SEN Information Report
Definition of SEN
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 of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty if he or she:
(a) Has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age; or
(b) 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 mainstream post-16 institutions. SEN Code of Practice (2014, p 4)
Definition of disability
Many children and young people who have SEN may also 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’ SEN Code of Practice (2014, p5)
What kinds of Special Education Needs do we make provision for?
At St Barnabas, we can make provision for every kind of frequently occurring special educational need without an Education, Health and Care Plan or EHC Plan (formerly called a Statement of Special Educational Need). Examples of frequently occurring SEN include dyslexia, DCD – developmental coordination disorder (formerly dyspraxia), speech and language needs, autism, asperger’s syndrome, learning difficulties and behaviour difficulties, emotional needs, physical and sensory needs, and visual and hearing impairments.
There are other kinds of SEN which do not occur as frequently and with which the school is less familiar, but we can access training and advice so that these kinds of needs can be met.
The school also currently meets the needs of pupils with an EHC Plan with the following kinds of special educational need: Communication and Interaction, Cognition and Learning, Social, Emotional and Mental Health and Physical and Sensory needs.
Decisions on the admission of pupils with an Education, Health and Care plan are made by the Local Authority. The admission arrangements for pupils without an Education, Health and Care Plan, do not discriminate against or disadvantage disabled children or those with SEN.
How do we identify and assess pupils with SEND?
Some children enter our school with their needs already assessed. Information on the new entrants is passed to the school through a range of outside agencies including parents, specialist teachers (STLS), previous settings and healthcare professionals. In other cases, the class teacher may become aware of difficulties children may have or parents may raise concerns.
At St Barnabas we monitor the progress of all pupils three times a year to review their academic progress. We also use a range of assessments with all the pupils at various points eg Y1 phonics screening, speech link, language for learning assessments, Leuven Scales of well-being and involvement.
Where progress is not sufficient, even if SEN has not been identified, we put in place extra support to enable the pupil to catch up. Examples of extra support include class support, differentiation of tasks, booster groups, phonics groups and focused intervention groups. These are recorded on the class Provision Maps.
Some pupils may continue to make inadequate progress, despite high-quality teaching targeted at their areas of weakness. For these pupils, and in consultation with parents, we will use a range assessment tools to determine the cause of the learning difficulty. At St Barnabas we are experienced in using the following assessment tools:
- Speech and Language Screening (Speech Link, Renfrew, Language for Learning)
- Dyslexia and Dyscalculia Screening
- Emotional and Wellbeing Screening (Leuven, Boxall Profile, SDQ’s)
- British Vocabulary Picture Scale (BPVS)
- Wide Range Intelligence Test (WRIT)
We further have access to external advisors who are able to use specific assessments depending on need including specialist teaching, educational psychology, speech, language and communication needs, occupational therapy and physiotherapy.
The purpose of this more detailed assessment is to understand what additional resources and different approaches are required to enable the pupil to make better progress. These will be shared with parents, put into a provision plan, reviewed regularly, and revised if necessary. At this point we will have identified that the pupil has SEN because the school is making special educational provision for the pupil which is additional and different to what is normally available.
If the pupil is able to make good progress using this additional and different resource, but would not be able to maintain this good progress without it, we will continue to identify the pupil as having SEN. If the pupil is able to maintain good progress without the additional and different resources, he or she will not be identified with SEN. When any change in identification of SEN is changed parents will be notified.
We will ensure that all teachers and support staff who work with the pupil are aware of the support to be provided and the teaching approaches to be used.
What is our policy for making provision for pupils with SEND?
Evaluating the effectiveness of provision for SEND pupils
Each review of the SEN provision plan will be informed by the views of the pupil, parents and class/subject teachers and the assessment information from teachers which will show whether adequate progress is being made.
The SEN Code of Practice (2014, 6.17) describes inadequate progress thus:
- Is significantly slower than that of their peers starting from the same baseline
- Fails to match or better the child’s previous rate of progress
- Fails to close the attainment gap between rate of progress
- Widens the attainment gap
All children on the SEN register (including those with EHC Plans) have their provision reviewed three times a year to evaluate impact.
For pupils an Education, Health and Care Plan there will be an annual review of the provision made for the child, which will enable an evaluation of the effectiveness of the special provision.
Assessing and reviewing the progress of pupils with SEND
Every pupil in the school has their progress tracked three times per year. In addition to this, pupils with SEN may have more frequent assessments if appropriate. The assessments we use are refer to in section 2. If these assessments do not show adequate progress is being made the SEND provision plan will be reviewed and adjusted.
Approach to teaching pupils with SEND
High quality teaching, differentiated for individual pupils, is the first step in responding to pupils who have or may have SEN. Mainstream core standards are used to further differentiate teaching approaches.
Adapting the curriculum and learning environment for SEND
At St Barnabas, we follow the advice in the Mainstream Core Standards on how to adapt the curriculum and the learning environment for pupils with special educational needs. We also incorporate the advice provided as a result of assessments and observations, both internal and external, and the strategies described in EHC Plans.
As part of our school’s accessibility planning, whenever new refurbishments or adaptation are made to the building, accessibility is improved as far as possible such as widening doors, providing accessible toilets and purchasing IT resources as necessary.
Additional support for pupils with SEND
As part of our budget, we receive ‘notional SEN funding’. This funding is used to ensure that the quality of teaching is good in the school and that there are sufficient resources to deploy additional and different teaching for pupils requiring SEN support.
The amount of support required for each pupil to make good progress will be different in each case. A list of the interventions we can offer is set out in Appendix 2. In very few cases a very high level of resource is required. The funding arrangements require schools to provide up to £6000 per year of resource for pupils with high needs, and above that amount the Local Authority should provide top up to the school. This is known as High Needs Funding and is applied for annually on an individual basis.
Enabling pupils with SEN to engage in our school activities (including physical activities) together with children who do not have SEND
All clubs, trips and activities offered to pupils at St Barnabas are available to pupils with SEND either with or without an EHC Plan. Where it is necessary, the school will use the resources available to it to provide additional adult support to enable the safe participation of the pupil in the activity.
Support available for improving the emotional and social development of pupils with SEND
At St Barnabas we understand that an important feature of the school is to enable all pupils to develop emotional resilience and social skills, both through direct teaching for instance in Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE), circle time, Zippy’s Friends and the follow-on Apples Friends, Nurture groups, Social Skills groups and indirectly with every conversation adults have with pupils throughout the day.
For some pupils with the most need for help in this area we also can provide Play therapy sessions within school, individual support from our school FLO (Family Liaison Officer), Pastoral support from a member of senior leadership team, external referral to CAHMs (Child and Adolescents Mental Health Services).
Pupils in the early stages of emotional and social development because of their SEN, will be supported to enable them to develop and mature appropriately. This will usually require additional and different resources, beyond that required by pupils who do not need this support.
Who is our Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (“SENCO”)
Our SENCO is Julia Maguire. Julia is a qualified teacher and has been a SENCO continuously since before 1 September 2009. She is therefore not required to undertake the National Award for SEN Co-ordination
Julia Maguire is available on 01892 522958 or firstname.lastname@example.org She is in school all day Tuesday and Thursday mornings.
Julia is supported in her role by Dave Prodrick the Family Liaison Officer (FLO) who is contactable Monday – Friday on 07966 190428 during school hours.
Staff Training and expertise at the school
Regular staff training is provided to ensure staff have the knowledge and resources to support SEND pupils. Additional awareness training is provided to teachers and teaching assistants where appropriate and enhanced training in specialist interventions is organised as required.
Staff at St Barnabas have received training in the following areas:
- Draw to Talk
- ASD awareness
- Sensory circuits
- Visual resources
- Lego Therapy
- Language for Learning
- Cued articulation
- Intensive Interaction
- Colourful semantics
- De-escalation techniques
- Reading Recovery
Where a training need is identified that we are not able to deliver, we find a provider who is able to deliver it. Training providers we can approach include Broomhill Bank School, Oakley School, Kent Specialist Teaching Service, Kent Educational Psychology Service, Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists. The cost of training is covered by the notional SEN funding detailed in section 3e above.
Equipment and facilities to support children with SEN
Where external advisors recommend the use of equipment or facilities which the school does not have, we will purchase it using the notional SEN funding, or seek it by loan. For highly specialist communication equipment the school will seek the advice of the KCC Communication and Assistive Technology team.
How we involve and consult with parents
All parents of pupils at our school are invited to discuss the progress of their children on three occasions during the school year and receive a written report once a year. In addition, we are happy to arrange meetings outside these times. As part of our normal teaching arrangements, all pupils will access some additional teaching to help them catch-up if the progress monitoring indicates that this is necessary; this will not imply that the pupil has SEN. All such provision will be recorded, tracked and evaluated on a Provision Map which will be shared with parents three times per year through consultations or reports.
If, following this normal provision. improvements in progress are not seen, we will contact parents to discuss the use of internal or external assessments which will help us to address these needs better. From this point onwards the pupil will be identified as having SEN because special educational provision is being made and the parent will be invited to all planning and reviews of this provision. Parents will be actively supported to contribute to assessment, planning and review.
In addition to this, parents of pupils with an Education, Health and Care Plan will be invited to contribute to and attend an annual review, which, wherever possible will also include other agencies involved with the pupil. Information will be made accessible for parents.
How do we involve children?
When a pupil has been identified as having SEN, the pupil will be consulted and involved in the arrangements made for them.
Children with Education, Health and Care Plans are invited to their annual review and discuss aspects of their school lives that are going well and areas for improvement or if more appropriate share work they are proud of.
We encourage parents to discuss their concerns with the class teacher in the first instance, then the SENCO, then the Head teacher to resolve the issue. If you still feel that your concern has not been resolved, then please contact the Chair of the governing body.
If the complaint is not resolved after it has been considered by the governing body, then a disagreement resolution service or mediation service can be contracted. If it remains unresolved after this, the complainant can appeal to the First–tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability), if the case refers to disability discrimination, or to the Secretary of State for all other cases.
There are some circumstances, usually for children who have an EHC Plan where there is a statutory right for parents to appeal against a decision of the Local Authority. Complaints which fall within this category cannot be investigated by the school.
How does the governing body involve outside agencies in meeting the needs of pupils with SEND and their families?
The governing body have engaged with the following bodies: -
- Free membership of Local Inclusion Forum Team (LIFT) for access to specialist teaching and learning service
- Link to Disabled Children’s Service for support to families for some pupils with high needs
- Access to local authority’s service level agreement with Speech and Language Therapy Services / Occupational Therapy Services / Physiotherapy Services for pupil with requirement for direct therapy or advice
- Ability to make ad hoc requests for advice from Communication and Assistive Technology Team, etc
- Membership of professional networks for SENCO
- Community Paediatrics
- School Nurse Service
Contact Details of Support Services
Kent Parent Partnership Service (KPPS) provides free, impartial, confidential, advice, support and options around educational issues for parents who have children with special educational needs or disabilities (0-19). They empower parents to play an active and informed role in their child’s education. They can be contacted on:
Helpline : 03000 41 3000. Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm
At St Barnabas, we work closely with the educational settings used by the pupils before they transfer to us in order to seek the information that will make the transfer is a seamless as possible. Teaching staff visit the children in their pre-school setting, parent information meetings are held prior to starting, taster sessions are held and home visits carried out. On occasion individual transition meetings, involving parents and external professionals, are held providing an extended opportunity for information sharing and planning.
We also contribute information to a pupils’ onward destination by providing information to the next setting. This is carried out through secondary teacher visits, taster days, additional visits if required, transfer of pupil information and attainment and Senco liaison.