Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Information
The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Code of Practice outlines for us, as a school, the actions we must take to meet our statutory duties in relation to identifying and supporting all children with special educational needs and disabilities. As an inclusive school, we welcome children of all abilities, and we hope the following may help you to understand our SEND provision, and our commitment to supporting both you and your child.
1. How do we know if a child needs extra help?
We know when pupils need help if:
- concerns are raised by parents/carers, teachers or the child
- limited progress is being made
- there is a change in the pupil’s behaviour or progress
- prior information has been provided e.g. by pre-school staff
2. What should you do if you think your child may have special educational needs?
- The class teacher is the initial point of contact for responding to parental concerns.
- Thereafter, if you have further concerns, then please contact Mrs Astle, who is our Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator (SENDCo).
3. How are children with special educational needs supported?
If a pupil has needs related to more specific areas of their education, such as spelling, handwriting, numeracy and literacy skills etc, then the pupil will be supported in order to make progress through interventions. These will be run by the teacher and/or teaching assistant. The length of time of the intervention will vary according to need. The intervention will be regularly reviewed by all involved to see how effective it has been, and plan for the next steps. These interventions will be recorded on the class provision map (this is a record of the interventions, timings, and impact of the intervention). If you have any queries related to the interventions, please do not hesitate to contact the class teacher or SENDCo.
Pupil Progress is reviewed regularly, usually once per half-term. This often involves a shared discussion between the SENDCo and class teacher and highlights areas of success, as well as areas that may need further support. Areas that require further support will be addressed through planning targeted intervention activities.
Occasionally, a pupil may need more expert support, for example, from an outside agency such as the Special Educational Needs Support Service (SENSS), Speech and Language therapist, Behaviour Support Services, Vision or Hearing Support Services or the Educational Psychologist. A referral will be made with parental/carer consent and forwarded to the most appropriate agency. After a series of assessments, a programme of support is usually provided to the school and parents/carers to work in partnership to support your child.
4. Can you tell me more about some of the different categories of SEND?
Below, we have endeavoured to provide an overview of the most common learning needs that we encounter in school.
Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling. Characteristic features of dyslexia are difficulties in phonological awareness, verbal memory and verbal processing speed. Dyslexia occurs across the range of intellectual abilities.
Co-occurring difficulties may be seen in aspects of language, motor co-ordination, mental calculation, concentration and personal organisation, but these are not, by themselves, markers of dyslexia.
The following website provides some excellent information if your child has dyslexia or if you have any concerns: www.parentchampions.org.uk
Dyscalculia is a condition that affects the ability to acquire arithmetical skills. Dyscalculic learners may have difficulty understanding simple number concepts, lack an intuitive grasp of numbers and have problems learning number facts and procedures. Even if they produce a correct answer or use a correct method, they may do so mechanically and without confidence.
Emotional, Social and Mental Health
The SEN Code of Practice describes this area as a learning difficulty where children and young people demonstrate features of emotional and behavioural difficulties, such as being withdrawn or isolated, disruptive and disturbing, being hyperactive and lacking concentration, having immature social skills or presenting challenging behaviours arising from other complex special needs.
This term includes children and young people with emotional disorders and conduct disorders/hyperkinetic disorders (including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, ADHD). Furthermore, children and young people may have behavioural difficulties that are less obvious; for example, those with anxiety, who self-harm, have school phobia or depression and those whose behaviour or emotional wellbeing are seen to be deteriorating.
We have a strong pastoral care team at St. George's, comprised of our SENDCo, who is also our Designated Mental Health Champion, Designated Safeguarding Leads, plus two additional Mental Health First Aiders. Our well-trained and experienced team members help children to cope with any social, emotional and behavioural difficulties they may be experiencing, which is a service above and beyond the support already provided by the class teacher.
Cognition and Learning
General learning difficulties may show themselves in the following ways: low levels of attainment across the board in all forms of assessment including baseline assessments; difficulty in acquiring skills (notably in English and Maths) on which much other learning in school depends; difficulty in dealing with abstract ideas and generalising from experience; a range of associated difficulties, notably in speech and language and in social and emotional development.
The term ‘physical disabilities’ is broad and covers a range of disabilities and health issues, including both congenital and acquired disabilities. Within that range are physical disabilities or impairments that interfere with a child’s ability to attain the same developmental milestones as his or her peers. An example of this is dyspraxia – a problem with the body’s system of motion that interferes with a person’s ability to make a controlled or co-ordinated physical response in a given situation.
Speech and Language
Speech and language disorders refer to problems in communication and related areas, such as oral motor function. These delays and disorders range from simple sound substitutions to the inability to understand or use language.
Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a life-long developmental disability that affects the way a person is able to communicate and relate to people around them. Some people with ASD will have learning disabilities. Others have average or above-average intelligence. Included in this group are those with Asperger’s Syndrome (or high-functioning autism). Recognised characteristics of ASD: communication impairment (problems with word usage and understanding); difficulties with social skills and empathy with others; a narrow range of interests and difficulties with imagination; a developmental disorder which begins before age three and affects all aspects of life.
5. What is the Local Offer?
Dorset Council is required to publish a local offer of all services available to support disabled children and children with SEND and their families. This easy to understand information will set out what is normally available in schools to help children with lower-level SEND, as well as the options available to support families who need additional help to care for their child.
The Local Offer provides parents and carers with information about how to access services in their area, and what they can expect from those services. With regard to education, it will let parents, carers and young people know how schools will support them, and what they can expect across the local settings. Local Offers for individual schools are published on the school website in the form of a SEND Information Report, and collectively through Dorset Council, allowing parents to make informed choices.
Dorset SENDIASS is a statutory service offering free, confidential, accurate and impartial advice and support to families living in Dorset for:
- children and young people aged 0 to 25 with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)
- parents and carers of children and young people with SEND
- We can also advise staff working with SEND pupils on matters of legislation.
Their website is also a great way to find out more: https://www.dorsetsendiass.co.uk/
7. Relevant key documents for St George’s
- Accessibility Plan Autumn 2020-2023
- Equality Action Plan 2021-2024 Update Spring 2022
- ICT Specialist Equipment Policy - November 2020
- Intimate Care Policy Sept 2020
- SEND information report December 2022
- SEND Policy Spring 2022
- Single Equality Policy Spring 2021
- Supporting C and YP with Medical Conditions Policy Spring 2021
Click here to see Dorset's Local Offer