School Offer for children with special educational needs
How does the school view children with additional educational needs?
At Hursthead Infant School we value the skills and talents of all our children. We have pupils of all levels of ability. Some children are identified as having Special Educational Needs and to these children we offer skilled support and small group teaching where appropriate. We always involve parents in discussions about their children’s special needs and seek the advice of other expert professionals, where appropriate. We are a fully inclusive school and pride ourselves on the success of all our pupils.
Below are a series of FAQs. These questions have been devised in conjunction with parents from the school and should answer any queries you may have. If you have any questions not detailed below please see the final FAQ for contact details.
What is defined as SEN?
The Special Educational Needs Code of Practice 2014 details the following:
A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:
- has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or
- has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions
A child under compulsory school age has special educational needs if he or she is likely to fall within the definition in the paragraph above when they reach compulsory school age or would do so if special educational provision was not made for them (Section 20 Children and Families Act 2014).
How does the school know if a child needs extra help?
Children are identified as having an additional need in a variety of ways including:
- Concerns raised by Health Visitor pre-school
- Liaison with a child’s nursery/pre-school setting
- Liaison with external agencies with whom the child may already be involved
- Baseline assessment on entry. (This assessment can show if a child is performing below their age expected levels)
- Concerns raised by parents/carers
- Concerns raised by the child’s teacher
What should I do if I think my child has an additional need?
The staff at Hursthead Infant School have experience of a wide and varied range of additional needs, both physical and academic. If you think, or know, that your child has an additional need please:
- Talk to us at the earliest opportunity. You can contact your child’s class teacher, the school SENCO (Special Needs Co-ordinator)(Chris Wilson) or the Head teacher (Jane Driscoll)
- Please be assured that your concerns will be listened to. We believe in building positive and open relationships with all parents
How does the school support children with additional needs?
The school supports children with additional needs in a variety of ways depending on the type of need.
- All children enjoy first quality teaching at Hursthead Infant School. The Head teacher and SENCO regularly monitor the quality of support given and on-going staff development opportunities ensure the school is able to offer a wide range of high quality interventions
- Transition liaison with the child’s last setting/teacher and baseline assessments on entry into school, ensure the class teacher quickly gets to know each child’s needs. The teacher, alongside the school SENCO as appropriate, will set targets and objectives for the child that will be achievable but challenging
- If appropriate the child will have either an Access plan drawn up by the school SENCO and the child’s class teacher, or an individual plan which includes SMART targets that are reviewed and updated on a regular basis. In either case, parents are fully involved and informed, informally through our end of the day open door policy or “catch up” meetings and during more formal meetings held as often as required depending on the child’s needs
- Learning Support Assistants/TAs or the class teacher may work with the child either 1:1 or in a small group setting delivering differentiated work/activities to meet the child’s targets. Hursthead Infant School offers a variety of small group interventions including Motor Skills United (for gross and fine motor needs), Time to Talk (for speaking and listening or social communication needs) and 5 minute files (individual daily work on specified individualised targets)
- If a child is given a school programme of activities from an outside agency e.g. Speech and Language, the child’s class teacher, TA or LSA will deliver the programme for the child within their school day
How do parents/carers and the child contribute to the assessment and review of a child’s needs?
We endeavour to involve the child in person centred reviews. As an Infant only school, this involvement will vary depending on the age, understanding and maturity of the child involved.
Parents are involved at all stages of the assessment and review process.
- The class teacher will meet with parents on a regular basis (at least termly) to discuss the child’s needs, support and progress
- The SENCO is also available should parents wish to discuss their child’s needs and the support given
- The Head teacher is fully involved with all children at Hursthead Infant School and is also available should parents wish to seek further discussion or information
- Parents are asked to contribute in all meetings/discussions. This can be done verbally or in writing and parents are very welcome to have support from the local Parent Partnership if they require
Who is involved with children with additional needs in school?
Alongside the class teacher and parental contributions the following people can be involved:
- SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator ) – Chris Wilson
- Head teacher – Jane Driscoll. The Head teacher and SENCO keep the school’s Governors informed of the progress of children with additional needs and liaise with the designated Governor for SEN regarding policy and implementation
- LSAs – supporting individual children or delivering small group interventions advised, directed and monitored by the SENCO/Class teacher/Head teacher
- TAs – providing 1:1 differentiated work and supporting small group interventions advised, directed and monitored by the class teacher/SENCO/Head teacher
- A variety of outside agencies providing either direct teaching/programmes for school to implement, assessment and/or advice. These include:
- Speech and Language
- Occupational Therapy
- Educational Psychology
- Behaviour Support
- Learning Support Service
- Inclusion Service
- School liaises closely with any other agency involved with the child e.g. Paediatrician, CAMHS, Young Carers etc.
How are the additional needs of a child reviewed?
The review cycle used is an assess/discuss/plan/review model. The frequency of review varies depending on the specific needs of the individual child. In all cases the following apply:
- Class teachers continually assess each child, monitor progress made and identify where further or continued support is needed. The progress of each child is tracked by the Head teacher throughout the school using a variety of different methods, including the age related expectations detailed in the Early Years Outcomes for Reception and the National Curriculum in Key Stage One
- The individual targets set for a child with additional needs are reviewed, at least, once a term and often more frequently. More formal meetings or reviews with parents/carers take place at least once a term, with informal or interim meetings held between parents/carers and class teachers as often as necessary depending on the child’s needs
- If a child has a programme of activities from an outside agency that is delivered in school, this will follow the individual programmes review schedule
- Parents/carers are involved throughout the review process and our end of the day open door policy enables parents to speak to the class teacher as often as required. Working parents are encouraged to telephone school with any queries. A mutually convenient time will be set for them to meet with the class teacher
How does the school support a child’s additional needs other than educational needs?
We are an inclusive school; we welcome and celebrate diversity
- We have a strong school ethos supported by the school’s Personal, Social and Emotional Development curriculum, which promotes peer support and positive attitudes to inclusion. Through this ethos we aim to ensure we foster high esteem in every child and encourage peer support where appropriate
- The school site is wheelchair accessible with a specialised toilet facility (Disability Equality Policy). Close liaison with the Occupational Therapy service, Physiotherapy, Paediatrician and other local Health services enable us to know best how to support a child’s physical needs
- We have access to the EAL Service to help us support children with English as an Additional Language
- Where mental health, self-esteem or behavioural issues form part of the child’s need we liaise closely with, and take advice from, Educational Psychology; Behaviour Support and/or CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service)
How does the school offer support to parents/carers of children with additional needs?
We believe a child’s education should be a partnership between parents and school and we therefore aim to support parents/carers by:
- Ensuring regular meetings to update and review the child’s progress. These can consist of both formal review meetings and more informally arranged meetings, at a mutually convenient time, with the class teacher. If a child is identified as SEN before entering school, the SENCO, class teacher and/or Head teacher will meet with parents prior to the child’s entry in school, as often as necessary, in order to ensure a smooth transition between settings for all involved
- Providing information of relevant support groups for parents of children with particular needs and children with particular needs
- Copies of relevant plans/targets/review minutes etc. are given to parents/carers following each formal meeting
- Access to the SENCO/Head teacher for further liaison/support
What training do staff have for supporting children with additional needs?
- The SENCO is an experienced class teacher and special needs co-ordinator who liaises closely with outside agencies/class teachers/parents and other professionals to ensure school provides the most comprehensive support available in a mainstream setting
- All staff take part in continuing professional development to ensure they are fully conversant with the individual needs of each child in their care
- All TAs/LSAs undertake training to ensure the optimum delivery of any intervention activity offered e.g. Motor Skills United, Time to Talk, Phonological Awareness, Speech and Language programmes etc.
How does the school ensure that extra support has impact for the child?
- All interventions are monitored closely to ensure the time spent has impact on learning
- All practitioners are fully trained, supported and monitored to ensure high quality teaching
- Intervention groups follow an assess/discuss/plan/review process on a termly basis to ensure the intervention is relevant and effective
- Each child’s progress is tracked by the class teacher, SENCO and Head teacher to ensure effective progress is made
- Parents are informed of the child’s progress at least termly
How does the school accommodate children with additional needs when outside of the school environment e.g. on a school trip?
- All children are included in all parts of the school curriculum and we aim for all children to be included on school trips. We liaise with parents and provide support to ensure that this is successful
- A risk assessment is carried out prior to any off site activity to ensure any health and safety requirements have been considered. This risk assessment will include any differentiated support or activity that the child will undertake and steps taken to ensure the safety of the child
How does school prepare and support children with additional needs when joining the school or transferring to a new school?
- All new children have the opportunity to visit the school prior to starting, extra visits can be arranged as necessary with a clear, defined focus, dependent on the child’s needs. Photos or social stories will be used as necessary to ensure as smooth a transition as possible
- The child’s class teacher or SENCO will visit any child already identified with an additional need in their pre-school setting, liaising closely with their pre-school teacher and parents
- When transferring from Hursthead Infant School, usually to Hursthead Junior School at the end of Year 2, additional visits, alongside the usual transition visits, can be arranged to assist with the acclimatisation of their new setting. These extra visits may be with an LSA/TA/Class teacher or parent as appropriate
- We liaise closely with staff when receiving and transferring children to different schools ensuring all relevant paperwork and information is passed on and all needs discussed and understood
- If your child has complex needs or an EHPC or statement of educational needs a formal transition meeting during the autumn term prior to transfer will take place with all agencies and personnel involved with your child invited to attend and contribute
How is additional support funded?
- Additional support is funded within the schools budget. We ensure that all children who have additional needs have their needs met to the best of the school’s ability with the funds available
- The budget is allocated on a needs basis. Children who have the most complex needs are given the most support often involving an LSA
- If a child has an Education Health and Care Plan this can include a budget to fund individual support/specialised equipment etc.
What can I do if I have any further questions?
- You could look at our SEN policy or Inclusion policy
- You can ring 0161 439 2238 to make an appointment to speak to Jane Driscoll our Head teacher or Chris Wilson our SENCO
- If your child already attends Hursthead Infant School your first point of contact will be your child’s class teacher