How does St Leonard's Lower School know if my child needs extra help, and what should I do if I think my child has SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities)?
A pupil is considered to have Special Educational Needs if they have either a learning difficulty or a disability and they need special educational provision to be made for them. Special educational provision is defined as any education provision which is additional to or different from that generally made for others of the same age in mainstream school.
At St Leonard's Lower School we believe that class teachers are teachers of all children. It is their responsibility to meet the needs of all pupils within their care. They do this by employing high quality teaching strategies which acknowledge the individual needs of each pupil in their class. Teachers continuously monitor the progress and attainment of every pupil in their class. When a pupil does not make adequate progress this is identified, and provision is put in place within the classroom setting to try to address this. The Code of Practice suggests that pupils are only identified as having a Special Educational Need if they continue to fail to make adequate progress once they have had all the appropriate Wave 1 interventions/adjustments and quality personalised teaching.
At St Leonard's Lower School if this is the case the pupil is then identified as having a Special Educational Need.
Staff may use a variety of assessments both formal and informal to help them reach judgements about your child’s individual needs. The SENDCo, in collaboration with yourselves may also facilitate a referral to specialist support services, such as Speech and Language therapy, to enable the best possible provision for your child.
If you have concerns that your child may have a Special Educational Need you should speak to your child’s class teacher initially. If you still have concerns after this conversation that your child’s needs are not being met then you should approach the SENDCo and request a meeting. She will then work in collaboration with you and your child’s class teacher to ensure maximum progress for your child.
Who is the School SENDCo?
Sarah Bowley, Headteacher, is the SENDCo she can be contacted via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
or by phoning the school 01525 237153. She is often present around the school grounds at drop off and pick up and is happy to any parents who have concerns.
How will St Leonard's Lower support my child?
Targeted support will be provided through a graduated approach:
1.The class teacher will provide excellent targeted classroom teaching (Quality First Teaching) for your child this means that:
- The teacher will have the highest possible expectations for your child.
- The teacher will plan work which builds on what your child already knows, can do and understands.
- Teaching styles will be adapted to meet the needs of your child within the classroom.
- Specific strategies may be in place to support your child in accessing the curriculum. (These may be outlined in a provision map for your child).
- The teacher will have carefully checked on your child’s progress, and will have decided that your child has a gap / gaps in their learning. The teacher will then plan additional intervention / support to enable your child to make the best possible progress. This intervention may take place within the classroom or in small group withdrawal sessions.
- Your child will be actively encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning. They will be expected, where possible, to express their opinions about what they are learning and the progress they are making. They will be supported to contribute to the review process and the planning of any intervention they will be participating in.
2. School Support
If your child continues to progress at a slower rate than their peers, and attain at a lower level despite the intervention outlined above, or continue to struggle to overcome barriers to learning, the school will identify your child as having Special Educational Needs, and will place your child on the SEND register at School Support level. This will happen in collaboration with yourself and your child. When your child is placed at School Support, the class teacher remains responsible for monitoring, evaluating and delivering provision for your child, in collaboration with yourselves, your child, other staff within school and the SENDCo. Typically your child will:
- Have a Special Educational Needs Support Plan which identifies the needs of the pupil, the targets for progress, how these targets will be implemented, the frequency of support received by the pupil and have clear criteria for success within an agreed time frame.
- Have regular reviews of progress where next steps will be identified.
- Have some parts of curriculum planning adapted so that your child can access learning to ensure progress.
- Have some additional adult support, either within the classroom, or in small group withdrawal sessions.
- Follow evidence based intervention programmes designed to address the identified needs for your child. At St Leonard's Lower these interventions include Read Write Inc, Nessy, Sensory Circuits, Socially Speaking, Precision Teaching, Numicon, Lego therapy, School Start and Time to Talk.
At this stage the class teacher of SENDCo may approach you to discuss seeking your permission to refer your child to a specialist service to enable us to understand your child’s needs better, and to be able to support them more effectively in school. These specialist services may include Speech and Language therapy, Occupational therapy, Educational Psychology, Jigsaw centre - Behaviour Support.
3. Specified Individual Support
This type of support is available for children whose learning needs are severe, complex and lifelong. This is usually provided via a Statement of Special educational Need or an Education, Health and Care Plan ( EHCP). This means your child will have been identified by professionals as needing a particularly high level of individual or small group teaching.
This type of support is available for children with specific barriers to learning which cannot be overcome by Quality First Teaching and intervention groups.
For your child this would mean:
- The school (or you) will request that the local authority carry out a statutory assessment of your child’s needs. This is a legal process which sets out the amount of support that will be provided for your child.
- After the request has been made to the panel of professionals (with a lot of information about your child, including some from you), they will decide whether they think your child’s needs (as described in the paperwork provided), seem complex enough to need a statutory assessment. If this is the case, they will ask you, and all professionals involved with your child to write a report outlining your child’s needs. If they do not think your child needs this, they will ask the school to continue with the current support.
- After the reports have all been sent in, the panel of professionals will decide if your child’s needs are severe, complex and lifelong. If this is the case they will write a EHCP. If it is not the case they will ask the school to continue with the current level of support.
- The EHCP once it is issued will outline the additional support your child will receive from the local authority, how this support should be used, and what strategies must be put in place. It will also have long and short term goals for your child. This additional support may be an additional adult to facilitate access to individualised learning or may be to fund specialist equipment/ provision.
How is this support funded?
- Quality First Teaching is funded through the money allocated to the school based on pupil numbers. This money is then delegated by the headteacher and governors to meet the needs of all children within the school.
- School Support funding is received by the school via the additional needs funding formula. This money is allocated by the headteacher, in consultation with the governors on the basis of need within the school. Funding is allocated following Pupil Progress and SEND Profile meetings which identify areas of need within the school.
- Children with an EHC Plan are allocated additional Higher needs funding and this funding is used to meet their individual needs that can not be met from the additional needs funding the school already receives.
What kinds of SEND are provided for?
Our school currently provides additional and/or different provision for a range of needs, including:
- Communication and interaction, for example, autistic spectrum disorder, social and communication difficulties, speech and language difficulties
- Cognition and learning, for example, dyslexia, dyspraxia, specific and multiple learning difficulties
- Social, emotional and mental health difficulties, for example, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Sensory and/or physical needs, for example sensory processing difficulties, visual impairment, hearing impairment and physical disability.
What is your approach to teaching SEND pupils?
At St Leonard's Lower School we ensure that all pupils in our school are equally valued by having equal access to a broad an balanced curriculum. We ensure high quality first teaching for all pupils.
We make the following adaptations to ensure all pupils' needs are met:
- Differentiating our curriculum to ensure all pupils are able to access it, for example, by grouping, 1:1 work, teaching style, content of the lesson etc.
- Adapting our resources and staffing
- Using recommended aids, such as laptops, coloured overlays, visual timetables, larger font etc
- Differentiating our teaching, for example, giving longer processing times, pre-teaching of key vocabulary, reading instructions aloud, work scaffolding etc
How will the curriculum be matched to my child's needs?
- Class teachers will plan lessons according to the specific needs of the pupils in their class. They will ensure this planning takes account of the needs of your child and will differentiate tasks appropriately to ensure your child reaches their full potential.
- Specific resources and strategies will be used to support your child, and additional adult support will be utilised to ensure progress for your child.
How will both you and I know how my child is doing at school, and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?
The class teacher will:
- Check the progress of your child and identify, plan and deliver any additional help your child may need. (This could be targeted work or additional support).
- The class teacher will liaise with the Special educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO).
- Take responsibility for writing Pupil Progress targets and SEND Support Plan targets targets, ensure these are delivered effectively and will assess the outcomes of the provision.
- Will ensure high standard Quality First Teaching for your child, and will ensure personalised teaching and learning as necessary for your child.
- Will ensure the SEN policy is implemented in their classroom.
- Will facilitate regular communication between home and school. This will vary depending on the needs of the child, but you will have at least one formal meeting a term to discuss your child’s SEN, and in addition to this you will receive regular updates and in some cases there will be a daily communication book.
- Will provide homework for your child which enhances the delivery of the curriculum and supports dialogue between home and school about learning.
- Will, in conjunction with the Key Stage leader and curriculum leaders provide regular parent workshops to advise you how to support your child.
- Will be available to meet with you, via appointment, at any time to discuss your child’s SEN
The SENDCo will:
- Develop and review the school SEN policy.
- Co-ordinate all support for children with SEN or disability.
- Ensure the continuous cycle of monitoring and assessment takes place so that suitability of provision for your child is maximised.
- Ensure the SEND governor is fully involved and informed through termly updates.
- Ensure that you are involved in supporting your child’s learning, kept informed about your child’s progress, and are involved in reviewing how your child is performing.
- Liaise with external professionals who may be involved in supporting your child’s learning. Eg. Speech and Language therapist, occupational therapist.
- Maintain SEN records
- Act as a facilitator, and offer “expert” advice to staff supporting your child, so that staff are able to support your child to reach their full potential.
The Headteacher will:
- Be responsible for the day to day management of the school, including those pupils with SEND.
- Delegate the day to day management of SEND to the SENCO, but he is still ultimately responsible for your child’s needs being met.
- Ensure that the governing body are kept up to date by the SENCO about issues relating to SEND.
The SEND Governor (Theresa Allen) will:
- Ensure that St Leonard's Lower School delivers its statutory responsibilities linked to SEND.
- Report to the Full Governing Body once a term about SEND within the school.
- Ensure an annual report to parents is written about SEND provision in the school.
What support will there be for my child’s overall well being?
- St Leonard's Lower School is a Church of England school. We believe the clear Christian ethos of the school underpins the life of the school. We encourage children to reflect on the values of our school when thinking about personal and social development.
- The values education at the school promotes high self esteem and supports reflection on social skills.
We have Teaching Assistants who are trained in supporting the development of social, emotional and mental health needs. Sarah Bowley is a trained Mental Health Champion and can offer advice and guidance to children and adults within the school community. We offer interventions which focus on the development of social skills, behaviour and self confidence when necessary.
The whole school also follow the Jigsaw PSHE programme which supports the development of emotional and mental health and wellbeing.
- We are committed to promoting positive behaviour choices and we use a school wide system of rewards and sanctions. This has a positive impact on behaviour at the school. Where there is a concern about the behaviour of a child systems and interventions are put in place to support the child aimed at eradicating the poor behaviour.
- We recognise that lunchtimes can often be a challenging time for children with SEN. We provide activities and clubs which enable us to structure the lunchtime for your child and gives them a focus at a time when they may feel otherwise vulnerable.
- We monitor attendance and lateness closely and will address any issues swiftly to ensure your child attends school as much as possible. If necessary, we will seek the involvement of the Education Welfare Officer to support you in ensuring your child attends school.
- St Leonard's Lower School has a policy for supporting children in school with medical conditions, and we will work with you to ensure your child gains access to the whole curriculum. We will also ensure that any specialist support required is in place. We have a large number of staff trained in first aid, and we liaise closely with the School Nurse team. Medicines are kept in a locked cupboard in the school office.
- If your child requires more specialist help to promote their well being, we will, in consultation with you, refer them to appropriate outside agencies, for example CHUMs.
For more information about how we support social, emotional and mental health needs in school please find a link at the bottom of this page.
How will St Leonard's Lower School support my child when they join the school? When they leave the school? And when they move class?
If your child is joining us from another school:
- Where possible the SENDCo and new class teacher will visit your child’s current setting to meet your child and gather as much information about your child’s needs as possible.
- If your child has an EHC plan, where possible the teaching assistant who will be supporting your child will make several visits to your child’s current setting to begin to build a relationship with your child.
- The SENDCo will arrange a transition meeting, which will involve you and all professionals involved in your child’s care so that there is an opportunity to share information.
- Where possible we will invite your child to several sessions at the school before they start so your child can familiarise themselves with our school. This may include visits after school so they can experience the environment and meet staff without the pressure of having to meet the children as well.
- If appropriate we will provide a photo book about our school and staff your child will come into contact with regularly you can share at home.
- The SENDCo will liaise with any external professionals already involved in your child’s provision.
If your child is moving to another school:
- We will contact the receiving school to ensure a smooth transition of information, and to inform them of the special arrangements we have in place for your child.
- Where possible we will actively encourage a transition planning meeting be arranged with the receiving school, which will include ourselves, you and staff from the new setting.
- We will ensure smooth transfer of records.
- We will organise additional visits to the new school for your child. These may be times when your child is accompanied by a familiar adult from our school.
- If possible we will encourage the teaching assistant and SENDCo from the receiving school to visit our school to meet your child
- If appropriate we will arrange for the receiving school to provide a photo book, social story or any other supportive documentation.
- In year 4 your child will participate in all the planned activities for the whole year group with additional support if necessary.
When moving classes in school:
- Information will be shared by the old class teacher with the new class teacher at a transition staff meeting. The current class teacher will ensure that SEND Plans, reports, materials and assessment records are passed on to the new teacher.
- The SENDCo will meet with the new class teacher to outline current levels of support and strategies in place to support your child.
- If your child has 1:1 support the teaching assistant will meet with the new teaching assistant to share information. The new teaching assistant will spend some time shadowing the current teaching assistant.
- The new class teacher will visit your child in their current classroom.
- Your child will take part in the transition days in the summer term when the children spend the days in their new classroom. They may have additional support for this.
- Additional visits to the new classroom will be planned. Initially these may be simply a walk through the room.
- Photo books, social stories etc will be created to aid the transition of your child from one class to another.
What support do St Leonard's Lower School provide to you as a parent of a child with SEN?
St Leonard's Lower School is proud of the relationship it builds with parents and carers. We recognise that you know your child and their needs, and acknowledge the huge importance of working together with you to provide the best possible education for your child. We will achieve this by:
- Will be regularly available to discuss your child’s progress and any concerns you may have.
- Will communicate with you regularly via email/reading record, and where appropriate may also have a daily communication book.
- Will meet you formally at least 3 times a year to discuss progress, targets and next steps in learning, and will formalise this in your child’s SEND Support Plan.
- Will ensure Learning at Home is appropriate for your child.
- Will support the teaching assistant supporting your child to communicate regularly with you (if your child has an EHC plan).
- Will keep you informed of any additional interventions / approaches being used to support your child.
- Will share successes with you
- Will liaise with you about any changes to the normal school day eg. School trips , sports events etc.
- Has an open door policy and is happy to meet you at any time, to discuss your child’s needs.
- Signposts you to relevant parent training sessions and support groups.
- Ensures smooth communication about your child with all involved in their support.
- Can signpost you to other services if you require specialist support.
What specialist services are accessed by the school?
School can refer for additional support from a number of services including: Advisory teacher for children with Autistic Sprectrum Disorders, Speech and Language therapy, Occupational therapy, Educational Psychologist, Jigsaw Behaviour Support team, Inclusion Officer, Education Welfare Officer, Parent Support Advisers, School counsellor, Play therapist, Social Workers, Early Years Support team, Physical Impairment team, CHUMS- child bereavement, trauma and emotional well-being, CAMHS- Child and adolescence mental health, School Nurse and Edwin Lobo Child development Centre (Consultant Paediatricians).
The school can also request further support for your child and your family through the Early Help Assessment process, which will identify the “best fit” service to support your child and your family depending on need.
Do any staff have training in SEND?
All teachers and teaching assistants have received a range of training including that on Autistic Spectrum Disorders, Sensory Awareness, Speech and language support, Lego therapy, Sounds-Write and Read Write Inc phonics, catch up maths, challenging behaviours and supporting children in different areas of the curriculum. We have a trained Emotional and Well-Being coordinator in school. Our Headteacher has a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (National Award for SENCO’s). She attends network meetings termly with SENDCo's from the local learning community. As an experienced SENDCo and a Central Bedfordshire Leader in Education she is also trained to audit SEND provision in other schools to secure good and outstanding practice (aptGO).
Our Early Years teacher and our SENDCo are speech, language and communication trained (ELKLAN) and attend termly meetings that provide an opportunity for Communication Champions to network and share examples of best practice and ideas with colleagues from other schools.
Is the school accessible to children with SEND?
Our school is accessible for disabled pupils, staff, parents, siblings and visitors.
- Our school site is on one level throughout.
- The playgrounds and the field are fully accessible to wheelchair users or those with physical difficulties.
- There is one disabled toilet.
- We ensure that, wherever possible, equipment used is accessible to all children regardless of their needs, and we provide specialist equipment when required to ensure equality of access to the curriculum.
- Wake Up and Sunflower club is accessible to all children, including those with SEN.
- All extra curricular activities are accessible for children with SEN.
- All children are entitled to attend visits off site, and all reasonable adjustments will be made to ensure this can happen for your child. This may mean additional staffing is provided to support your child on a trip / visit outside the school.
- The school will make all reasonable adjustments to the curriculum and the environment to ensure equality of access for your child.
We are committed to providing an accessible environment which values and includes all pupils, staff, parents and visitors regardless of their education, physical, sensory, social, spiritual, emotional and cultural needs. We are committed to challenging negative attitudes about disability and accessibility and to developing a culture of awareness, tolerance and inclusion.
We plan, over time, to ensure the accessibility of provision for all pupils, staff and visitors to the school.
Please see the disability, equality and accessibility plan by following the equality link at the bottom of this page.
What happens if my child has a medical condition?
All of our staff are paediatric first aid trained. Staff also have specific training in Asthma, Anaphylaxis and Epilepsy. Medical needs are shared with all staff. A care plan may be put in place with the input of medical professionals or the school nurse. Please refer to the school policy on Managing Medicines and First Aid.
How are the Governors involved in SEND provision?
The SENDCo reports to the Governors termly. The SEND governor meets with the SENDCo termly and through monitoring visits evaluates provision throughout the school. The SEND Governor is Theresa Allen.
SEND provision is audited yearly with the SEND advisory teacher, the audit informs action planning to ensure continued good practice.
What do I do if I have a complaint about the support the school provides for my child?
Parents/carers are partners with the school and are welcome to query decisions made by the school through the normal procedures described on the school complaints policy.
If parents do not agree with the Local Authority decision they have the right of appeal to the authority’s SEND tribunal.
For further information please follow the link for Central Bedfordshire’s local offer below.