Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

Special Educational Needs Coordinator: Dawn Lowry,  Emailhead@westfieldinfants.co.uk

For children who have a specific learning difficulty or a disability, our Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) policy outlines the educational support we provide – this is often referred to as our ‘SEND Offer’, detailed below. This provision is alongside the Leeds Local Offer.

How we support children with SEND

We use the Department for Education’s definition of what Special Educational Needs (SEN) is:

A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her. A child 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, or· has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of educational facilities.

The role of the child

Every individual child and their learning is at the heart of all we do. With great teaching, support and guidance, we expect all children in our school to achieve their full potential. The children’s role is to participate fully in the teaching and learning process. They should listen carefully, contribute ideas and answers, try their very best in their independent learning and seek help when they need it.

The role of the parent / carer

Parents are vital partners in the child’s journey through school and are invited to attend review meetings of their child’s progress. For example, this could be a parents’ / carer’s evening appointment or a meeting with the class teacher and Ms Lowry, the Inclusion Leader. Where the child has more complex needs, parents / carers are also invited to annual reviews which may involve other professionals. We expect parents / carers to engage with school and to support their child’s learning at home. Central to this is hearing their child read on a daily basis, making sure their child learns spellings and tables and helping with homework tasks.

The role of the teacher and teaching assistant

All our children are treated as individuals and the class teacher, alongside support staff, plans an appropriately differentiated curriculum for children. This ensures high quality teaching and learning with effective support and resources. When needed, we put in place targets, plans and appropriate provision to meet the additional needs of children with SEN. We review these regularly. Assessments are carried out to ensure children are on track to meet targets and that planning accurately addresses their needs. Progress and plans are regularly reviewed and evaluated to inform next steps.Many staff in school are trained, and have worked alongside other professionals, to develop their skills, knowledge and expertise in specific areas of SEN. For example, we have staff who have developed high levels of expertise in the delivery of speech and language therapy and we run groups to further develop the language skills of our children. High priority is given to the emotional and social well-being of our children and we offer nurture groups and 1:1 support for children who may benefit.

The role of school leaders

All SEN provision is overseen and managed by the Inclusion Leader, Ms Lowry who is also the Head Teacher.  The Governing Body has overall responsibility for SEN provision. They oversee how individual needs are being met and how SEN funding above £6,000 is being spent. Funding may, for example, be spent on additional services such as additional speech and language therapy, learning resources and the role of Mrs Fryer our Inclusion Worker for children who need this additional support.Leaders ensure that the school’s physical environment is as appropriate and accessible as possible, within the means and confines of the school building.

The role of outside agencies

With the needs of the child at the heart of what we do, we may seek support from other agencies. This would be when we need specific or substantially greater help such as advice from Educational Psychologists, the School Nurse and the Complex Needs Team. We work with Extended Services who can provide services such as Family Outreach Workers, Counselling and Therapeutic Services.n a cluster.

Frequently asked questions from parents / carers

What do I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?
You should contact your child’s teacher initially or arrange a meeting with the Inclusion Leader, Ms Lowry. We will listen carefully to concerns and put appropriate actions in place. This may involve suggesting other professionals who might be able to help. As we closely monitor every child’s attainment and progress, it’s likely that we will have already spoken to you about any concerns we have.

How will school support my child?
The class teacher will plan specific targets and the support needed to meet those targets. This is likely to include lots of extra practice of a specific aspect of learning over the course of the week as well as differentiated tasks within lessons. This will be overseen by the Inclusion Leader and any other professionals involved with the child. Any alternative provision will be delivered by teachers and support staff and will be reviewed regularly by teachers and the Inclusion Leader. Any plans or targets will be shared with you at parents’ evenings or at review meetings with the Inclusion Leader.

How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
As well as individual plans and targets, which would usually be delivered on a one to one basis, we make sure that all children have access to a curriculum which is differentiated to challenge and meet individual needs. We might also group children so they access targeted support or specific resources together – this group work often helps with their learning and social needs.

How will I know how well my child is doing and how will you help me support my child’s learning?
In addition to normal reporting arrangements, there are parents’ evenings and review meetings where there will be opportunities for you to discuss your child’s progress with the class teacher. You can be involved in supporting your child’s education in consultation with the class teacher. This may involve special homework tasks or reinforcement of classroom strategies in the home. We will always try to offer parent training or learning events to help this process and we welcome suggestions from you if there’s anything else that you would like support with.

What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?
Yeadon Westfield Infant School is an inclusive school. We make sure all our children have the highest levels of pastoral care possible. This support may include sessions with our Inclusion Worker, Mrs Fryer, who plans programmes to meet the additional emotional and social needs of individual children. We have close partnerships with outside agencies. This ensures support is available for families who may need additional support. We also have staff trained in Early Help Plans which can provide support to families in need.  All our staff are trained in child protection procedures and there are two members of staff, the Inclusion Leader and Inclusion Worker, who are specially designated to ensure the safeguarding of all children.

What specialist services and expertise are available or accessed by the school?
Our open door policy ensures you can feel confident when you approach school with a problem. You can tell us your concerns and we will access a range of services to provide support. This may involve referral to targeted services such as counselling or family support. Where education is the issue, the Inclusion Leader has access to specialists such as Educational Psychology, Speech and Language Therapists, Complex Needs Team and the STARS team (specialists in autism). We recognise the importance of early diagnosis and intervention and have close links with the Early Years Team. Similarly, we work closely with the School Nurse, who is available to train staff when children have specific medical issues and links with many other support agencies.

What training are the staff supporting children with SEN having / had?
Our staff have many years experience working with children with SEN.  Our Inclusion Worker and one-to-one support staff are skilled in behaviour management. Through in-house training and input from outside providers, we also have high levels of expertise in the understanding of behavioural difficulties and have robust systems in place to support and monitor children whose barriers to learning lie in this area. Staff have attended extra training to support their own learning.

How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom?
We ensure all children with SEN are able to access all activities and school trips enjoyed by their peers (although these may have be adapted for those with specific needs). We consult with parents / carers when planning activities to ensure safety and inclusion when it will help meet the child’s needs. Some children with complex needs will receive extra funding and this will be used where possible to employ staff on a one-to-one basis to promote independence but to also support inclusion at all times.

How accessible is the school?
An appropriate and accessible learning environment is provided within the confines of the building and is adapted where possible with additional funding if necessary. Children who need additional specific equipment and facilities will have their needs met to the best of our ability, sometimes through an application for additional funding.

How will school help my child move on to the next phase of education?
Transition arrangements are firmly established in the school. You and your child, where appropriate, will be involved in any decisions made. Social and emotional support is planned to ensure all children make transitions smoothly and confidently.

How are school resources allocated and matched to the children’s SEN needs?
The school is funded on a national formula per pupil. Blocks of £6,000 are allocated depending on the number of children who meet the criteria and who are on the school’s inclusion register. The school can apply for a ‘top-up’ if we feel that a child’s needs are greater than what can be provided through the £6,000 block. We would use the additional funds to put appropriate support in place to meet the specific needs of your child. This may take the form of a one-to-one support worker to support the child to access a personalised timetable, develop independence and access all areas of the curriculum. However, do be aware that there are strict criteria for additional funding to be granted.

How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
The Inclusion Leader will take advice from all professionals involved with the child alongside the views of you and your child. The best possible package of support will be put in place. We will regularly monitor the support and update where necessary.There are different stages in deciding what level of help is needed.

  • The first level is called School Support. At this stage, the class teacher will want to talk to you and ask for any information you can give. She may also talk to the Inclusion Manager, and together they may decide to draw up an Individual Education Plan, which will focus attention on areas of difficulty experienced. With your help and support, this may resolve any issues.
  • If a child is not able to make better progress, it may be that the school wants to seek extra advice. If so, with your permission, contact can be made by the school with the outside agencies such as Educational Psychologist or the School Support Service provided by Leeds City Council. If this is the case, then the child moves onto the next stage. A new Education Plan is drawn up, with new targets and regular checks made on progress. Close contact is kept with parents, and regular reviews held, to which you would be invited.
  • If, however, a child’s difficulties present such a barrier to learning that progress is still not being made, the school may suggest that the child’s needs should be reviewed by Leeds City Council to decide whether he or she should have a Statutory Assessment. If this assessment shows that the level of needs meets the appropriate criteria, this may lead to the writing of an Education Healthcare Plan

What is an Education Healthcare Plan?
In the event that progress is still not taking place after intervention the school and/or the parents may request that the child should be formally reviewed by Leeds City Council for a Statutory Assessment, which may eventually lead to an Education Healthcare Plan, as previously outlined. The school can only do this with your agreement and involvement. You will be able to provide vital information about your child to help in the assessment, and will be able to tell Leeds City Council what you think about his or her difficulties. Your role and your opinions are very important. If Leeds City Council agrees about the level of your child’s difficulty, then an Education Healthcare Plan needs will be drawn up. This is a legal document describing aspects of your child’s learning or physical development that need additional support. The school has a duty to provide this support in a manner appropriate to each individual child.

I’ve heard of the Code of Practice. What is it?
The Code of Practice is a document published by the Government. It gives schools certain guidelines about how to manage special needs. We have to consider what the Code says when deciding on the best help for a child. It is not a legal document, but it does contain information about legal requirements.

How are parents involved in the school and how can I be involved?
Parents are kept informed about teaching and learning through regular newsletters, parents’ evenings and other events. We have learning workshops to show parents our methods of teaching phonics, reading and maths. Teachers are happy to meet with parents, often on a drop-in basis, to discuss ways to support your child at home. If you want to be more involved, you could consider joining the school’s active PSA or the Governing Body.

How can I find more information?
If you want to discuss something about your child, contact the class teacher in the first instance.If you want information about other support services, ask our Inclusion Worker, Mrs Fryer, or the Inclusion Leader, Ms Lowry. 

Leeds Local Offer

There a number of resources and events available to families:

In Leeds we also have a 12 month SEND Navigator pilot, the SEND Navigators are able to support families to navigate SEND services in Leeds. The team aim to signpost families and provide support around pathways by upskilling and empowering them to access universal and targeted services. 

Leeds Local Offer Facebook Group

The Leeds Local Offer has developed a facebook group for parents and carer of children with special educational needs and disabilities.  The facebook group is platform to share with families key service updates, events, consultations and much more.   https://www.facebook.com/groups/leedslocaloffer