Blandford St Mary Primary School
Blandford St Mary Primary School
Special Educational Needs Policy Any child may experience difficulties at some time during their school life. At Blandford St Mary, we work hard to help all our children release their potential. We are committed to providing an education that ensures equality of opportunity and high achievement for all our children. The Special Educational Needs Code of Practice, (2001), plays an important role in delivering that commitment. Through following the Code of Practice, we have a consistent approach to meeting children’s special educational needs. Our focus is on preventative work to ensure that children’s special educational needs are identified as quickly as possible and early action is taken to meet those needs. What is meant by Special Educational Needs? A child has special educational needs if they have a ‘learning difficulty which calls for special educational provision to be made for them’ (SEN Code of Practice). By provision, it is meant anything put in place which is ‘additional to, or otherwise
different from, the educational provision made generally for children of their age in schools maintained by the LEA, other than special schools, in the area’ (SEN Code of Practice) What is meant by Learning Difficulty? A child has a learning difficulty if they: have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age; or have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for children of the same age in schools within the area of the local education authority are under compulsory school age and fall within the definition at (a) or (b) above or would so do if special educational provision was not made for them.
(Section 312, Education Act 1996)
It is important to note that the term ‘learning difficulty’ is not solely limited to the area of cognition, learning and academic progress. There are four areas to consider that are equally important as if one is missing, the child may experience greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age. These areas of needs are: Cognition and Learning Communication and Interaction Social, Emotional, Behavioural Physical, Sensory and Medical
The school adheres to the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Act, (2001), in that there is no discrimination against current and prospective pupils on account of their disabilities.
Blandford St Mary Primary School The Code of Practice Our school has a statutory duty to follow the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice, (effective 1-1-2002). The Code of Practice identifies two levels of support: School Action – An expression of concern, regarding the pupil’s difficulties and can be raised by the teacher, parent or another professional. The pupil’s difficulties are noted and their support and provision is mapped out on the school provision map. The pupil’s progress is monitored and reviewed by the class teacher and the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo). School Action Plus – The pupil continues to have difficulties which have not responded fully to help given within the school. Progress is not satisfactory and there is evidence that the pupil is falling progressively behind the majority of the children the same age in attainment in any of the National Curriculum core subjects or any of the key areas of learning. An Individual Education Plan (IEP) is devised by the class teacher and this is shared with the class teaching assistant (TA) and the Special Educational Needs teaching assistant (SEN TAs). The school calls upon external specialist support such as Special Educational Needs Specialist Support (SENSS) or Educational Psychologist (EP) to help access the possible problems, identify strategies and help the pupil make progress. The external specialist plays a key role in helping the school assess the information collected and the action needed to be taken. They also devise a specialised IEP, specific to the child’s needs and difficulties. This is dove tailed into the child's class IEP to allow for a more effective approach to targeting the child's needs. The progress is monitored by the class teacher and the SENCo as well as regular reviews by the supporting, outside agencies. For further details, refer to the DFES Code of Practice document, Chapter 5 – Identification, Assessment and Provision in the Primary Phase. Statements, Top Ups, Assessments. Resources (STAR Panel) If the pupil’s difficulties continue to cause concern and the support put in place by the school has not had any effect, then a request to the LEA STAR panel can be made for top up funding to support the child further in school. For example: a 1:1 support. They will also consider an application to start a statutory assessment. This referral would normally come from the pupil’s school but may come from another agency including the parent of the pupil.
Who supports Special Educational Needs in our school? Our school Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator is Rachel King The Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator, with the support of the governing body, takes responsibility for the day to day operation of provision made by the school for pupils with Special Educational Needs and provides professional guidance in the area of Special Educational Needs in order to secure high quality teaching and the effective use of resources to bring about improved standards of achievement for all pupils. Teachers work alongside the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator to identify pupils of concern and help prepare Provision Maps and Individual Education Plans. They monitor and review children’s progress setting realistic but challenging targets. Teachers also work alongside the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator to communicate effectively with parents and representatives from external agencies. We highly value our learning support assistants who work in collaboration with the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator, teachers and external agencies to support pupils and help them to maximise their levels of achievement and independence. We work hard to ensure parents feel fully involved as partners in the educational process. Regular communication ensures parents understand the targets set for their children, and their contribution to helping their children achieve them.
Blandford St Mary Primary School What Does Special Educational Needs Look Like in Our School? At Blandford St Mary, the SEN team consists of the SENCo, a specific learning difficulties TA (SpLd), an emotional, social and behavioural (EBD) and occupational therapy TA and the SEN Governor. The SEN team work together, alongside the teachers to help deliver specific, relevant and achievable targets delivered through a variety of teaching strategies and learning styles. They communicate regularly with the SEN team and the provision maps and IEPs are viewed as working documents. Depending on the child’s Code of Practice stage, some sessions are taught in a 1:1 or small group environment and some are delivered in a whole class environment to ensure that the skills are being applied to the wider context of their learning. This may result in the SEN TAs visiting and observing the children in class. Our SEN blog on the school website is a valuable source of information for all members of staff. It includes information regarding different learning needs, different organisations such as The British Dyslexia Association and resources to enhance and enrich the teaching of identified children. It is also regularly updated with snap shots of our SEN team working with the children as well as updates, progress and development reports. For more information about ‘What does Special Educational Needs Looks Like in Our School?’ please see the Special Educational Needs Self Evaluation Form (SEN SEF). There is also Provision Map and IEP guidance available on Merlin.
Policy reviewed: Adopted by the Governing Body: Next Review date: June 2010