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Devonshire Primary Academy Special Educational Needs Policy

Implementation Date: Adopted by Governors/HT: Review period: 2 years Last review date: Person responsible for policy: Mrs D Nixon

Devonshire Primary Academy – UNDERLYING PRINCIPLES We are committed to promoting the all round development of all the children in our care and to encouraging enjoyment and an enthusiasm for learning. We believe that the work provided for all children needs to encourage a sense of purpose, achievement and personal responsibility and assist all children to realise their full potential. Teacher-child relationships are based on encouragement, understanding and respect. We aim to ensure every child has the utmost possible access to every aspect of the school - the school building, extra-curricular activities and social events as well as the whole curriculum. To do this all staff need to know where there may be potential barriers to a child's inclusion which may be related to physical, emotional, social, behavioural or learning needs. We aim to overcome as many of these barriers as possible. We believe that all children are individuals and all have needs, some of which may be special educational needs.(SEN). Every child has a right to be set suitable learning challenges. In order to achieve this, all staff need to know the diverse range of learning needs within their classes and to use all the information available to them to plan accordingly. Our identification processes are intended to pick up concerns about the progress our children are making as early as possible. All children should be educated alongside their peers for as much of the time as possible. We believe in working in partnership with parents in helping to educate and develop their children. Even though our children are very young, we recognise that they too can be appropriately involved in their own education.

DEFINITION A child has special educational needs if he/she requires special educational provision to be made for him or her. This may be because the child:   

has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age; has a physical impairment which hinders learning; has an emotional or behavioural difficulty which impedes the learning process.

The SEN Code of Practice (2001) states that 'the key test of the need for action is evidence that current rates of progress are inadequate'. (para 5.41).


Devonshire Primary Academy – 'Adequate progress' can be defined in a number of ways. For example, it might be progress which:       

closes the attainment gap between the child and their peers; prevents the attainment gap growing wider; is similar to that of peers starting from the same attainment baseline, but less than that of the majority of peers; matches or betters the child's previous rate of progress; ensures access to the full curriculum; demonstrates an improvement in self-help, social or personal skills; demonstrates improvements in the child's behaviour.

Where a child's rate of progress is agreed to be inadequate, the school needs to make a response to address the child's special educational need. The level of the response with be commensurate with the level of need.


The designated SEN Governor is responsible for ensuring that the governing body's statutory duties and other duties which constitute good practice relating to children with SEN are met. These include:

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Setting up appropriate staffing; Setting up appropriate funding; Ensuring the Head's performance management targets include accountabilities for children with SEN; Appointing a 'responsible person'; Ensuring all teachers can and do identify children with SEN; Overseeing the school's provision for children with SEN; Liaising with similar schools if this is in the interest of increasing efficiency of SEN provision in the area; Ensuring children with SEN join in all aspects of school life; Reporting to parents annually on the success of the SEN policy and any changes made to it in the last year; Keeping parents informed about SEN provision being made for their child; Being fully involved in the development and monitoring of the SEN policy.

The Headteacher is the 'responsible person'. He is responsible for ensuring that all policies relating to SEN provision and the wellbeing of the children in general are implemented at school and classroom level. He ensures that when a child has special educational needs, those needs are made known to all those who teach him/her. The Headteacher supports the SEN Co-ordinator (SENCO) and the SEN Governor. 3

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The SENCO, with the support of the Headteacher and governing body, takes responsibility for the dayto-day operation of provision made by the school for children with SEN and provides professional guidance in the area of SEN in order to secure high quality teaching and the effective use of resources to bring about improved standards of achievement for all children. The SENCO's fundamental task is to support the Headteacher in ensuring that all staff recognise the importance of planning their lessons in ways that will encourage the participation and learning of all children. The SENCO should seek to ensure, through active collaboration with subject leaders, that the learning of all children is given equal priority, and that available resources are used efficiently in support of this purpose. The SENCO plays a key role in supporting, guiding and motivating colleagues, particularly in disseminating examples of effective practice in relation to children with SEN. Working with the Headteacher, staff, parents, the governing body and other agencies, the SENCO coordinates the day-to-day operation of the SEN policy, ensuring that the appropriate children are identified as a cause for concern, including those with behavioural problems. The SENCO keeps the Headteacher informed of the operation of the policy and develops effective working relationships with parents. The SENCO with other members of the school's management team is responsible for the development of inclusive ethos, policy and practices. Inclusive approaches should promote child and parental participation in partnership with the teaching and learning delivery within the school. The SENCO works alongside the Headteacher and Governors to promote a multi-agency approach to the teaching of all children. The SENCO works alongside subject co-ordinators and assessment co-ordinators to promote high expectation and relevant targets for all children, ensuring that childrens' progress is tracked and monitored using current and relevant national and school data. All class teachers are responsible for meeting the learning, social, emotional, physical and behavioural needs of the children in their care. All teachers are required to plan and teach to the highest of standards and to regard meeting the individual needs of all children as the most important aspect of their work. Parents are partners in the education of their children. We have a responsibility to communicate effectively with parents. The key principles involved in communicating with and working in partnership with parents include:     

having positive attitudes towards parents, respecting the validity of differing perspectives; providing user-friendly information and procedures, and being aware of the needs parents might have in respect of a disability or communication and linguistic barriers; recognising the pressures a parent may be under because of the child's needs; acknowledging the importance of parental knowledge and expertise in relation to their own child; gaining parental permission before referring them to others for support.


Devonshire Primary Academy – Equally, parents have a responsibility to communicate effectively with any professionals who may be involved with their child. They should: 

communicate regularly with the school, alerting us to any concerns or new information.

Chapter 3 in the SEN Code (2001) begins with the quote from Articles 12 and 13 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child:

"Children, who are capable of forming views, have a right to receive and make known information, to express opinion, and to have that opinion taken into account in any matters affecting them. The views of the child should be given due weight according to the age, maturity and capability of the child."

We encourage and support the participation of children in their own learning. We recognise in particular:      

the importance of ensuring access for all children to all the activities within the whole life of the school; the use of the school's pastoral support system; the need for training and encouraging children to take part "right from the start of their education"; the need for a genuine commitment and wish to make the participation of the child work; the need to make special arrangements to help those children with specific needs, e.g. hearing impairment, communication difficulties; the role of the child in setting, monitoring progress and reviewing targets for his/her Individual Education Plan (IEP).

We encourage the children to contribute to the Statutory Assessment Process in:   

the initial assessment phase; annual review; the point at which a move to another school may be being considered.

The LEA and external support agencies are responsible for providing advice and support where necessary. In its statutory processes and the services it provides, the LEA is required to adhere to the guidance and timeframes laid out in the Code of Practice. Other external agencies work with the school in a partnership which is built on transparency, good communication and a common understanding that the needs of the child are paramount.


Devonshire Primary Academy – Admission Arrangements We welcome applications from all children in our local community. If it is already known that a child has a special educational need prior to entry, but the child does not have a statement of SEN, the school will admit the child and will make the appropriate responses to meet their needs. If the child has a statement of special educational needs and the school is named on the statement, the child will be admitted as highest priority. No child will be refused entry purely on the grounds that they have a statement of special educational needs. Should an application be received on behalf of a child who has a disability, the governing body will consider what reasonable steps they could take to make the necessary adjustments required to enable the child to have access to the school. Adjustments may need to be made to the school buildings, the learning environment, the curriculum and/or to the written information provided by the school in order for a child with a disability to be properly included. Where the necessary adjustments are reasonable, they will be made and the child will be admitted. Children with disabilities and/or special educational needs are educated as far as possible alongside their peers. No child is treated less favourably on the grounds of their disability or special educational needs.

Collaboration with Other Agencies Transition to High School Year 7 tutors from the local high schools visit Devonshire to meet the Year 6 children and liaise with the Year 6 class teachers and the SENCO. SEN records are transferred as quickly as possible along with the other curriculum records, samples of children's work etc. The secondary school SENCO is invited to transition reviews and additional induction sessions are arranged for the pupils. Transition into School and Nursery Prior to admission for Reception Pupils the SENCo will attend Transition Review meetings with other providers to ensure good sharing of information in regard to any children with additional needs. The school has close links with the local Children’s Centre – Talbot and Brunswick Surestart and there is efficient liaison regarding children and families. The SENCo attends the Welcome meeting for the Nursery and Reception Intake and attends initial home visits for Nursery or Reception children with additional needs.

Educational Psychology Service The school is allocated a set minimum annual number of sessions from the attached educational psychologist (EP). The school prioritises cases to be seen according to severity of need and negotiates the nature of support the EP will give to enable the school to best meet the needs of all children with SEN. Although the EP often works with children on an individual basis, the school may sometimes choose to use its EP time more flexibly. EPs are not able to give advice about named children without parental consent.


Devonshire Primary Academy – Local Authority Advisory Service The LEA funds centrally a number of Advisory Teachers with specialisms. These include Pre-school SEN, Autism, Speech and Language Difficulties, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties, Sensory Impairments and Physical Difficulties. The school makes referrals to these professionals as appropriate. Parents are fully involved in the process. Especially when a number of different agencies are involved, the school seeks to ensure that only the most appropriate agencies are involved, that good records are kept and shared appropriately, and that external advice is acted upon in Individual Education Plans and/or in classroom provision.

Education Welfare Service The school's Pupil Welfare Officer (PWO) becomes involved if irregular attendance, or other related problems give cause for concern.

Medical Services The school works closely with the school nurse who provides support and advice on welfare, physical and health related issues and makes referrals on behalf of the school to other agencies for such things as hearing and sight tests, speech and language assessments and other aspects of child development. Where appropriate the SENCo will contact other health professionals such as Epilepsy Nurse, Diabetes Nurse, Physiotherapist. For Nursery children the SENCo will seek the involvement of the Health Visitors in much the same way.

The School's Graduated Response to Meeting Special Educational Needs Identification, Assessment, Monitoring and Review All children are entitled to receive the highest possible standard of education, whether or not they have SEN. The quality of our planning documentation and the standard of our delivery of learning experiences should be sufficient to enable the majority of our children to make at least adequate progress. Sometimes, however, despite good differentiated teaching, the rate of progress may be deemed to be inadequate. If the teacher needs to plan opportunities and learning experiences for the child on a regular basis that are significantly different from or additional to those provided through the usual teaching plans, the school needs to take action to ensure the child's needs are met. Pupil’s needs and progress are discussed at termly Pupil Progress Meetings. These are attended by class teacher, SENCo, Assessment co-ordinator or other member of SLT. Issues are discussed and appropriate intervention or support put in place as required.


Devonshire Primary Academy – Triggers indicating the need for School Action School Action is needed when the child, despite receiving differentiated learning opportunities:     

Makes little or no progress even when teaching approaches are targeted particularly in a pupil's identified area of weakness; Shows signs of difficulty in developing literacy or mathematics skills that result in poor attainment in some curriculum areas; Presents persistent emotional and/or behavioural difficulties which are not ameliorated by the behaviour management techniques usually employed in the school; Has sensory or physical problems and continues to make little or no progress despite the provision of specialist equipment; Has communication and/or interaction difficulties and continues to make little or no progress despite the provision of a differentiated curriculum.

Teachers will refer to:       

classroom observations and work; other observations e.g. on the playground; previous records; discussions with colleagues parental comments and concerns information from other agencies (medical/social); Ongoing teacher assessments.

At School Action, the additional different targets, strategies and approaches to be used are recorded on a Provision Map, which involves the appropriate staff, the parents and the child.

If the Provision Map enables the child to make adequate progress, the school's response at School Action is appropriate. At the review meeting it will need to be decided whether another Provision Map will be necessary or whether the child's needs may now be met through the usual class curriculum plans. Some children may need to have a series of Provision Maps constituting School Action.

Triggers indicating the need for intervention at School Action Plus

Despite having had a Provision Map and/or concentrated support under School Action, the child:

  

Continues to make little or no progress in specific areas over a long period of time; Continues working at National Curriculum levels substantially below the level expected for their age; Continues to have difficulty in developing literacy and mathematics skills; 8

Devonshire Primary Academy – 

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Has emotional or behavioural difficulties which substantially and regularly interfere with the child's own learning or that of the class group, despite having an individualised behaviour management programme; Has sensory or physical needs and requires additional specialist equipment or regular advice or visits by a specialist service; Has ongoing communication or interaction difficulties that impede the development of social relationships and cause substantial barriers to learning.

The school, in consultation with the parents, may feel that it is necessary to seek further advice about the nature of the child's difficulties or to receive suggestions about more appropriate targets or strategies to help the child. At this point a referral to an external agency will be made. When the advice received from the external agent is received, it is incorporated into an IEP, if appropriate, and the school's response is then at School Action Plus.

Some children may need to receive interventions at School Action Plus for a number of terms. If the interventions enable the child to make adequate progress, then School Action Plus is appropriate. At each School Action Plus IEP review, the professionals and the parents will need to decide whether School Action Plus is still required, whether the School Action alone is sufficient or whether further advice is needed. It is sometimes necessary to involve several external agencies and to act upon their advice in subsequent IEPs. Where more than one external agency is involved it is essential that the SENCO ensures the necessary staff have the relevant information to inform the IEP.

Statements of Special Educational Needs In a very small number of cases the child's needs may be such that their teachers cannot enable them to make adequate progress despite all their efforts at School Action Plus. A review meeting involving the parents, the child and the relevant professionals will be called. If the parents and the professionals agree that, despite everyone's best efforts, the child's needs are still not being met, a request will be made for the LEA to consider carrying out a statutory assessment. If the LEA agrees to carry out a statutory assessment, there will be one of two outcomes. Either a statement of Special Educational Need will be issued setting out the child's needs, the objectives the professionals should be aiming to achieve with the child, strategies and approaches that should be employed and, sometimes, the amount of resources the LEA will fund for the child. Or a note in lieu of a statement will be issued. The note in lieu states why the LEA felt a statement should not be issued. Parents can appeal against the decision not to issue a statement and also against the content of the statement should one be issued.

If a child has a statement of special educational need, their IEP will reflect the objectives on the statement and the information in the document will inform the strategies and approaches to be used by all who teach him/her. Where resources are specified, these will be targeted on the child. Sometimes other children may benefit from the use of these resources, e.g. if a teaching assistant has been employed to support the statemented child, other children may be included to create a small 9

Devonshire Primary Academy – group. The needs of the child with the statement will be the focus of the group's work and other children will only be included if they too would benefit from carrying out the same activity.

In making our graduated response to children's needs, our aim is to enable all children to become independent learners who make progress in all aspects of their development, achieve their full potential and are happy members of our school community.

Curriculum and Equal Opportunities We aim to bring out the best in each individual child to ensure that every child in the school reaches his or her potential. Every child, regardless of disability or SEN, has an entitlement to access to the whole curriculum, including the National Curriculum, daily Literacy and Numeracy lessons. All teachers differentiate their teaching plans to meet the full range of needs within the classes they teach. It is usual practice for any group of children to receive some teaching in a location other than in the classroom. This could happen because the group need to carry out an activity that could disrupt the learning environment for other children, the alternative location might be more conducive to successful learning, or activities going on in the main classroom may interfere with the group’s activities. When a group is withdrawn, this is always well planned for. We have formal recording and reporting back structures and we ensure that no child is disadvantaged through this arrangement.

Allocation of Resources Money to support children with SEN comes in to the school's budget in a number of ways, some of it delegated to the school (meaning that the governing body decides how this money can best be used) and some is earmarked (meaning that it has to be spent on providing resources to support individual named children). The governing body is required by law to report to parents annually on the effectiveness of their spending of the SEN budget. We purchase a variety of resources. Some of these are materials and equipment. Some are human resources. We currently have a large number of hours of teaching assistant time from the SEN budget. Our resources are allocated according to need with those children and classes with the greatest needs receiving the greatest amount of resources. We monitor the use of our resources to ensure they are used to the best benefit of the children.


Devonshire Primary Academy – Staff Development When a staff training need is identified, there are a number of means of addressing the need: 

a training course may be attended by the appropriate member/group of staff, information is then disseminated e.g. through a staff meeting;  a training provider may be brought in to train staff either at a staff meeting or on an INSET day;  staff may visit other schools to see good practice;  training packs/materials may be purchased;  relevant books may be added to the staff library. All staff have equal rights to professional development opportunities. Individual needs are discussed at performance management meetings. It is also important that any additional helpers in the classroom are made aware of pertinent information gained through training when it relates to meeting the special needs of individuals with whom they may spend time working.

Monitoring, Evaluation and Review of the Policy The governing body is required to report annually to parents on the effectiveness of this policy, any changes to it and on any collaboration with other schools in regard to it. In order to receive the appropriate information, the SEN governor meets regularly with the SENCO who provides information on the numbers of children identified as having SEN, their progress against IEP and curricular targets, levels of pupil and parental involvement, the impact of advice received from external agencies, and staff training needs and steps taken to address them. Feedback from classroom observations carried out by the senior management team includes comments on how well pupils with SEN were able to participate in the lesson. Questionnaires to elicit parental views are also used. Parents are asked for comments and views at review meetings and these are recorded.

This policy will be reviewed every 2 years formally and informally as required.