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Special Education Needs and Disabilities

Introduction 

All South Dartmoor Academy Primary Schools aim to be inclusive, with the needs of pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities being met in a mainstream setting wherever possible.

Widecombe-in-the-Moor Primary School aims to ensure that the necessary provision is made for any pupil who has special educational needs or disabilities.

The staff, governors and directors of Widecombe-in-the-Moor Primary School will aim to ensure that all SEND pupils reach their full potential, are fully included within the school community and are able to make successful transfers between educational establishments.

What is the definition of SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities)?

Widecombe-in-the-Moor Primary School regards pupils as having a Special Educational Need if they: 

  • a) Have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of pupils of the same age, or; 
  • b) Have a disability which prevents or hinders him/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 (SEND Code of Practice 2014)

What does the Local Authority Offer children with SEND

The Children and Families Bill came into force in March 2014.  From this date, Local Authorities and schools are required to publish and keep under review information about services they expect to be available for the 0-25’s.  This is called the “Local Offer”.

Devon County Council has taken a multi-agency approach in supporting young people with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND).  This means new ways of working were schools, care workers and the National Health Service work together to provide for a SEND child.

The link below will take you to the Local Authority’s Local Offer.

Devon County Council Local Offer

What does Widecombe-in-the-Moor Primary School offer a child with SEND?

  • Children are identified early in their schooling and offered the appropriate support according to their needs.
  • Widecombe-in-the-Moor Primary School offer targeted intervention work and support in the classroom for children with learning difficulties or for pupils that are not making required progress.
  • We have very skilled Teaching Assistants, who will work with children under the supervision of the Class teacher, Head of School and SENCO
  • We work closely with outside agencies to ensure that pupils with learning needs in our school receive high quality support.
  • Children with learning difficulties are closely monitored through the school.

Does my child have a special educational need?

Under the SEND Code of Practice 2014 pupils identified as having a special educational need (SEN) will be considered within one or more of the following categories of need: 

Communication and interaction

Children with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) have difficulty in communicating with others. This may be because they have difficulty saying what they want to, understanding what is being said to them or they do not understand or use social rules of communication. The profile for every child with SLCN is different and their needs may change over time. They may have difficulty with one, some or all of the different aspects of speech, language or social communication at different times of their lives.

Children with ASD, including Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism, are likely to have particular difficulties with social interaction. They may also experience difficulties with language, communication and imagination, which can impact on how they relate to others.

Cognition and learning

Support for learning difficulties may be required when children learn at a slower pace than their peers, even with appropriate differentiation. Learning difficulties cover a wide range of needs, including moderate learning difficulties (MLD), severe learning difficulties (SLD), where children are likely to need support in all areas of the curriculum and associated difficulties with mobility and communication, through to profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD), where children are likely to have severe and complex learning difficulties as well as a physical disability or sensory impairment.

Specific learning difficulties (SpLD), affect one or more specific aspects of learning. This encompasses a range of conditions such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia.

Social, emotional and mental health difficulties

Children may experience a wide range of social and emotional difficulties which manifest themselves in many ways. These may include becoming withdrawn or isolated, as well as displaying challenging, disruptive or disturbing behaviour. Other children may have disorders such as attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder or attachment disorder.

Sensory and/or physical needs

Some children special educational provision because they have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of the educational facilities generally provided. These difficulties can be age related and may fluctuate over time. Many children and young people with vision impairment (VI), hearing impairment (HI) or a multi-sensory impairment (MSI) will require specialist support and/or equipment to access their learning, or rehabilitation support. Children and young people with an MSI have a combination of vision and hearing difficulties.

Some children with a physical disability (PD) require additional ongoing support and equipment to access all the opportunities available to their peers.

What should I do if I think my child has special educational needs?

Please talk to us. The first point of call is to talk to your child’s classteacher as they will have been regularly assessing your child and monitoring their progress. The classteacher may decide to direct you to their Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo)Anna Perry for an appointment. 

At that appointment the school will:

  • Gather views and aspirations of your child
  • Listen to any concerns you may have
  • Plan any additional support your child may need.
  • Discuss any referrals to outside professionals to support your child.
  • Consider starting a DAF2a My Plan.

We can most successfully support children with SEND when parents and schools work in close partnership together.

How does Widecombe-in-the-Moor​ Primary School know if my child needs extra help?

Our high quality teaching is differentiated to ensure that all needs of children are met within the class. Our teachers and school leaders regularly assess and monitor the children’s learning to gain essential information on abilities, progress and achievements. Where a child is not making progress and requires provision that is additional of different from that of their peers, support and intervention will be put in place.

What support can Widecombe-in-the-Moor Primary school offer to children with SEND?

The classteacher initially differentiates the learning for all children and they have high expectations for children with SEND.

Where necessary, more specific support related to the individual child’s need will be provided either within the class environment or in small group/1-2-1.

The classroom and resources may be adapted to meet a child’s needs. For example a sound system may be use for a hearing impaired child. All children with SEND are included in school trips and adaptation will be made when necessary to ensure their participation and safety.

The child’s progress will be carefully monitored and any gaps in their learning will be identified and bridged accordingly using the “assess, plan, do, review” approach.

In some cases the school may seek the advice of specialist services and expertise (outside agencies).

What may happen when an outside agency is involved?    

The outside agencies are called on when the school has identified a need for specialist support.  They are identified by the SENCo in conjunction with the class teacher.

Parents are likely to be asked to give permission to the school so they can refer their child to the relevant outside agency.  This helps the school to understand the child’s particular need in more detail and the best way in which to support him/her effectively within the school.

The specialist agency worker will come into school and work with the child to understand their needs and make recommendations on ways to support the child further in their education.

What specialist services and expertise may be available at Widecombe-in-the-Moor Primary School?   

Outside agencies are called on when the school has identified a need for specialist support.  They are identified by the SENCo in conjunction with the class teacher.  

Children at our school may be involved with one or more of the following agencies:

  • Educational Psychology Service
  • Speech and Language Therapy Service
  • Occupational Therapy Services
  • Hearing impairment support team
  • Visual impairment support team
  • Physio therapy service
  • Behaviour support
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
  • School Nurse
  • Children centres
  • Family Support Workers
  • Integrated children’s services
  • Youth offending team
  • Specialist outreach teachers

Specified Individual Support

This support is available for children whose learning needs are severe, complex and lifelong.

In Devon the process is known as the Devon Assessment Framework (DAF).  DAF’s have been developed to provide a coordinated system, which covers children and young people aged 0 to 25 years. This has been developed as a comprehensive system that includes support across education, health and social care.  The whole process includes:

DAF 1: Family Information and Assessment
DAF 2a: My Plan (through a Team Around the Child or Team Around Me meeting)
DAF 2b: Education, Health & Care Plan (EHCP)
DAF 3: Request for Additional Resources (not dependent on an ECHP)
DAF 4: Transition Assessment (post 16) This is replacing the old system of Statements. 

If a child already has a statement this will continue to be supported. A phased programme for converting statements to education, health and care plans started in November 2014.

More in depth information on how this works can be found using the link below.

How does the school measure your SEND child’s progress? 

Your child will be continually monitored by the class teacher and their progress will be reviewed by the Head of School and SENCo every half term.

The progress is monitored on a specific assessment programme which shows their attainment in more detail.

At Year 2 and 6 all children are required to be assessed using the Standard Assessment Tests (SATs).  This is a government requirement and results are published nationally. 
Where a child has a My Plan (DAF 2a) the desired outcome are set termly and updated the following term so parents can see whether they have met these.

Where children have a statement or EHC then annual reviews take place with all adults involved with the child’s education.

How is a child with SEND funded for support? 

The school receives from Devon County Council in its budget a sum of money to support children with SEND.

The Head of School and School Governors decide how to deploy this resource to meet the SEND childrens’ needs.

The Head of School and SENCo co-ordinate and discuss all the information they have on SEND within the school, this includes what support is already in place, which children need additional support and which children are not making as much progress as expected.  From this the school allocates resources to best meet the needs of individual children.

What training or specialist expertise do the staff have in SEND?

School staff have been trained to provide a variety of specialist support. Where a training need is identified and the expertise not present, the school is committed to ensuring that training gap is promptly addressed.

Accessibility to the school 

As a School we recognise:  

  • our duty under the Disability Discrimination Act (‘95) as amended by the SENDA (2001)

from September 2002, it will be unlawful for schools and LEAs to discriminate against disabled pupils in their admissions and exclusions, education and associated services

Schools and LEAs must: 

  • not treat disabled pupils less favourably; and
  • take reasonable steps to avoid putting disabled pupils at a substantial disadvantage (the ‘reasonable adjustment’ duty)  
  • that Local Education Authority and school governors have the duty to publish Accessibility Strategies and Plan

The school currently has:
All classrooms are on the ground level

The school will always be open to discuss any special requirements a disabled child may need when coming to our school.

The school will work with parents/carers, and specialist support workers to make arrangements to accommodate any child with a disability.

Transition from another school 

Our school understands the need for good transition practice and this is especially important for a SEND child.

The school will ensure that:

  • Our SENCo has had contact with the SENCo from the previous school, to gain a good understanding of the SEND child’s requirements/needs.
  • We will provide taster sessions so she/he can visit the school and stay for a few hours to get use to the new school environment.
  • We will obtain the child’s records from the previous school to help understand needs.

In Year 6:       

  • Our SENCo and classteacher will discuss the specific needs of the SEND child with the SENCo from the secondary school.  In most cases a meeting will take place between both SENCos to discuss the SEND children.
  • Additional transition will be arranged, with our TA’s helping in the process to keep familiarity in the transition period.

Emotional and Social Needs of a Child 

Our school understands that some children have extra emotional and social needs that need developing and supporting.  Some children struggle with behaviour difficulties, are anxious or can’t communicate.

The school provides structured PSHE lessons within the class environment.  However sometimes some children find this difficult so therefore we provide:-

Small group work and/or individual THRIVE sessions to help these children with their emotional and social development.

There will also be scheduled meetings with parents/carers to closely monitor their child’s development. 

If a child is still requiring additional support, the SENCo will contact the parents/carers, to seek permission to get further help from outside agencies.

Making a complaint

In the first instance parents of pupils with SEND wishing to complain about the SEND provision should follow the Academy Complaints Procedure. If your complaint cannot be resolved with regards to SEND provision, the Local Authority should make arrangements that include the appointment of independent persons with a view to avoiding or resolving disagreements between the parents/carer and the school. This includes access to mediation before tribunal. Parents/carers have a right to appeal to a SEND tribunal at any stage.