by the class teacher, SENCO and parents. The pupil will be fully involved in the process. Additional support is tracked through the intervention trackers. Further evidence will continue to be collated by the class teacher. Referrals are made to Outside Agencies if a child does not make adequate progress despite extra provision.
- The three waves of support identified in the provision maps are:
Wave 1 – differentiated planning by the class teacher. Some group support from the teaching assistant.
Wave 2 - programmes for groups who are showing more significant delays in learning. They are delivered by the class teacher and/or teaching assistant. It is additional to the daily Literacy and Numeracy lessons eg Direct Phonics, Catch Up programme.
Wave 3 - programmes advised by outside agencies for very specific needs of individuals eg Socially Speaking, Lego Therapy, Physiotherapy.
If reports from Outside Agencies identify that there is a significant need then the pupil may be given funding to carry out any specific recommended programmes. SEN funded pupils will have a Pupil Centered Review (PCR) three times a year. This information will be put in a Pupil Centred Plan (see Appendix V1). At the PCR the child’s strengths, progress and next steps are discussed. It is part of an ongoing cycle of ‘plan, do, and review’. A child will be considered for Statutory Education, health and care needs by the Local Authority. If despite acting on advice and working on specific actions, the pupil still does not make adequate progress; the pupil’s needs are severe and complex then additional resources will be required from the LA to meet their needs.
See also LA EHCP handbook Dec’16, link below:
The class teacher collates evidence using the pupil record form. (See Appendix V), work samples, Teaching Assistant (TA) reports, test results, history of interventions- including records of baseline and progress of interventions used. If a lack of progress is evident, The SENCO together with the class teacher will look at how to move forward.
This is done by using four-part cycle (assess-plan-do-review) :
To find out if our support is effective we follow the ‘assess, plan, do, review’ model and ensure that parents/carers and children are involved in each step.
ASSESS – identify the core problems
PLAN - an appropriate strategy/targeted provision
DO – carry out the plan/strategy
REVIEW – how is it working?
School request for EHCP
In discussion with parents/carers, may decide to request for EHCP Assessment of the child’s needs. The school will collate evidence over time
The LA will need information about the child’s progress over time, and will also need documentation in relation to the child’s special educational needs and any action taken to deal with those needs, including any resources or special arrangements put in place. The school will provide this evidence with the child’s SEN Support file.
Request for an Education, Health and Care Plan
Thornham St James’ will follow the regulations set out in the SEND Code of Practice 0-25 (July 2014). Once the Education, Health and Care Plan is completed it will be kept as part of the pupil’s formal record and reviewed annually by Thornham St James’ Primary School SEN staff, outside agencies, parents and the pupil. The annual review enables provision for the pupil to be evaluated and, where appropriate, for changes to be put in place, for example, reducing or increasing levels of support.
If a child has lifelong or significant difficulties they may undergo an Education, Health and Care Plan Assessment which is usually requested by the school but can be requested by a parent. This new system is an integrated assessment. The Local Authority will be given information about the child’s progress over time and documentation in relation to the child’s special educational needs. An assessment will occur when the Local Authority believes that the school has taken every step possible to support the child but is unable to provide the level of support needed alone.The decision to make a referral for an Education, Health and Care assessment will be taken at a progress review, where a CRISP profile will be completed.
The application for an Education, Health and Care assessment will combine information from a variety of sources including:
- Health professionals
- Care professionals
- Outside Agencies
Information will be gathered relating to the current provision provided, action points that have been taken and the preliminary outcomes of targets set.
Annual review of an Education, Health and Care Plan.
All EHC Plans must be reviewed at least annually. The parents/carers, the pupil, the LA, the school and any other professionals involved will be invited to consider whether any amendments need to be made to the description of the pupil’s needs or to the special educational provision specified in it. The annual review should focus on what the child has achieved as well as on any difficulties that need to be resolved.
At the review in Year 5, the aim should be to give clear recommendations as to the type of provision the child will require at secondary school. It will then be possible for the parents to visit secondary schools and to consider appropriate options within the similar timescales as other parents. The SENCos of the receiving schools are invited to attend the final annual review in primary school to allow the receiving school to plan an appropriate IAP to start at the beginning of the new school year and enable the pupil and the parents to be reassured that an effective and supportive transfer will occur.
School Links and Transitions:
Transition is a part of life for all learners. This can be transition to a new class in school, having a new teacher, or moving on to another school. We are committed to working in partnership with children, families and other providers to ensure that a positive transition occurs for all children, including those with SEN. Links between pre- school providers who transfer children to this school are established through the LA, Foundation Stage staff and SENCO.
Arrangements are made to collect all relevant information and records for new entrants through visits to the nursery children or school visits for Reception Class. Where a child enters the school after this point, reference to records from a previous school will be accessed. The programme of consultation is also well established with the various Secondary Schools. Meetings between the SENCOs from schools of transfer are held in the Summer Term. Where it is felt children would benefit from extra visits, arrangements will be made to meet these needs.
Roles and Responsibilities
The Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator: Mrs Smith.
The SENCO is responsible for the development of the SEN policy and provision in school, in order to raise the achievements of the children with SEN.
- overseeing the day-to-day operation of the school’s SEN policy
- co-ordinating provision for children with special educational needs
- liaising with and advising fellow teachers
- liaising with teaching assistants in conjunction with fellow teachers
- overseeing the records of all children with special educational needs
- liaising with parents of children with special educational needs
- contributing to the in-service training of staff
- liaising with external agencies including the LA’s support and educational psychology services, health and social services, and voluntary bodies
- carrying out further assessments in order to provide information regarding specific children’s levels of potential and achievement, and to suggest future actions.
Role of CT
- Any pupils who are falling significantly below the range of expected academic, and non-academic, achievement in line with predicted performance indicators and grade boundaries will be monitored by the class teacher.
- The child’s class teacher is responsible and accountable for the progress and development of all the pupils in their class (including where pupils access support from a teaching assistant or specialist staff).
- The teacher is responsible in providing Quality First Teaching & differentiated learning opportunities that will aid the pupil’s academic progression and to enable them to develop better understanding of pupil’s needs
- The CT is responsible in reviewing progress of all children including for those children at risk of underachievement. This includes providing a range of strategies to identify and support vulnerable pupils.
- All teachers are involved in developing the school’s SEN policy.
- They are aware of the school’s procedures for identifying and making provision for children with SEN.
- They are responsible for devising strategies and identifying appropriate methods for ensuring access to the curriculum. This includes strategies for providing differentiated teaching.
- They are responsible in examining their strategies and methods to see if they can make improvements that will help pupils access the curriculum.
- They are responsible for planning, writing and evaluating individual and group interventions, writing targets and composing provision maps for those children in their classes who require support.
- The class teacher is required to adapt the curriculum to ensure access to learning for all children in their class, including those with SEN. They will use various strategies to adapt access to the curriculum, which might include.
- Visual timetables.
- Writing frames.
- I-Pads, lap tops or other alternative recording devices.
- Specialist equipment.
- Additional support in the areas of difficulty, through specific interventions.
The Headteacher has responsibility for the day-to-day management of all aspects of school’s work, including provision for children with SEN.
The Headteacher keeps the Governors informed and works with the SENCO to ensure appropriate provision for children with SEN.
The Governing Body
The Governing Body, in co-operation with the Headteacher, determines the school’s general policy and approach to pupils with SEN and establishes appropriate staffing and funding arrangements. The Governing Body must report annually to parents on the school’s policy on SEN.
The Governor specially designated to oversee SEN provision in the school is Mrs Nutall, who, alongside the Head Teacher and the SENCO makes annual SEN reports to the Governing Body, which will include a written report of numbers of children on the SEN Register and details of the SEN budget and resources.
The school works in partnership with parents at every stage of provision for children with SEN, from sharing initial concerns to statutory assessment
They are encouraged to participate in all the decision-making processes and contribute to the assessment of their needs, the reviews and transition processes.Parents are supported to recognise and fulfil their responsibilities as parents and play an active part in their children’s education.
All parents are invited to attend parents’ evening and receive a written report on their child’s progress in the Autumn, Spring and Summer terms. In addition, the parents of children with SEN are sent invitations to regular Review Meetings where their knowledge and experience contributes to the assessment and target setting process. Parental views and concerns are recorded in the minutes of the Review Meetings and parents are sent copies of provision maps.
Children with SEN often have a unique knowledge of their own needs and their views about what sort of help they would like to help them make the most of their education will be ascertained.
A person centred review is held so that the SENCO, class teacher, parent/carer and learner can all share their concerns and agree outcomes and support for the pupil.
Pupils with SEN often have a unique knowledge of their own needs and circumstances. They will also have their own views about what sort of support they would like to help them make the most if their education. All pupils are encouraged to express their thoughts and feelings and participate in the decision-making processes that occur in education, including setting their own targets. They are given opportunities to understand that they are listened to and their views valued. This will be achieved through a variety of different approaches as appropriate to the age of the child. These include: Pupil interviews (Pupil Voice), Self-evaluation etc.
- Work under the direction of the class teacher to meet the learning targets identified on provision maps.
- Work with individual children or groups of children, either withdrawn from or within the classroom as appropriate.
- Liaise with and report to the Class Teacher and/or SENCO on progress made towards targets.
- Maintain records of children that they work with.
ADMISSION ARRANGEMENTS AND INCLUSION
The school’s admission and attendance policies are in line with the recommendations of the LA. No child is denied admission because of SEN.
GIFTED AND TALENTED CHILDREN
Gifted and talented has many definitions:
- A gifted and talented pupil has a blend of intelligence, personal characteristics and interpersonal skills.
- Gifted pupils have abilities in one or more subjects in the statutory school curriculum other than art and design, music and P.E.
- Talented pupils have abilities in art and design, music and P.E or in sports and performing arts such as dance and drama.
- Gifted and Talented children are probably most usefully discussed by the staff on an ongoing basis as we seek to meet the needs of all individual learners in classes and teaching groups. There is no easy answer or assessment process.
Underachievement occurs when a child’s performance is below what is expected based on the child’s ability. Some pupils in our school maybe underachieving but will not necessarily have a special educational need. Using identification and effective assessments, appropriate interventions are put into place. One example of this is the use of the Power of 2 to boost numerical confidence and mental recall.
To meet the needs of all children across the school, we provide quality first teaching including:
- Extension materials in all curriculum areas
- Links with other schools, including local Secondary Schools
- Differentiated and adapted curriculum delivery.
Thornham St James takes bullying very seriously and does not tolerate bullying of any kind. Children with Special Needs may be particularly vulnerable to bullying and the school clearly states in its Anti-Bullying Policy that this is unacceptable.
Triggers for Intervention.
- Continues to make little or no progress.
- Continues to work at a level substantially below children of similar age.
- Has emotional or behavioural difficulties which substantially interfere with the child’s learning or that of the class
- Has sensory or physical needs and requires specialist equipment or regular advice/visits from specialist services
Have ongoing communication or interaction difficulties, which impede the development of relationships and cause substantial barriers to learning.
STATEMENT OF EDUCATIONAL NEED EHCP
The child has a support worker for a set number of hours each week, according to the special educational provision the LA considers appropriate to meet the needs and objectives detailed in the statement.
All EHCP's are reviewed annually. Parents, LA and all professionals involved are invited to the Annual Review and a report is subsequently sent to the LA along with any written advice.
Once a term, parents, Class Teacher, support worker, SENCO and external services meet to review progress and set targets for the child’s IEP/provision map.
Recording will be a pre-requisite for all staff in maintaining optimum Special Educational Needs provision. Recording clarifies intentions, takes account of individual pupils and allows objectives to be reviewed and flexibility.
- Set targets for further action
- Recognise a wide range of achievements
- Be related to the curriculum
- Encourage pupil involvement where appropriate
- Provide for continuity between schools.
Recording for pupils with individual needs brings together a number of peoples' views and will be co-ordinated through the SENCO. It will be the responsibility of the SENCO to disseminate this information to the appropriate relevant bodies.Recording will take into account confidentiality.
Any child in receipt of an intervention, whether this be one to one or in a group, has a group or individual planning sheet completed. The purpose of the intervention, the targets to be worked on and a description of work to be carried out is recorded. At the end of a half term the intervention is evaluated alongside with both the Class Teacher and the Teaching Assistant delivering it. The sheets act as a record, but also inform any future planning to illustrate what has been used, tried, worked and not worked. Copies of these are kept in the teachers’ planning files, class SEN files and children’s personal files.
All pupils coming within the remit of SEN will have a personal file in which diagnosis, planned action and progress will be recorded.
- Resources are allocated to children with SEN through.
- There is general allocation for all children with SEN (Additional and Educational Needs funding)
- Designated funding for those children with statements of SEN
The funding is used to provide:
- Additional hours of support staff time
- Supply cover for reviews, courses and SENCO non-contact time
- Educational resources, including computer software, language and number activities and assessment materials
EVALUATION OF SEN PROVISION
- The progress of individual children on the SEN Register is monitored and recorded by the SENCO half termly and termly as well as at regular review meetings.
- The Headteacher reports annually to Governors on the school’s SEN policy. A Governor has responsibility for monitoring SEN provision in school.
- The SEN policy will be reviewed annually.
IN-SERVICE TRAINING (INSET)
The SENCO attends regular SEN Network Meetings and any relevant courses. The SENCO feeds back information to staff on current developments and policy. Teaching and support staff also attend SEN courses provided by the LA. The SENCO may organise INSET, with input from outside agencies where necessary.
The school works in close partnership with outside agencies.
Initially, any informal contact is made to the QEST Team and our Link Advisor, Afroza Talukdar. From which advice is used and applied and further action taken. First Class is also consulted.
Reports and advice are kept in individual files and are available to those who require access with parental permission. Recommendations are incorporated into provision maps where relevant.
Hearing, Physical and Visual Impairment Teams
The SENCO can contact any of the Hearing, Physical and Visual Impairment Team members. Members from these teams do attend school to carry out monitoring visits. These can be termly or annually depending on need.
ACNS Early Years Team
A named adviser liaises with the SENCO to prepare provision for children entering Nursery and Reception.
Education and Child Psychology Team
A named EP (Ms V Maka) attends planning meetings and assesses and provides recommendations for children whose needs are complex and may require application for statutory assessment.
Speech and Language Therapists
Children with language difficulties, delays and disorders may be referred for assessment to the service. The service sends reports to the SENCO on pupils whose therapy is provided by the NHS outside school. A named Speech and Language Therapist visits school to give advice and make recommendations for children who require an in school visit or whose statements specify speech and language therapy provision.
The SENCO may also consult with:
- Pre-School Special Needs
- Spring Brook School
- School Nurse
- School Medical Officer
- Clinical Psychologist
- Occupational Therapist
- Education Welfare Officer