Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
Information for Parents - FAQs
Q - What is ‘Special Educational Needs’?
A - A child or young person has a special educational need if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for them. A child or young person is considered to have a learning difficulty or disability if they:
Have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age or
Have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age
(Code of Practice 2014)
Q - Who is in charge of SEND in your school?
A - Teachers are responsible for the progress that all children make in their class. All members of staff contribute to identifying SEND and supporting those with SEND. The SENCo, Mrs Jane Rawson, has the responsibility of the day to day management of SEND. The SENCo assists class teachers and parents in developing inclusive practice, designing further adaptations and accessing specialist resources if they are needed. The school also has a Link Governor, Mrs Claire Thomlinson, who has responsibility for SEND.
Q - How do I know if my child has SEND, how is it identified?
A - Identifying SEND needs early is crucial and parents know their children best so we have regular meetings with parents and rely on the information they provide us in helping us to identify if a child or young person has SEND. In our school we believe that inclusive teaching is the first step in responding to any possible special educational need and we carry out checks on teaching to make sure that practice is inclusive. The SENCo, as part of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT), meets with the Head Teacher and each class teacher on a termly basis to review learning progress data for all children in the class (Class Review). During these reviews the possibility of a child having SEND is discussed and further checks are carried out, for example, detailed lesson observations by the SENCo and a review of interventions the child has been part of so far. We will also consider whether a further, more specialist, assessment for SEND is needed for example from another service provider, e.g. from an Educational Psychologist or a Specialist Advisory Teacher.
Q - What happens if my child is not making the same progress as other children?
A - If a child is falling behind, or not responding to inclusive teaching, we will bring together all the information we have about the child’s needs and difficulties and share this with parents. The school uses Oxfordshire County Council’s SEN guidance and assessment descriptors (2017) as way of identifying if there is a special educational need and what levels of support should be offered. The handbook helps us to make sure we are offering the provision expected from all schools in Oxfordshire. There are four broad areas of SEND:
Communication and Interaction Needs
Cognition and Learning Needs
Social, Emotional and Mental Health Needs
Sensory and/or physical needs
Following further consultation with parents, and if a child meets the descriptors in the handbook, and after all the checks on teaching and learning have been carried out, then the child will be placed on the schools SEN register. This is shared with the local authority.
The guidance from OCC can be found here:
Q - My child has SEND; what provision do you offer?
A - For pupils with SEND the school offers a ‘graduated’ approach; from a little support to a lot. Once a child is placed on the register then appropriate plans are put in place to support them. All children are unique, regardless of the category of SEND they have, so it is important that we respond to their individual need. Some children will respond well to seemingly minor adaptations to our inclusive teaching offer, others will need more specialist support and input. We work closely with outside agencies to help us to design the most appropriate package of support for children on our register. Adaptations can include;
Use of individual, pair or small group teaching
Individualised or small group interventions for specific skills and learning needs
Visual aids and multisensory resources to support understanding and participation
Adaptations to the physical environment to help with accessing learning
Q - What specific resources does your school offer?
A - A range of support is available, here are some examples:
Cognition and Learning
RWInc - Phonics, reading and writing program
Rapid Read - comprehension support for pupils with low reading ages
Magic Belt reading series - for comprehension, phonics and fluency
Write from the Start - individual fine motor
Shine - a targeted Maths and English intervention
Pre-Teaching Vocabulary - individual vocabulary, speaking and listening focus
Nessy for reading and spelling
Numicon - class small group and individual work
Plus 1 and Power of 2
Social, Emotional and Mental health
Communication and Interaction
Sensory and Physical Including Access Around the Site
Q - What specialist support do you offer?
A - A SENCo who has gained the National Award for SENCo. A team of teachers and teaching assistants, many have specific areas of expertise and with further qualifications. A number of staff with direct specialist experience of SEND. The school also has access to external specialist support services:
Educational Psychology - Mr Mark Corness
Tasha Conn - Play Therapist
Language and Communication Advisory Support
Special Educational Needs Support Service (SENSS); Physical Disability Team, Visual, Hearing Impairment Team, Communication and Interaction Team
School Health Nurse
PCAMHs consultation and referral
Early Intervention Hub
Strong links with ‘The Warriner SENCo Network’ and Swalcliffe Park School (residential school for boys with Autistic Spectrum Conditions)
Further services can be accessed through Oxfordshire County Council’s Local Offer, accessible to parents via the website.
Q - How do you make sure your provision is as good as it can be?
A - We monitor our provision through reviews with parents, data analysis, work scrutiny and lesson observations. We often buy in consultants and outside agencies to help us do this. We monitor pupil progress through Class Reviews and review the success of interventions and provision maps. The school is committed to providing high quality professional development for staff and this is the best way of making sure our teachers can offer inclusive practice. We access a lot of our training through the external support services and through The Warriner Partnership Training Programme.
Q - How can I support my child?
A - There are lots of ways you can help. The best way to help is to talk to the teachers and ask questions if you have them. Don’t be afraid to share information that might be useful to the school, for example, share any worries your child may have. If you need to, ask your child’s teacher for their advice and support, they can arm you with lots of ideas and tips. It helps if your child comes to school ready to face the day, and if you have concerns be quick to bring them to the schools attention, that way they can be dealt with more swiftly.
Q - Who can support me with my child’s SEND?
A - Having a child with SEND can be worrying and exhausting. The school recognises this and we want to help parents by working closely together. We have a coffee morning (suspended due to Covid - but due to be reinstated) which allows parents to openly discuss their worries with the SENCo, Play Therapist and other parents who can support. We also have access to other specialists. There are also lots of local and national support groups listed under ‘Useful Contacts’ (below) who have parent groups and networks and lots of useful tips. The SENCo is always happy to talk to you to help you identify which direction to go in to access more help.
Q - Who do I talk to if I am worried about my child or the provision offered?
A - A parents first point of contact is always the class teacher, most concerns are easily addressed this way. If you would prefer, you can talk to the SENCo or the Head Teacher. The school encourages parents to share their concerns quickly. If you need more support in meetings at school we can put you in touch with SENDIASS (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Independent Advice and Support Services) who will be happy to help.
Q - What happens when my child moves year group or leaves your school?
A - We offer extra transition visits to help children cope with changes like moving class or school. Children spend time in new classes before the end of the year and we can provide photo books to help them get to know new staff or new rooms. We have strong links with The Warriner school and have well established transfer arrangements for secondary. Where parents choose a different secondary school we can still arrange additional visits for pupils.
Q - What is an ‘Education, Health and Care Plan’?
A - Statements of Special Educational Needs were replaced by Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) for children and young people with the most complex needs in September 2014. The creation and delivery of these Plans is led by the Local Authority and delegated to schools which develop and review these with parents on an annual basis. This review meeting is in addition to the three meetings each year where SEN provision is reviewed.
Oxfordshire County Council Website details the Local Offer and signposts lots of useful support for parents-
The Parent Partnership now known as SENDIASS. You can email them at email@example.com or take a look the website: https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/cms/public-site/sendiass-oxfordshire-formerly-parent-partnership.
There are lots of national and local groups if your child has a diagnosis or a disability:
Parents Talking Asperger- www.parents-talking-aspergers.co.uk
Downs Syndrome - www.downs-syndrome.org.uk
The Dyslexia Association-- www.bdadyslexia.org.uk
Oxfordshire Dyslexia Association - https://www.oxdys.org.uk/
Dyslexia Action- www.dyslexiaaction.org.uk