The Children and Families Act was passed in March 2014 and makes reforms to services provided for children and young people, particularly those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The act must be implemented from September 2014 and this affects how schools work to support these children. There is also a new Code of Practice that all schools and local authorities use to support children with SEND.
The main changes that will affect schools are outlined below:
A new streamlined process for statutory assessment and care planning reduced to 20 weeks
The introduction of Education, Health and Care Plans (EHC Plans) to replace Statements of SEN
Personalisation of services including the option of personal budgets
Better information available to parents / carers accessed through the Leeds ‘Local Offer’ which provides information about all the services available for children with SEND aged 0 – 25 years in one place. This information is available at www.leeds.gov.uk/localoffer
Gildersome Primary school is an inclusive school and we support all children to make good progress, achieve well and enjoy school. We have high expectations of all pupils but recognise that children are individuals. We aim to meet their needs and interests through a broad and balanced curriculum delivered by high quality teaching. Many children need additional provision at some point and are considered to have SEND where ’their learning difficulty or disability calls for special educational provision different from or additional to that normally available to pupils of the same age’ as defined by the SEN Code of Practice 2014.
Please read the following information which explains how we support pupils with SEND.
What do I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?
The first thing to do is talk to the class teacher or the SENCo (Special Educational Needs Coordinator) Mrs Park, about your concerns and by working together we can decide on the best course of action for your child. You can do this by telephoning or calling in to school to arrange a meeting.
How will school support my child’s learning?
Class teachers are responsible for planning work to meet the needs of the pupils in their class. Some children require additional support at times and this may be provided by differentiating work, providing additional support from a teacher or teaching assistant or by resources within the class to help children with their learning. Children’s progress is continually tracked by class teachers to determine their next steps and monitored by the SLT in termly pupil progress meetings. Intervention programmes are evaluated to measure their impact.
Some children need specialised additional support from outside agencies such as Speech, Language and Communication Therapy Service, Educational Psychologists or Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS). Any decision about referring to these agencies is done after discussions between Parent /Carers and the SENCo. These agencies may make further assessments of a child’s needs and suggest a programme of support for school and home.
How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
Teaching is based on building on what your child already knows, can do and understands. Teachers have high expectations for all pupils and plan learning to cater for the needs of all children in their class. Children may be grouped in various ways for different lessons, work will be differentiated to appropriate levels and children at all levels of ability will be supported in their learning by teachers and teaching assistants. Some children will have access to resources to help them progress such as maths apparatus, word banks, pencil grips or software programmes.
How accessible is the school?
The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 places a duty on all public sector authorities to promote disability equality. When the school was extended in 2012, all current DDA legislation was met and ensured that the design, and our building and its approach met the needs of disabled people. Our school building and grounds are accessible to children and adults with physical disabilities via ramps and automatic doors. We have accessible toilets and a hygiene suite with a hoist for children with specific needs. Where there is a need, staff are trained to support children with disabilities to ensure that they have equal access to the curriculum and to school life.
How will I know how well my child is doing and how will you help me support my child’s learning?
You are invited to meet with your child’s teacher twice a year at consultation evenings and receive a written report on your child’s progress each year. You can arrange additional meetings with teachers, the Head Teacher or Special Needs Coordinator if you have any concerns.
Parent / carers of children with SEND will usually have more frequent meetings, sometimes with outside support agencies, to discuss and review the Individual Education Plan (IEP) and any other matters. Children with a Statement of Special Educational Needs or Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan) will also have a formal Annual Review to discuss their needs.
What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being and social, emotional and behavioural development?
We have a caring and supportive ethos and the school offers a range of support for children who are encountering emotional difficulties. The class teacher, Head Teacher, Special Needs Coordinator and Learning Mentor / Family Support Worker (Mr Wright) are all available to support children with their difficulties and by working together with parents / carers we can decide on the best approach. Some children benefit from a focussed discussion and target setting to address their difficulties, others attend small group or individual sessions with our Learning Mentor and some children and families may need more specialised support involving outside agencies.
Pupils with medical needs are supported by close liaison with parent / carers and medical personnel and school staff receive any training required. All staff are informed where necessary of specific medical needs.
We have designated Child Protection staff and trained CAF leaders.
What specialist services and expertise are available or accessed by the school?
Schools have access to a variety of agencies who have specialised staff and expertise to support children with difficulties in school. Listed below are some of the services available to us:
What training have the staff supporting children with SEND had or are having?
The SENCo is a qualified teacher with additional training in areas of SEND.
Our school staff have received training relating to SEND. These have included sessions about: Autistic Spectrum Condition, Dyslexia, Social and Emotional Support, Speech, Language and Communication, Writing Individual Education Plans and Team Teach and Restorative Practice.
Some of our staff have had specific training to enable them to effectively deliver intervention programmes to support groups of children or individuals.
Training is ongoing and there are plans for more professional development throughout the year.
How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?
Activities and school trips are available to all pupils as part of our inclusive ethos. Risk assessments are carried out and submitted to the LA and procedures are put in place to enable all children to participate. Parent / carers can contact school with any concerns they may have and they will be consulted regarding any special provision that may be necessary.
How will the school help my child transfer to the next phase of education?
We recognise that ‘moving on’ can be difficult for some children and have a various activities in place to ease the transition when moving class or to another school or setting.
Meetings take place between teachers to enable them to share information about the children in the class and targets for IEPs are discussed. The children spend some time before the end of the year with their new teacher in their new class room when they can also meet the support staff who will be working with them. Teachers will spend time talking to their classes about the changes as part of the PSHE / SEAL work and address any concerns and worries children may have. For the children who are moving on to High School there are visits to the new setting and staff come to school to meet the children and work with them. Discussions and projects take place to alleviate some of the concerns children may have.
For some children more support with transition is needed and this will be discussed with you. Extra visits can be arranged and for children who need help understanding the changes a personalised transition booklet may be made.
How are school’s resources and funding allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?
Every school is allocated a budget for SEND provision. It is the responsibility of the head teacher along with the SLT and Governors to make decisions about how this is spent. The needs of all SEND pupils will be considered and discussions take place to determine the best way to support them. The money is used to provide support and resources for pupils with SEND according to their needs. It may help to pay for staff who provide interventions or class support or go towards paying for equipment to enable children to access learning.
When a child has complex needs which require support that is additional to that normally provided through the school SEND budget, an application for ‘Top-Up’ funding can be submitted to the Complex Needs Support Team.
How will I be involved in decisions about supporting my child?
We acknowledge that parents know their child better than anyone and understand the importance of working together to achieve the best outcomes for our pupils. Regular meetings are held throughout the year to discuss decisions about supporting children with SEND. Children, where appropriate, are part of this process. These could be discussions between home and school or may involve people from other agencies involved in supporting your child.
How are parent / carers involved in the school?
We hold events for parents / carers throughout the year such as regular newsletters, welcome meetings, consultation evenings, class assemblies and information events. Parents and carers and welcome to help in school – for example, with Friday Activities, ‘Stay and Play’ sessions, reading sessions and to provide general support to the children and the Class Teachers. We often welcome additional help with trips and visits. We also have and social events organised by the Parent and Teacher Association who are always grateful of more support and volunteers who work in school.
Who can I contact for further information?
We are always willing to discuss any concerns you may have about your child’s educational needs and ask you to contact school if you would like to arrange a meeting with any of our staff.
Our SENCO is: Mrs E Park
Tel: 0113 2012450