Special Educational Needs & Disabilities
Welcome to our information about provision for learners with Special Educational Needs (SEN). All governing bodies of maintained schools and maintained nursery schools and the proprietors of academy schools have a legal duty to publish information on their website about the implementation of the governing body’s or the proprietor’s policy for pupils with SEN. The information published must be updated annually.
The 2014 Special Educational Needs code of practice aims to put each young person and their family at the centre of discussions about the support offered to them. The changes fall under two main categories:
- The introduction of a new Children’s and Family Act
- A revised SEN Code of Practice
The Children’s and Family Act 2014:
This Act was passed in March 2014. The act extends the SEN system from birth to 25, giving children, young people and their Parent/Carer’s greater control and choice in decisions and ensuring needs are properly met. Some of the key changes include;
- replacing old statements with a new birth- to-25 education, health and care plan.
- offering families personal budgets.
- improving co-operation between all the services that support children and their families, particularly requiring local authorities and health authorities to work together.
The revised Code of Practice:
The Code of Practice (2014) covers the 0-25 age range and includes guidance relating to disabled children and young people as well as those with SEN. The code encompasses the Children’s and Family Act and some of its aims are to ensure;
- there is a clearer focus on the participation of children, young people and Parent/Carers in decision-making at individual and strategic levels.
• there is a stronger focus on high aspirations and on improving outcomes for children and young people.
•it includes guidance on the joint planning and commissioning of agencies to ensure close co-operation between Education, Health and Social Care.
• it includes guidance on publishing a Local Offer of support for children and young people with SEN or disabilities.
• there is new guidance for education and training settings on taking a graduated approach to identifying and supporting pupils and students with SEN (to replace School Action and School Action Plus).
• for children and young people with more complex needs a co-ordinated assessment process and the new 0-25 Education, Health and Care plan (EHC plan) replace statements and Learning Difficulty Assessments (LDAs).
• there is a greater focus on support that enables those with SEN to succeed in their education and make a successful transition to adulthood.
What is the Local Offer?
The Local Offer is published as part of the SEND reforms under the Children and Families Bill.
It explains how the local authority will work with parents, local schools and colleges, as well as other services such as Health and Wellbeing Boards. This will encourage a more joined-up process when delivering services for disabled children and should make the system less stressful for families. It aims togive parents more information about the services and expertise available locally, and increasing their choice. It should also;
•give you information about education, health and care services.
• give you information about leisure activities and support groups.
•hold all the information in one place.
•be clear, comprehensive and accessible.
• make service provision more responsive to local needs and aspirations.
• be developed and reviewed with service providers and service users.
Norfolk’s Local offer can be found on the website below, under SEND changes:http://www.norfolk.gov.uk/Childrens_services/Special_educational_needs_(SEN)/index.htm
Special Educational Needs Information for Costessey Infant School
The school offer is reviewed annually.
OUR APPROACH TO TEACHING LEARNERS WITH SEN
Our School Aims are;
- to stimulate intellectual growth by encouraging enquiry and a love of learning.
- to teach children how to communicate effectively and to provide challenges and opportunities for each child’s social, intellectual, emotional and physical development.
- to provide equal opportunity for each pupil to achieve their true potential.
- to provide for pupils a sensitive and stable community in which to work so every child can have the confidence to develop both as an individual and as a responsible member of society.
- to provide a secure and ordered environment in which pupils will be encouraged to respect themselves, others and the environment.
- to prepare them to cope with the demands and rapidly changing circumstances of our modern world.
Costessey Infant School is committed to ensuring maximum inclusion of all children (including vulnerable learners) whilst meeting their individual needs. We have a high regard for pastoral support and strive to promote independent and happy learners.
How we identify Special Educational Needs
Early identification is key to ensuring children receive the appropriate help they need. We work closely with our local Pre-Schools and Junior Schools so that any need which has already been identified can be catered for through transition from infants to juniors.
Throughout a child’s time here at Costessey Infant School, a trigger for additional support may be highlighted through teacher observation and/or assessment or by the progress a child makes from one half term to the next.
Once identified appropriate action will be put in place. This often takes the following steps;
- a discussion with the Parent/Carer and child (if appropriate).
- support materials in class to assist with learning.
- intervention group/s to close the gap in the child’s learning.
- continued tracking and monitoring to identify successes and measure impact of support.
Sometimes the difficulty the child has is due to the way they like to learn (visually, auditory or kinaesthetically) and at this point adjustments are made and progress is seen without them being considered as having a Special Educational Need.
If concerns remain after additional support is put in place, a child may be considered to have Special Educational Needs.
The definition of Special Educational Needs (SEN)
A child or young person (aged 0-25) 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.
(Code of Practice 2014, 1.8)
In accordance with the new Code of Practice, children’s needs will primarily fall under one of four areas:
1. Communication and interaction
2. Cognition and learning
3. Social, mental and emotional health
4. Sensory and/or physical
In many cases, for children who have multiple or complex needs, these areas overlap. This is taken into consideration.
When a child has Special Educational Needs:
Once a child has been identified as continuing to require addition support, following in class support and intervention, a number of things may happen;
- a discussion with Parent/Carers will take place and the child is likely to be put on the Special Educational Needs register.
- the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) for the school will be informed and may carry out their own assessments and provide additional support, resources or strategies around the child.
- regular tracking and monitoring will continue to assess progress.
- Class teacher, SENCoand the Senior Leadership Team may plan together to best support the child.
Education & Health Care plans:
Education & Health Care plans are considered when it is established that a child may have a considerable need which requires ongoing additional support in order to learn and be the best that they can be. The likely process of this is as follows;
- with parental consent, the SENCo may seek help from external agencies to gain a greater insight into the child’s needs. This could include the help of; an Educational Psychologist, an Advisory Support Teacher, the School Nursing Team, a Speech and Language Therapist, an Occupational Therapist, the Community Paediatrician, the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Team (CAMHS), Parent/Carer support agencies (Family Matters) or other local NHS or support services.
- any given agency may choose to carry out further assessment or provide their own intervention to either investigate further or support the needs of the child. Often they liaise with Parent/Carers and school staff to ensure their expertise and ideas are shared, this may be in the form of a report, a phone call or a face to face meeting.
- in a meeting with Parent/Carers it may be discussed that a formal process of identification and support is needed. This would be the beginning process to apply for an Education, Health &Care plan (EHCP). At this point the Additional Needs Co-ordinator for Norfolk will be informed and a meeting will take place with Parent/Carer’s, the school and any appropriate outside Agencies to look at how the school can offer a collaborative approach to meet the child’s needs. At the meeting Parent/Carer’s and professionals may suggest that additional funds are required and an application for this could be requested.
When considering granting a child with an Education, Health Care Plan and/or funding, the Local Authority may want to consider;
- evidence that the school has responded appropriately to the requirements of the National Curriculum, especially the section entitled “Inclusion: Providing effective learning opportunities for all children.”
- evidence provided by the child’s school, Parent/Carers and other professionals where they have been involved with the child as to the nature, extent and cause of the child’s learning difficulties.
- evidence of action already taken by the child’s school to meet and overcome these difficulties.
- evidence of the rate and style of the child’s progress.
- evidence from external agencies working with the child.
WHAT WE DO TO SUPPORT LEARNERS WITH SEN
Intervention and Provision:
Children receive a broad and balanced curriculum which is already differentiated many ways to meet the needs of all learners. In some classes additional adult support is given to support those children with additional needs. In addition to this all children requiring additional support attend structured and timed interventions on a weekly basis. These may include;
- Maths intervention group
- Reading intervention group
- Writing interventions; focussing on handwriting, spelling, grammar or phonics.
- Development of fine or gross motor skills
- Support to increase memory skills
- Social and emotional support or friendship groups.
- Support to manage behaviour
- Support to develop a positive attitude to learning and independent skills.
The school works closely with the child, Parent/Carers and other professionals to provide appropriate adaptations where necessary. Some children may require additional resources such as writing slopes or pencil grips to aid them with their work. Others may require a behaviour & incentive plan to support them in situations they find difficult. At all times we work in the best interest of the child with consideration to the safety of others.
HOW WE FIND OUT IF THIS IS EFFECTIVE
All interventions are reviewed at least half termly, children may continue with an intervention or have an intervention discontinued if adequate progress has been made or it is deemed no longer suitable to meet the child’s needs. Each child who has, at present or in the past, been considered to require additional support is recorded on our working provision map document.
PREPARING FOR THE NEXT STEP
Costessey Infant School works very closely with Costessey Junior School and other local Junior schools to ensure smooth transitions take place for every child when they leave in Year 2. Transition days are put in place for all children and following discussions between the SENCos and teaching staff, additional sessions are put in place for those with additional needs, if appropriate. Norfolk Education Admission’s Services manages the placement of children going to mainstream schools.
For some of our learners with Special Educational Needs alternative provision is chosen whether that is at the end of Year 2 or earlier in their time at the Infant School. Parent/Carers, in discussion with their child may choose to attend a Specialist Resource Base (SRB) which caters for specific additional needs or a Special School, which will cater for moderate to complex needs. In both cases, Parent/Carers can state their wishes at any time during mid-year or annual reviews. The SENCo will liaise with the Additional Needs Co-ordinator and the child’s Statement or Educational Health Care Plan will be amended as appropriate. At this point the Additional Needs Co-ordinator will advise the school to apply for a place at an SRB or they will begin procedures to apply for a place at a Special School.
With any type of transition if Parent/Carers are not happy with a placement appeal processes are in place through Norfolk admissions or Norfolk’s SEN team.
OTHER OPPORTUNITIES FOR LEARNING
Throughout a child’s schooling with us a number of opportunities are given to broaden their learning and understanding including;
- inter school activities
- sports lessons with CSF trained staff
- school trips
- sports clubs
- cooking club
- visitor workshops
- instrument lessons
HAVE YOUR SAY
We welcome any comments and suggestions regarding our Special Educational Needs information. The Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) for the school is Mrs Hall who can be contacted on 01603 742856.