St Brigid’s RC Primary School
Special Educational Needs Policy
Without exception, every child at St Brigid’s is valued. We recognise that all children are unique and we are committed to ensuring that we meet their needs. At St Brigid’s we discover the individual potential of every child within a caring and mutually supportive environment.
As a Roman Catholic school, we are committed to developing an inclusive ethos, underpinned by policies and practice. These are maintained and developed by the Special Education Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) in collaboration with the Senior Leadership Team, liaising with the SEN Governor, parents and families.
At St Brigid’s RC, the role of SENCO is carried out by our Inclusion Leader, Sarah Day.
Definition of Special Educational Needs (SEN):
The Children and Families Act 2014 states that:
‘A child or young person has special educational needs if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for them (Section 20). Special educational provision is provision that is additional to or different from that which would normally be provided for children or young people of the same age in a mainstream education setting (Section 21). This definition of SEN is the same as the definition of SEN in the Education Act 1996.’
Legislation and Other Policies
This policy complies with the statutory requirements laid out in the SEND Code of Practice 0 – 25 (July 2015) and was written with reference to the following guidance and documentation:
• Equality Act 2010: advice for schools DfE Feb 2013
• Schools SEN Information Report Regulations (2014)
• Statutory Guidance on ‘Supporting Pupils with Medical Conditions at School’ August 2017
• The National Curriculum in England Key Stage 1 and 2
This policy should also be read in conjunction with the following policies:
Anti-bullying and Discrimination
Behaviour for Learning
Complaints Procedure Statement
Health and Safety
The Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO), together with all the staff aim to:
• Build upon the strengths and achievements of the child
• Create an environment in which all individuals are valued, have respect for one another and grow in self-esteem.
• Give equal access to all aspects of school life through academic, social and practical experiences. This will allow all children to experience success regardless of SEN, disability or other factors that may affect their attainment. This is in so far as it is reasonably practical and compatible with the child receiving their special educational provision and the effective education of their fellow pupils.
• Ensure that effective channels of communication are sustained so that all persons including parents and carers are aware of the pupil’s progress and the provision which is made for them.
• Assess children regularly so that those with SEN are identified as early as possible.
• Enable pupils with special educational needs to make the greatest progress possible.
• Work towards developing expertise in using inclusive teaching and learning strategies.
To meet the needs of pupils with SEND, the school complies with the legal framework detailed in The Special Educational Needs Code of Practice 2014.The Special Educational Needs Code of Practice 2014 identifies four broad areas of need.
• Communication and interaction
• Cognition and learning
• Social, emotional and mental health difficulties
• Sensory and/or physical impairment.
The purpose of identification is to support the process of identifying what action the school needs to take to meet the needs of a child, not to fit a pupil into a category. We identify 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.
We aim to identify children with special educational needs and disabilities at the earliest opportunity and ensure that the appropriate support is in place to support learning.
There are occasions when progress and attainment are affected by factors other than special educational needs. For example:
• Having a disability
• Attendance and punctuality
• Health and welfare
• Using English as an Additional Language (EAL)
• Being in receipt of Pupil Premium Grant
• Being a Looked After Child
Where this is the case, appropriate provision will be made, but this does not automatically necessitate the child receiving Special Educational Support (SES).
The key principles of the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice 2014 are:
A child with SEND should have their needs met where possible
The views of the child should be sought and taken into account
Children with SEND should have full access to a broad, balanced and relevant education
Parents and carers will be invited to work in partnership with the school to address the needs of pupils with special educational needs
The school is committed to early identification in order to meet the needs of children with SEN. Teachers are responsible and accountable for the progress and development of the pupils in their class, including where pupils access support from teaching assistants or specialist staff.
Teachers’ ongoing assessment will provide information about areas where a child is not progressing satisfactorily. These observations may be supported by formal assessments such as Baseline Assessments or termly assessments. Teachers will then consult the SENCO to consider what else might be done – the child’s learning characteristics; the learning environment, the task and the teaching style should always be considered. Progress for children will be achieved by focussing on classroom organisation, teaching materials, teaching style and differentiation. If subsequent intervention does not lead to adequate progress then the teacher will consult the SENCO to review the strategies that have been used. This review may lead to the conclusion that the pupil requires help that is additional to or different from that which is normally available. This would constitute Special Educational Support (SES) and the child would be registered as receiving SEN Support.
We seek 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
• fails to match or better the child’s previous rate of progress
• fails to close the attainment gap between the child and their peers
• widens the attainment gap
• fails to make progress with wider development or social and emotional needs
• fails to make progress in self-help, social and personal skills
St Brigid’s uses the graduated approach as advised in the SEND Code of Practice 2O14
0-25 Years – ‘Assess, Plan, Do, Review’ (please see appendix 1 for graduated approach flowchart).
This process is initiated, facilitated and overseen by the SENCO, whilst the class teacher is responsible for carrying out the process of assessing, planning, doing and reviewing. Where external agencies are involved, the SENCO will be responsible for liaising with them. The SENCO will also provide advice and guidance throughout the process, and may carry out some additional assessment. The SENCO will update all records of provision and the impact of that provision.
Assess: The teacher and SENCO will consider all of the information gathered from within the school about the pupil’s progress, alongside national data and expectations of progress. This will include formative assessment, using effective tools and early assessment materials. From this, we identify the child’s current attainment, achievements and learning profile. This may involve taking advice from, external specialists and may include the use of diagnostic and other assessments to determine the exact areas of need and strategies recommended. Where external specialists are involved directly with the pupil, parental consent will be sought first. Information may also be gathered using person-centred tools to discover what is important to the pupil and how best we can support them.
Plan: Pupils and parents will be involved in the planning process as much as possible. Person centred tools may be employed to facilitate this. This means that the pupil and their parents/ carers are supported in the planning process to arrive at goals and plans that make them key players in the learning process. This will be used to ascertain aspirations and outcomes for the child in the short and longer term. Parents and pupils will take away a copy of the plans for the term, which will include the expected outcomes, actions and strategies and provision to be used. A review date will also be set.
Do: The strategies and interventions agreed in the plan will be implemented and progress monitored using the school’s usual assessment systems, plus specific tracking of progress through St Brigid’s interventions. Progress may be measured through assessment scores and/or through qualitative observations.
Review: The progress of the pupil will be reviewed at the end of the specified period of intervention. This review will form the basis of further assessment and planning. Meetings with pupils and parents happen at least termly.
Roles and Responsibilities
The Senior Leadership Team and SENCO have overall responsibility for all inclusion matters, ensuring the school meets its statutory and moral obligations. The SENCO is responsible for the day-to-day processes and procedures, supporting teachers and teaching assistants in meeting the needs of children.
Through monitoring the operation of the policy, the governors must make sure that:
The necessary provision is made for pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
Pupils’ needs are communicated to all involved teachers
Teachers are aware of the need to identify and respond to SEND
There is an inclusive policy which supports the needs of pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
The policy is updated annually and is accessible to the public
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities do not unreasonably restrict integration and there is an appropriate balance
A member of the Governing Body is identified at the first Governors’ Meeting in the Autumn Term, as the current designated SEND Governor. In the event of the SEND Governor leaving during the year, the Chair of Governors assumes the role until the next Governors’ meeting.
Regular meetings will be held with the SENCO and the SEND Governor to monitor the successful implementation of the school’s Special Needs Policy. The SEND Governor will report to the Governing Body.
The Governor responsible for SEND at St Brigid’s is Mr Brendan Hennessy.