Special Educational Needs & Disability
The government’s policy with regard to SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) changed with effect from 1 September 2014.
The government definition of SEND is as follows:
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:
i. Have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age;
ii. 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.
The following documents have been designed as commonly asked questions and answers to provide information on the range of provision we deliver at St Luke’s to support children with SEN. Our provision ensures that we are a fully inclusive establishment embodying the values of our mission statement.
There is a guide for parents and carers on the Department for Education website which explains SEND more and what this means for parents and schools. The guide (first published on 15th August 2014) can be accessed here.
For more information on all that we offer children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities here at St Luke's, please refer to our full SEND Local Offer below:
St Luke's School SEND Offer
Q1: Who are the best people to talk to in school about my child's difficulties with learning?
In the first instance you should approach your child’s class teacher. Every class teacher is responsible for adapting and refining the curriculum to respond to the strengths and needs of all pupils. The class teacher will monitor the progress of your child and through assessment they will identify, plan and deliver support as required.
If you have further concerns about your child then you should arrange a meeting with the school’s SENCo (Special Educational Needs Coordinator) Mrs Laura Dawes. This meeting can be arranged either through your child’s class teacher or through the school office. The SENCo is responsible for such areas as: Co-ordinating provision for pupils with SEND, supporting teachers in the assessment of the effectiveness of that provision, liaising and meeting with outside professional agencies for advice and support in strategies for SEN generally and for specific pupils, co-ordinating training for staff to ensure that they are up to date with current legislation and strategy, co-ordinating and managing annual reviews and gathering evidence for and submitting requests for statutory assessment.
In specific circumstances a meeting can also be arranged with the Headteacher Mr Gareth Dutton. The Headteacher is responsible for all aspects of school life including the provision made for all pupils.
Q2: How will the school let me know if they have any concerns about my child’s learning, special educational needs or disability?
At St Luke’s C.E. Primary School a meeting is arranged with all parents in both the autumn and spring terms. If your child’s class teacher is concerned about their progress they will address this with you prior to this meeting. This will give you both time to consider the possibilities and then discuss them further at the parent meeting. If it is agreed that your child has SEND then a longer appointment time can be arranged and other staff members such as the SENCo or Headteacher can attend if appropriate. If your child is on the school’s Special Educational Needs or Disability register a third parent/teacher meeting will be planned for the summer term.
If a meeting or discussion is required prior to the parent/teacher meeting then this will be arranged with you either by your child’s class teacher directly, or through the school office, SENCo or Headteacher.
Q3: How will the school consider my views and those of my child with regard to her/his difficulties with learning, special educational needs or disabilities?
At St Luke’s C.E. Primary School we believe it is very important for parents to be involved in all areas of their child’s learning and we actively encourage discussions. We believe, whenever appropriate, that it is essential to understand your child’s views on any difficulties they may experience with their learning. You will be able to share your views and discuss your child’s progress at regular meetings with the class teacher.
If your child has an identified special educational need you will be invited to a termly meeting with the class teacher and SENCo to discuss current progress, support strategies being used and expected outcomes.
If your child has a Statement of special educational need or an Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP) you and your child will be able to share your views at the Annual Review meeting.
Q4: How does St. Luke’s C.E. Primary School ensure the teaching staff are appropriately trained to support my child’s special educational needs and/or disability?
At St Luke’s C.E. Primary School we believe that your child’s learning needs will first be met through the high quality teaching delivered by her/his class teacher. We regularly review the school’s continuing professional development (CPD) schedule for all teaching and support staff to ensure there is the appropriate expertise to support children with special educational needs.
Teachers attend CPD sessions regularly, as do support staff. These are closely tailored to the identified needs within the school as outlined on the annual School Improvement Plan. The school is able to access training programmes from different organisations including the Kingston and Richmond Training team.
Specific, customised individual training can also be arranged when necessary.
Q5: How will the curriculum and the school environment be matched to my child’s needs?
At St Luke’s C.E. Primary School we believe that your child’s learning needs will first be met through the high quality teaching delivered by her/his class teacher. We carefully plan our curriculum to match the age, ability and needs of all children. The class teacher will adapt lesson planning and teaching to match your child’s special educational needs and/or disability.
It may be appropriate to adopt different strategies or resources and adapt outcomes to meet your child’s learning needs. Additional specialist advice is sought when appropriate and, when necessary, accessibility aids and technology may be used to support your child’s learning.
The SEN Code of Practice states that:
All pupils should have access to a broad and balanced curriculum. The National Curriculum Inclusion Statement states that teachers should set high expectations for every pupil, whatever their prior attainment. Teachers should use appropriate assessment to set targets which are deliberately ambitious. Potential areas of difficulty should be identified and addressed at the outset. Lessons should be planned to address potential areas of difficulty and to remove barriers to pupil achievement. In many cases, such planning will mean that pupils with SEN and disabilities will be able to study the full national curriculum.
At St Luke’s this message is fully reinforced in our mission statement and therefore inherent in all aspects of school life.
Q6: What types of support may be suitable and available for my child?
This really depends upon the nature of your child’s needs and difficulties with learning. Our education provision will match the needs of the four broad areas of need as defined in the SEN Code of Practice:
• Communication and interaction
• Cognition and Learning
• Social, emotional and mental health
• Sensory and/or physical needs
At St Luke’s C.E. Primary School we have a 3 tiered approach to supporting a child’s learning:
Universal – this is the quality first teaching your child will receive from her/his class teacher and may include some very minor adaptations to match learning needs.
Targeted – it may be appropriate to consider making additional short term special educational provision to remove or reduce any obstacles to your child’s learning. This takes the form of a graduated four part approach of a) assessing your child’s needs, b) planning the most effective and appropriate intervention, c) providing this intervention and d) reviewing the impact on your child’s progress towards individual learning outcomes.
Specialist – it may be necessary to seek specialist advice and regular long-term support from a specialist professional outside the school in order to plan for the best possible learning outcomes for your child. This may include educational psychology, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy or sensory advisory teachers. In the spirit of equity the school will always prioritise referrals to these services. However, for a very small number of pupils access to these specialists may be through a Statement of SEN or an EHC Plan.
Specific targeted one to one or small group interventions may be run outside the classroom, in withdrawal groups. These will be time limited to minimise disruption to the regular curriculum. You will be kept informed of your child’s progress towards their specific learning outcomes.
Q7: Which other people provide services to children with SEND at St Luke’s?
There are a number of professional agencies who provide support to children in school. They include (but are not limited to) the following:
Educational Psychologist – St Luke’s has an Ed Psych allocated to us by the borough. The Ed Psych will come into school on a regular basis to meet with the SENCo, class teachers, parents and children. They carry out specific individual work with identified pupils as well as support all school staff and deliver training as needed.
Speech and Language Therapist – St Luke’s has a SALT allocated to us by the boroughs health services. The SALT will come into school on a regular basis to meet with the SENCo, class teachers, parents and children. They carry out specific individual work with identified pupils as well as support all school staff and deliver training as needed. There are also specific speech therapists available who specialise in particular areas of need.
Occupational Therapists – An OT will come into school to carry out assessments and give advice for specific children. This is after we have used the in-school OT Assessment tool. A referral to the OT can be made by school, your own GP or a paediatrician.
CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health service) – This service can help to support and diagnose children with conditions such as ADHD.
FASS (Family Advice and Support service) – short term support for families and schools for a specific need.
Sensory Impairment teachers – This service provides support and advice to parents and schools with children who have a visual or hearing impairment.
School nurse – Help and advice to all children with regard to general health, diet, vision, etc.
Q8: What is an Education Health and Care Plan and who can request one for one for my child?
The purpose of an EHC Plan is to make special education provision to meet the special educational needs of a child or young person, to secure improved outcomes for him/her across education, health and social care and, as he/her gets older, prepare for adulthood.
An EHC Plan will contain:
• The views and aspirations of you and your child.
• A full description of his/her special educational needs and any health and social care needs.
• Clear outcomes for your child’s progress.
• The specific provision required and how education, health and social care will work together to meet your child’s needs and support the achievement of the agreed outcomes.
• You and/or the school (usually the SENCo or Headteacher) can request that the Local Authority conduct an assessment of your child’s needs. This may lead to an EHC Plan.
Q9: How will you help me to support my child’s learning?
There may be suggested strategies or activities for you to do at home to support your child’s learning. We sometimes run parent workshops in school to help you understand the strategies used in school. In addition, we may be able to offer you individual training in specific support strategies relevant to your child.
The SENCo may also support you with strategies, resources and ideas for supporting your child’s learning at home. You may also have an opportunity to meet with other professionals involved in supporting your child.
Q10: How is support allocated to children and how do they move between the different levels of support in school?
St Luke’s C.E. Primary School receives funding from the Local Authority. These funds include an allocation of money to support the learning of children with SEN and/or disabilities.
The Headteacher, in consultation with school governors, decides the budget for SEND provision on the basis of: The needs of the children in the school, the amount of money available in any school year and the amount of money needed to run other aspects of the school’s provision.
The Headteacher and the SENCo discuss the effectiveness of the school’s current interventions and provisions and prioritise an action plan, which may include additional or alternative interventions, staff training and equipment needs.
This process is reviewed regularly to ensure the best possible intervention is provided to those children who require additional support to learn.
Q11: How will the school know that the support has made a difference to my child’s learning and how can I and my child be included in this review process?
Your child’s progress will be assessed both in terms of his/her regular learning within the class and with regard to specific intervention programmes. Children with SEND will have more frequent and detailed assessments made to inform the review process.
Reviews can be carried out in a variety of ways. They may be managed by the class teacher, with the support of the SENCo, through meetings with parents. Professional agencies working with your child may arrange review meetings to discuss their feedback. These meetings should include class teachers, the SENCo, parents and any other school staff working closely with the child. If your child has a statutory assessment during each school year they will receive an annual review, arranged by the SENCo, to which you will be formally invited along with the borough and anyone else who has worked closely with your child during the year. These review meetings will all examine the outcomes of the strategies and provisions made for your child. They will then be continued, adapted or changed as necessary and as agreed at the review meeting. Reviews for all children identified as having SEND will be held at least termly.
The impact of the support given is carefully measured to ensure that the learning outcomes have been achieved and if not, what adaptations are necessary. It may be decided that a further period of support would be beneficial for your child.
You and your child will be kept informed and encouraged to be actively involved at all stages of this process.
Q12: How does the school manage transition?
Transition phases are managed in a variety of ways at St Luke’s. When moving between classes or key stages within the school all children will be given, at the very minimum, a chance to meet their new class teacher for at least 20 minutes in the term prior to their transition. If your child has been identified as having SEND they will also be given further opportunities for interaction, if required. This may take the form of further visits to the class, the taking of messages to the new teacher, spending time in the new environment, having a photo book made of new staff and/or the environment, social stories, etc.
When children with SEND move to a new school, at the end of Key Stage 2, everyone at St Luke’s works very hard to make the transition as smooth and seamless as possible. The SENCo attends transition events to pass information and paperwork on to the new school. The child will be encouraged to attend any events hosted at the new school such as tea parties, induction sessions, familiarisation events, etc. There is also the possibility of summer holiday sessions to help the children with using their timetables, planners and general organisation of the new school day. We will also make ‘Learning Passports’ for the child that they can take to their new form teacher which will offer basic information on the child along with likes/dislikes and how to maximise learning capacity.
If your child with SEND leaves St Luke’s before the end of Key Stage 2 or joins during a key stage then every endeavour will be made to work closely with the past/new educational setting to transfer information and data.
Q13: Who can I contact if I have a complaint about the SEND provision made for my child?
Initially speak with your child’s teacher and/or the SENCo. Hopefully they will be able to address your concerns.
If you are not satisfied with their response, or still have significant concerns please contact the Head Teacher through the school office.
Q14: If I have any other questions about my child at St Luke’s Primary School, who can I ask?
At our school we are very happy to speak to you about any aspects of your child’s education. It is best to speak to one of the following in this order;
• The class teacher,
• The SENCo, or
• The Headteacher.
Q15: Where can I find information on where the Local Authority’s offer is published?
The local authority’s offer will be published on the Royal Borough Kingston website at: http://www.afclocaloffer.org.uk
Parents without internet access should contact the SENCo via the school office who will assist them in gaining the information they require.