The SEND Team – who are we?
Our School Offer
Dormansland is a mainstream primary school and we comply with the requirements outlined in the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice 2014. We recognise and celebrate each other’s differences including personal skills, academic achievement and beliefs. We recognise that children’s learning needs can be diverse and we aim to meet the needs of all our children through a broad and balanced, inclusive curriculum.
If a child has a special educational need we aim to identify this as soon as possible so that we can put in the appropriate support. This may take the form of a short term ‘catch-up’ programme, to address a difficulty with spelling or a longer term intervention to support with speech and language or fine motor skills difficulties. We encourage all our children to become fluent readers and provide individual and small group programmes to promote this. We work in partnership with parents and carers and try to meet with them regularly. We have an experienced and well-trained team of Teaching Assistants (TAs), who work one to one and with small groups of children and we invest in staff training so that programmes recommended by specialists can be carried out by our school-based staff.
Please see also our Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Policy
Under the Children and Families Act 2014, the definition of ‘Special Education Needs’ or SEN is broader than before. Originally, a child had SEN if he or she had a learning difficulty which called for special educational provision (SEP) to be made for them.
Now, a child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for them. So young people and children and young people with disabilities (and not just learning difficulties) are all now included within the meaning of SEN. This also includes children with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs.
The register is ‘fluid’ meaning that once a child has made adequate progress or no longer requires additional support, they can be removed from the register. All educational institutions that are subject to the SEND Code of Practice and are required to use their ‘best endeavours’ to ensure that pupils are not disadvantaged by their SEN or disability.
We will adopt a graduated approach to education, implementing an ‘assess, plan, do, review’ cycle to monitor children's’ development. If it becomes apparent that an individual is not making the expected progress, then we may make educational provision which is additional to, or otherwise different from, that for others of the same age.
Where necessary this can include bringing in external help, for example by having an outside therapist come into the school on particular days to work with an individual or assigning a Teaching Assistant (TA) to support a child for some time in the classroom. All children on the SEND Register will have a PSP (Personal Support Plan) created for them which enables the ‘APDR’ process to develop each term.
We work closely with a variety of outside agencies including the Educational Psychologist (EP) who offers advice for specific children and the barriers to learning. They also delivers specific tests to further our understanding of a child's cognitive skills.
The STIP Team (Specialist Team for Inclusive Practice) are also regular visitors to the school and again provide specific guidance, targets and resources to further support the learners in the classroom.
If your child requires further support...
If a child or young person needs more support than can be provided within a school’s own resources and budgets, the school can request that the Local Authority (‘LA’) conduct an ‘EHC Needs Assessment’ of the child's SEND for the purpose of making an Education, Health and Care Plan (also referred to as an EHC plan or EHCP).
An EHC plan is a legal document that describes the child or young person's special educational needs and associated health and social care needs. It also sets out the provision and support they must receive and in some cases names a Specialist Provision or other placement. An EHC plan will also outline the child or young person's goals and ambitions in life and describe the outcomes sought for the child or young person.
Despite high quality teaching and purposeful intervention, through the school based core offer, a small number of children and young people may make inadequate progress towards their identified outcomes. Where pupils are making inadequate progress given their age, starting point and particular circumstances, it may be appropriate to consider whether an EHCP is needed.
This is likely to be the case for children who present with multiple special educational needs of an interrelated and enduring nature and who require more highly specialised and personalised arrangements accessed through an EHCP in order to achieve their outcomes. The arrangements required to be put in place in order for children/young people to progress would be beyond those available through the school based core offer - i.e. the cost of the necessary arrangements would exceed £6,000.
In summary an EHCP is likely to be beneficial in channelling support for children and young people with multiple special educational needs of an interrelated and enduring nature who require support over and above that available through the school based core offer in order to make adequate progress in relation to their age, starting point and particular circumstances.
An EHC plan is only issued if the child’s needs cannot be met within the resources normally available to mainstream schools in the area and if the school cannot reasonably be expected to provide the support. The vast majority of children with SEN will have their needs met at the school-based levels of support. In fact, only a small percentage of children with SEN needs have EHC Plans.
The Local Offer
The purpose of the Local Offer is to enable children and young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities and their parents to see more clearly what services are available in their area and how to access them. More importantly, it will provide a way for families and young people to more easily engage with services and information that can benefit them. The offer will include provision from birth to age 25, across education, health and social care and should be developed in conjunction with children and young people, parents and carers and local services, including schools, colleges, health and social care agencies.
How does the school know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?
We have rigorous monitoring in place to track the progress our learners make in all areas of the curriculum, using the Assess, Plan, Do, Review cycle. Our staff are vigilant at supporting and raising concerns if they think that a child may require some extra support or have a special educational need. We use termly assessment data and other forms of assessment to analyse progress and attainment relative to age related expectations. Termly Pupil Progress meetings are used to discuss the outcomes of these assessments and to consider the most appropriate steps to take in order to support our learners. Parents’ Consultation Evenings are held in the autumn and spring terms where progress and the overall development of our children are discussed with their parents and there is an opportunity in the summer term for parents to discuss the annual report with their child’s teacher.
We operate an ‘open door’ policy and we are always happy to meet with parents to discuss any concerns. We aim to keep parents fully informed and to give children timely and appropriate support.
How will school staff support my child?
We are a mainstream, inclusive school that fully complies with the requirements outlined in the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice (2014). Staff have been trained so as to be able to cater for learners who may have difficulties with:
We make reasonable adjustments to our practices so as to comply with the Equality Act (2010) and have staff who have received training in the following areas:
Our staff deliver intervention programmes to individuals and to groups of children. These change to meet the diverse needs of our children. We monitor the impact of interventions through observations, regular meetings, and tracking of pupil progress.
We adopt a graduated approach to meeting needs; through quality first teaching our staff make reasonable adjustments to include all children, not just those with SEN. We take a holistic school approach to supporting learners, which includes all staff trained in using Restorative approaches and our Emotional Literacy Support Assistant.
How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
Differentiation is embedded in our curriculum and practice. Staff differentiate approaches and resources so as to support access to the curriculum for all our learners and we review our curriculum regularly. We develop personalised approaches for individuals to ensure that we are as inclusive as possible. All of our teachers are clear on the expectations of high quality classroom teaching and this is monitored regularly by the leadership team. Regular Pupil Progress Meetings help us to do this and to reflect on the next best steps.
Where necessary, specialist equipment and resources may be provided for pupils, such as writing slopes, pen/pencil grips or visual prompt cards.
How will I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?
We have an ‘open door’ policy where parents are invited to come in and speak to their child’s class teacher if they have a concern about the overall progress of their child. We strongly believe that the best outcomes for children occur when parents work in partnership with school. A particular example of this is working closely with parents of children with Autism to enable staff to understand specific individual needs and strategies.
As part of our assess, plan, do and review cycle we look at the actions needed to support a learner towards their outcomes and highlight what each stakeholder can do in order to make a positive contribution. At Parents’ Consultation evenings held in the autumn and spring terms, and following the annual end of year report (and through other means,) we clearly share what can be done by families at home to support the learning at school.
We host curriculum evenings to help families understand what learning is expected and how they can best support their child’s needs. Should more regular contact be required, our staff will make suitable arrangements to ensure that this is put in place.
Our Home-School Link Worker can support parents and make recommendations on how they can positively engage with their child’s learning and all round development; they can also, when appropriate, put parents in contact with outside agencies and Parenting Partnership workshops. Our Home School Link Worker team can be contacted at any time by phone, email or in person via the school office.
What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?
The well-being of every child is the key priority of our school and all our staff are regularly trained to provide a high standard of pastoral support. Members of staff are readily available for children who wish to discuss issues and concerns.
We have a zero tolerance approach to bullying in the school which addresses the causes of bullying as well as dealing with negative behaviours. Our PHSE programme also looks to develop emotional and social development. Relevant staff are trained to support medical needs and all staff receive First Aid training. Our Behaviour Policy, which includes guidance on expectations, rewards and sanctions, is fully understood and in place by all staff and is basewd on 'The Golden Thread of Choice”.
Pupil voice is central to our ethos and this is encouraged in a variety of ways, including our Young Governors and regular pupil questionnaires.
What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?
Our staff receive regular training and all our teachers are fully qualified. We encourage our staff to regularly update their skills and knowledge and have a number of established relationships with professionals in health and social care.
At times it may be necessary to consult with outside agencies to receive their more specialised expertise. All external partners we work with are vetted in terms of safeguarding and when buying in additional services we monitor the impact of any intervention against cost, to ensure a value for money service. We hold meetings where professionals from outside the school are invited to attend.
During these meetings we may discuss individual cases where it is felt support above and beyond what the school is able to offer is necessary. In these cases parents will be consulted and consent sought so that agencies are able to work in supporting the overall development of the young person. Information is shared with parents to ensure that we can all support the child as effectively as possible. Advice from outside agencies is incorporated into children’s SEND Support Arrangements document and intervention programmes.
During this academic year the school has worked with:
We have a particular duty in ensuring that Looked After Children are given the appropriate support and care to help support their progress and engagement within the learning environment.
What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had or are having?
We have staff in school who have been trained in a wide range of areas. These include Emotional Literacy support and Speech and Language Therapy, supporting children who are on the Autistic Spectrum, delivering Speech and Language programmes, Precision Teaching, Reading programmes and Success@Arithmetic.
We regularly invest time and money in training our staff to improve Wave 1 provision delivery and develop enhanced skills and knowledge delivery of Wave 2 and 3 interventions. We build special educational needs into our strategic training programme and staff are updated on all matters pertaining to special educational needs and disability when required. We aim to ensure that all staff working with learners who have SEN possess a working knowledge of the difficulty to help them in supporting access to the curriculum and review our skills, knowledge and training needs regularly.
How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?
We have a whole school approach to inclusion which supports all learners engaging in activities together, including outside the classroom. Any barriers to learning or engagement are reviewed with discussions on what can be done to overcome these. We make reasonable adjustments so that learners can join in with activities regardless of their needs.
Where there are concerns of safety and access, further thought and consideration is put in place to ensure needs are met; where applicable parents are consulted and involved in planning. Risk assessments are in place for all day and residential visits, including individual risk assessments when applicable, which may specify one to one support. Registers are taken for all school activities, including after school clubs, and we actively monitor the engagement of learners across the school.
How accessible is the school environment?
We have an Accessibility Plan which shows how adaptations are made not only to the built environment but to the curriculum and how we can enable information to be accessed by all our learners and their parents. We value and respect diversity in our setting and do our very best to meet the needs of all our learners. We are mindful of the Equality Act 2010 and are vigilant about making reasonable adjustments where possible. Staff differentiate approaches and resources so as to support access to the curriculum. All ground floor rooms and playground areas are accessible for wheel chair users. Disabled toilets are available and there is a lift providing access to the second floor.
How will the school prepare and support my child to join the school, transfer to a new school or the next stage of education and life?
We have robust induction and transition programmes in place for welcoming new learners to our school and for supporting the next stage in their education. We have good relationships with local secondary schools our children move on to. Transition meetings are held with teachers and SEND Leaders from local secondary schools . At these meetings we share an overview of learners who have additional needs and SEN. Good practice is shared so that transition to the next phase is made easier. In some cases staff from the secondary school come to work with learners to give them a familiar face for when they transfer.
A programme of visits is organised for children before they transfer and additional transition visits are arranged for more vulnerable children. We fully encourage our children to attend induction days at secondary school and where we know that there is likely to be a high level of anxiety we send staff along for parts of the induction day. Bespoke programmes are developed for our children with special needs for the transition process and include environment, resources and curriculum access.
How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?
We review the needs of our learners and endeavour to put in place provisions in order to be able to cater for these needs. Some of the funding the school receives may go towards training so that in-house provision is more targeted at needs. Our provision management tool looks at the impact each intervention has had on the progress of each learner. Decisions are then made as to whether specific interventions are proving to be effective both in terms of the time spent on them and the finance used in providing the intervention.
We regularly review the needs of the whole cohort to see if there is a change in the overall make-up of the school. Decisions are then made as to whether additional interventions need to be put in place.
The SEND Leaders work closely with the School Business Manager and we are made aware of our budgets. These are closely monitored and aligned to the school improvement plan.
How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
Quality First Teaching (Wave 1) is clearly defined in our setting and we expect all staff to deliver this. The SENDCO liaise with key staff where there are concerns about progress and engagement. Following the sharing of information, decisions are made as to the most appropriate type of support to be put in place for the learner. Learners are spoken to regarding their progress and a one page profile is completed, in consultation with the learner; their parents are also consulted when the profile is put together.
How are parents involved in the school? How can I be involved?
We have an open door policy and we seek and welcome feedback at every opportunity, we regularly involve parents and families in discussions about their child’s learning, needs and aspirations and to listen to any parental concerns.
We have an active PTA group and we encourage our parents to involve themselves in every aspect of school life. We host our regular parent forum in order to listen to any parental concerns.
Who can I contact for further information?
In the first instance, parents are encouraged to talk to their child’s class teacher. Further information and support can be obtained from the school’s SENDCO.
A copy of the school’s complaints procedure can be found on the school website. The complaints procedure will outline the formal steps the school will take in handling each complaint.
Where a resolution between the parent and school cannot be reached the parents will be advised to seek external support through SSIASS (Surrey SEND Information, Advice and Support Service) at firstname.lastname@example.org