What is SEND?
SEND stands for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. It is a term used to describe children whose needs require any form of support in addition to that of their peers. There are 4 categories of need defined by the code of practice, these are;
- Cognition and Learning
- Social, Emotional and Mental Health
- Physical and Sensory
- Communication and Interaction
Child can have areas of need within one or more of these categories.
What is the context of SEND at Leighton?
At Leighton we have a high percentage (31%) of children who have been identified as SEND, these additional need include, but are not limited to;
- Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Global delay
- Sensory processing difficulties
- Fine and gross motor difficulties
- Speech and Language difficulties
- Social, emotional and mental health difficulties
- Hearing Impairment
What is the SENDco role?
Our SENDCo is Mrs Kirsten Bilby and her role is to coordinate the provision for the children with SEND across the school. The SENDCo works closely with teachers and parents to make sure children with SEND get the support they need and regularly reviews the provision in place to ensure it is having a positive impact. Mrs Bilby provides physical resources for children to use such as ear defenders and writing slopes as well as supporting teachers and TAs with intervention work.
What to do if I have a concern about my child?
If you have a concern about your child, in the first instance, speak to the class teacher. At this point the class teacher can let you know if they share the same concerns and make a plan to see if an adjustment to their environment or learning will have a positive influence. If this does not have an impact you can make an appointment with the SENDCo, via the school office or email, to discuss your concerns further. At this point you will review what has already been tried and, if needed, plan further provision to best support your child.
What SEND provision we have at Leighton?
As we have a high percentage of children with additional needs, we also have a range of provision in place to support them. The support given is dependent on each child’s specific needs and discussions with the class teacher and/or SENDCo will make sure the most effective provision is in place for your child. We work closely with external professionals to plan and provide specific support including; Educational psychologist, Occupational therapist, Speech and language therapist, Specialist teachers for ADHD and ASD, Project for schools mental health nursing team and sensory support services. We run a number of regular sessions for children across the school including sensory circuits, project x reading intervention, probe, numbers count, nurture groups and lunch time support groups.
What is a EHC plan?
EHCP stands for Education Health and Care Plan. This is a plan of support put in place for a small number of children. If it is agreed within school that we should apply for and EHCP, the SENDCo will work with the class teachers and parents to complete the paper work and provide the evidence for the application, this will highlight why the child requires a higher level of support than can be offered through our in school SEND support. This application will then go to a Local Authority panel and they will decide if an assessment should take place or not. If the assessment goes ahead, a meeting is held with a representative from the local authority, the SENDCo, parents and any other professional involved with the child and an assessment is carried out. Within this assessment, targets are set based on the areas of need of the child. This assessment is taken to a final panel to decide if it should be finalised into a plan. If it is agreed to be a final plan the local authority decide upon any additional funding required to support the child. This plan is then reviewed annually to ensure it stays up to date and the targets are relevant. The local authority currently advise that around 2% of the population have needs significant enough to require an EHCP.
How will we cater for children's needs in a mainstream classroom?
At Leighton, we believe quality first teaching by a qualified teacher is important for all children and endeavour to make sure all children are exposed to this during their school day. In some cases, depending on the child’s needs, it is necessary for work to be carried out in small groups with a member of the support team. On the whole, teachers use resources, support staff and differentiation to ensure the needs of all children in the classroom are met.
What does the Local Authority say about our SEND provision at Leighton?
One member of the review team focused on SEND across the school and provided feedback as part of the review report.
‘There is a clear system in place to support the identification of pupils with SEND. The SENDCo knows the pupils on the register well. Provision for SEND pupils is well thought through and additional resourcing is often used to support pupils’ access to learning and where appropriate to aid their physical development. The SENDCo acts on the findings of research and the advice of other professionals with specific expertise where relevant.’
The findings from the review went on to identify the nurture work we have introduced after working the Educational Psychologist,
‘A nurture unit has recently been established and equipped based on the advice of an Educational Psychologist. This is designed to support a small number of the younger pupils with the highest needs.’ They identified that it was a new provision and so the impact had not been seen but continued to highlight that ‘it is indicative of the school’s approach to effective inclusion and support provided for pupils.’