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SEN and Disability

Most schools have a similar approach to meeting the needs of children with Special Educational Needs and/or disabilities (SEND).  Our school is supported by the Local Authority to ensure that all children, regardless of their specific needs, achieve their potential in school.

Under the Children and Families Bill, Local Authorities and schools are required to publish information about the services they expect to be available for children and young people with SEND aged 0-25. The Local Authority refers to this as the ‘Local Offer’ and information will be available on the Oldham Council website.

The intention is to improve choice and transparency for families and to provide important information and signage regarding the range of services and provision within the local area.

Young people and their families should be involved in discussions about the support they need, so they can share their knowledge and feed back to the school on the young person’s progress.

Education, health and care plans (EHC) will replace statements of special educational needs. New assessments for additional educational needs will follow the EHC guidelines from September 2014. (Existing statements will remain in force until all children and young people have completed the transition, which will be within three years).

Children with additional needs are placed underneath one umbrella – SEND.

SEND is then split into 4 areas:

  • Communication and interaction
  • Cognition and learning
  • Social, emotional and mental health difficulties
  • Sensory and/or physical

For more information about our school, see the questions and answers below. You can find our School SEND Policy on our School Policies page.

School Offer

How does our school know if children need extra help and as a parent/carer what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?

Regular teacher assessment and pupil progress meetings help us to identify any children who may need additional help and support at school.  If your child is identified as not making progress, we will set up a meeting to discuss this with you in more detail. We will listen to concerns, plan any additional support your child may need and discuss any referrals to outside professionals to support your child’s learning. This will be done as a partnership. As a parent, if you feel that your child requires additional support, or may have additional needs, you can ask for a meeting to discuss your concerns.

If my child has SEND who will be involved?

Class teacher : If your child is not making progress, your child’s class teacher will first make sure their learning is suited to them and will adapt tasks, the way learning is approached, or the way they help motivate your child and monitor their progress.  If there is little, or no improvement, they will seek advice from the SENCO (see below) to discuss if there is anything we can offer additionally, who may involve outside agencies. If a specific need is identified, the school will ask you to work alongside them in the setting of targets for their learning. Staff will use any strategies, equipment or approaches identified as helpful to your child’s progress.   We will ask for your child’s views during this process.

SENCO - Mrs Mizban :The Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) will help the class teacher in identifying children with SEND and consider what else can be tried within the classroom. Once children are identified, they then liaise with school staff and help with setting appropriate outcomes and choosing suitable interventions to help your child make progress. They may assess your child to help them do this and seek their view. They may also coordinate the intervention from outside agencies such as Educational Psychology or a Child’s Therapist such as a Speech and Language Therapist. The SENCO will contact you regarding outside agency involvement and may contact you regarding the outcome of assessments, or your child’s needs or progress.

Teaching assistants: The Teaching Assistants may support your child’s learning in class, either by directly working with them, or by working with others in the class to allow the class teacher to work directly with your child. They also take children for small group or one to one intervention work, designed to help your child make greater progress.

How will the Early Years staff support my child?

If a child with SEN is starting at our school in Nursery or Reception, the class teacher or Deputy Head and SENCo will visit the nursery or pre-school setting, or home and attend any review meetings prior to your child starting school. We can also discuss a transition plan so we can meet the needs of your child immediately. This may include additional visits, photo books for you to share with your child, or a staggered start at the point of entry.  We will work closely with any outside agencies your child may have been involved with.  Your child may also be allocated a key person within school to help them settle.  The emphasis on learning is through free access to structured activities.  Early Years staff will ensure that your child is able to access all activities, providing additional support where needed.

How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?

All teachers deliver high quality teaching, and have the high expectations for all pupils in the class. The class teacher plans lessons according to the specific needs of all groups of children. All teaching is based on building on what your child already knows and understands. Different ways of teaching are in place so that your child is fully involved in learning in class. For your child this may involve using more practical learning, different resources, using technology or having additional adult support. Your child’s class teacher will have carefully assessed your child’s progress informally and formally and will know where there are gaps in understanding or learning.  They will decide, with the advice of the Senco when additional support is needed.

Specific resources may be used including:

  • A quiet area within the classroom to limit distractions
  • Pencil grips to support control and to improve handwriting
  • Sit-fit cushion to support with posture
  • Visual prompts to remind children of learning
  • Visual timetables to support routines and changes
  • Prompt cards such as I need help or a timeout card
  • Emotional diaries
  • Sensory equipment
  • Reading filters
  • Easy grip scissors
  • Enlarged resources
  • Now and next approaches

As a parent/carer, how will I know how my child is doing and how will school help me to support my child’s learning?

Class teachers and teaching assistants observe and assess your child throughout each lesson. This knowledge, in addition to the information collected during planned assessments, helps the class teacher to make judgments about your child’s strengths, areas for development and progress made.

The class teacher discusses the progress of each child at a termly pupil progress meeting with the Deputy Head teacher. It is during these meetings that the teacher highlights concerns about progress and identifies any difficulties within the learning. A support plan may be suggested to monitor progress, which will be reviewed by the class teacher and Deputy at the next pupil progress meeting.

Parents of children with SEND will be invited into school termly to attend a pupil-centred review meeting.   At the meeting we will discuss your child’s strengths and identify areas for development. Progress will be reviewed with your involvement and plans and targets made for the next term. This will include an element of support from home. Outside professionals may attend and any information from them will be discussed with you.

In addition to the designated meeting, the class teacher is regularly available to discuss any concerns you may have.

The progress of a child with a statement of SEND or an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP), is formally reviewed at an Annual Review with all adults involved with the child’s education.

What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing?

Unless children are happy at school, learning is not as effective as it should be. As a school, pastoral care is very important to us and all staff work hard to support all children, particularly those who are struggling with emotional or social difficulties.

In addition to the high quality class teaching, we run specific programmes for individuals and small groups of children. These include social skills groups such as Lego Therapy, Forest School, Time to Talk or Play Skills. We use these sessions to focus on targets to help make progress in specific areas. We also use personalised programmes usually on a one to one basis, which may be supported by outside agencies.

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by our school?

We use a wide range of services to support our children and families- for more information visit the Oldham council website.

We are currently involved with:

  • QEST (Quality and Effectiveness Support Team)
  • Educational Psychology
  • Speech and Language Therapy (SALT)
  • Visual Impairment Team
  • Hearing Impairment Team
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Healthy Young Minds
  • School Nurse
  • Early Help
  • Jigsaw
  • Mind – low level Social, Emotional and Mental Health support

What training do the staff supporting children with SEND have?

The Head teacher and SENCO attend relevant training in order to keep their knowledge of SEND and the strategies and interventions up to date along with current developments.

Our SENCO has achieved the National Award for Senco’s and regularly attends local network meetings.  Her role involves delivering or organising training relevant to the needs of the school, for all members of staff.

During recent years the staff have received training in:

  • Social stories
  • Autism level 1
  • Development of social skills
  • Development of social and emotional skills
  • Elklan Speech and language
  • Speech and Language interventions
  • BLAST speech and language
  • Emotional literacy
  • Lego therapy
  • Behaviour interventions
  • Mind – wellbeing

How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?

As an inclusive school, every child has the opportunity to access all areas of the curriculum. Therefore provision for trips and activities will be adapted to meet individual needs, this includes our residential. Any child needing specific help will have this discussed between school and home before any visit or activity. Individual risk assessments will be required for specific children who may need additional support to access certain activities.

How accessible is the school environment?

Overall, the school has good access for pupils, staff and parents with a disability. The school building is mainly on one level. Access to the school hall is up four steps, but there is a working stair lift in place. In the outdoor environment, playgrounds are on a level lower than the main school building but access to all play areas is by ramps from the school building. Within the school building there is one disabled access toilet. Corridors and doors are all wide enough to allow wheelchair access, as is the main entrance to the school building. Entrances for pupils are all via a level surface or ramped access. Only three (of 12) fire exit doors are restricted by steps, and alternative exits are located close by. The school has three marked disabled parking spaces and access from the car park to the main building is not restricted by steps or other obstacles.

How will St. Hugh’s prepare and support my child to join the school, or transfer to a new setting for the next stage of education and life?

We recognise that transitions can be difficult for a child with SEND and we take steps to ensure that any move is as smooth as possible.

For any child joining our school or moving to another school we will contact the SENCO and ensure we get all the relevant information for a child starting with us.  We will pass on all records and information of children with SEND moving onto a new school, so that any additional support can be put into place as quickly as possible.

When moving classes within school additional visits when children are moving year group may be arranged for children with SEND, along with time to meet the new staff.  If appropriate, supporting teaching assistants may move classes with the child.

For children in Year 6

We make sure all relevant information is discussed and sent to the SENCO of the secondary school in the summer term. We invite Heads of Year 7 to a review meeting to meet parents and discuss needs. We organise additional visits to the local secondary school for children with SEND, so they can become familiar with the layout and routines.

How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?

The school budget, received from Oldham LA, includes money for supporting children with SEND. The Head Teacher decides on the deployment of resources for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities in consultation with the school governors, on the basis of needs in the school.  At the end of the school year, the Head Teacher, Deputy Head and  SENCO discuss all the information they have about SEND in the school, including existing support, the children needing extra support and decide what resources/training and support is needed for the coming year.  We identify the needs of our pupils on a school provision map which for SEND pupils identifies all resources/training and support are reviewed termly and changes are made as required to meet the needs of each cohort.

How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?

If your child continues to make little or no progress, despite high quality teaching targeting their needs, the class teacher and the SENCO will assess whether the child has a significant learning difficulty. Where this is the case, in consultation with yourselves as parents/carers, an agreement about the level of SEND support that is required will take place. The support will be carefully monitored to look at the impact. If there is no or very little impact, it may be necessary to apply for an Education Health and Care plan to further support the child’s needs.

Schools receive funding for all pupils including those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and they meet pupil’s need from this (including equipment).

If the assessment of a pupil’s needs identifies something that is significantly different to what is usually available, there will be additional funding allocated. Parents will have a say in how this is used. You will be told if this means you are eligible for a personal budget, which is granted by the LEA. This must be used to fund the agreed plan.

How are you as parents/carers involved with the school?

Parents/carers will be involved in all decision making about your child’s learning. We arrange termly meetings to review progress. We discuss what is working in school and how this can be adapted at home. We set and review targets together with parents/carers so we work very much in partnership.  We operate an open-door policy and ask that you contact school at any time if you have any concerns you wish to discuss.

Who can I contact for further information?

For initial concerns contact the class teacher, then the SENCO.

Our SEND Governor is Joe Fitzpatrick.

Oldham’s parent/carer forum is called POINT (Parents of Oldham in Touch). This is an umbrella organisation for all parents and carers of children & young people with Special Educational Needs, disabilities and complex medical needs. They work with Oldham Council, education, health and other providers to make sure the services they plan and deliver meet the needs of disabled children and families

What to do if you as a parent/carer are not happy with a decision or have some concerns?

Your first point of contact is always the person responsible – this may be the class teacher; the SENCO or the Home School Liaison Officer. Explain your concerns to them first. If you are not satisfied that your concern has been addressed speak to the Head teacher then speak to the SEND Governor.

If your concern is with the local authority, contact the Complaints and Representations Officer, contact details as follows:

Complaints and Representations Officer

Freepost – RRGY-TJSR-GHGZ

PO Box 40

Level 8, Civic Centre

West Street

Oldham, OL1 1XJ

Tel: 0161 770 1129

cypf.complaints@oldham.gov.uk

The Parent Partnership Service provides independent, individual information and advice for parents of children with special educational needs. Visit http://www.oldham.gov.uk/pps/info/12/about_the_service for more information.

Local Authority Offer

Oldham Council also has in place a Local Offer. The local offer sets out in one place information about provision that will be available for children and young people in the Oldham area (and outside the area) who have SEN or are disabled, including those who do not have EHC Plans.  You can find out more information about this by clicking here.

St Hugh's SEND Policy and Accessibility Policy.

You can read our SEND and Accessibility policies by clicking the document below.

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