SEND Information: Special Needs Offer

From September 2014, all schools are expected to publish information about their provision for special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

This includes the 'Local Offer', which helps parents/carers understand what services they and their families can expect from a range of local agencies. It should help them understand how the system works, and how the local authority, local area and the school will support both the child and the family.

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on the questions below to find out more:

Q1: My child has SEND. I would like to look around. What do I need to do?

Please give us a ring and make an appointment.

Q2: How will my child and I be made to feel welcome and how will you get ready for my child coming?

You will be greeted by the office staff and given a guided tour by our Executive Head teacher, Mrs Hopkins or in her absence, one of our other lovely staff members. Whenever possible, we invite our older pupils to act as a tour guide so that your child has immediate contact with the children and can start to ask questions that are important to them.

Should you decide to send your child here, we will discuss a programme of induction, e.g. our current Reception intake join us for four visits during the term before they are due to start, older pupils prefer half a day then they want to start.

Q3: How accessible are your premises?

We have two buildings, both on ground level. We have one disabled toilet in each building.

Q4: How will you keep my child safe?

Gates and doors are locked appropriately.

We have a signing in and out system for visitors at the main office.

Teachers register children in the morning and phone calls are made to parents if a child is not in school and we are unaware of the reason for absence. Teachers also sign each child out at the end of the day when they can see the parent waiting. Senior staff stand at the gate to ensure no child leaves the premises without their parent or named adult who is known to us. A member of staff escorts children to and from the bus.

All staff are trained in Safeguarding/Child Protection and all teachers have been First Aid trained.

Training for Asthma and use of epi-pen is provided by the school nurse when needed.

We have a rigorous health and safety monitoring programme which includes fire risk assessment.

Staff are fully trained to take children out on trips and all safety risks are assessed.

Q5: How will you communicate with me what my child has done, enjoyed and learnt?

Mainly via the Headteacher’s weekly newsletter and home-school link-up books such as a child’s Reading Diary. A learning and teaching overview is sent home at the beginning of each term, as well as other documents linked to the curriculum. Teachers are available to speak with parents at the beginning and end of the day and by appointment. We hold two parent-teacher interview meetings each year and organise opportunities to attend workshops and information evenings, as well as open sessions when you can pop in and look at your child’s work. Our Friday Special Assembly is a great time to find out about learning and teaching; this takes place on a Friday at 9.00am. We have an amazing website which is updated with information too.

Q6: How do you work with other professionals?

The SENDCO, class teachers and support staff liaise and plan with outside agencies when it is appropriate to do so. Support plans/learning/health care plans are created together with parents having an input (and if appropriate, the child too.) Some professionals may visit weekly or monthly and our teachers spend time discussing the work and support for the individual to ensure their needs are being met.

Q7: What training have you/your staff had in SEND?

This ranges from learning support (such as Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, deafness), behaviour/emotional support (eg. Positive Handling, Bereavement counselling) and health care (e.g. First Aid, asthma.)

Q8: How will you adapt play opportunities for my child?

Through lengthy discussions with you, your child and supporting agencies (if appropriate) we will endeavour to make all necessary arrangements to make sure your child is able to enjoy a happy playtime. Some children need a quiet space to play, others need a big field; we can find both.

Q9: How will you get ready for my child going to his/her new room/school/upper school?

Transition arrangements are well established both internally and with our local High School in Bottesford. Children are given opportunities to visit their new room and spend time with their new class and teacher. As we are a small school, children visit each other’s room on a regular basis so they all know one another and the teachers very well! Please see our Induction page on the website for further details.

Q10: How will you and I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child's learning?

In addition to the above, if your child has a support plan you will be invited in to school to discuss progress against their targets at least once a term. The class teacher will advise you on homework and linked activities to support their learning. Their Target Book is shared weekly and children and parents are encouraged to contribute.

Q11: What kinds of Special Educational Needs does the school make provision for? What type of provision does the school make and how do they know it works?

In our school we make provision for pupils who have any of the following needs:

  • Cognition and learning
  • Communication and language
  • Emotional, interaction, social or behavioural
  • Sensory and physical
  • Gifted and talented.

We know that some pupils will have difficulties (or greater needs) in more than one of these areas and we will always do our best to meet their needs. The support we provide varies according to the specific needs of the child.

All children in school have support within lessons through differentiation and quality first teaching strategies. This means that activities are planned according to the level the child or young person is working at. This can include a variety of adaptions including changes to the physical environment, changes to teaching styles as well as levels of adult support.

Some children receive additional one-to-one support or group support to help them with specific skills and homework is tailored specifically for each child.

Q12: How does the school identify and assess Special Educational Needs?

Key indicators are:

  • Progress is significantly slower than that of their peers
  • A child's rate of progress is slowing down significantly
  • Failure to close the attainment gap between the child and their peers
  • A more able child demonstrates significant widening of the attainment gap.

In school we use a variety of different ways to assess whether a child or young person has special educational needs. Some of these ways include:

  • Observations
  • Assessments: those done in class and by support specialists
  • School based test results/tracking and monitoring
  • Information from parents and carers
  • Information from the child or young person
  • Workbooks
  • Information from previous schools or settings
  • Results from end of key stage assessments
  • Discussions with adults who work with the child or young person.

Once a child or young person is identified as having a special educational need, a graduated approach to support is taken. The child or young person's needs will first be assessed, then support will be planned, carried out and then reviewed. At the review any necessary changes will be made. We set individual targets with the child, which are reviewed together on a weekly basis.

Q13: How does the school know how much progress is being made by pupils with Special Educational Needs/Disabilities?

All children's progress, including those children or young people with a special educational need, is tracked using the school's assessment tracking system. We use a programme called Target Tracker which enables us to monitor each individual child. Pupils are assessed regularly using teacher marking, observations and questioning as well as more formal assessments such as curriculum tests and standardised tests.

All children with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities have their own target book. We call them M.O.Ts (My Own Targets.) The child agrees the target with the member of staff, it is written in to their book and shared with the teacher/support staff and parent/s. Together, everyone helps the child to achieve the target; a new one is then set. This means targets are constantly reviewed and the children feels a sense of achievement more regularly.

The progress each child is making is discussed at pupil progress meetings with the class teacher and the SENDCO as appropriate.

Q14: What extra-curricular activities can a pupil with Special Educational Needs/Disabilities access at school?

All our clubs and activities are open to everyone; adjustments are made accordingly for those that may need it.

Q15: Does the school have a Special Educational Needs co-ordinator (SENCO)? If so who are they and how can someone get in touch with them?

The SENDCO is our Headteacher, Mrs Hopkins. She works closely with the staff to ensure a full programme of support is in place for those who need it. Mrs Hopkins may be contacted via the school office.

Q16: What training do the staff in school have in relation to pupils with Special Educational Needs/Disabilities?

All staff should are involved in supporting pupils with SEND and so we make sure that staff have training to help them do this.

Examples of training received include Epipen, speech and Language, Asthma, Dyslexia and positive handling.

Q17: How do the school get more specialist help for pupils if they need it?

We work closely with the Special Support Services for Leicestershire and the nearby Special School, Birchwood. The school nurse also provides pivotal support, as do the child’s own GP when necessary.

Q18: How are parents of children and young people with Special Educational Needs/Disabilities involved in the education of their child?

Staff are always approachable so parents feel involved in the education of their child. They are highly visible before and after school and appointments to meet with teachers are welcomed.

In addition, our school aims to regularly involve parents in the education of their child through a variety of different ways including, for example:

Meetings with SENCO, class teacher and support staff; target setting so parents can see what their child is working on next; home/school books to inform parents of important information; reading record books; Head teacher’s weekly newsletter; weekly Special Assemblies for families; information on the school website; parents' evenings; workshops; open sessions to view work books and classroom displays; annual school report to parents.

Q19: How are pupils with Special Educational Needs/Disabilities involved in their own education?

All children are active participants in their own learning. For children and young people with SEND we use a variety of strategies to support this including, for example, any of the following:

  • Target review meetings.
  • Self-assessment at the beginning and end of learning.
  • Having a range of equipment available for the child to choose to use.
  • Ensuring the child works with a range of different partners.
  • Ensuring the child or young person has a designated adult to go to if they need help.
  • Opportunity to be a Redmile Leader, eg. School Council Rep.
  • One page profiles.
  • Medical alert cards.
  • Emotions scale.
  • Visual timetables.
  • Prompt cards to promote independence.
  • Personalised work stations.
  • Learning breaks.

Q20: If a parent of a child with Special Educational Needs/Disabilities has a concern or a complaint about the school, how does the governing body deal with the complaint?

If you have a concern or a complaint about the school please contact the Headteacher, Mrs Hopkins, and we will do everything we can to resolve the issue. Our school and governing body take concerns and complaints seriously and will act upon these on an individual basis. Please refer to our Concerns and Complaints Policy.

Q21: How does the governing body involve other people in meeting the needs of pupils with Special Educational Needs/Disabilities, including support for their families?

In our school we have a nominated governor who is responsible for SEND.

Their job is to meet with the SENCO regularly. In these meetings the SEND governor ensures that children and families are being supported by the right services from in and outside of school. The SEND governor will also visit the school, observe what happens in classrooms and meet with class teachers, support staff and children. Other governors who make visits to monitor learning have a responsibility to report on how the needs of SEND children are being met in each lesson.

In addition the Headteacher reports to the Local Governing Body and DLAT each term on pupils attainment and progress through her Head teacher’s Report to Governors. The governors will challenge, support and advise the Head teacher to ensure that appropriate provision is being made.

Q22: What is Disability and how does the school make provision?

A disabled person (child or adult) is someone who has a physical or mental impairment, which has substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

  • A physical or mental impairment includes sensory impairments: impairments relating to mental functioning including learning disabilities such as dyslexia and dyspraxia; and long-term health conditions such as diabetes, epilepsy, HIV infection, cancer or multiple sclerosis.
  • Substantial means more than minor or trivial.
  • Long-term means an impairment that has lasted for at least 12 months, or is likely to last 12 months or for the rest of the person’s life.
  • Normal day-to-day activities cover the following categories: mobility; manual dexterity; physical co-ordination; continence; speech, hearing or eyesight; memory or ability to concentrate, learn or understand; perception of the risk of physical danger.

Someone with an impairment may be receiving medical or other treatment which alleviates or removes the effects of that impairment (but not the impairment itself). In such cases the treatment should be disregarded and the impairment is taken to have the effect it would have without the treatment. Some people are automatically deemed to have a disability covered by the Act – those with HIV, cancer, MS, and severe disfigurements. There are special provisions for people with progressive or recurring conditions.

Actions Taken:

  • The school, including the new buildings have been designed with inclusivity in mind, eg. acoustic ceiling tiles, no steps.
  • We work with governors and parents to review policies and practices across the curriculum.
  • We have identified children with physical or mental impairments relating to learning difficulties or sensory needs and those with long-term health conditions and identified how we can best meet their needs in relation to teaching and learning, care and personal development through working closely with parents to set up individual support plans or with the Health Care services.
  • The school Disability Equality Scheme and Accessibility action plans have been fully reviewed by Governors to ensure we are working towards our overall goals for improvement.
  • We ensure safer recruitment practices that are based upon equal opportunities. Governor training is on-going through an on-line service.
  • Teaching practices have been improved through professional development courses and in-school training.
  • We have adopted the principles of being a dyslexia friendly school.
  • All staff are First Aid trained.
  • Staff have had training on diabetes, asthma, and epi-pen from specialist nurses, as well as supporting individual circumstances.
  • Support staff are specifically employed to support and aid individuals in need and we liaise very closely with outside agencies and parents to ensure an Education Health Care Plan is in place with training for staff as required.
  • Inclusive practices are a strength of the school and finding ways to further personalise learning is a key priority for us.
  • All new parents to school are given a disability access survey to ensure we are notified of any needs with respect to children or their families. We find that people are sometimes reluctant to come forward and need to look at other ways to raise awareness and improve communication in this area.
  • Documents, including the weekly newsletter, are available in large print upon request.
  • We use Target Tracker as a management tool to track pupil progress overall in order to ensure pupils with needs are making progress.
  • We have raised the quality of listening and responding to pupil voice through various questionnaires, involvement in topic planning, council meetings and pupils assemblies. We have a School Council box for written suggestions and a ‘drop-in’ session to talk face to face with Council members.
  • We have raised the quality of listening and responding to parent voice through questionnaires, workshops and meetings. There is a suggestion box located in the school hall.
  • Improved support at playtimes and lunchtimes through ‘buddy’ and ‘family’ systems, as well as rotas set up by the pupils.

A full copy of the disability equality scheme or disability equality and accessibility plan is available on our school website. A full copy of our Equal Opportunities policy is available on the website or upon request. Do please come along and talk to us – we are here to support you and your family.