WHAT DO I DO IF I THINK MY CHILD MAY HAVE SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS?
You should contact your child’s teacher initially or arrange a meeting with the Inclusion Leader, Miss Hague. We will listen carefully to concerns and put appropriate actions in place. This may involve suggesting other professionals who might be able to help. Because we closely monitor every child’s attainment and progress, it’s likely that we will have already spoken to you about any concerns we have.
HOW WILL SCHOOL SUPPORT MY CHILD?
The class teacher will plan specific targets and the support needed to meet those targets. This is likely to include lots of extra practice of a specific aspect of learning over the course of the week as well as differentiated tasks within lessons. This will be overseen by the Inclusion Leader and any other professionals involved with the child. Any alternative provision will be delivered by teachers and support staff and will be reviewed regularly by teachers and the Inclusion Leader. Any plans or targets will be shared with you at parents’ evenings or at review meetings with the Inclusion Leader.
HOW WILL THE CURRICULUM BE MATCHED TO MY CHILD’S NEEDS?
As well as individual plans and targets, which would usually be delivered on a one to one basis, we make sure that all children have access to a curriculum which is differentiated to challenge and meet individual needs. We might also group children so they access targeted support or specific resources together – this group work often helps with their learning and social needs.
HOW WILL I KNOW HOW WELL MY CHILD IS DOING AND HOW WILL YOU HELP ME SUPPORT MY CHILD’S LEARNING?
In addition to normal reporting arrangements, there are parents’ evenings and review meetings where there will be opportunities for you to discuss your child’s progress with the class teacher. The Inclusion Leader is always available on these evenings for further discussion and to support you with any concerns you may have. You can be involved in supporting your child’s education in consultation with the class teacher. This may involve special homework tasks or reinforcement of classroom strategies in the home. We will always try to offer parent training or learning events to help this process and we welcome suggestions from you if there’s anything else that you would like support with.
WHAT SUPPORT WILL THERE BE FOR MY CHILD’S OVERALL WELL-BEING?
St James’ has a caring and supportive ethos. We are an inclusive school. We make sure all our children have the highest levels of pastoral care possible. We have close partnerships with outside agencies. This ensures support is available for families who may need additional support. We also have members of staff trained to support using Early Help Plans which can provide support to families in need. All our staff are trained in child protection procedures and there are two members of staff, the Inclusion Leader and Head of School, who are specially designated to ensure the safeguarding of all children.
WHAT SPECIALIST SERVICES AND EXPERTISE ARE AVAILABLE OR ACCESSED BY THE SCHOOL?
Our open door policy ensures you can feel confident when you approach school with a problem. You can tell us your concerns and we will access a range of services to provide support. This may involve referral to targeted services such as counselling or family support. Where education is the issue, the Inclusion Leader has access to specialists such as Educational Psychology, Speech and Language Therapists, Complex Needs Team and the STARS team (specialists in autism). We recognise the importance of early diagnosis and intervention and have close links with the Early Years Team .Similarly, we work closely with the School Nurse, who is available to train staff when children have specific medical issues and links with many other support agencies.
WHAT TRAINING ARE THE STAFF SUPPORTING CHILDREN WITH SEN HAVING / HAD?
Our Inclusion Leader has over 20 years of experience of working with children in schools and has specialised in SEN for a substantial part of this. In her time at St James’ CE Primary School, she has transformed SEN management and provision. Many staff have become trained and specialised in the development of speech and language groups and the delivery of individual programmes of study. One-to-one support staff are skilled in behaviour management. Through in-house training and input from outside providers, we also have high levels of expertise in the understanding of behavioural difficulties and have robust systems in place to support and monitor children whose barriers to learning lie in this area. Staff have attended extra training to support their own learning and have become specialised in areas of need such as phonics, dyslexia and specific learning support programmes.
HOW WILL MY CHILD BE INCLUDED IN ACTIVITIES OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM?
We ensure all children with SEN are able to access all activities and school trips enjoyed by their peers (although these may have be adapted for those with specific needs). We consult with parents / carers when planning activities to ensure safety and inclusion when it will help meet the child’s needs. Some children with complex needs will receive extra funding and this will be used where possible to employ staff on a one-to-one basis to promote independence but to also support inclusion at all times.
HOW ACCESSIBLE IS THE SCHOOL?
An appropriate and accessible learning environment is provided within the confines of the building and is adapted where possible with additional funding if necessary. Most of the school is accessible for wheelchairs but space in some classrooms is severely limited. Children who need additional specific equipment and facilities will have their needs met to the best of our ability, sometimes through an application for additional funding.
HOW WILL THE SCHOOL HELP MY CHILD MOVE ON TO THE NEXT PHASE OF EDUCATION?
Transition arrangements are firmly established in the school. You and your child, where appropriate, will be involved in any decisions made. Social and emotional support is planned to ensure all children make transitions smoothly and confidently.
HOW ARE SCHOOL RESOURCES ALLOCATED AND MATCHED TO THE CHILDREN’S SEN NEEDS?
The school is funded on a national formula per pupil. Blocks of £6,000 are allocated depending on the number of children who meet the criteria and who are on the school’s inclusion register. The school can apply for a ‘top-up’ if we feel that a child’s needs are greater than what can be provided through the £6,000 block. We would use the additional funds to put appropriate support in place to meet the specific needs of your child. This may take the form of a one-to-one support worker to support the child to access a personalised timetable, develop independence and access all areas of the curriculum. However, do be aware that there are strict criteria for additional funding to be granted.
HOW IS THE DECISION MADE ABOUT WHAT TYPE AND HOW MUCH SUPPORT MY CHILD WILL RECEIVE?
The Inclusion Leader will take advice from all professionals involved with the child alongside the views of you and your child. The best possible package of support will be put in place. We will regularly monitor the support and update where necessary.
HOW ARE PARENTS INVOLVED IN THE SCHOOL AND HOW CAN I BE INVOLVED?
Parents are kept informed about teaching and learning through regular newsletters, the news page for each class on our website, parents’ evenings and other events. We have learning workshops to show parents our methods of teaching phonics, reading and maths. Teachers are happy to meet with parents, often on a drop-in basis, to discuss ways to support your child at home. If you want to be more involved, you could consider joining the school’s active PTA or the Governing Body.
HOW CAN I FIND MORE INFORMATION?
If you’re considering applying for a place, contact the office, who will direct you to our Inclusion Leader, Karen Hague, for further information and help with your application.
If you want to discuss something about your child, contact the class teacher in the first instance.
If you want information about other support services, ask the Inclusion Leader, Karen Hague.
If you want information about the local authority’s Local Offer, visit their website or ask the Inclusion Leader, Miss Hague.
You might find it helpful to look at some summaries of key policies.