As a Junior School, many of our SEND pupils arrive with their SEND identified and planned for. Discussions take place with the SENCO from Market Drayton Infant School in the summer term in order to ensure an effective transition and sharing of relevant information.
If this is not the case then we take a graduated approach to assessing whether or not a pupil has SEND. This has 4 main stages.
• That the teacher has the highest possible expectations for your child and all pupils in their class.
• That all teaching is based on building on what your child already knows, can do and can understand.
• Different ways of teaching are in place so that your child is fully involved in learning in class. This may involve things like using more practical learning.
• Specific strategies (which may be suggested by the SENCO or outside staff) are in place to support your child to learn.
• Your child’s teacher will have carefully checked on your child’s progress and will have decided that your child has gaps in their understanding/learning and needs some extra support to help them make the best possible progress.
All children in school should be getting this as a part of excellent classroom practice when needed.
If this approach alone is not helping a pupil to make expected progress then some intervention may be planned.
• Run either inside or outside of the classroom.
• Run by a teacher or teaching assistant who has had training to run these groups.
This type of support is available for any child who has specific gaps in their understanding of a subject/area of learning.
If, despite differentiation and intervention, a pupil is still not able to make expected progress with their learning then school would seek the permission of parents to request assessment from specialist outside agencies.
This means they have been identified by the class teacher as needing some extra specialist support in school from an outside professional and/or individual support of less than 15 hours in school
• Local Authority central services such as the Educational Psychology, Occupational Therapy or Sensory Service (for students with a hearing or visual need)
• Outside agencies such as the Speech and Language therapy (SALT) Service. Learning Support Advisory Teachers (LSAT) or ASD Specialist Outreach Team (e.g. Woodlands Outreach).
• Your child will have been identified by the class teacher/SENCO (or you will have raised your worries) as needing more specialist input instead of or in addition to quality first teaching and intervention groups.
• You will be asked to come to a meeting to discuss your child’s progress and help plan possible ways forward.
• You may be asked to give your permission for the school to refer your child to a specialist professional e.g. a Speech and Language Therapist or Educational Psychologist. This will help the school and yourself understand your child’s particular needs better and be able to support them better in school.
• The specialist professional will work with your child to understand their needs and make recommendations, which may include:
o Making changes to the way your child is supported in class e.g. some individual support or changing some aspects of teaching to support them better
o Support to set better targets which will include their specific expertise
o A group run by school staff under the guidance of the outside professional e.g. a social skills group
o A group or individual work with outside professional.
• The school may suggest that your child needs some individual support in school. They will tell you how the support will be used and what strategies will be put in place.
This type of support is available for children with specific barriers to learning that cannot be overcome through Quality First Teaching and intervention groups.
If, despite a more significant level of additional support, following the advice of outside agencies, a pupil is still not able to make progress with their learning, or is not able to do so with any level of independence then the final stage of the graduated approach is a request for statutory assessment to support specified individual support.
This is usually provided via a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).This means your child will have been identified by the class teacher/SENCO as needing a particularly high level of individual or small group teaching (usually more than 15 hours a week).
It is likely that your child will also need specialist support in school from a professional outside the school. This may be from:
• Local Authority central services such as the ASD Outreach Team or Sensory Service (for students with a hearing or visual need).
• Outside agencies such as the Speech and Language therapy (SALT) Service.
For your child this would mean:
• The school (or you) can request that the Local Authority carry out a statutory assessment of your child’s needs. This is a legal process which sets out the amount of support that will be provided for your child.
• After the school have sent in the request to the Local Authority (with a lot of information about your child, including some from you), they will decide whether they think your child’s needs (as described in the paperwork provided), seem complex enough to need a statutory assessment. If this is the case they will ask you and all professionals involved with your child to write a report outlining your child’s needs. If they do not think your child needs this, they will ask the school to continue with provision at SEN Support.
• After the reports have all been sent in the Local Authority will decide if your child’s needs are severe, complex and lifelong and that they need more than 15 hours of support in school to make good progress. If this is the case they will write a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an EHC Plan. If this is not the case, they will ask the school to continue with the current SEN Support available through school.
• The Statement or EHC Plan will outline the number of hours of individual/small group support your child will receive from the LA and how the support should be used and what strategies must be put in place. It will also have long and short term goals for your child.
• An additional adult may be used to support your child with whole class learning, run individual programmes or run small groups including your child.
This type of support is available for children whose learning needs are:
• Severe, complex and/or lifelong
• Need a significant amount of support in school (usually in excess of 15 hours).