Special Educational Needs & Disabilities
St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School
'Making learning irresistible’
St. Patrick’s Catholic Primary School - Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEND) Policy.
SEND Coordinator: Miss Samantha Thomason
SEND Governor: Mrs Kayleigh Daniels
Date: September 2017
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
At St. Patrick’s school we are fully committed to providing high quality education and care to all of the children who attend our school. We endeavour to provide an environment that supports children to flourish and develop their full potential, whilst instilling and fostering a lifelong love of learning. We have close links to the local church and the Priest visits the school on a regular basis.
This policy has been written at a time of great change in Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) legislation and reflects the improvements made over the last few years in provision for pupils with SEND. It is written in accordance with the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years (January 2015) and acknowledges that the policy will need to be kept under close review to accommodate the continuing legislative changes.
At St. Patrick’s every child is entitled to a broad and balanced curriculum which will create opportunities for them to fulfil their potential. Whilst identifying children with particular needs, we recognise that all children are individuals with their own requirements and every child is valued equally.
This SEND policy details how the staff in our school will do their best to ensure that the necessary provision is made for any child who has SEND and that those needs are made known to all who are likely to teach them. The school will ensure that teachers are able to identify and provide for these children so that they can engage in all activities available for children in the school who do not have SEND, so far as is reasonably practical.
The Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years (January 2015) states that:
‘A child or young person has SEND if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her.
A child of compulsory school age has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:
- has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age;
- has 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 post 16 institutions’ [COP - p 15 – 16 xiii, xiv]
‘For children aged two or more, special educational provision is educational or training provision that is additional to or different from that made generally for other children or young people of the same age by mainstream schools, maintained nursery schools, mainstream post-16 institutions or by relevant early years providers. For a child under two years of age, special educational provision means educational provision of any kind’. [COP - p16 xv]
‘A child under compulsory school age has SEND if he or she is likely to fall within the definition in paragraph xiv above when they reach compulsory schools age or would do so if special educational provision was not made for them. (Section 20, Children and Families Act 2014)’. [COP - p16 xvi]
Disabled Children and Young People
Many children and young people who have SEND may 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’.
This definition includes sensory impairments such as those affecting sight or hearing, and long-term health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, and cancer. Children and young people with such conditions do not necessarily have SEN, but there is a significant overlap between disabled children and young people and those with SEN. Where a disabled child or young person requires special educational provision they will also be covered by the SEN definition. [COP - p16 xviii]
The Equality Act 2010 sets out the legal obligations that schools, early years providers, post-16 institutions, local authorities and others have towards disabled children and young people:
- They must not directly or indirectly discriminate against, harass or victimise disabled children and young people.
- They must make reasonable adjustments, including the provision of auxiliary aids and services, to ensure that disabled children and young people are not at a substantial disadvantage compared with their peers. This duty is anticipatory – it requires thought to be given in advance to what disabled children and young people might require and what adjustments might need to be made to prevent that disadvantage.’ [COP - p16 – 17 xix]
Principles and Objectives of this Policy
It is our responsibility as a school to ensure the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years (January 2015) is implemented effectively.
Our objectives are:
- To ensure equality of opportunity for, and to eliminate prejudice and discrimination against, children with SEND.
- To identify needs and provide support as early as possible, using specialist staff and external agencies to inform judgements.
- To continually monitor the progress of all children through the graduated approach of assess, plan, do, review.
- To provide full access to the curriculum* through differentiated planning by class teachers, with support from the SENCo and support staff (*Except where disapplication, arising from a Statement / Education, Health and Care Plan occurs).
- To provide High Quality Provision (EYFS) and Quality First Teaching (QFT) and to provide specific interventions matched to individual needs for those children identified on the SEND Register.
- To ensure that pupils with SEND are perceived positively by all members of the school community and that SEND provision is positively valued and accessed by staff and parents / carers.
- To enable children to move on from us having reached or exceeded their potential in the basic skills of English, Maths and social independence in order that they are able to meet the demands of their next school placement.
- To involve parents / carers at every stage of the process to meet their child’s needs.
- To involve the children themselves in planning and in any decision making that affects them.
- To work with the governing body to enable them to fulfil their statutory monitoring role with regard to the policy statement for SEND.
Admission arrangements for children with SEND but without a Statement of SEND or an Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP) do not differ from those for other children. However, in the case of a child in possession of a Statement or an EHCP, the placement recommendations of the last Annual Review will be taken into account and managed in collaboration with Children’s Services, SEN team, Blencathra House.
In accordance with the Equality Act 2010, no child will be refused admission solely on account of a recognised disability, although advice will be given to parents if the existing physical conditions of the school are unsuited to their child’s particular needs at the time of application where reasonable adjustments are not practicable.
Staff from St. Patrick’s will visit nurseries and pre-schools to ensure smooth transition for all children with SEND. Additional visits and meetings with parents prior to the children starting at primary school may be arranged.
Staff from our feeder secondary schools will meet with Year 6 staff. The SENCos from the secondary schools attend Year 6 Annual Reviews or Education Health Care Plan conversion meetings. Extra visits to the secondary school for some children are organised in liaison with the SENCo and parents / carers.
Class teachers of children joining from other schools will receive information from the previous school; if there is an SEND issue the SENCo will telephone to further discuss the child’s needs. Children transferring from St. Patrick’s will have all the SEND paperwork sent to their new school. The SENCo will discuss these children with other schools on request.
Identification, Assessment and Provision
‘Teachers are responsible and accountable for the progress and development of the pupils in their class, including where pupils access support from teaching assistants or specialist staff’ [Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years: January 2015: 6.36]
Provision for children with special educational needs is a matter for the school as a whole. All teachers are teachers of children with special educational needs; therefore teaching such children is a whole school responsibility.
All of our teachers are trained to work with children with SEND. Teachers and teaching assistants with more experience will be appointed to support less experienced colleagues and all have access to advice, information, resources and training to enable them to teach all children effectively. We offer training and self-help opportunities through access to in-house or Local Authority courses, provision of books or guidance to useful websites.
The observations, experience and expertise of the class teacher are an important part in the process of identifying children with special educational needs. Identification, assessment and review occur throughout the school to ensure that any difficulties children have are spotted quickly. We also recognise that identifying a child’s need may be made by a number of people, including GPs, heath visitors or parents.
Central to the work of every class is a continuous cycle of planning, teaching, assessment and evaluation that takes account of the wide range of abilities, aptitudes and interests of the children.
We hold termly Pupil Progress Meetings, which are attended by a member of the SLT and the class teacher. In these meetings we discuss the children who are not making expected progress or reaching expected outcomes, and consider the reasons for this. At this point, a child may become part of a focus/target group to see if their progress or attainment can be improved. The majority of children will learn and progress within these arrangements. However, for children with SEND, there may be a need to provide an increased level of provision that supports and enhances their learning abilities and progression. This will be carried out in line with the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years: January 2015, using the system of Assess, Plan, Do and Review. Where children with SEND are unable to work within the parameters of their year group expectations set out in the National Curriculum, they will be assessed and their progress will be tracked using the PIVATs system. This will be used to set appropriate targets.
Children will only be placed on SEND support if it is felt they have a definable SEN or disability and not simply because they fail to make progress or are at the lower end of the ability range.
Areas of Need
There are 4 main areas of need for children with SEND. This is taken from the COP Sections 6.28 – 6.35
Communication and Interaction
Children and young people 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 and young people 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 and young people 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 and young people 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 and young people may have disorders such as attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder or attachment disorder.
Schools and colleges should have clear processes to support children and young people, including how they will manage the effect of any disruptive behaviour so it does not adversely affect other pupils.
Sensory and / or Physical needs
Some children and young people 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 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 habilitation support. Children and young people with an MSI have a combination of vision and hearing difficulties.
Some children and young people with a physical disability (PD) require additional ongoing support and equipment to access all the opportunities available to their peers.
As a school, we have adopted a graduated response to meeting SEND that requires the initial use of classroom and school resources before bringing specialist expertise to bear on the difficulties that a child is experiencing.
When a child is identified as having SEND, the school will intervene as described below:
- Under the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years: January 2015, children who were classed as being at School Action or School Action Plus, will now be classed using a single definition of SEN Support.
- Interventions required will be identified using Assess (the child's needs), Plan (interventions for the child to address the needs), Do (carry out the interventions) and Review (evaluate the effectiveness of the interventions).
- The cycle will be carried out in conjunction with the child and parents/carers with termly meetings.
- These meetings will replace IEP meetings and will be called SEND review meetings.
Action Resulting from Identification
SEND Support replaces both School Action and School Action Plus. It can mean that a child has the involvement of external services such as Specialist Advisory Teachers, Educational Psychologists, Speech and Language Therapists etc. It may also mean the school wishes to put in place some 'in house' intervention for children.
The triggers for SEND Support could be that, despite being in a focus / target group, the child:
- Continues to make little or no progress in specific areas over a long period.
- Continues working at National Curriculum outcomes substantially below that expected of children of a similar age, according to the Essex Provision Guidance Toolkit.
- Continues to have difficulty in developing English and Maths skills.
- Has emotional difficulties which substantially and regularly interfere with their own learning or that of the class group.
- Has sensory or physical needs, and requires additional specialist equipment or regular advice or visits, providing direct intervention to the child or advice to the staff, by a specialist service.
- Has on-going communication or interaction difficulties that impede the development of social relationships and cause substantial barriers to learning.
If a child is placed on SEND support, they will be supported through a range of tools including:
- A One Page Pupil Profile detailing their strengths, what is important to them and how best to support them.
- Outcomes which are time bound and an action plan detailing the support which will be put in place to help achieve these.
- Termly meetings with the child, class teacher and parents to discuss progress against outcomes (SEND Review Meetings).
School request for statutory Educational, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
Most children will have their needs met through the school’s SEND support. For a few children the help given by school through SEND Support may not be sufficient to allow them to make progress.
In these cases, the SENCo, in consultation with the child, parents, teachers and any external agencies already involved, we will consider whether to ask the LA to initiate a statutory assessment.
Where a request for a statutory assessment is made to the LA, the child will have demonstrated significant cause for concern and the school will provide written evidence to the LA in accordance with Local Authority documentation (SEND Early Help Assessment) and the SEND Handbook for our area. This will be completed in conjunction with child and parent/carer by the school SENCo. When the LA receives a request for a statutory assessment, they must decide within six weeks whether to progress with an EHC Plan.
Annual Review of a Statement of SEND
All statements and EHC plans will be reviewed at least annually with the parents, the child, the LA and the school to consider whether any amendments need to be made to the description of the child’s needs or to the special educational provision specified in the statement or EHCP. Termly reviews will take place in addition to the annual review. Reviews will focus on:
- The long term aspirations of the child.
- The long term outcomes that will be needed to achieve to their aspirations.
- The short term outcomes that need to be put in place in order that the longer term outcomes can also be achieved.
Approach to Teaching and Learning
Staff at St Patrick’s have high expectations of all pupils including those with SEND. Quality first teaching is provided for all pupils and different strategies are used for children with SEND where appropriate so that they are fully involved in class learning. Pupils on the SEND register have personalised targets on their Strengths and Needs Analysis and teaching will reflect these targets. Specific strategies and resources to support children’s learning may be required.
Class Teachers plan and adapt lessons according to the specific needs of all groups of children in their class, and ensure that all children’s needs are addressed. Specially trained support staff are able to support children, in areas such as dyslexia, where necessary. Children with EHC plans will have a combination of guided and independent activities planned specifically for them by their allocated teaching assistant. These will take place both within class and out of class where appropriate.
Assessing Progress and Evaluating Provision
All children’s progress is continually monitored by their class teachers in order to set appropriate next steps. Progress is reviewed formally each term against the National Curriculum requirements for each year group and in the foundation stage an age band, in months, is given for each learning goal. Children with SEND, who are working outside of their year group expectations, will be assessed using the PIVATs system. The PIVATs descriptors will be used to track and assess children’s progress, plan their next steps and targets and will also inform their Strengths and Needs Analysis. If a child has a Strengths and Needs Analysis it will be used as a working document, but will be formally reviewed every term with parents/carers.
The progress of children with a statement of SEND/EHC Plan will be formally reviewed at an Annual Review with all the adults involved in the child’s education.
The SENCo will also check that children are making progress with any group / individual work they take part in; for example, the progress of children attending The Nurture Group will be assessed using the Boxall Profile.
The effectiveness of provision put in place for children with SEND will be evaluated based upon the progress children make as a result of these actions. The impact of Nurture will be assessed using comparative Boxall Profiles. The effectiveness of The Hero Head Quarters sessions is measured using children’s individual PIVAT scores and the impact of Dyslexia support is evaluated based on progress against individual targets and data from the IDL programme.
Role of the SENDCO
The SEND Coordinator (SENDCo), in collaboration with the head teacher and governing body, plays a key role in helping to determine the strategic development of the SEND policy and provision in the school to raise the achievement of children with SEND.
Governing bodies of maintained mainstream schools and the proprietors of mainstream academy schools (including free schools) must ensure that there is a qualified teacher designated as SENDCo for the school. [COP - 6.84]
The SENDCo must be a qualified teacher working at the school. A newly appointed SENDCo must be a qualified teacher and, where they have not previously been the SENDCo at that or any other relevant school for a total period of more than twelve months, they must achieve a National Award in Special Educational Needs Co-ordination within three years of appointment. [COP - 6.85]
The key responsibilities of the SENDCo may include:
- Overseeing the day-to-day operation of the school’s SEN policy.
- Co-ordinating provision for children with SEND.
- Liaising with the relevant Designated Teacher where a looked after pupil has SEND.
- Advising on the graduated approach to providing SEND support.
- Advising on the deployment of the school’s delegated budget and other resources to meet pupils’ needs effectively.
- Liaising with parents of pupils with SEND.
- Liaising with early years providers, other schools, educational psychologists, health and social care professionals, and independent or voluntary bodies.
- Being a key point of contact with external agencies, especially the local authority and its support services.
- Liaising with potential next providers of education to ensure a pupil and their parents are informed about options and a smooth transition is planned.
- Working with the Head teacher and school governors to ensure that the school meets its responsibilities under the Equality Act (2010) with regard to reasonable adjustments and access arrangements.
- Ensuring that the school keeps the records of all pupils with SEND up to date.
Miss Samantha Thomason is the SENCo at St. Patrick’s. She is a qualified teacher who holds a BA Hons in Biological Sciences and Education Studies and a PGCE with QTS. She is undertaking the National Award in Special Educational Needs Co-ordination as of January 2017 as this is a statutory requirement of the post holder.
Mrs Kayleigh Daniels is the Governor overseeing SEND at St. Patrick’s and meets with the SENDCo.
Both can be contacted using the details below:
St. Patrick’s Catholic Primary School
Working with Parents
Partnership with parents plays a key role in enabling children and young people with SEND to achieve their potential. The school recognises that parents hold key information and have knowledge and experience to contribute to the shared view of a child’s needs and the best ways of supporting them. All parents of children with SEND will be treated as partners and supported to play an active and valued role in their child’s education.
Parents will always be fully involved and consulted and will be encouraged to participate in their child’s education and when any specialist measures are requested. Parents also have a responsibility to communicate effectively with professionals, communicating regularly with school and alerting them to any concerns.
Parents of children with SEND may contact the SENCo directly or contact may come via the school office and in some cases the Head Teacher. The annual review for a child with a Statement or EHCP is normally attended by one of the parents / carers and their views are always sought prior to an annual review.
Parents are encouraged to offer their views on special educational needs provision throughout the year at termly SEND Review Meetings or Parent Consultation evenings with the teacher or directly to the SENCo.
Working with Professionals from the Local Authority
SEND Early Help Assessment forms will be used to request support from the local SEND team. This may lead to a request for a visit from the Educational Psychologist (EP). Time to support each school is allocated by the LA. Any further work needing to be undertaken by the EP will be identified as an outcome of the meeting. Referrals for speech therapy will be sent directly to Flatt Walks.
The LA Specialist Advisory Teachers (SATs), visit regularly to provide specific information, share resources and provide in-service training based on the needs of the children they are involved with. The specialist teachers work directly with children where this is indicated on an Education Health Care Plan. Class teachers plan alongside these specialist teachers who also attend and contribute to SEND reviews and Team Around The Child (TAC) meetings.
The specialist teachers also respond to requests from the school for advice for children who the school feels additional support would further inform planning and provision.
The head teacher, SENCo and other members of the teaching staff liaise frequently with a number of other outside agencies, for example:
- Social Care
- Howgill Family Centre
- School Nurse
- Community Consultant Paediatrician
- Speech Therapy
- Occupational Therapy/Physiotherapy
- Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)
- Local GP
- Education Welfare Officer (EWO)
- Cumbria LSCB (Early help)
- Pupil Referral Unit (PRU)
- Local SEN cluster group.
- Colleagues from West Coast Teaching Alliance.
- West Lakes Academy
- St Benedict’s Catholic School
Parents/carers are informed if any outside agency is involved.
Evaluating the Success of the SEND Policy
As with all policies, the SEND Policy should be subject to a regular cycle of monitoring, evaluation and review. The governing body must, on at least an annual basis, consider and report on the effectiveness of the school’s work. To aid this evaluation the SENCo will produce regular reports to Governors.
The school is committed to providing equal opportunities for all, regardless of race, faith, gender or capability in all aspects of school. We promote self and mutual respect and a caring and non-judgmental attitude throughout the school.
All complaints are taken seriously and are heard through the school’s complaints policy and procedure.
Information about the Cumbria Local Offer can be accessed via the County Council website: Cumbria's Local Offer
The St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School Local Offer can be accessed via the school website:
Policy Written by: Samantha Thomason, SENDCo at St. Patrick’s, in consultation with the governing body.