SEN Information Report
In compliance with section 69(2) of the Children and Families Act 2014 and Regulation 51 and schedule 1 of The Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014, the governing body must publish a report on the school’s policy for pupils with SEND. This policy should also be read in conjunction with the following policies:
Accessibility Policy, Behaviour Policy, Medical Conditions Policy, Assessment Policy, Equalities Policy, Safeguarding Policy, Homework Policy and Complaints Policy
This Information report was last updated May 2017 and will be reviewed in November 2017.
Please see the questions below for more information about the SEND policy at St Joseph’s School and how we can support your child.
What does it mean if my child has Special Educational Needs?
The Special Educational Needs Code of Practice 2014 states that 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 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.
High quality teaching that is differentiated and personalised will meet the individual needs of the majority of children and young people. Some children and young people need educational provision that is additional to or different from this. This is special educational provision under Section 21 of the Children and Families Act 2014. We will use our best endeavours to ensure that such provision is made for those who need it.
What provision is there at St Joseph's for different kinds of special educational need? What are the admission arrangements for SEND children?
At St Joseph’s, we can make provision for every kind of more frequently occurring special educational need, for instance: dyslexia; speech and language needs; autistic spectrum disorders; learning difficulties and social, emotional difficulties. There are other kinds of special educational need which do not occur as frequently and with which the school is less familiar, but we can access training and advice so that these kinds of needs can be met.
Decisions on the admission of pupils with a statement of special educational need / EHCP are made by the Governors. The admission arrangements for pupils without a statement of special educational needs / EHCP do not discriminate against or disadvantage disabled children or those with special educational needs and will follow the usual school admissions procedures.
How does the school identify and assess pupils with SEND?
Class teachers monitor the progress of children at all the times and formally at the end of every term. As well as classroom-based assessment, we also use a range of external assessments such as Year 1 phonics screening, CATs tests and speech and language assessments.
The principle of early identification and intervention underpins our approach to identifying those pupils who need extra help. If a child is not making expected progress or has difficulties in a particular area of learning, interventions are put in place in order to help the child catch up; this does not imply that the pupil has a special educational need.
At times it may be necessary to consult with outside agencies to receive more specialised expertise. The purpose of this more detailed assessment and review is to understand what additional resources and different approaches are required to enable the pupil to make better progress. In some cases, underlying needs may explain inadequate progress or challenging behaviour. Parents will be consulted prior to contacting an outside agency and the results of any assessments will be shared with parents. Where necessary, a meeting will be arranged to agree a support plan.
Pupils who require additional and different support and who would not be able to make progress without it are identified as having a special educational need, (see above definition of SEND,) and are recorded as SEND on the school provision map.
The school works closely with families of SEND children to build an understanding of the child’s needs and put in place strategies to support the child. Parents and children help write a ‘learning passport’ that outlines the child’s strengths, their goals and strategies for support. The class teacher will meet termly with parents to review provision and, where necessary, these meetings also involve the SENCO and professionals from any outside agencies that are working with the child.
We will ensure that all teachers and support staff who work with the pupil are aware of the support to be provided and the teaching approaches to be used. The school has in place a comprehensive provision map to help track the interventions in place and the impact. We use the “Assess, Plan, Do, Review” model outlined in the Code of Practice. Additional targets are set for any intervention that takes place outside quality whole-class teaching and progress towards targets will be reviewed at least termly. Baseline assessments are completed at the beginning and end of certain interventions to assess smaller steps of progress. These are recorded on intervention group target sheets along with a termly review of the pupil's progress, what worked well with the intervention and what may need to be done differently next time. These intervention group sheets are agreed and completed by the class teacher and the teaching assistant working with the group.
All staff have regular training on strategies used to support children with SEND through staff/TA meetings, Inset days and Twilight sessions led by in-house staff or by external agencies. Professional development at St Joseph's is encouraged and supported by the SLT and all new staff have an induction when starting work, where appropriate policies and guidelines are discussed.
What are the different types of support available to children with special educational needs?
Schools receive funding for all SEN pupils. This funding is used to support and enhance high quality of teaching in the school. It helps to ensure there are sufficient resources for pupils requiring special educational provision. The support offered is matched to the needs of individual pupils with SEN and evidenced based. The amount of support required for each pupil to make good progress will be different in each case. The different types of support are outlined below:
High quality teaching from the class teacher, including targeted support and differentiation for individual children, is the first step in responding to pupils who have or may have SEND.
‘Special educational provision is underpinned by high quality teaching and is compromised by anything less’ (SEN CoP, 2014)
This means that:
- The teacher has the highest possible expectations for all children in their class.
- Teaching is based on building on what each child already knows, can do and can understand.
- Specific strategies (which may be suggested by the SENCO or outside staff) are in place to meet the needs of individual children.
Specific group work with in a smaller group of children.
This work, known as intervention groups, may take place in the classroom or outside and may be led by a teacher or, most often, a teaching assistant who has had training to run these groups. This means that:
- The class teacher identifies gaps in a child’s understanding / learning and puts in place extra support to help the child make the best possible progress.
- Group sessions are organised with specific outcomes for each child to help him/her to make more progress.
- Support may be for academic purposes or to support the emotional, mental and social development of pupils. Intervention groups to support children with these needs will usually take place with Ali Keen, our Child and Family Well-being Lead.
Specialist groups or individual support to deliver a programme recommended by an outside agencies e.g. Speech and Language therapy
This type of support is available for children with specific barriers to learning that cannot be overcome through high quality teaching and intervention groups. This means that:
- The child is identified by the class teacher/ SENCO as needing more specialist input instead of or in addition to high quality teaching and intervention groups.
- Parents are asked to come to a meeting to discuss their child’s progress and help plan possible ways forward.
- With the parents’ permission, the child may be referred to a specialist professional, e.g a Speech and Language Therapist or Educational Psychologist. This will help the school and parents understand the child’s particular needs better and be able to support them more effectively in school.
- The specialist professional will work with the child to understand their needs and make recommendations, which may include:
- Making changes to the way the child is supported in class e.g. some individual support or changing some aspects of teaching to support them better
- Support to set better targets which will include their specific expertise
- A group run by school staff under the guidance of the outside professional e.g a social skills group
- The class teacher will remain responsible for working with the pupil on a daily basis.
Specified Individual support
This is usually provided via a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).This means:
- The child has been identified by the class teacher/SENCO as needing a particularly high level of individual or small group teaching, which cannot be provided from the budget available to the school. In these cases the school will request ‘top up’ funding from the Local Authority.
- The school (or parent) can request that the Local Authority carry out a statutory assessment of a child’s needs. This is a legal process which sets out the amount of support that will be provided for the child.
- After the school submits the request, the Local Authority decides whether they think the child’s needs (as described in the paperwork provided), are complex enough to need a statutory assessment. If this is the case, they will ask parents and all professionals involved with the child to write a report outlining the child’s needs. The Local Authority then decides if the child’s needs require an Education Health Care Plan.
- The EHC Plan outlines the number of hours of individual /small group support the child will receive, how the support should be used and what strategies must be put in place. It also includes long and short term goals for the child.
- This type of support is available for children whose learning needs are severe, complex and lifelong.
- The Headteacher has the final say in the use of the personal budget within the school.
How will the curriculum be adapted for a child with SEN?
Class teachers plan lessons according to the specific needs of all groups of children in their class, and will ensure that every child’s needs are met.
- Specially trained support staff can adapt the teachers’ planning to support the needs of individual children where necessary.
- Specific resources and strategies are used to meet each child’s needs
- All clubs, trips and activities are available to pupils with special educational needs. A list of after-school clubs is available from the school office and changes on a termly basis.
- There are also various school trips offered to children such as visits to museums and residential trips in years 4 and 6. For some pupils, ‘reasonable adjustments’ may need to be made and this is always done in partnership with families and carers.
- Some children may also require additional support during lunch times and breaks at the beginning and end of the school day. We provide lunch-time clubs and nurture groups that are supervised by specialist Teaching Assistants.
- If a child has particular behavioural needs, then the school's behaviour policy will be adapted and differentiated accordingly. This will help us to ensure that a child with SEN is not excluded from school.
How does the school monitor the progress of children with special educational needs?
The SEN Code of Practice (2014) describes adequate progress as:
- Is similar to that of children of the same age who had the same starting point
- Matches or improves on the pupil’s previous rate of progress
- Which allows the attainment gap to close between the pupil and others of the same age
At St Joseph’s, the following systems are in place:
- Every child’s progress is continually monitored by his /her class teacher. Progress is reviewed formally every term and focusing on the extent to which planned outcomes have been achieved.
- If a child is in Year 1 and above, but is not yet at National Curriculum levels, a more sensitive assessment tool is used which shows their level in more detail and will also show smaller but significant steps of progress. These levels are called ‘P levels’.
- Specific outcomes are set for any intervention that takes place outside quality whole-class teaching and progress towards outcomes is reviewed at least termly. Some of these interventions use a baseline assessment at the beginning and end of the intervention which will monitor small steps of progress, in conjunction with the formal termly progress reviews.
- For children identified with SEN, parents and children work with the class teacher to help write a ‘learning passport’ that outlines the child’s strengths, their goals and strategies for support.
- The class teacher will meet termly with parents to discuss progress towards targets and review provision. Where necessary, these meetings also involve the SENCO and professionals from any outside agencies that are working with the child. Any changes to provision are recorded in the child’s ‘Learning Passport.’
- The progress of children with a statement of SEN / EHC Plan is formally reviewed at an Annual Review meeting with all adults involved with the child’s education.
- The child is involved with their learning on an ongoing basis and half termly successes and challenges help pupils with SEND identify their areas of need. Children are involved with reviews of their Learning Passports and in Years 5 and 6, lead their 'Parent Learning review' meetings instead of the parents' evening appointments that are held for the rest of the school.
- If necessary, the SENCO is involved with Learning passport review meetings, which take place the same week as parent consultation evenings (see calendar).
Who are the best people to talk to about my child’s Special Education Needs?
Class teachers are responsible for:
- Monitoring the progress of every child in their class, identifying children who are a cause of concern, then planning and liaising with the SENCO to put in place additional support, (this could be things like targeted work or an intervention group).
- Organising termly meetings with parents and children to write and update a pupil passport, outlining strategies to support the child.
- Ensuring that all staff working with the child are helped to deliver the planned programme so that the child can make the best possible progress. This may involve the use of additional adults, outside specialist help and specially planned work and resources.
- Ensuring that the school’s SEND Policy is followed in their classroom and for all the pupils they teach with any SEN.
The SEN Co-ordinator (SENCO)
The SENCO at St Joseph’s is Helen Mayhew. She is responsible for:
- Coordinating all the support for children with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) and developing the school’s SEN Policy to make sure all children get a consistent, high quality response to meeting their needs in school.
- Maintaining a provision map outlining support in place for individuals and groups across the school.
- Maintaining the SEN records and liaising with class teachers in the drawing up of pupil passports, planning programmes of support and setting individual pupil targets.
- Ensuring that parents are kept informed and involved in supporting their children’s learning.
- Liaising with outside agencies who may be coming into school to help support the children’s learning e.g. Speech and Language Therapy, Educational Psychology.
- Providing specialist support for teachers and support staff in the school so they can help children with SEN achieve the best progress possible.
Helen is available on 020 8546 7178 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. She works Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Governors are responsible for making sure that the necessary support is made for any child who attends the school who has SEN. The designated governor for SEN is Michelle Adley who can be contacted via the school office.
How are teachers in the school helped to work with children with SEN and what training do they have?
All teachers and teaching assistants have regular training to support them in meeting the needs of children with special educational needs. We also offer specific training to teaching staff providing personalised support programmes for individual children. Training providers we can approach include the Educational Psychologist, Speech and language therapist, occupational therapists and Teaching and Learning Advisors.
What can I do if I am concerned about my child’s progress?
- All parents are invited to discuss the progress of their children on a termly basis and receive a written report once a year. In addition we are happy to arrange meetings outside these times.
- If a child does not make expected progress or appears to struggle with particular areas of learning, the class teacher will contact parents to discuss this and what we will be doing to help address these needs better.
- The class teacher and SENCO are regularly available to discuss any concerns. Parents should speak to the child’s class teacher or leave a message with the office to make an appointment.
- Parents will be actively supported to contribute to assessment, planning and review. We also encourage parents to share information about what is working well at home so similar strategies can be used at school.
- Parents of pupils with a statement of SEN / Education, Health and Care Plan are invited to contribute to and attend an annual review meeting which, wherever possible, will also include other agencies involved with the pupil. Information will be made accessible for parents prior to the meeting.
How do we ensure that the views of your child (and other children with SEND in the school) are used to plan for them and for SEND within our school?
There will be regular discussions between the child and their teacher about their learning, progress and feelings about school. We will always take the child’s views into account when holding review meetings. We will gather their views in a variety of ways: for example, for younger children, we might video them engaged in an activity they enjoy; for older children, we might sit with them and ask them some open ended questions about their experiences or encourage them to make their own presentation about what they enjoy.
How is the school accessible for children with SEND?
The school is housed in a two storey Victorian building. There are also two temporary classrooms that are accessible by ramps. Access to the ground floor is good and we have a disabled toilet that is wheelchair accessible in the main building. We would make any necessary changes to the building or placement of a classroom to accommodate children with mobility and physical disabilities good.
We ensure that equipment used is accessible to all children regardless of their needs and extra-curricular activities are accessible for children with SEND. For further details, please see the Accessibility Policy
Who should I contact if I want to make a complaint?
The same arrangements for the treatment of complaints at St Joseph’s are used for complaints about provision made for special educational needs and disabilities. We encourage parents to first discuss their concerns with the class teacher and SENCO to resolve the issue. If necessary, parents can then contact the Headteacher or refer the matter to the Chair of Governors. (See the Complaints Policy on the school website.
Who are the external agencies providing support to SEND children and their teachers?
The governing body have engaged the following services:-
- A Service Level Agreement with Educational Psychology service for 17 sessions per year
- Premium level membership to SPARK (the School Performance Alliance Richmond and Kingston) which includes regular SEN network meetings.
- Link to the Disabled Children’s Service for support to families for some pupils with high needs
- Access to local authority SLA with Speech and Language Therapy Services / Occupational Therapy Services / Physiotherapy Services
- School Nurse
What support is there for parents / carers of SEN children?
- The class teacher and SENCO are regularly available to discuss any concerns. Parents should speak to the child’s class teacher or leave a message with the office to make an appointment. In addition, parents are invited to termly meetings to discuss their child’s progress.
- KIDS are a national charity, founded over 47 years ago, providing a wide range of support services to disabled children, young people and their families. They support children with any disability from birth to 25 years of age. We offer our support to the whole family with the aim of giving disabled children a brighter future.
Kingston & Richmond SEND Family Voices are a volunteer led charity, formed in June 2014, in response to the opportunities offered by the SEND reforms; these are the changes in law which aim to create equal partnerships between families of children and young people with Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEND) and the professional services.
How does the school support children with SEN when they are moving to another school or moving to another class?
At St Joseph’s, we work closely other educational settings to help ensure the transfer between schools is as seamless as possible. We recognise that transitions can be difficult for a child with SEN and take steps to ensure that any transition is a smooth as possible.
If a child is moving to or from another school:
- We will contact the school SENCO and ensure he/she knows about any special arrangements or support that need to be made for the child.
- We will make sure that all records about the 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 a planning meeting will take place with the new teacher.
- A transition book will be provided for children who need extra support
- The provision map provides detailed information for teachers about interventions in place for each child.
In Year 6:
- We liaise closely with secondary schools to put in place a transition programme
- The SENCO attends the Primary Transition Day to discuss the specific needs of individual children with the SENCO of their secondary school
- Different aspects of transition are discussed in class to support the children’s understanding of the changes ahead.
- Where possible, children visit their new school on several occasions and, in some cases, staff from the new school will come to St Joseph’s to meet the children.
Where can I find information about Local Authority provision for children and young people with SEND?
Kingston Local Authority schools have a similar approach to meeting the needs of pupils with Special Educational Needs and / or Disabilities (SEND). All schools are supported by the Local Authority to be as inclusive as possible, with the needs of pupils with SEND being met in a mainstream setting wherever possible, where families want this to happen.
The LA Local Offer
Local Offer is the term that the Department for Education (DfE) have chosen to describe the collection of information about the support that local authorities must make available to help children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities and their families. The purpose of the local offer is to enable parents, carers, children and young people with SEND to see clearly, from a single and regularly updated source, the services available to local families and how to access them. The offer covers services from birth to 25, across education, health and social care. It describes state-funded, charitable and private services, and includes services outside the local area (e.g. schools) which are used by local families: https://www.afclocaloffer.org.uk/
The Local Offer is part of several key changes introduced by the Children and Families Act 2014.
The Local Offer includes information about:
- education services from pre-school to further education
- health services which are universal, targeted and specialist
- social care services including short breaks
- preparing for adulthood for young people aged 19 to 25
- training opportunities for young people
- transport arrangements including the local authority’s transport policy
- arrangements for assessing children and young people
- how to request an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan
- transferring from a Statement of SEN to an Education, Health & Care Plan
- the option of personal budgets
- making complaints, appeals and tribunals
- information, advice and guidance on funding, financial support and support available from local voluntary organisations
Parents without internet access should make an appointment with the SENCO for support to gain the information they require.