Our Equality Objectives are:
According to the SEN and disabilities Code of Practice (CoP), every school is required to identify and address the SEN of the pupils that they support. Maintained mainstream schools, which include academies and pupil referral units (PRUs), must:
All pupils should have access to a broad and balanced curriculum. The National Curriculum Inclusion Statement says that teachers should have high expectations for every pupil, whatever their prior attainment. Teachers should use appropriate assessment to set targets which are deliberately ambitious. Potential areas of difficulty should be identified and addressed at the outset.
The CoP states that there are four broad areas of needs that should be planned for:
It adds that the purpose of identification is to work out what action the school needs to take, not to fit a pupil into a category. In practice, children or young people often have needs that cut across all these areas, and needs may change over time. For example, speech, language and communication needs can also be a feature of a number of other areas of SEN, and children and young people with an autistic spectrum disorder may have needs across all areas, including particular sensory requirements.
The CoP advises that class/subject teachers, supported by the senior leadership team, should make regular assessments of progress for all pupils and try to identify pupils making less than expected progress which:
Also, it can include progress in areas other than attainment, such as where a pupil needs to make additional progress with wider development or social needs. Whilst some children with SEN can be identified at an early age, other children and young people’s difficulties only become evident as they develop, so teachers should be alert to emerging difficulties and respond early. The CoP recognises that parents also know their children best and it is important that all professionals listen and understand when parents express concerns about a child’s development.
SEN support should take the form of a four-part cycle known as a “graduated approach”, which draws on more detailed approaches, more frequent review and more specialist expertise in successive cycles.
The four stages are: assess, plan, do and review. They can be summarised as follows:
The class/subject teacher, working with the SENCO, should carry out a clear analysis of the pupil’s needs. They should also draw on:
Where it is decided to provide a pupil with SEN support, the parents must be formally notified and the teacher and the SENCO should agree with the parent and the pupil on the adjustments, interventions and support to be put in place, as well as the expected impact on progress, development or behaviour, along with a clear date for review. All teachers and support staff who work with the pupil should also be made aware of their needs and it should be recorded on the school’s information system.
The class/subject teacher remains responsible for working with the child on a daily basis, but interventions may involve group or one-to-one activities, so they should work closely with any teaching assistants or specialist staff involved, to plan and assess the impact of support and interventions and how they can be linked to classroom teaching. The SENCO should support them in the further assessment of the pupil’s strengths and weaknesses and advising on the effective implementation of support.
The effectiveness of support/interventions and their impact on progress should be reviewed in line with the agreed date.
The CoP states that all mainstream schools (including local academies) are provided with resources to support those with additional needs and are usually determined by a local funding formula. School and academy sixth-forms receive an allocation based on a national funding formula. Schools have an amount identified within their overall budget, called the notional SEN budget. This is not a ring-fenced amount, and it is for schools to determine their approach to using their resources to support pupils with SEN, including any resources targeted at particular groups, such as the pupil premium. The responsible local authority should provide additional top-up funding where the cost of the special educational provision required to meet the needs of an individual pupil exceeds the nationally prescribed threshold.
The SENCO has day-to-day responsibility for the operation of SEN policy and coordination of specific provision made to support individual pupils with SEN. The SENCO also provides professional guidance to colleagues and will work closely with staff, parents and other agencies.
The key responsibilities of the SENCO may include:
Schools must have regard to general duties to promote disability equality. All schools have duties under the Equality Act 2010 towards individual disabled children/young people. They must make reasonable adjustments, including the provision of auxiliary aids and services for disabled children, to prevent them being put at a substantial disadvantage. These duties are anticipatory. Schools also have wider duties to prevent discrimination, promote equality of opportunity and foster good relations.
There is also a duty on maintained schools and academies to make arrangements to support pupils with medical conditions. Individual healthcare plans will normally specify the type and level of support required to meet medical needs of such pupils. Where children and young people also have SEN, their provision should be planned and delivered in a coordinated way with the healthcare plan. Schools are required to have regard to statutory guidance entitled: Supporting Pupils at School with Medical Conditions.
Schools already use information systems to monitor progress/development of all pupils. Details of SEN, outcomes, teaching strategies and involvement of specialists should be recorded as part of this overall approach. Provision made for pupils with SEN should be recorded accurately and kept up to date, particularly for any Ofsted inspection, which will expect to see evidence of pupil progress, a focus on outcomes and a rigorous approach to the monitoring and evaluation of any SEN support provided. Schools should record details of additional/different provision made under SEN support and share this information with parents. Provision maps are an efficient way of showing all provision that the school makes which is additional to/different from the school’s curriculum.
The governing bodies of maintained schools and proprietors of academy schools must publish information on their websites about the implementation of their SEN policy, which should be updated annually. Schools should ensure that the information is easily accessible by young people and parents and is set out in clear, straightforward language. It should also give details of the school’s contribution to the local authority’s local offer and must include information about: