Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
These pages set out the school’s approach to Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), referred to as the School Offer. It is a statutory requirement that schools publish this information. This supports the local authority’s Local Offer. The school offer sets out:
The document is underpinned by the requirements of the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Code of Practice 2014 and provides a summary of the school’s SEND policy.
Summary of SEND Provision
Special Educational Needs – A Definition
A child or young person has a Special Educational Need if they have a learning difficult or a disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her. A child might have a Special Educational Needs, including a learning difficulty, if he or she has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age or has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of the facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools. Special Educational Provision is educational provision that is additional to or different from that made generally for other children of the same age by mainstream schools.
A child may have a Special Educational Need in one or more of these areas:
which may affect:
Broad Areas of Need
There are four broad areas of need identified in the SEN Code of Practice. However, the purpose of identification is to work out what action the school needs to take, not to fit a pupil into a category. In practice, individual children often have needs that cut across all four areas and their needs may change over time. For instance, speech, language and communication needs can also be a feature of a number of other areas of SEN, and children with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) may have needs across all areas, including particularly sensory requirements.
Communication and Interaction
Children with speech, language and communication needs 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. 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 range of needs, including moderate learning difficulties (MLD), server 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. These behaviours may reflect underlying mental health difficulties such as anxiety or depression, self-harming, substance misuse, eating disorders or physical symptoms that are medically unexplained. Other children may have disorders such as attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) or attachment disorder.
Sensory or Physical Needs
Some children require special educational provision because they have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of the educational facilities generally provided. These difficulties may be age related and may fluctuate over time. Many children with vision impairment (VI), hearing impairment (HI) or a multi-sensory impairment (MSI) will require support and/or equipment to access their learning. Some children with a physical disability will require additional ongoing support and equipment to access all the opportunities available to their peers.
Assessment of Children with Special Educational Needs
The identification of Special Educational Needs can be complex. Some children show obvious signs of difficulty from a very young age and their additional needs are often observed by staff and parents, allowing early identification of areas of concern and provision by either school, general practitioners or parents. Some Special Educational Needs are not so obvious and children may not show signs of having a SEN until they are older. In some cases, it can be difficult to determine if the difficulty is a temporary developmental concern or due to the child’s circumstances or lack of nuture and learning before starting school. In deciding whether a child has SEN, the school will look at a range of evidence and information, including:
Parental Concerns and Involvement
We encourage parents to discuss at an early stage their child’s development and potential needs. The sooner we are aware of difficulties experienced in early childhood or any diagnosis or support already in place before they start school, the sooner we can determine the most appropriate level and methods of support for the child. Parents are asked to contact the school’s SENCO and share concerns or information as soon as possible. Often, parents have letters and reports from medical professionals or other agencies which can be very helpful to school or provided a contact for further information and advice. The school will involve and discuss matters with parents, particularly regarding initial assessment, including that carried out by specialists (e.g. Educational Psychologist), from the outset.
Once it has been determined that a child has SEN, a plan will be put in place to make clear the areas of the difficulty experienced by the child, the additional provision and support that is needed to secure progress and development, and the outcomes which are expected to be achieved. This plan will be drawn up by the class teacher and SENCO with the involvement of parent and, where possible, the child. Individual plans are known as Individual Educational Plans (IEPs).
Where applicable, and certainly in the case of more complex and severe needs, the school, in partnership with parents, will complete a Common Assessment Framework (CAF). This is a national document covering aspects of child development. It aims to identify barriers to achievement and living a successful life.
The School’s Provision
The school provides for children with a range of Special Educational Needs in a mainstream setting, including those with Statements of SEN and, from September 2014, Education and Health Care Plans. However, as a mainstream school, Northenden Community School is not a specialist provider and does not have the facilities which benefit some children with SEN in other schools. The school mainly supports children with SEN through additional resources and support in a classroom setting but also provides support for children in small groups outside the classroom. It also has links with and takes advice from schools with specialist provision.
The school is an inclusive school and as such believes that all children are entitled to an education that enables them to make progress so they:
All children with SEND are taught in an inclusive setting (alongside their peers in the classroom) and have access to the full national curriculum, activities and resources which may be adapted for their individual needs. Children with SEND are also taught on a one-to-one or small group basis at various times during the week so that they benefit from focussed time and space without the distraction of other classroom activities and their peers.
The school follows the principles of inclusive teaching and learning which include:
Support for children with SEN
Once we have identified a child as having a Special Educational Need, the school will plan to provide appropriate support for the child. This support will be planned by the class teacher, working with the school’s Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) and, if necessary, professional and experts from outside agencies.
It is likely that a child’s needs and provision will be recorded as part of an Individual Education Plan which will set out the difficulties experienced by the child, the needs of the child and specific actions which will support the achievement of clear outcomes. These outcomes may be related to specific learning targets (e.g. in reading, writing or mathematics) or aspirations for the child’s social, emotional and behaviour development.
Support for children with SEN takes many forms, including (in no particular order):
The majority of additional support provided for children with SEN will take place in the classroom setting alongside their peers. However, there may be occasions when children with SEN are taught outside the classroom for a period of time. This usually enables the child, or a group of children, to focus without distraction on a specific task with the support of a teaching assistant or specialist teacher.
Degrees of Support
The school makes the distinction between the various levels of need and support required by children with SEN. Some children have greater needs and require more support than others. Although the new Code of Practice 2014 no longer uses the terms ‘School Action’ and ‘School Action Plus’, the school still uses them to distinguish between the two levels of support which may be required before an Education and Health Care Plan (formerly known as a Statement) is needed:
In the first instance the school will use its resources to help support a child’s needs. The school will tell parents when weare first giving extra or different help for a child because of his or her needs. The extra or different help could be a different way of teaching certain things, some help from an extra adult, perhaps in a small group, or use of particular equipment like a computer or a desk with a sloping top.
School Action Plus
If a child doesn’t make enough progress with the help provided at School Action, the teacher or the SENCo will then discuss with parents the need to ask for advice from other people outside the school. We may want to ask for help from, for example, a specialist teacher, an educational psychologist, a speech and language therapist or other health professionals.
Where additional support at School Action or School Action Plus has had little or no impact on a child’s progress and it is clear that the child may need more support than the school can provide from its ordinary budget, the parent or school may apply to the Local Authority for a statutory assessment of the child’s needs. The local authority will need to make a more detailed investigation of a child’s needs using specialist advice. If this assessment decides that the child needs more assistance than the school can provide, then the local authority will go through something known as the ‘statutory assessment process’. Only a few children will need a statutory assessment – usually this will be requested by the school school, but parents have a legal right to request a statutory assessment if they feel the school is unable to provide the right level of support.
If the local authority decides not to carry out a statutory assessment parents have a right to appeal against this decision. The local authority will tell you about this, how to appeal and the time limits. If the local authority does carry out an assessment there are timescales for this.
The Information and Advice Service (see below) can offer more advice on this. One of the most important things to remember is that parents have an essential part to play in the process and parental views are very important. The local authority will contact parents and a range of professionals asking for views and information regarding the support that has already been offered and the impact of this support. If the application is accepted, a range of information from a number of sources will be considered by a independent SEN panel who will determine if a higher level of need and support are required by the child.
Statements and Education and Health Care (EHC) Plans
If agreed, a child’s needs and support strategies will be set out in a statutory document known as a Statement (if established before 1st September 2014) or an Education and Health Care Plan (if established after 1st September 2014). The school is given additional funding (usually by reference a number of additional hours of adult support) to support a child who has a statement or EHC Plan.
Where necessary, the school draws upon the expertise, advice and support of a number of outside agencies and professionals to establish specific plans or provide some specialist support on an ongoing basis. The agencies and professionals involved with the school include:
Partnership with Parents
We believe that a positive relationship with all parents is important. We acknowledge that parents often know their children best and can share lots of information about their child’s development, needs, strengths and weaknesses. We aim to involve parents of children with SEN from the very early stages of sharing information, identifying initial needs and creating support plans, through to reviewing the effectiveness of the support for the child. The views of parents are very important in this process.
We acknowledge that on entry to the school, parents may be keen to share information about their child and their needs. We value this information and ask parents to be honest and realistic in the information they share about their child. Whilst many parents are keen to ensure that their child’s needs are recognised and assessed at an early stage, we are also aware that some parents find it difficult to acknowledge that their child may have additional needs and may not wish to share their concerns. The school will work with all parents for the benefit of the children in our care and we encourage an honest dialogue between home and school about children’s needs and the support they may require. Sometimes, parents refuse to agree to SEn assessments for their child. This is not always helpful and may hinder the future progress and support for the child.
The school also recognises that the views of the child are important and aims to involve all pupils in the decisions that affect the way in which they are taught. Children will be involved in reviewing their learning on a regular basis and setting their own targets, where appropriate. We also ask children to complete a profile of themselves. This profile includes the child’s likes and dislikes, their hobbies, how they think they learn best, what distracts them, and what they feel are their strengths and things they can do better.
Review of Progress
All plans which cater for the needs of children with SEN will have clear outcomes to be achieved within a timescale. The effectiveness of the plans and additional provision in the impact these have had on the child and their progress will be evaluated and reviewed on a regular basis, usually 2-3 times each year. For children with an Education and Health Care (EHC) Plan, the effectiveness of the plan will be reviewed in consultation with the Local Authority on an annual basis.
Parents will have opportunities throughout the year, including at parents’ evening, to discuss the implementation of a child for their plan, including the ways in which the plan and its outcomes might be supported and reinforced at home and through additional activities. Where appropriate, the child will also have an opportunity to review their plan and have a say in what has worked well and the progress they are making.
Role of the SENCO
Every school has to appoint a teacher with overall responsibility for Special Educational Needs. This person is known as the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) or. Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator (SENDCo). The SENCO is responsible for the implementation and review of the school’s SEN policy and practice. Our SENCO (as for April 2017) is:
The SENCO will:
When a child is identified as having SEN, the school will appoint a Case Manager for the child. This will usually be the SENCO but could be another member of staff, including the Headteacher. The Case Manager will be responsible for main contact with parents and for managing the provision for the child.
Role of the Governing Body
The Governing has strategic oversight for all school policies. There is a named governor for Special Educational Needs. At the time of writing, this governor is Melanie Cetinbas, a Parent Governor. This governor and the School Improvement Committee have a role in ensuring that the school carries out its statutory duties with regard to SEND.
Children with Medical Needs
The school provides for children with a range of medical needs. Staff are trained and procedures are in place, for example, to support children with allergies, including anaphylaxis, epilepsy, asthma, diabetes and eating disorders. The school also has experience of supporting children with more complex medical needs, including children undergoing treatment for serious illnesses. The school is flexible in its approach and acknowledges the need for some children to attend a range of hospital appointments during the school day. The school does not normally administer short-term prescribed medicines. It does support the administration of medicines over a long-term period. The administration of all medicines and any support for children with medical needs is carefully planned and recorded. Advice will always be sought from parents where uncertainties arise regarding the condition of a child or medication to be administrated.
Children with Disabilities
The school has facilities to offer support for children with disabilities. The vast majority of classrooms and teaching spaces are on a single floor, with many classrooms having external doors enabling access for people who use a wheelchair. The school has disabled toilet facilities on the ground floor. The school can also make adaptations for children with visual or hearing impairment.
All children with disabilities have individual plans which make clear the adaptations and additional support required. This also includes Personal Evacuation Plans which come into action should the school be evacuated. Pupils with disabilities are provided with additional adult support in these situations.
Children with other Needs
The school also recognises that many children experience difficulties with their learning for other reasons with them having an identified Special Educational Need. This may because of family circumstances, bereavement or because the child has experienced trauma or neglect in their life. This can affect children who are looked after or who have been adopted, for example. Children for whom English is an Additional Language (EAL) may also experience barriers to learning. However, EAL is not a Special Educational Need and care is taken to determine whether a child’s progress is affected by their home language or a special educational need. The school does therefore identify all children who require addition support as having a Special Educational Need but still aims to address the needs of these children through plans and a good partnership with parents.
Manchester Local Offer
All local authorities have to publish their local offer which sets the ways in which children with SEN and disabilities are supported throughout the area. The Local Offer for Manchester City Council and a directory of services can be found via the links below:
Statutory Assessment Team
The Statutory Assessment team at Manchester City Council deals with requests for statutory assessments received from schools, parents/carers and other outside agencies. It also provides the following services:
Statutory Assessment Team Contact Information
IAS Manchester is the new name for the Parent Partnership Service. IAS Manchester offers independent information, advice and support to parents and carers to increase their involvement in the education of their children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). The service also ensures that parents, carers and young people have access to information and advice about issues relating to the child or young person’s health and social care.
What does IAS Manchester do?
IAS Contact Information
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Useful websites and Documents
The following documents are available online to support parents:
Parents who wish to raise concerns about the school’s provision for their child are encouraged to discuss matters in the first instance with the class teacher or SENCO. Should matters not be resolved, parents are encouraged to discuss matters with the Headteacher and, should all else fail, make clear their concerns or complaints in writing, in the first instance to the Headteacher and then to the named Governor with oversight for Special Educational Needs.
Terms and Abbreviations
The world of education and SEND is full is terms and abbreviations. Here are some: