OUR LADY’S CATHOLIC PRIMARY SCHOOL
Special Educational Needs and Disability Policy
Our Lady's School is founded on faith in Jesus Christ and the life of the school community is centred on His presence.
This policy is written in line with the requirements of the following documents.
· Children and Families Act 2014
· SEN Code of Practice 2014
o SI 2014 1530 Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014
· Equality Act 2010
· Schools Admissions Code, DfE 1 Feb 2012
· SI 2012 1124 The School Information (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2012
· SI 2013 758 The School Information (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013
This policy should be read in conjunction with the following school policies -
Pupil Behaviour and Self-Discipline Policy, Safeguarding Policy and Complaints Policy.
This policy was developed in consultation with staff and governors and will be reviewed annually.
Definition of Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)
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:
· have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age;
· have a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions. SEN Code of Practice (2014, p 4)
Definition of Disability
Many children and young people who have SEN may also have a disability under the Equality Act 2010 – that is’…a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term and substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities’. This definition provides a relatively low threshold and includes more children than many realise: ‘long-term’ is defined as ‘a year or more’ and ‘substantial’ is defined as ‘more than minor or trivial’ SEN Code of Practice (2014, p5)
Section 1 - Special educational needs for which provision is made at the school
At Our Lady's School we can make provision for every kind of frequently occurring special educational need without an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), for instance dyslexia, dyspraxia, speech and language needs, mild autism, Asperger’s syndrome, learning difficulties and behaviour 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.
The school also currently meets the requirements of pupils with an EHCP with the following kinds of special educational need: physical needs. Decisions on the admission of pupils with an EHCP are made by the Local Authority.
The admission arrangements for pupils without an EHCP do not discriminate against or disadvantage disabled children or those with special educational needs.
Section 2 - Policy for identification and assessment of pupils with SEND
At Our Lady's we monitor the attainment and progress of all pupils four times a year to review their academic progress. We also use a range of assessments with all the pupils at various points e.g. speech link and language link on entry to Reception class; Sounds Write phonics assessment at the end of Year 2; Year 1 phonics screening, spelling age assessment, reading age assessment for decoding skills in September and February for Years 2 - 6; Verbal and Non-verbal testing in June of Years 3 and 5 – as well as on-going teacher assessment throughout the year.
Where progress is not sufficient, even if a special educational need has not been identified, we put in place additional support to enable the pupil to narrow the gap. Examples of additional support are 1st Class with Number; Better Reading Partnership; Lexia, RM Easimaths, Numicon, Reading Inference and Stareway to Spelling.
Some pupils may continue to make inadequate progress, despite high-quality teaching targeted at their areas of weakness. For these pupils, and in consultation with parents, we will use a range assessment tools to determine the cause of the learning difficulty. At Our Lady's we are experienced in using the following assessment tools Dyslexia and Dyscalculia screener and Cognition and Learning assessment; and we have access to external advisors and Specialist Teachers through Local Inclusion Forum (LIFT) meetings.
The purpose of this more detailed assessment is to understand what additional resources and different approaches are required to enable the pupil to make better progress. These will be shared with parents, put into a SEND support plan and reviewed regularly, and refined or revised if necessary. At this point we will have identified that the pupil has a special educational need because the school is making special educational provision for the pupil which is additional and different to what is normally available.
If the pupil is able to make good progress using this additional and different resource (but would not be able to maintain this good progress without it) we will continue to identify the pupil as having a special educational need. If the pupil is able to maintain good progress without the additional and different resources he or she will not be identified with special educational needs. When any change in identification of SEND is changed parents will be notified.
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.
Section 3 - Making provision for pupils with SEND whether or not they have EHC Plans
The school evaluates the effectiveness of its provision for pupils by reviewing the SEND support plan, as detailed in the class provision map. This will be informed by the views of the pupil, parents and class teachers and the assessment information from teachers which will show whether adequate progress is being made.
The SEN Code of Practice (2014, 6.17) describes inadequate progress thus:
· is significantly slower than that of their peers starting from the same baseline;
· fails to match or better the child’s previous rate of progress;
· fails to close the attainment gap between rate of progress;
· widens the attainment gap.
For pupils with or without an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) there will be an annual review of the provision made for the child, which will enable an evaluation of the effectiveness of the special provision. The collation of all annual review evaluations of effectiveness will be reported to the governing body.
Arrangements for assessing and reviewing the progress of pupils with SEND
Every pupil in the school has their progress tracked four times per year. In addition to this, pupils with special educational needs may have more frequent assessments of reading age, spelling age etc. The assessments we use at Our Lady's are listed in section 2. Using these it will be possible to see if pupils are increasing their level of skills in key areas.
If these assessments do not show adequate progress is being made the SEN support plan will be reviewed and adjusted.
Approach to teaching pupils with special educational needs
High quality teaching, differentiated for individual pupils, is the first step in responding to pupils who have or may have SEND. Additional intervention and support cannot compensate for a lack of good quality teaching. Schools should regularly and carefully review the quality of teaching for all pupils, including those at risk of underachievement. This includes reviewing and, where necessary, improving, teachers’ understanding of strategies to identify and support vulnerable pupils and their knowledge of the SEND most frequently encountered SEN Code of Practice (2014, 6.37)
In Our Lady's the quality of teaching is judged to be at least good with the majority of lessons being outstanding.
We follow the Mainstream Core Standards advice developed by Kent County Council to ensure that our teaching conforms to best practice. [http://www.kelsi.org.uk/pupil_support_and_wellbeing/targeted_support/inclusion/inclusion_and_achievement/publications_and_documents.aspx]
In meeting the Mainstream Core Standards the school employs some additional teaching approaches, as advised by internal and external assessments e.g. one to one tutoring, precision teaching, mentoring, small group teaching, use of ICT software learning packages. These are delivered by additional staff employed through the funding provided to the school as ‘notional SEN funding’
Adapting the curriculum and learning environment for pupils with SEND
At Our Lady's we follow the advice in the Mainstream Core Standards on how to adapt the curriculum and the learning environment for pupils with special educational needs. We also incorporate the advice provided as a result of assessments, both internal and external, and the strategies described in Education, Health and Care Plans.
As part of our requirement to keep the appropriateness of our curriculum and learning environment under review the Governors have made the following improvements as part of the school’s accessibility planning the school has developed an easy access garden and quiet play area, purchased an evac-chair as well as providing a range of adapted classroom equipment (keyboard and mouse; coloured overlays; pencil grips; writing and seating slopes).
Additional support for learning that is available to pupils with SEND
As part of our budget we receive ‘notional SEN funding’. This funding is used to ensure that the quality of teaching is at least good in the school and that there are sufficient resources to deploy additional and different teaching for pupils requiring SEN support. The amount of support required for each pupil to make good progress will be different in each case and a full list of the interventions we offered is on detailed on class provision maps. In very few cases a very high level of resource is required. The funding arrangements require schools to provide up to £6000 per year of resource for pupils with high needs, and above that amount the Local Authority should provide top up to the school.
Enabling pupils with SEND to engage in activities of the school (including physical activities) together with children who do not have SEND
All clubs, trips and activities offered to pupils at Our Lady's are available to pupils with SEND either with or without an EHCP. Where it is necessary, the school will use the resources available to it to provide additional adult support to enable the safe participation of the pupil in the activity
Improving the emotional and social development of pupils with SEND
At Our Lady's we understand that an important feature of the school is to enable all pupils to develop emotional resilience and social skills, both through direct teaching and indirectly with every conversation adults have with pupils throughout the day.
For some pupils with the most need for help in this area we also can provide access to a play therapist, mentor time with member of senior leadership team, external referral to CAMHS and a time-out space for pupil to use when upset or agitated.
Pupils in the early stages of emotional and social development because of their special educational needs will be supported to enable them to develop and mature appropriately. This will usually require additional and different resources, beyond that required by pupils who do not need this support.
Section 4 - Contact details of the Inclusion Manager
The Inclusion Manager at Our Lady's School is Mrs Julia Foster, who is a qualified teacher and has been accredited by the National Award for SEN Co-ordination and has also completed training for Designated Safeguarding Lead, Grief & Loss in school and Language for Learning. She attends Local Inclusion Forum Team (LIFT) meetings; SENCO forum; Additional Educational Needs (AEN); English as an Additional Language (EAL) and Gifted and Talented (G&T) meetings in the Dartford district.
Mrs Foster is available on 01322 222759 or Head Teacher@our-ladys.kent.sch.uk or a meeting can be arranged via the school office.
Section 5 - Expertise and training of staff in relation to children and young people with special educational needs and how specialist expertise will be secured
All teachers and Learning Support Assistants have all received dyslexia and child protection training.
In addition some staff members have received the following enhanced and specialist training.
· Promoting positive behaviours
· Talking partners
· Language for learning
· 1st class at number
· Stareway to spelling
· Inference in reading
· Supporting pupils with emotional and behavioural difficulties
· Better reading.
Where a training need is identified beyond this we will find a provider who is able to deliver it. Training providers we can approach are Specialist Teaching and Learning Services (STLS); school nurse; Educational Psychologist and Speech and language therapist. The cost of training is covered by the notional SEN funding.
Section 6 - How equipment and facilities to support children and young people with SEND will be secured
Where external advisors recommend the use of equipment or facilities which the school does not have, we will purchase it using the notional SEN funding, or seek it by loan. For highly specialist communication equipment the school will seek the advice of the KCC Communication and Assistive Technology team.
Section 7 - Arrangements for consulting parents of children with SEND about, and involving them in, their education
All parents of pupils at Our Lady's are invited to discuss the progress of their children on 2 occasions a year and receive a written report once a year. In addition, we are happy to arrange meetings outside these times. As part of our normal teaching arrangements, all pupils will access some additional teaching to help them catch-up if the progress monitoring indicates that this is necessary; this will not imply that the pupil has a special educational need. All such provision will be recorded, tracked and evaluated on a class provision map which will be shared with parents three times per year.
If following this, normal provision improvements in progress are not seen, we will contact parents to discuss the use of internal or external assessments which will help us to address these needs better. From this point onwards the pupil will be identified as having special educational needs because special educational provision is being made and the parent will be invited to all planning and reviews of this provision. Parents will be actively supported to contribute to assessment, planning and review.
In addition to this, parents of pupils with an Education, Health and Care Plan will be invited to contribute to and attend an annual review, which, wherever possible will also include other agencies involved with the pupil. Information will be made accessible for parents.
Section 8 - Arrangements for consulting young people with SEND about, and involving them in, their education
When a pupil has been identified to have special educational needs because special educational provision is being made for them, the pupil will be consulted about and involved in the arrangements made for them as part of person-centred planning. Parents are likely to play a more significant role in the childhood years with the young person taking more responsibility and acting with greater independence in later years.
Section 9 - Arrangements made by the governing body relating to the treatment of complaints from parents of pupils with SEND concerning the provision made at the school
The normal arrangements for the treatment of complaints at Our Lady's are used for complaints about provision made for special educational needs. We encourage parents to discuss their concerns with the class teacher initially or Mrs Foster (Inclusion Manager) or Miss Quinn (Head Teacher) to resolve the issue before making the complaint formal to the Chair of the governing body.
If the complaint is not resolved after it has been considered by the governing body, then a disagreement resolution service or mediation service can be contracted. If it remains unresolved after this, the complainant can appeal to the First–tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability), if the case refers to disability discrimination, or to the Secretary of State for all other cases.
There are some circumstances, usually for children who have an EHCP where there is a statutory right for parents to appeal against a decision of the Local Authority. Complaints which fall within this category cannot be investigated by the school.
Section 10 - How the governing body involves other bodies, including health and social services bodies, local authority support services and voluntary organisations, in meeting the needs of pupils with SEND and in supporting the families of such pupils
The governing body have engaged with the following bodies.
· Membership of LIFT for access to specialist teaching and learning service.
· Link to Disabled Children’s Service for support to families for some pupils with high needs.
· Access to local authority’s service level agreement with Speech and Language Therapy Services; Occupational Therapy Services or Physiotherapy Services for pupils with requirement for direct therapy or advice.
· Ability to make ad hoc requests for advice from Communication and Assistive Technology Team, etc.
· Membership of professional networks for the SENCO e.g. SENCO forum, NASEN.
Section 11 - Contact details of support services for the parents of pupils with SEND, including those for arrangements made in accordance with clause 32
Information, Advice and Support Kent (IASK) provides free, impartial, confidential, advice, support and options around educational issues for parents who have children with special educational needs or disabilities (0-19). They empower parents to play an active and informed role in their child’s education. They can be contacted on:
HELPLINE: 03000 41 3000
Office: 03000 412 412 and
Minicom: 0300 413 030
Section 12 - Arrangements for supporting pupils with SEND in transferring between phases of education or in preparing for adulthood and independent living
At Our Lady's we work closely with the educational settings used by the pupils before they transfer to us in order to seek the information that will make the transfer as seamless as possible. The Year 6 class teacher and Inclusion Manager meet with staff from the local secondary schools to inform them of specific needs prior to secondary transfer. We also contribute information to a pupils’ onward destination by providing information to the next setting by forwarding SIMS data and pupil files.
Section 13 - The local authority’s local offer
The local authority’s local offer is published on http://www.kelsi.org.uk/pupil_support_and_wellbeing/targeted_support/sen_and_disabilities/local_offer.aspx and parents without internet access should make an appointment with the Inclusion Manager for support to gain the information they require.
Monitoring & review, policy into practice
This Policy will be reviewed annually.