Questions referenced to the SEN (Information) Regulations (Clause 65)
What kinds of special educational needs does the school cater for?
As an inclusive school we do not seek to closely define the special educational needs for which we will make provision.
The Code of Practice identifies 4 broad areas of need: (SEN Code of Practice, p. 86/87)
- Communication and interaction
- Cognition and learning
- Social, emotional and mental health difficulties
- Sensory and/or physical needs
At any given time we have a small number of pupils experiencing difficulties in one or more of these areas of need. This may be a relatively short term issue which may be resolved with targeted, timely support or it may be a difficulty relating to a long term issue or disability which may need a programme of on-going, rigorously evaluated and highly individualised support.
How does the school know if children need extra help and what should parents do if they think their child may have special educational needs?
At Eastfield Academy children are identified as having SEN through a variety of ways including the following:
- Liaison with previous school/setting
- Concerns raised by parents/carers
- Discussions with the pupils themselves through learning conferences and other pupil voice opportunities
- Discussions with staff following concerns
- Foundation Stage assessments via Tapestry
- Analysis of progress data which is collected six times a year that tracks individual academic attainment and progress
- Termly Pupil Progress meetings with member of SLT to discuss academic progress and any concerns
- Termly provision review meetings with the Inclusion Manager and Family and Pastoral Officer
- Using the Vulnerable Children Matrix
- Liaison with external agencies (e.g. Speech and Language Therapist, Educational Psychologist, paediatrician)
- Individualised diagnostic assessments may be undertaken
How does our school assess and review children and young people’s progress towards outcomes?
Progress towards targets is formally reviewed termly for all children including those with SEN during Pupil Progress meetings. Provision review meetings take place three times per year. More frequent assessments are carried out by the class teacher and Inclusion Manager. Where IEPs are used the targets are reviewed at least three times a year and more frequently if targets have been achieved. Ongoing discussions take place with the staff delivering specific interventions and parents to review pupils’ progress towards specific outcomes.
What is our approach to teaching children and young people with SEN?
Each teacher knows the individual needs of each pupil in his/her class through rigorous formative and summative assessments. Each teacher uses this information to differentiate the learning experiences to enable the children to achieve their potential and make progress.
Each class teacher endeavours to use inclusive teaching approaches; taking into account best practice for all learners and those with specific special educational needs. Teachers and Teaching Assistants meet each Monday morning during assembly to share the planning for the week and discuss individual needs.
Teaching assistants are not routinely allocated to work exclusively with children with special educational needs. The class teacher ensures equity of provision so that all children have the opportunity to work with the teacher as well as adults during the week. There are also opportunities for all children to work independently and with their peers.
Experts from education, health and social care are consulted where necessary to ensure the child’s needs are being met.
How are adaptations made to the curriculum and learning environment of children and young people with SEN?
Learning is visible within the classroom environment. A high level of visual structure and support is available within the classroom to support a range of learners. Teachers are mindful of children’s individual needs when planning seating arrangements and classroom layout. Parental involvement in induction meetings, home visits, individual Healthcare plan meetings, Annual Reviews and parents’ evenings are crucial in ensuring the curriculum and learning environment are adapted appropriately.
The advice from outside agencies and other professionals from education, health and social care is adhered to. Pupils’ individual needs are communicated to all staff via the pupil passport or one page profile format where appropriate.
How does our school evaluates the effectiveness of its provision for children and young people with SEN?
The effectiveness of provision is evaluated formally three times a year. Data is scrutinised by the Inclusion Manager who produces an evaluation for the Governing Body. Monitoring of specific interventions is undertaken regularly for quality assurance purposes and there is an ongoing dialogue between the class teacher, Teaching Assistant and Inclusion Manager to ensure provision continues to be appropriate and effective for the pupils involved.
How is the decision made about how much individual support pupils will receive?
- Strategies for learning are decided collaboratively by the class teacher, Inclusion Manager and, where appropriate, outside agencies or other teachers in the school.
Parents and children also contribute to this process. Strategies may include the use of other staff, adults or peers in the school. Children may be supported in class or withdrawn to a quieter area. They may experience a combination of strategies.
- Parents are invited to Parents’ Evenings or drop-in sessions termly.
- Individual support is decided upon by all the adults involved; the children themselves being involved in the process where possible.
- Parents receive copies of reports and interventions are discussed with them.
- Liaison with parents about accessing outside agency support always takes place and parental permission is always sought.
SUPPORT FOR LEARNING AND WELLBEING
How does the school support pupils with special educational needs?
If it is felt that, despite a wealth of universal provision and differentiation, the child is not able to fully access the curriculum, or is struggling to make progress, interventions are agreed in liaison with all the adults involved. These are shown on the termly provision map (which sets out provision for all learners – not just those with SEN). Every child works within the framework of the Foundation Stage Early Learning Goals and / or National Curriculum, adapted to suit his/her particular needs. The adaptations ensure that each child experiences success and enjoys self-esteem. For a small number of children (usually those with more complex needs, where an outside agency is involved or where an EHC plan is in place) Individual Education Plans are drawn up. These contain SMART targets, a time-scale and an outline of extra provision, as well as in-class support/ differentiation agreed. They are formally reviewed three times a year but, as working documents, are adjusted and amended as progress takes place. We utilise a variety of programmes and individualised approaches to support our children with SEN.
What activities are available for pupils with SEN in addition to those available in accordance with the curriculum?
At Eastfield Academy a wide range of clubs and enrichment activities are available to all children to develop their interests and talents. We have a number of visitors to school and visits within the local area. We endeavour to make our learning opportunities accessible to all our children wherever possible.
What support is in place for supporting pupils’ overall wellbeing?
Each child’s social and emotional needs are discussed by key staff termly at provision review meetings and more frequently if needed. Class based schemes of work and individual pastoral intervention programmes are adapted according to needs. There is a Family and Pastoral Support Officer employed along with a TA with responsibility for delivering group and 1:1 interventions. Referrals to outside agencies are made where appropriate and in the best interests of the child and family.
All pupils’ views are gathered before each Parents’ Evening and as part of the PEP review process for ‘Looked After Children’. Children’s views are sought before referrals to outside agencies and as part of the EHA process. We use pupil passports and/or one page profiles to gather the views of pupils with SEN and disabilities.
The anti-bullying policy is available on the school website.
Pastoral records are kept by teaching staff and the pastoral team. All staff take part in regular Child Protection training sessions. Children have access to a Worry Box in which they can place a slip of paper with their name on it. There is also a wellbeing wheel in place for children to use as another source of support.
The administration of medicines is run by the school office. Parents must complete a form regarding the medicine, dosage and personal details before signing it to state that they are happy for the medicine to be administered.
We have a whole school approach to managing behaviour which is adopted by all staff. Children are aware of the behaviour policy for both lesson times and break times.
Attendance is monitored closely by the Attendance Officer and the Senior Leadership Team. Home visits and phone calls take place as required and the school liaise with the local authority Education Entitlement Service (EES) when necessary.
INVOLVEMENT OF PARENTS AND PUPILS
How will parents know how their child is doing?
Communications with parents are mainly established by the class teacher but may also be via the Head teachers, Inclusion Manager or Pastoral team. Newsletters are sent home regularly along with topic information. More information is found on our blog.
Parents receive an annual report and Parents’ Evenings are held three times a year along with drop-ins at other times. Parents do not have to wait for these to be held – they can ask for an appointment any time. Parents of children with an Education, Health and Care Plan are formally invited to their child’s Annual Review, with regular informal meetings being held to update on progress.
How are parents involved in discussions about planning for their child’s education?
We encourage parents to be involved as much as possible in planning for their child’s education. We operate an open door policy and ensure that all parents are invited to Parents’ Evenings with other meetings/conversations being held when the need arises.
How are children able to contribute their views?
Children are also able to contribute their views via the Class and School Council. They are selected to form an interview panel when appointing new staff. Children with SEN are involved in reviewing their targets and discussing next steps and the nature of support that they need. They are involved wherever possible in writing one page profiles and pupil passports.
PROVISIONS, RESOURCES & SERVICES
How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to pupils’ SEN?
SEN funding is clearly allocated in our budget as targeted funding for SEN which is allocated for resources and training and is used to support any child with additional needs, including those children with EHC plans. The Head teacher/School Business Manager are responsible for the SEN budget. Class teachers consider differentiation when spending their allocated classroom budget.
Teaching Assistants are deployed according to the needs of the children.
What specialist services and expertise are available at the school or accessed by the school?
All members of staff have regular Child Protection awareness training. The Inclusion Manager has an MA in Education with the focus on SEND. She has an OCR Level 5 Certificate in Teaching Learners with Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia) and Certificate in Professional Studies in Education (SENCO). Her PhD involved research into the peer relationships of vulnerable groups of learners.
The specialist TA delivering speech and Language Therapy targets has attended the Talking Success training facilitated by NHS speech and language therapists and we have two HLTAs on staff. All TAs have regular in-house training as needed.
The Family and Pastoral Officer has a Certificate of Higher Education in Counselling Skills and an NVQ level 3 in Learning Development and Support Services for Children and Young People and those who care for them. We have 7 first aiders across the school. We access support from the Speech and Language Therapy Service, Educational Psychology Service and other support services as required.
Four staff are EHA trained.
How accessible is the school / academy environment?
(n.b. every school/academy must have an up to date Accessibility Plan which is reviewed periodically by Governors).
The main building has wheelchair access but there is not currently easy access to the playground from the main building. There are toilets with disabled access in the foyer of the main building, in Nursery and in the mobile. The building has a Hearing Loop for those with a hearing impairment. Colour has been used to demarcate external door entrances to support those with visual impairments. Additional adaptation are made to the environment where needed.
How are pupils included in activities outside the classroom including trips?
(n.b the DDA Reasonable Adjustments legislation expects schools/academies to be anticipatory in respect of school activities and trips)
All children have access to the National Curriculum unless an individual EHC Plan indicates otherwise. When needed, extra support and resources are provided in specific subject areas, including trips, with parents and pupils being involved in planning these activities and trips to help consider what reasonable adjustments are required.
How does the school prepare and support pupils to join the school, transfer to a new school or the next stage of education and life in order to ensure their well-being?
At points of transition children spend time in their new class prior to joining it. Their new teacher will meet with the current teacher to share information. Where possible both teachers attend the final provision meeting of the year. Pupil passports and one page profiles are used to support transition within school and beyond. Specific plans are put into place for children with SEN if needed and, where helpful, transition booklets are made by staff and pupils to support this process.
Before joining secondary school the children are often visited by a member of staff and have at least one visit. Where necessary more can be arranged. Staff from both settings liaise and transfer forms are filled in.
Children joining school at the start of Nursery and Reception are invited in for various informal events such as ‘Stay and Play’ and a picnic. Staff will make a home visit prior to the child starting in the Foundation Stage.
In Key Stages 1 and 2 new children are offered a place by the Admissions Team at the Local Authority. The parents and child are invited into school to meet with the Head Teacher or Inclusion Manager and other key staff. Here all the necessary information is collected and paperwork completed. The child will then normally start at the beginning of the following week. Liaison with the previous school (where contactable) will be carried out by the Inclusion Manager, office staff or class teacher as appropriate. Information is then shared with all necessary staff and support put in as needed to ensure a smooth transition.
When children with SEN leave other than at the end of Nursery or Year 6 the Inclusion Manager will contact the receiving school and ensure all relevant information is passed on. Where needed transition meetings can be arranged.
FURTHER INFORMATION AND CONTACTS
The first point of contact for any parent wishing to discuss their child would be the child’s class teacher. The Head teachers, Inclusion Manager and pastoral team operate an open door policy and actively encourage parents to contact them.
Complaints about the school should be addressed to the Head teacher.
Complaints about the Head teacher should be addressed to the Chairman of the Governing Body.
We welcome the involvement, when necessary, of the parent partnership service – now called Information, Advice and Support Service for SEND in Northamptonshire.
The Children and Families Act 2014 requires Local Authorities and schools to publish and keep under review information about services they expect to be available for children and young people with SEN aged 0 to 25. This is called the Local Offer and can be found at:
The contact details of the Inclusion Manager are:
Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator
Tel: 01604 405042 ext 103