1. What does special educational needs mean?
A child is likely to have special educational needs if they need resources which are ‘additional to or different from’ those generally available for other children of the same age. This goes beyond the normal approaches and learning arrangements provided by the teacher as part of high quality, personalised teaching.
The 2014 Code of Practice identifies four areas of special educational needs.
- Communication difficulties and finding it difficult to get on with others
- Thinking and learning difficulties (e.g. Difficulties with English and Maths skills)
- Difficulties related to social, mental and emotional health (e.g. anxiety)
- Sensory and/or physical difficulties
2. Who is responsible for ensuring SEN provision?
Teachers are responsible and accountable for the progress and development of the pupils in their class, even where pupils access support from teaching assistants or specialist staff.
The Head Teacher has overall responsibility for learning and monitoring progress of all children in the school; class teachers identify what is needed and how they will meet those needs; the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) monitors the provision, liaises with outside agencies and provides advice for both parents and teachers.
Currently the SENCO is MrsDeborah Thombs. (National SENCO Award Qualified)
3. What should I do if I think my child has special educational needs?
There are a number of different circumstances which may lead to the suggestion of special educational needs.
- You may feel there has been a problem of some kind for a while, though you may not be able to identify what that problem is.
- A difficulty may have been suggested by a health visitor, doctor or other health professional.
- Your child’s class teacher may speak to you with a concern that they have about your child’s progress, or with a specific difficulty.
It is very important that parents and the school work together, so if you have any concerns, please make an appointment to speak to your child’s class teacher, just as he/she will contact you for an appointment if he/she has any worries.
4. How will the school respond to my concern?
Following the initial conversation between you and your child’s class teacher, it may be necessary to arrange a longer meeting to discuss this further.
Next the classteacher will discuss your concerns with the SENCO and will investigate the concerns. This may include making additional assessments, observations and having discussions and sharing information with other adults who work with your child.
The investigations will be followed by a further meeting, following a period of monitoring, where an agreed plan of action will be drawn up.
5. How will the school decide if my child needs extra support?
The decision that your child needs extra support will be made by the class teacher, in consultation with the SENCO. If the identified need/barrier to learning requires significant support and resources, the decision to place a child on the school’s SEN register will be taken. This may also involve different assessments made by other professionals. This information will be shared with you at the follow-up meeting and the decision discussed.
The decision to place a child on the school’s SEN register is not taken lightly and takes into account the quality and quantity of the evidence. Your child cannot be placed on the SEN register without your permission.
6. What will the school do to support my child?
Firstly, the school will continue to provide high quality teaching which matches the needs of individual pupils. Alongside this additional support may be necessary to allow children further opportunities to practise key skills. This will take the form of additional intervention or may be as a result of a child being placed on the SEN register.
Additional intervention is a series of sessions with an adult, usually as part of a group, which addresses gaps in learning/barriers to learning with research based teaching strategies.
The frequency and length of time will vary depending upon the needs of each individual child. Programmes follow a cycle of looking at what the problem(s) is; planning what we will do to support your child; within a 12 week cycle reviewing the success of the ‘do and review’ process and deciding on what to do next.
Where a child continues to make little or no progress, despite well-founded support that is matched to the child’s area of need, the school will consider involving specialists, including those from outside agencies. Your involvement in such a process is crucial.
7. Who will support my child in school?
- Teaching Assistant
- It is the responsibility of all class teachers to plan for all children in the class including those with SEND and the first step in our graduated response to SEND will always be quality first teaching and differentiated learning opportunities within the classroom
- Intervention groups and individual support may be led by a teacher or a teaching assistant
- Please see the list below of qualifications or certificates held by staff in school relating to SEND support
The graduated approach means that children will first be supported through quality first teaching in the classroom. The SENCo may become involved to offer advice and support where children’s needs cannot be met solely through this approach.
Where children have more significant needs that require specialist support we have a two step approach:
1. The SENCO will deploy specialist screening tools including:
i. dyslexia screener
ii. dyscalculia screener
iii. specialist speech and language assessments e.g. South Tyneside Assessment of Phonology
2. External agencies may be called upon. The support of external agencies can involve specialist assessments. Other support offered by external agencies provides staff and parents with specialist advice to implement with children in school and/or at home so that staff develop the skills and expertise to support children’s individual needs in the long term.
Qualifications held by staff in school relating to SEND support
National SENCo Award
The National SENCo Award is a masters level course that is statutory for all SENCos appointed newly to the role since September 2008. Mrs Thombs holds this award.
Precision teaching involves working with a child individually for a short time (5-10 minutes) It is used to address a very specific gap in a child’s knowledge by repeating teaching over and over again; the same teaching takes place every day and progress is measured and tracked.
Elklan deliver training on supporting children with speech and language difficulties. So far one of our Teaching assistants has completed the early years training programme.
8. Who else might be involved in supporting my child?
For some children the school may request parents’ permission to involve other key professionals who work for support agencies. In our own school the main agencies/professionals we work with are:
|Educational Psychologist (EP)||Working with the school to support a variety of needs. Providing advice, ideas for teachers and consultations with parents
Conducting specific assessments/observations to help to analyse difficulties
|Lincolnshire BOSS Team (Behaviour Outreach Support Service)||Support schools in a variety of ways to enable them to more effectively support their pupils that display behaviour that challenges, with a view to delivering an inclusive approach to learning.
Conducting specific assessments/observations to help to analyse difficulties
|Specialist Teacher and Applied Psychology Service (STAPS)||Conducting specialised detailed assessments to help identify difficulties; advising teachers and parents with support; planning and delivering specific programmes of work to support learning|
|Speech and Language Therapist (SALT)||Planning programmes of work to be delivered in school to support children with speech and language|
|Physiotherapist||Planning programmes of work to be delivered in school to support children with the development of physical skills|
|School Nurse||To provide medical advice for physical and emotional difficulties|
|Counsellor||To provide social and emotion wellbeing|
|Families Working Together Team
|Specialised support and advice for pupils, parents and teachers to help identify difficulties and problem-solving strategies to help manage or overcome them.|
|Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)||This service is for those children who need further support for their behaviour and social and emotional well-being|
|Community Paediatrician||Children are referred to the school doctor if there are medical, physical, social or emotional concerns|
9. What support will be there for my child’s emotional and social well-being?
Pastoral, and social support:
Our ethos and values embrace inclusion. Emotional and social needs are met on an individual needs basis. At The Marton Academy teaching assistants are integral to social support, for instance, providing a lunchtime support club which promotes positive play and inclusion for all.
Where further advice is needed from a qualified professional, a referral may be made to a counsellor, the Families Working Together Team, Lincolnshire Re-integration Team or to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service.
For children with needs which require prescription medication to be taken in school, these needs can usually be met by arrangement with the school.
The values and ethos of The Marton Academy promotes positive behaviour. You can download our Positive Behaviour Policy
Research clearly shows that children who attend school regularly have greater chances of success both now and in the future. Attendance is monitored regularly at school. Where issues are identified regarding a child’s attendance a request for a meeting with parents is made to discuss how support can be put in place to ensure the child is attending school regularly. You can download The Forge Trust Attendance Policy 2017 -2020
10. How will my child be able to contribute their views? How will my child be involved in the process?
Yours child’s views are integral to the ‘do and review’ process. They will have opportunities to contribute their own views about their successes and barriers through discussion with the class teacher, a Teaching Assistant and the school SENCO. These views contribute to the writing of the support ‘Learning Plan’.
11. How will I know how well my child is progressing?
The school reports mid-year and at the end of the year in addition to scheduled parents’ meetings. Additionally, the school operates an open door policy and welcomes the opportunity to meet with you to discuss your child’s progress at any stage. A home-school book enables weekly dialogue. In the majority of cases the main point of contact will be the class teacher. Children who are identified as having a specific learning barrier and are then placed on the school’s SEN register, will have their progress reviewed in a ‘Learning Plan’ review meeting.
12. How does the school know how well my child is doing?
The school has a number of different ways of measuring the child’s progress depending on both their age and their stage of development:
- Teachers use formative assessment (ongoing observations of progress against key performance indicators) in order to plan and adjust children’s learning. This is integral to their teaching practice.
- Children in the Foundation Stage have their progress measured against age related expectations and Early Learning Goals laid out in the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile.
- The Key Stage 1 and 2 National Curriculum has attainment and progress benchmarks and expectations.
- Some children in Key Stage 1 and 2 may need their progress to be measured in smaller steps. Here the school uses PIVATS which is a system that breaks key performance indicators into smaller steps.
- Progress against a child’s individual targets (as outlined in their SEN Learning Plan).
13. How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?
Open communication between the school and you is the key. If your child has additional needs which require special access arrangements, the school would always want to meet with you at the planning stages of the trip in order to ensure maximum access for your child. Should an additional adult be required to support with these arrangements this can be arranged by the school.
14. How accessible is the school environment?
The Marton Academy has disabled access at the front of the school and has a disabled toilet.
15. How will the school prepare and support my child to join the school?
All children joining the school in our reception class have at least 3 visits to the school prior to starting in September. These visits will help to support the child and ensure they are familiar with routines and have had an opportunity to meet their new class teacher and to see the classroom they will be taught in. Further visits can be arranged to discuss any specific needs your child may have. Many of the children in our school join us as part of Little Gems preschool group; for children with identified additional needs our Foundation Stage Leader will endeavour to attend a review meeting during the summer term through communication with other local preschools.
For children joining our school at any other point during the school year, or in any other year group, we are happy to arrange a taster day prior to the child starting at the school should this be practical. For all children joining the school at other points, we will engage with the previous school in order to ensure as smooth a transition as possible.
16. How will the school prepare and support my child to transfer to a new setting/school/college?
During Y5 and Y6, there will be opportunities for your child to visit local secondary schools in order to make an informed choice about which school suits their needs the best. For children with Additional Needs it is good to take opportunities early in Y5 to begin this process as you may need longer to consider the choices. It is a good idea to visit schools more than once as you may think of different questions on a second visit. All schools offer open evening events for parents, which give an ideal opportunity for you to discuss your child with the SENCO.
Once your decision is made, all children have a number of opportunities to visit the receiving school prior to the end of Y6. Additionally, children who are on the SEN register can have further visits arranged focusing on areas of anxiety or on how the secondary school can support their needs. Ingham Primary has an excellent relationship with all the local secondary schools, passing on crucial information to the SENCO and Primary Liaison Teacher. It is common practice for the SENCO to be invited to the final review meeting of Y6.
17. How can I be involved in supporting my child?
Whenever Learning Plans are put in place for a child, there will be an opportunity to discuss what support you can offer and advice of how to help your child achieve their targets. If it any time you would like further guidance, please do not hesitate to pop in after school to see your child’s class teacher, or call to make an appointment.
18. How can I access support for myself and my family?
This is a group that provide support for parents whose children have special educational needs. They can provide a whole range of advice both on the phone and in the form of leaflets. Their contact details are:
Additional Needs Services
This is part of the Local Educational Authority and can provide advice about services in the county.
They can be contacted on 01522 553332.
They also have a dedicated website which provides advice and support with access to any of the services available in and around Lincolnshire.