Special Educational Needs and Disabilities School Information
At Mount Street Academy we are “Creating a haven in which children flourish”; the word children means all children regardless of ethnicity, background needs or disabilities. Our SENDCo is called Ruth Clark, and she can be contacted via the school office or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The following information has been co-produced with parents and carers and has taken into consideration the views of the children in the school. As such we have aimed to answer some common questions raised:
- What should I do if I think my child has special educational needs?
- How will the school respond to my concern?
- How will the school decide if my child needs extra support?
- What will the school do to support my child?
- Who will support my child in school?
- What training and experience do staff have for the additional support my child needs?
- Who else might be involved in supporting my child?
- What support will be there for my child’s emotional and social well-being?
- How will my child be involved in the process and be able to contribute their views?
- How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
- What opportunities will there be for me to discuss my child’s attainment and achievement? How will I know how well my child is progressing?
- How does the school know how well my child is doing?
- How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?
- How accessible is the school environment? How accessible is the curriculum?
- How will the school prepare and support my child to join the school and to transfer to a new setting?
- How can I be involved in supporting my child?
- How can I access support for myself and my family?
- Who can I contact for further information?
- A Glossary of terms
- Links to relevant policies
1 What should I do if I think my child has special educational needs?
- Speak to the class teacher. The class teacher is the person working with your child day to day and is always happy to speak to you about any aspect of school life. (Click here for staff information)
- Make an appointment to speak to the special educational needs and disabilities coordinator (SENDCo Mrs Ruth Clark)
Please note that if your child does not currently have a diagnosis but you have concerns about a special educational need or disability, you should speak initially to the class teacher but you are also welcome to make contact with the SENDCo Ruth Clark at any time.
2 How will the school respond to my concern?
- Information may be passed on to the SENDCo
- An observation, further assessment or meeting may be arranged with the SENDCo to discuss concerns and support
- A referral may be made to the SEND register – in this case information will be shared with you at every stage and the teacher may set up a pupil profile
- Please also see the SEND policy
3 How will the school decide if my child needs extra support?
- Class assessments may be used to inform this decision
- Further assessments or observations may be used
- If relevant another agency may be referred to for further assessment (for example the speech and language therapy service)
- Please also see the SEND policy
We will use a cycle of assess, plan, do and review. Once children have been identified and the needs have been assessed staff will plan the support which will be delivered and then reviewed at least three times per year.
A diagnosis does not necessarily automatically mean that a child will be referred to the SEND register.
If your child does not have a diagnosis but is experiencing difficulties in school a referral to the SEND register may still be considered appropriate and support will be planned to meet the needs of the individual child.
We will never make assumptions about children based on a diagnosis and we do not base support solely on a diagnosis, all provision is based on individual needs and learning styles.
4 What will the school do to support my child?
- If appropriate the class teacher will set up a pupil profile. The pupil profile will highlight strengths and areas of difficulty for the child and set realistic short term targets. The pupil profile will highlight strengths and areas of difficulty for the child and set short term targets that identify their next steps.
- Interventions may include small group work, individual support programs, use of visual supports, individual work stations, use of extra resources, play time or nurture support groups
- Please also see the SEND policy
The school plan support for pupils with SEND through the graduated approach.
5 Who will support my child in school?
- It is the responsibility of all class teachers to plan for all children in the class including those with SEND and the first step in our graduated response to SEND will always be quality first teaching and differentiated learning opportunities within the classroom
- Intervention groups and individual support may be led by a teacher or a teaching assistant
- Please see the list below of qualifications or certificates held by staff in school relating to SEND support
The graduated approach means that children will first be supported through quality first teaching in the classroom. The SENDCo may become involved to offer advice and support where children’s needs cannot be met solely through this approach. Where children have more significant needs that require specialist support external agencies may be called upon. The support of external agencies can involve specialist assessments, specialist taught sessions, groups work and individual support. Other support offered by external agencies provides staff and parents with specialist advice to implement with children ongoingly in school and/or at home so that staff develop the skills and expertise to support children’s individual needs in the long term.
6 What training and experience do staff have for the additional support my child needs?
- National SENCo Award:
The National SENCo Award is a masters level course that is statutory for all SENDCos appointed newly to the role since September 2008.
- Precision teaching:
Precision teaching involves working with a child individually for a short time (5-10 minutes) It is used to address a very specific gap in a child’s knowledge by repeating teaching over and over again; the same teaching takes place every day and progress is measured and tracked.
- Colourful semantics:
Colourful semantics is used to teach the possible structure of sentences by using colour coded words. It develops and consolidates the understanding of question words who, what, where.
- Team Teach:
Team teach involves being trained in de-escalation techniques. These include strategies to avoid physical contact but also include training in the positive handling of pupils. The course is based on positive behaviour techniques, communication and use of body language to manage behaviour
- Moving and handling:
Staff trained in moving and handling have learned how to use the ceiling track hoist and mobile hoist to support transitions of disabled children in and out of specialist seating
- Several staff are trained to change a stoma bag and catheter
- Several staff are trained in gastrostomy feeding
Makaton is a language programme using signs and symbols to help people to communicate. It is designed to support spoken language and the signs and symbols are used with speech, in spoken word order.
- Post Graduate Certificate in Emotional Factors in Learning and Teaching: Counselling aspects of education
Elklan deliver training on supporting children with speech and language difficulties. So far one of our Teaching assistants has completed the early years training programme.
In addition we work closely with behaviour support specialists, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, educational psychologists and other agencies to provide specific support programs for individual children.
7 Who else might be involved in supporting my child?
- Teaching assistants (see staff list on website)
- Learning mentor
- Behaviour support specialist
- Speech and language therapist
- Occupational therapist
- Educational psychologist
- Pathways outreach support (St Christopher’s Special School)
- St Francis outreach support
- Please also refer to the local offer for Lincolnshire
- Specialist teacher
For more information about the agencies we work or to find out who is likely to work with your child please see the class teacher or school SENDCo.
8 What support will be there for my child’s emotional and social well-being?
- Teaching assistants run nurture and play time support groups at the beginning of the day, morning play time and at the end of the day to support children who need support in this area
- The family support worker will liaise with class teachers about children’s well-being and can sign post to support groups for families
- We employ a learning mentor to support children in a range of ways including emotional and social inclusion support
- School engage weekly with a behaviour support specialist who can offer expertise in pastoral support as well as support for emotional and mental well-being
9 How will my child be involved in the process and be able to contribute their views?
- Pupil questionnaires are carried out at least once per year
- Children may be asked to complete a questionnaire before a review and will always be asked to do this before an annual review
- Children are involved in writing their pupil profiles
Children are always asked to self assess their own targets before a review takes place. They use colours to show if they feel a target has been achieved, partly achieved or not achieved and have the opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings. Children also have regular opportunities to add to or change the information on the front page of their profile about their strengths and interests.
10 How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
- The curriculum is taught through whole school themes and class teachers differentiate work to match the needs of all children
- Please refer to the curriculum section of the school website
- Interventions will be planned where appropriate (see 5i and 5ii)
11 What opportunities will there be for me to discuss my child’s attainment and achievement? How will I know how well my child is progressing?
- SEN reviews take place three times per year and parents will be invited to attend. Parent’s evenings also take place in term 2 and term 4 with a drop in session in term 6 to discuss progress and attainment
- If further meetings are appropriate these can be arranged with the SENDCo (Mrs Clark)
If at any time you become concerned about the progress your child is making please do not hesitate to contact the class teacher or the school SENDCo who will be happy to discuss this with you.
12 How does the school know how well my child is doing?
- Assessments are on-going throughout the year and in addition assessment weeks take place three times per year to track the progress of all pupils. For children with additional needs where appropriate access arrangements will be considered to allow the children maximum opportunity to show what they can do
- Progress is measured against individual targets regularly and discussed at SEN reviews, as part of the assess, plan, do, review cycle
13 How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?
- All children will be able to access after school clubs and school trips regardless of needs and abilities. A risk assessment will always be carried out and if needed will include information about access arrangements
If at any time you are concerned about your child’s inclusion in extracurricular activities or school trips please in the first instance see the class teacher and then if appropriate arrange a discussion with the school SENDCo will be arranged.
14 How accessible is the school environment? How accessible is the curriculum?
- Both Mount Street Academy and Lincoln Carlton Academy have hygiene suites with a ceiling track hoist as well as access to a portable hoist and specialist changing bench.
- Both schools are all on one level with wheelchair access to all classrooms, group rooms and outdoor learning areas
- The curriculum is taught in themes (see 10)
15 How will the school prepare and support my child to join the school and to transfer to a new setting?
- Transition support includes visits to other settings, extra visits to the school, transition books and visual supports where appropriate and meetings with parents/carers
- The school put on new parents meetings in term 6 to share information and meet staff. The SENDCo and family support worker will usually be available at these meetings and appointments can be arranged if needed
- Staff from a child’s future settings will always be invited to Pupil profile reviews, annual reviews and any other meetings involving provision for the pupil
Transition for children with SEND will always be carefully planned and transition plans will be put in place, often including a transition book. The transition book can be [prepared for new children to the school to show entrances into the school, staff, the new classroom, the toilets, the hall etc. They are also prepared for children moving on to new settings and usually a member of staff will arrange to accompany the child on a special visit to take photographs and prepare the transition book.
For more information about transition or if you have concerns about transition for your child please see the school SENDCo who coordinates the transition across the whole school.
16 How can I be involved in supporting my child?
- Pupil profiles will include information about how parents/carers can support children at home
- See 11
You will have regular opportunities to come into school and see class teachers and the SENDCo as appropriate. In addition to these opportunities the SENDCo and Family Support worker plan regular parent forums. At these forums we will often have a focus and they are a great opportunity to get together with other parents/carers of children with SEND to share experiences and sometimes to share good ideas as well as to find out more information about how to support children through school.
17 How can I access support for myself and my family?
- The SENDCo (Mrs Clark) and family support worker and (Nic Law) run parent forums at least 3 times per year. Be involved in parent forums for advice, support and an opportunity to share experiences with other parents and carers
- Appointments can be made to meet with the SENDCo and/or family support worker as needed
- Parent courses and classes are advertised in the school throughout the year and can be accessed through the family support worker
Some useful websites and support groups:
- www.lincolnshire.gov.uk – provides information on the local offer, local schools and information for parents including links to support groups. Find links here for 4all – a magazine with up to date information on SEND and activities for children, young people and families. Also find links here for short breaks for children and young people with SEND
- www.parentpartnership.org.uk – Parent partnership offer free confidential advice, information and support to parents and carers about special educational needs
- www.ipsea.org.uk IPSEA stands for Independent Parental Special Education Advice
- www.youngminds.org.uk Young Minds: The voice for young people’s mental health and wellbeing
- Young minds Parent Helpline: 08088025544
- www.kids.org.uk – working with disabled children, young people and their families
18 Who can I contact for further information?
- Key members of staff (and order of contact):
- Class teacher
- SENDCo – Mrs Ruth Clark
- Family Support Worker – Nic Law
- Head of School – Mrs Lauren Nicoll
- Executive Headteacher – Mrs Marie-Claire Bretherton
19 A Glossary of terms
Special educational needs and disabilities.
- SENDCo: Special educational needs and disabilities coordinator:
The special educational needs and disabilities coordinator is responsible for overseeing the provision for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities and ensuring that staff receive appropriate training to support additional needs in the classroom.
- Graduated approach:
The graduated approach means that children will first be supported through quality first teaching in the classroom. The SENDCo may become involved to offer advice and support where children’s needs cannot be met solely through this approach. Where children have more significant needs that require specialist support external agencies may be called upon. The support of external agencies can involve specialist assessments, specialist taught sessions, groups work and individual support.
- Assess, plan, do, review cycle:
Teachers will assess pupils regularly which will then allow them to plan appropriate support to be delivered in school and this will then be reviewed regularly. Assessment is part of the review and so the cycle begins again.
- Pupil profile:
At mount Street and Lincoln Carlton Academy we use pupil profiles to build information about the child’s strengths and interests. We will always include the latest assessment information. The pupil profile identifies what the child finds difficult and details what provision is in place for an individual child that is additional to and different from the provision usually available through quality first teaching in the classroom. The pupil profile also includes individual targets that are set in consultation with the child, parents/carers and the class teacher and identify the next steps for the individual child. It also includes ideas that parents/carers can use at home to support the child’s learning. Each time the pupil profile is reviewed the child, parents/carer and any other professionals supporting the child are consulted and their thoughts are recorded on the review page. The pupil profile is reviewed at least 3 times per year.
Download the blank pupil profile.
Transition is when children move from one year group, setting or class into a new year group, setting or class. This can be difficult for children with SEND and we will plan additional support at these times for those that require it.
Provision is the support and the teaching that we provide for the children. For children with SEND the staff will provide support that is additional to and different from the provision that is routinely available to children in the classroom. This provision may still take place in the classroom or outside in a different room or space. The provision may be individual or in a small group and it may involve separate or specialist resources. Some examples of SEND provision are: a physiotherapy program, a speech and language program of support, small group extra phonics or maths work.
A diagnosis can only be made by a medical professional such as a community paediatrician, specialist doctor or consultant. A diagnosis will identify a specific named condition that may or may not impact upon a child’s ability to access the curriculum. Some examples are autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, cerebral palsy.
Progress refers to a measurement of how much children have learnt or improved over time. If a child has SEND they may progress differently and at a different rate from other children in their year group. At reviews and parents evenings staff will talk to you about how much progress your child is making and will identify whether they are meeting age related expectations. If they are making significantly less progress than other children or achieving significantly lower outcomes they may be identified as having a special educational need.