What do I do if I think my child has special educational needs?
- Firstly, speak to your child’s class teacher. If your child’s class teacher also has concerns about your child’s progress and/or attainment, s/he will discuss the concerns with the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator.
- If you continue to be concerned, contact school and ask to speak to the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator (SENDCo), Mrs Hazel Acton.
What are Special Educational Needs?
- If a pupil does not make adequate progress even when teaching approaches are targeted at a pupil’s identified area of weakness, then the pupil may be identified as having special educational needs. Therefore, your child might be considered to have a Special Educational Need if s/he has a learning difficulty which calls for special educational provision to be made for them.
- Pupils with a disability have special educational needs if they have any difficulty in accessing education and if they need any special educational provision to be made for them, that is additional to or different from what is normally available in schools in the area.
My child has been identified as having special educational needs by the preschool or previous school.
- Contact us directly and ask to speak to Mrs Hazel Acton, Miss Lou Nicholls (Head of School) or Mrs Tess Coulthard (Executive Head). We can find out about your child’s needs before s/he starts school.
- We will contact the previous school or preschool to obtain an ILP and any reports from external agencies such as the Educational Psychologist or paediatrician.
What will happen if my child is identified as having special educational needs?
- We will explain to you what different or extra provision we are providing for your child.
- We may write an ILP which will specify the most important next-steps learning targets for your child and how we intend to help your child to achieve them. We will invite you to review this plan with us about once a term.
- We may write an individual support plan, which will highlight the challenges that your child faces and positive strategies that can be used to support your child. This will be reviewed on an annual basis, or if needs change.
- We will put your child’s name and details on our register of children with Special Educational Needs, this register enables us to keep track of all the children with additional needs and what is being provided for them. Devon County Council and the DfE can access this register so that they can monitor how many children in the school have additional needs.
- If required, with your agreement we will seek further support from external agencies such as the Speech and Language Therapist, the Communication and Interaction Team, the Educational Psychologist or Advisory Teachers for hearing impairment, visual impairment, or physical difficulties.
What if my child’s special educational needs are quite severe?
- If, following rigorous assessments, a child’s needs are considered to be severe, lifelong and complex and their barriers to learning cannot be overcome through class teaching and extra support, we may need to apply to the Local Authority for specified individual support.
- In order to obtain this additional support the Local Authority needs to be asked to carry out a statutory assessment of your child’s needs. Following the request, a panel of professionals will review all the paperwork and decide whether your child’s needs seem complex enough to require a statutory assessment. If they consider that statutory assessment is appropriate, they will ask you and all the professionals involved with your child to write a report outlining your child’s needs. On receipt of these reports, the panel will decide if your child’s needs are severe, complex and life-long. If they agree that your child’s needs meet the criteria they will write an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP), which will be reviewed annually. This will state the long targets for your child and what strategies should be put in place to help him/her to achieve these.
- If the panel decides that your child’s needs are not severe enough to require an Education Health and Care Plan they will ask the school to continue to support the child and ensure that an Individual Education Plan (ILP) is in place to ensure your child makes as much progress as possible.
- You can find out about the Local Authority’s offer for children and young people with SEN and their families on the Devon County Council website: by clicking here or telephone 01392 380000.
My child has a physical disability, how accessible is the school?
- All classrooms are accessible for a wheelchair.
- There is a disabled toilet in the main building
- All around the outside of the building is accessible for a wheelchair.
- All playgrounds are accessible, and the school playing field has level access. (See our accessibility policy for further details)
What training or expertise does your staff have to support children with SEN?
- All class teachers are qualified (QTS) to teach primary children with a range of needs. We are constantly evaluating the impact of our teaching on children’s learning and adopting new approaches. Many conditions such as Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Dyslexia and Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder are routinely supported as teaching strategies are in place in every class to support children with these needs.
- Our teaching assistants are also trained to support children on the Autistic Spectrum, children with dyslexic tendencies and children with attention deficit.
- Our teaching assistants are usually present when the Speech and Language Therapist works with a child in their year group and have picked up considerable knowledge this way.
- The list of specialisms is ever increasing and ever changing. If there is a need that we feel that we need further training to support, we seek the training from specialists.
- Our teachers and teaching assistants are also trained in using other strategies such as precision teaching, colourful semantics, Read Write Inc, Counting to Calculating. Again, this list is ever changing.
- We seek and follow up support from Advisory Teachers or Therapists who are specialists in their areas. We often receive comments from the people who have given us advice on how well we have followed-up their suggestions.
How are parents/carers and children with SEN supported to share their views and concerns and work alongside the school?
- Teachers will be happy to meet with you to discuss any concerns or views you may have. Mrs Hazel Acton (SENCo) are also available to offer additional support where necessary and we would like to encourage a strong school/home partnership. There will be open communication between you and the SENCo to update you on any additional provision being put in place for your child.
- If you are a parent/carer of a child who has an ILP you will be given the opportunity, once a term, with the class teacher or the SENCo, to discuss progress, targets and further support necessary both in school and at home.
- Parents/carers with children with more severe special educational needs who are referred for statutory assessment will be asked to attend meetings and share views and concerns about the child throughout the process. This is to ensure that all parties involved are fully informed and working closely to support each other, to provide the most suitable provision for the child. Your child will have a My Plan which links to the long term objections of the EHCP and will include short term targets. These short term targets will be reviewed at least twice a year.
- We have a number of ICT programmes which can be used at home to support the children’s learning. These include; Accelerated reader, Spelling Shed, Collins Big Cats (linked to Letters and Sounds) and TT Rockstars. We also use Seesaw as a learning platform and as a method for keeping parents informed.
What happens when my child transfers to another school?
- The vast majority of our children transfer to Kingsbridge Community College (KCC). The transition visits begin early in Year 6 and continue throughout the year with visits to the school and the KCC teachers visiting here. Children with special educational needs can make additional visits as required; these are arranged by Mrs Acton according to the needs of the child. For example, your child might need to meet some particular members of staff, have additional time to become familiar with the geography of the building or want to take photographs that they can keep to remind them of things they have found out about the school.
- The SENCo (Mrs Acton) or Miss Lou Nicholls (Head of School) will meet with the SEND Team at KCC in the summer term and talk about all the children on the SEN Register. They will describe the strategies that have been put in place, advise which strategies should continue and identify any additional requirements to help your child with the transition.
- KCC hold a meeting in the summer term for parents of children with special educational needs.
- We can request additional transition support for children on the Autistic Spectrum from the Communication and Interaction Team.
- If appropriate, we might make a transition book with your child. This book gathers all the information that they might need and might feel anxious about, for example photographs of the main tutors, information about what to do at lunchtime or if they lose something.
- If the Local Authority decide that your child’s needs can’t be catered for at KCC, they will identify the nearest suitable provision. In this case, individual transition arrangements are made with the school according to the child’s needs.
My child is having ‘intervention’. What does that mean?
- Sometimes a child needs some help with a particular aspect of learning that the class teacher considers is holding back the child’s progress. Examples of intervention are high-frequency word spelling, phonics, reading comprehension, social skills, handwriting, counting, calculation. Children who have intervention do not necessarily have special educational needs; the purpose of the intervention is to get the child back on track.
- Intervention takes place with a teacher or teaching assistant who works with the child either individually or in a small group. The teaching is regular with a specific target for the child’s attainment in mind.
- Following a period of intervention, the child’s progress and attainment is re-assessed to consider if any additional or different help is needed.
Is there a budget for children with special educational needs?
- One of the funding streams from the Local Authority is specifically to support children with special educational needs. Following a consultation with the SENCo about the effectiveness of the current deployment of resources, the Executive Head and The Head of School decide on the deployment of resources for children with special educational needs and disabilities and consults with the Governing Body.
- The impact of the spending on children with special educational needs is evaluated by the Governing Body to ensure that the resources are deployed as effectively as possible to make a difference to the children. They look at the progress and attainment of our children with special educational needs and disabilities, but they will not know individual’s names.
What do I do if I am not satisfied with the special educational provision for my child?
- Firstly, talk to your child’s class teacher.
- Having talked to your child’s class teacher, if you are still not satisfied, speak to the SENCO (Mrs Hazel Acton), the Head of School (Miss Lou Nicholls) or The Executive Head (Mrs Tess Coulthard) in the first instance.
- The Governing Body have a complaints procedure that you might want to follow if you are still dissatisfied. You can get a copy of this procedure from the school office or the website.
The SEN policy can be viewed on the school website by clicking here.
Updated March 2021 (Academic year 2020/21)