KS1 and EYFS SENDCo – Jeni Edwards
KS2 SENDC0 – Sarah Lally
SEND Governor – Donna Fox
National Award for SEN Co-ordination status – SL completed award in July 2018 and JE currently enrolled to begin the award.
Contact Details – if you require contact with either SENDCo please arrange a meeting through the school office in person or via phone on 0151 709 1062.
This policy was developed in collaboration with staff and governors to promote the Inclusive practice and approach we have in our school and is available via the school office and website for parents. It is important to recognise that all our teachers are teachers of all children and we use reasonable adjustments to remove barriers to children’s learning and development so they can achieve their full potential and meet their very best outcomes. The Headteacher (Mrs Lewis) advocates and works closely with both SENDCOs to ensure reasonable adjustments are made to the curriculum, teaching, learning and assessment opportunities and the accessibility of opportunity for all children including those with Special Educational Needs and/ or Disability (SEND).
At St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School we aim to ensure all children can access their curriculum and continually raise the aspirations of and expectations for all pupils including those with SEN and Disability. We strive to create an inclusive environment that recognises all needs of children and work together with parents and external services to remove as many barriers to learning as possible.
At St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School, we will fulfil our aim through the following objectives;
- To identify children who have Special education needs, disabilities and additional needs.
- To work within the guidance provided by the SEND Code of Practise (January 2015).
- To target support where that support is required to remove barriers to learning to ensure all children have access to the curriculum and to achieve their potential.
- To support and work with teachers, support staff and external providers for the benefit of all children.
Identifying Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
We recognise the definition of SEND as stated in the Code of Practice 2015: “A pupil has SEND where their learning difficulty or disability calls for special educational provision, namely provision different from or additional to that normally available to pupils of the same age”. (p83)
At St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School, we understand the importance of the early identification of children who may be facing challenges or difficulties in accessing the curriculum and/or in their personal and social development. Before the SENDCo becomes involved, we expect our teachers to use regular assessment, monitoring and observation and work with the Senior Leadership Team in Pupil Progress Meetings to identify pupils making less than expected progress given their age and individual circumstances. This can be characterised by progress which is:
- significantly slower than that of their peers starting from the same baseline
- failing to match or better the child’s previous rate of progress
- failing to close the attainment gap between the child and their peers
- widening of the attainment gap
We also recognise that slow progress and low attainment do not necessarily mean that a child has SEN and should not automatically lead to a pupil being recorded as having an SEN. However, the school may use this as an indicator of a range of learning difficulties or disabilities. Equally, we do not assume that attainment in line with chronological age means that there is no learning difficulty or disability for that individual child. Some learning difficulties and disabilities occur across the range of cognitive ability and, if left unaddressed, may lead to frustration and the child becoming disaffected from education, or resulting in emotional or behavioural difficulties both within school and at home. We will continually work with parents/carers to listen and hear their concerns that they may have in regards to their child’s development and progress towards outcomes. However, children can display different behaviours and feelings in different situations, so although we understand that this might be the case, we can only comment on what we see in school.
The SEND Code of Practice (January 2015) specifies 4 Broad Areas of Need and this includes more specific needs;
- Communication and Interaction – including Speech, Language and Communication Needs and Autism Spectrum Conditions
- Cognition and Learning – including Moderate Learning Difficulties (MLD), Severe Learning Difficulties (SLD) and Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD) and Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Dyspraxia)
- Social, Emotional and Mental Health – including ADHD, ADD, Attachment Disorder or an underlying mental health need such as anxiety, depression, self-
harming, substance misuse, eating disorders or physical symptoms not medically explained.
- Sensory and/or Physical Needs – including hearing impairment, visual impairment, multi-sensory impairment and any physical impairments.
The purpose of identification is to work out what action the school needs to take. The school identifies the needs of pupils by considering the needs of the whole child, which will include not just the special educational needs of the child or young person. Once a child has been identified as having SEN, the SENCO will ensure joint working with staff and parents to informally begin gathering evidence and start what is known as the Graduated Approach. At this point a pupil will be placed on the SEND register at SEN Support. This process will lead to the identification of the child’s primary and, if required, a secondary need. The school will not delay in putting in place extra teaching or other rigorous interventions designed to secure better progress, where required. We will also work closely with external services and Alder Hey to ensure we understand each child’s need. Where a formal diagnosis is given, we do require written confirmation from Alder Hey themselves, in order for us to fully cater for the child’s needs.
Although the SENDCo has overall responsibility for supporting the identification of pupils with SEND in the school, it is recognised that other members of teaching and pastoral staff have a key role to play in this process. This is part of the collective responsibility and collaborative approach of the school.
We also must consider what is NOT SEN but may impact on progress and attainment. These may include;
- Disability (the Code of Practice outlines the “reasonable adjustment “ duty for all settings and schools provided under current Disability Equality legislation – these alone do not constitute SEN)
- Attendance and Punctuality
- Health and Welfare
- Being in receipt of Pupil Premium Grant
- Being a Looked After Child
- Being a child of Serviceman/woman
- Poor behaviour with no underlying needs
The Graduated Approach
At St Patrick’s, we follow the graduated approach when meeting the needs of all children on the SEND register. We use the SEND Graduated Approach windscreen as produced by Liverpool City Council and School Improvement Liverpool.
First and foremost, we ensure high quality teaching for all children throughout the school which is personalised to their needs. We ensure all children can access the curriculum and strive to maintain high standards of teaching and learning. To support children, we have a differentiated and personalised approach for individual pupils and this is the first step in responding to pupils to have or may have SEN. This high quality teaching is essential to the success of pupils and additional intervention and support cannot compensate for a lack of high quality teaching. Teaching and Learning throughout the school is monitored across a range of subjects by both Senior Leadership Team and subject leaders. This informs professional development plans to ensure all staff receive the training and support they require for the benefit of all children.
We offer a tailored intervention programme to meet the needs of children within our school. Children can access a wide variety of these interventions, which are delivered by staff who have received training. It is the class teachers who are ultimately responsible and accountable for the children’s progress, attainment and development of all the pupils within their class, including where pupils access support from teaching assistants or specialist staff.
For children who have a higher level of need, we follow the Local Authorities procedures. We seek advice and guidance from external specialists which we can then implement in school and support families implementing at home. If difficulties are still not addressed we may apply to the local authority for Top Up Funding to assist us in providing further support. In some cases, were the level of need is much higher, we can apply to the local authority to carry out an assessment for an Educational Health Care plan.
Managing pupils with SEN through the graduated approach
At St Patrick’s, we assess children three times a year followed by pupil progress meetings where children’s progress and achievement is discussed along with any barriers to learning. Children who are on the SEND register then have their Individual Education Plans reviewed with new targets set. Effectiveness of interventions is also discussed regularly so changes can be implemented when interventions are not addressing the needs or removing the barriers to learning. Professional conversations are held between parents and staff to decide whether children need to be put on the SEND register and if or when children can be removed.
We follow the assess, plan, do and review cycle to address the needs of our pupils on the SEND register.
ASSESS: in assessing a child/young person the school will carry out an analysis of the pupil’s needs which draws on the teacher’s assessments and experiences of the pupil, their previous progress and attainment. This is put in the context of the individual’s development compared to the school’s core approach to pupil’s progress attainment and behaviour and their peers and national data. The pupil’s own views are considered as are those of external support services if involved. The school liaises fully with outside agencies who are conducting the assessments. Any concerns by parents are actively listened to and recorded. Assessments are reviewed regularly in our school.
PLAN: We recognise that we must formally notify parents if their child is being provided with SEND support despite prior involvement and communication. It is then agreed what adjustments, interventions and support should be put in place as well as the expected impact on progress (outcomes), development or behaviour along with a clear date for review.
DO: The school’s SENDCos at St Patrick’s supports the class teacher in problem solving and advising on the effective implementation of support and in further assessments. The teacher retains overall responsibility for the child: Where the interventions involve group or one to one teaching away from the class teacher, they remain responsible for liaising closely with teaching assistants or specialist staff.
REVIEW: Reviews are carried out on the agreed date. Some children have an EHC (Education, Health and Care) Plan. These must be reviewed by the local authority in partnership with the school at least annually. These reviews are arranged at school and are part of the SENDCo’s role. When we review we evaluate the impact and quality of the support and take into account the views of the parents and pupils. This feeds back into the analysis of the pupil’s needs. Support will be revised in the light of the pupil’s progress and development and any necessary changes to support that and further outcomes will be made. We strive to provide clear information to parents about the impact of support and interventions provided enabling them to be involved in planning next steps. In transition to a new setting information will be passed on. Relevant staff
from the next provision may be present at review meetings. The SENDCo / class teacher / Phase Leader may attend meetings offsite to support the transition process.
In many cases the pupil’s needs are effectively met within school. The way this is done is accessed in the School’s Local Offer which is published and can be seen on the school’s website and the Liverpool Family Services directory. Where a pupil continues to make less than expected progress, despite evidence-based support, matched with interventions addressing areas of need, it may be necessary to involve specialists in the school or from outside agencies. Parents will always be informed and involved in the decision to procure the advice of a specialist and their consent will be required formally by agencies (except in child protection cases where a child is deemed to be at risk). Where assessment indicates that support from specialist services is required, the school strives to ensure that the pupil receives this as quickly as possible. The Local Offer sets out clearly what support is available and how it can be accessed. Support Services used in St Patrick’s include for example Educational Psychologist, CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service), Seedlings and Speech and Language Therapy Services to name but a few. Some children may have multi-agency involvement and the school will consider the criteria for the levels of need and where relevant may decide in consultation with Liverpool’s ‘Responding to Need Guidance and levels of Need Framework’ that and EHAT (Early Help Assessment Tool) is appropriate. Where, despite the school having taken relevant and purposeful action to identify, assess and meet the need of the child or young person and they have not made expected progress, the school or parents should consider requesting and Education, Health and Care needs assessment. In applying for this the school presents evidence of the action taken as part of SEND Support.
Supporting pupils and families throughout the graduated approach to SEND
At St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School, we recognise that the impact of SEND support can be strengthened by increasing parental engagement in the approaches and teaching strategies that are being used. We also value and welcome the essential information on the impact of SEND support outside school as well as the parents/carers particular knowledge of their child/young person and any changes in needs which they can provide. The school operates an open door policy where parents are encouraged to communicate openly with the school in a timely way should they have any concerns regarding their child/young person. Where a pupil is receiving SEND Support the school endeavours to talk to parents/carers regularly to set clear outcomes and review progress towards them, discussing the activities and support that will help achieve them and identify the responsibilities of the parent, the pupil and the school. At all stages of the SEND process the school keeps parents/carers fully informed and involved. Regular meetings are scheduled throughout the academic year to share the progress of the pupils with parents/carers and to take account of their views. It is hoped that this will assist in supporting pupils to reach their full potential. Parents/carers are encouraged to make a full and active contribution to their child’s education.
At St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School, we recognise our duties regarding equality and inclusion for individual disabled children and young people under the Equality Act 2010. We make reasonable adjustments, including the provision of auxiliary aids and services for children to prevent them being put at significant disadvantage. We also recognise that these are anticipatory duties and strive to make arrangements in advance to prevent disadvantage. It is important to foster good relations and promote equality of opportunity generally so that barriers to learning are removed. Children/young people are encouraged to participate fully in the life of the school which includes extracurricular clubs, activities and extended visits. We do require advice and recommendations from many specialists, including those at Alder Hey, to help us best meet the needs of children.
Improving emotional, mental and social development of pupils with special needs
St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School recognises that some children and young people may experience a wide range of social and emotional difficulties which might be seen in different ways. These may include:
- Becoming withdrawn or isolated
- Displaying challenging, disruptive or disturbing behaviour
These behaviours may reflect underlying mental health difficulties such as anxiety or depression, or a response to an upsetting situation.
Some children and young people might have difficulties that are observed in worrying ways such as self-harming, substance misuse, eating disorders or physical symptoms that are medically unexplained. Other children and young people may have disorders such as:
- Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
- Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)
- Attachment Disorder (AD)
It is also recognised by the school that children may display certain behaviours as a result of low self- esteem, loss, separation, a traumatic event, or struggling with complex feelings. Social difficulties can also have an impact on how children feel and behave, such as family difficulties like poor housing. Neglect or feeling unsafe can also have a significant influence on a child’s feelings and behaviours.
At St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School, we have clear processes to support children and young people. The school provides support for pupil’s emotional, mental and social development including the following ways.
- A whole school approach of understanding and nurture.
- Access to the school therapist for emotional support.
- Access to the Schools Mental Health Support Team
- Access to Seedlings (therapeutic support)
- Referral to outside agencies e.g. CAMHS for further support.
- Regular activities during curriculum time and extra -curricular activities to promote Mental Health and Wellbeing.
- Opportunities within school life to experience different approaches to well-being, e.g. yoga, working with horses, forest schools, sports.
- Parent coffee mornings, workshops and activities to support parents and discuss issues regarding Mental Health and Wellbeing.
- Opportunities for pupils to express worries / issues e.g. Class Worry Monsters, Circle time, ‘Time to Talk’ activities.
- Training for Staff e.g. courses, INSET days, Staff Meetings on Mental Health and Wellbeing.
Senior Leaders’ and Governors’ role in SEND within the school
The SEND Governor at St. Patrick’s Catholic Primary School is Donna Fox. She can be contacted via the head teacher or school office. The SEND Governor promotes the development of SEND provision by:
- Championing inclusion and promoting a greater understanding of issues related to SEND by the Governing Body
- Being familiar with key legislation and policy
- Fostering communication between parents/carers of children with SEND and the school
- Meeting with the SENDCo and visiting classrooms
- Ensuring they have an understanding of the role of the SENDCo and how pupils are
- Developing an awareness of the types of SEND present within the school cohort
- Reporting to the Governing Body
- Understanding how funding received for SEND is allocated by the school
- Attending training in relation to SEND
- Assisting in monitoring the progress of vulnerable pupils
- Reviewing and monitor the effectiveness of the SEND policy
Pupil’s attainment and progress will provide detailed and quantifiable evidence relating to the success of the SEND policy and this will be analysed carefully through:
- Consideration of each pupil’s success in meeting outcomes
- Use of standardised tests for English and Maths and other required assessments
- The school’s tracking systems and teacher assessments
- Evidence generated from One Page Profiles and Review meetings
- Reports provided by outside agencies including Ofsted
The role of the SENDCo
The role of the SENCO requires that they hold QTS, are an experienced classroom practitioner and is essential at St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School. The Headteacher and Governors developed the role of the SENDCO in accordance to the SEND Code of Practice to have key responsibilities of working to improve the outcomes of our children and families. Below are some of the roles and responsibilities (however this is not an exhaustive list);
- overseeing the day-to-day operation of the school’s SEN policy
- co-ordinating provision for children with SEN
- liaising with the relevant designated teacher where a looked after pupil has SEN
- advising on the graduated approach to providing SEN support
- advising on the deployment of the school’s delegated budget and other resources to meet pupils’ needs effectively
- liaising with parents of pupils with SEN
- liaising with early years providers, other schools, educational psychologists, health and social care professionals, and independent or voluntary bodies
- being a key point of contact with external agencies, especially the local authority and its support services
- liaising with potential next providers of education to ensure a pupil and their parents are informed about options and a smooth transition is planned
- working with the head teacher and school governors to ensure that the school meets its responsibilities under the Equality Act (2010) with regard to reasonable adjustments and access arrangements
- ensuring that the school keeps the records of all pupils with SEN up to date
Training on SEND
All primary schools within a SEND Consortia share best practice and offer support within the locality. Training on SEND can be arranged through these and with the support and involvement of the services attached to these. The training is needs led and linked to the school development plan, needs of the particular consortia and the school’s Local offer. Specific training can be provided for the SENDCo, Teachers, Teaching Assistants, whole school and parents. Liverpool school improvement service provides two SENDCo Briefings and an annual SENDCo Transition Forum (KS2/3) in June where any pupils with SEND and/or vulnerable pupils can be discussed in person and a transition plan can be put in place.
All teaching and support staff are encouraged to attend courses and training that assist them in acquiring the skills needed to work with pupils with SEND. The SENDCo provides advice and targeted support to develop awareness of resources and practical teaching strategies for use with pupils with SEND.
SEND funding at St Patrick’s
The notional SEND budget is for school leaders to use in ways considered most appropriate in improving outcomes for pupils. It can for example be aligned with other funding (e.g. pupil premium) to optimise impact. Key staff in the school have a role in determining how this budget is used, for example to provide interventions and targeted support.
The Governing Body oversees budget allocation and therefore ensures resources are directed to support appropriate SEND provision at outlined in this policy.
The school allocates SEND funding in the following ways:
- Learning Support Teachers and Teaching Assistants
- Training for all Teachers and Teaching Assistants so that they can meet pupils’ needs more effectively
- Specialist books and equipment
- In class and withdrawal support from the SENDCo or support staff
- Ramped access to the main buildings of the school
- Disabled toilet facilities
- Purchasing and maintenance of ICT and electronic equipment
- Additional teachers to support in class
Other policies relating to children with SEND
- Accessibility plan
- Bereavement policy
- Equalities policy
- Intimate care policy
- Mental health and wellbeing policy
- Safer handling policy
- SEND information report
- Supporting pupils with medical conditions
Policy written by: S Lally and J Edwards
Date of Policy: September 2020
Review date: September 2021