Special Educational Needs and Disability Policy
Date Updated: May 2021 Date approved - 21 March 2022
What do we mean by Special Educational Needs?
The legal definition of Special Educational Needs is defined in the 1996 Education Act as follows: “Children have special educational needs if they have a learning difficulty which calls for special educational provision to be made for them.” A child has a learning difficulty if he or she:
● has significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age;
● has a disability which either prevents or hinders him or her from making full use of the educational facilities available within the school;
● is under school age and falls within the definition above or would do so if special educational provision was not made for the child.
Definition of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
A child or young person has SEND if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her. These needs can be categorised in four key areas that may create barriers to learning:
● Communication and interaction;
● Cognition and learning;
● Social, emotional and mental health difficulties;
● Sensory and/or physical needs.
We have children in all these categories of SEND. We are working more closely with parents and children to ensure that we take into account the child’s own views and aspirations and the parents’ experience of, and hopes for, their child. Parents are invited to be involved at every stage of planning and reviewing provision for their child. All children benefit from Quality First Teaching: teachers assess, plan and teach all children
at a level which allows them to make progress with their learning. In addition, we implement some focused interventions to target particular skills. We have high expectations of all our children. Children on our SEND register make progress which compares well with the progress made by other children in school.
Role of Co-op Academy Portland
Co-op Academy Portland provides a broad and balanced curriculum for all children. The National Curriculum is our starting point for planning that meets the specific needs of individuals and groups of children. When planning, teachers set suitable learning challenges and respond to children’s diverse learning needs. Some children have barriers to learning that mean they have special needs and require particular action by the school.
These requirements are likely to arise as a consequence of a child having special educational needs. Teachers take account of these requirements and make provision, where necessary, to support individuals or groups of children and thus enable them to participate effectively in curriculum and assessment activities. Such children may need additional or different help from that given to other children of the same age.
Children may have special educational needs either throughout or at any time during their school career. This policy ensures that curriculum planning and assessment for children with special educational needs takes account of the type and extent of the difficulty experienced by the child.
This is an outline of the objectives of our SEND policy:
The school’s assessment arrangements ensure that pupil’s special needs are identified as soon as possible;
● Assessment data is used to inform decision making;
● Pupils with special needs are given full and equal access to a broad and balanced curriculum;
● Appropriate resources are allocated to ensure that the needs of pupils are appropriately met;
● Parents are informed and actively encouraged to be involved in meeting the needs of their children in partnership with the school and involved in any decision making concerning their child’s SEND provision;
● Use is made of teachers, other professionals, facilities and resources from within the school and outside whenever appropriate; achievement targets are set and reviewed on a regular basis;
● All pupils are actively involved in all decision making processes that occur in their education including the setting of learning targets and contributing to their Support Plan (SP), individual behaviour plan (IBP);
● To create an environment that meets the special educational needs of each child; to ensure that the special educational needs of the children are identified, assessed and provided for;
● To make clear the expectations of all participants in the process;
● To identify the roles and responsibilities of staff in providing for children’s special educational needs;
● To enable all children to have full access to all elements of the school curriculum;
● To ensure that parents are able to play their part in supporting their child’s education; to ensure that our children have a voice in this process.
Responsibilities for Coordination
It is necessary to outline the responsibilities of all involved in the management, coordination and implementation of the SEND policy.
● The school has a named SENDCo – Mrs Gemma McMahon. You can contact her by telephoning or emailing the school office;
● The school has a named Governor for SEND – Mr Gerard Tiernan.
The SENDCO’s responsibilities include:
● Determining the strategic development of the SEND policy and provision with the Head Teacher and Governing Body;
● Taking day to day responsibility for the operation of the SEND policy and provision; setting targets for improvement;
● Policy – Working with class teachers and teaching assistants to ensure that provision is matched to the needs of the children;
● Helping to establish support plans (SPs), individual behaviour plans (IBPs); Overseeing and collecting updated records of children with special educational needs; informing the Head Teacher and Governing Body of the progress of SEND children; developing and maintaining positive and constructive relationships with parents; liaising with external agencies;
● Keeping the Head Teacher and Governing Body informed of developments as and when necessary;
● Maintaining a record of INSET related to special needs;
● Keeping up to date with new developments by attending courses provided by the Local Authority and other organisations;
● Disseminating information to relevant staff;
● Organising training for staff on training days and during directed time as required; coordinating with the Head Teacher the deployment of TAs supporting pupils with SEND; monitoring the progress of pupils with SEND every three months, on average; overseeing all record keeping;
● Ensuring Individual Pupil Funding Requests are reviewed;
● Applications for EHCPs.
There should be written evidence of:
● SPs/IBPs/Person centred plans;
● Records of reviews and outcomes;
● Progress levels and attainments in English and Maths; ● Educational and other assessments, including optional SATs; ● Views of parents and pupil;
● Involvement of other professionals;
● Parental Involvement.
Class teacher’s responsibilities include
All class/subject teachers have a responsibility to ensure that the SEND policy is put into practice:
● Identifying pupils who make little or no progress in spite of differentiated learning opportunities being provided;
● Working with the SENDCo and parents in collecting and recording information about the pupil in determining the action to be taken;
● Planning, writing and delivering appropriate SPs, IBPs, personal centred plans; Recording on the SP that which is different or additional from the differentiated learning opportunities provided;
● Involving pupils at an appropriate level in planning for their own learning;
● Accepting and valuing the contribution of parents in their child’s learning and identifying the best way of involving parents in working with the school;
● Maintaining the class SEND file;
● Recording progress towards the achievement of SP/IBP/Writing of personal centred plan targets every three months;
● Reviewing SPs/IBPs/Provision maps every three months.
Teaching Assistants are responsible for:
● Directly supporting individuals or small groups of pupils;
● Contributing to the implementation of SPs/IBPs/Personal centred plans; ● Contributing to the development of resources for pupils with SEND;
● Reporting on the progress of pupils with whom they are working either in writing or orally to the class teacher;
● Meeting with the class teacher to discuss pupil’s progress and contribute to further planning.
● Be involved in developing their own SPs/IBPs/personal centred plans at an appropriate level by the class teacher;
● Be progressively more involved in decision making, setting and reviewing targets;
● Be given access to a member of staff to discuss any difficulties or concerns; ● Be given opportunities for choice and decision making;
● Be supported in understanding the roles of other professionals.
Role of the Governors
The Governors of this school would wish to ensure that:
● The SEND policy is in place in line with the requirements of the Code of Practice; ● Access to the policy is readily available to all staff including supply staff; ● The policy is clearly articulated and consistently applied;
● That SEND records are maintained by all staff and kept up to date;
● The Governing Body will receive details regarding the success of the SEND policy and any changes;
● The policy is available to parents in a parent friendly format;
● The SEND Governor ensures that all governors are aware of the school’s SEND provision, including the deployment of funding, equipment and personnel.
Identification strategies used include:
● Teacher assessment;
● Discussions with Head Teacher, other staff or external agencies; ● Discussions with parents;
● Discussions with pupils;
● Results of standardised tests e.g. reading tests, SATs results.
At Co-op Academy Portland, we aim to offer excellence and choice to all our children, whatever their ability or needs. We have high expectations of all our children. We aim to achieve this through the removal of barriers to learning and participation. We want all our children to feel that they are a valued part of our school community.
Through appropriate curricular provision, we respect the fact that children: ● Require different strategies for learning;
● Acquire, assimilate and communicate information at different rates; ● Need a range of different teaching approaches and experiences.
Teachers respond to children’s needs by:
● Providing support for children who need help with communication, language, numeracy, literacy and medical needs;
● Planning to develop children’s understanding through the use of all available senses and experiences;
● Planning for children’s full participation in learning, and in physical and practical activities;
● Helping children to manage their behaviour and to take part in learning effectively and safely;
● Helping individuals to manage their emotions, particularly trauma or stress, and to take part in learning;
● Appropriate provision for Pupils with SEND.
The following stages of the provision are offered in line with the SEND Code of Practice: SEND support Stage 1
The trigger for SEND support is where:
● There is a concern, underpinned by evidence that a pupil is making little or no progress in spite of receiving differentiated learning opportunities; the class teacher, with the SENDCo support or advice, should collect all the available information on the child and seek additional information from the parent before deciding on the action to be taken;
● The class teacher and teaching assistant are responsible for working with the pupil on a daily basis and for planning and delivering an individual learning programme which should be recorded within a SP/ IBP/Personal centred plan;
● The SENDCo should take the lead in further assessment of pupils’ strengths and weaknesses and monitoring and reviewing action taken.
A range of strategies are used to support the needs of SEND pupils: ● Different learning materials;
● Special equipment or resources;
● Some group or individual support;
● Extra adult time devoted to the nature of planned intervention and monitoring its effectiveness;
● Undertaking staff development and training.
SEND support Level 2
The trigger for Level 2 is where:
A pupil makes little or no progress in spite of receiving an individualised programme under SEND support.
Action at this stage will always involve consultation with outside agencies, including strategies recommended from their reports:
● The SENDCo is responsible for coordinating this consultation process;
● The SP/IBP/Personal centred plans should record fresh strategies which are being implemented;
● An Additional Support Plan is written for the individual;
● As far as possible all support should be provided within class. Where withdrawal support is felt to be appropriate, this should be on a small group or one-to-one basis and time limited;
● Management of interventions is the responsibility of the class teacher; ● Recording, Monitoring and Review.
Moving to an EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plan)
If children fail to make progress, in spite of high quality, targeted support, we may apply for the child to be assessed for an EHC Plan. Generally, we apply for an EHC Plan if:
● The child has a disability which is lifelong and which means that they will always need support to learn effectively;
● The child’s achievements are so far below their peers that we think it likely that the child may at some point benefit from special school provision.
Children, who we think will manage in mainstream schools, albeit with support, are less often assessed for EHC Plans. Having a diagnosis (e.g. of ASD, ADHD or dyslexia) does not mean that a child needs an EHC Plan.
Staff are informed and involved in special needs through:
● Staff meetings;
● Directed time given to discuss SEND issues with other staff/SENDCo;
● INSET by SENDCo, Teacher responsible for Inclusion, colleagues from Inclusion Services or other external agencies as appropriate;
● Purchase of relevant journals and publications and other relevant resources;
● Staff training will support the development of the skills of all teachers in meeting the needs of pupils with special educational needs;
● Links with Other Services.
Criteria for Success
The following are the criteria to be used to evaluate the success of the SEND Policy: ● That everyone knows about the policy and is using it;
● That pupils with SEND are identified quickly;
● That parents are fully informed and as far as possible involved in supporting their child; that pupils are well informed and involved in identifying, monitoring and recording progress in their learning;
● That provision is matched to pupils’ needs;
● That there are close links with the Inclusion Services and other external support services.
Role of Parents
● Have access to the school’s SEND Policy in an appropriate format and will be provided with information about their child’s entitlement within the SEND framework;
● Be informed where there is a concern about their child’s needs and be encouraged to contribute to the assessment of their needs by the class teacher;
● Be fully involved in decision making, developing SPs/IBPs/Personal centred plan and setting targets by the class teacher;
● Be supported in understanding the roles of other professionals by the class teacher, SENDCo or Head Teacher;
● Be invited to review the progress of their child by class teacher, SENDCo and Head Teacher;
● Be informed about the Parent Partnership Service when their child’s needs are first stated;
● Availability of Resources;
● The SENDCo, with the Head teacher, is responsible for the operational management of specified and agreed resourcing for special needs provision within the school, including the provision for children with EHCPs;
● The Head Teacher informs the governing body of how the funding allocated to support special educational needs has been employed;
● The Head teacher and SENDCo meet to agree on how to use funds directly related to EHCPs.
Links With Other Services
The SENDCo co-ordinates links with a range of other Services including:
● The School Nurse whose role includes working with the school in supporting children with SERVICES specific medical needs;
● SALT whose role includes working with children in supporting their speech, language and communication needs;
● Colleagues from the School Educational Support Service including the Educational Psychologist, ADHD Specialist teacher and the ASC support team.
Behavioural and Emotional Need
Children who we feel need support with their behaviour within school will:
● Be given a behavioural support plan in the first instance, which will have specific strategies to help support the child;
● Assessed to see if a support group like Seasons for Growth or Pressure Point is appropriate for them.
This will then be reviewed after six weeks and if behaviour has not improved we will consider putting them on the SEND register within the Social, Emotional and Mental Health category.
● Should any parent have cause for complaint, they should be addressed in the first instance to the Head Teacher;
● The complaint may be directed by the Head teacher to the Chair of Governors and/or the Governor for SEND;
● Parents will also be advised of their right to refer matters of dispute to the Disagreement Resolution Service;
● Should action need to be taken the complaints procedure will be followed.