Supporting pupils with special educational needs
At Ambleside Academy we uphold an inclusive culture which is built on a whole community approach to special needs where staff, governors, parents and support services work together as a team co-operating, collaborating, and co-ordinating in all that they do so that it produces the best possible education for all children.
The Academy considers the four following areas to be areas where difficulties may occur and these categories are also defined in the SEND Code of Practice 2014.
- Difficulties with communication and interaction
- Difficulties with learning
- Difficulties with emotional and social development
- A sensory and/or physical need
Pupils with special educational needs are identified as early as possible from various sources: pre-school settings, teacher assessment, their work in class, parental concern, specific assessments, National Curriculum assessments (SATs), previous school records/reports, their behaviours, and their discussions with staff and parents. Special needs can also be identified by observations carried out by specialist provider staff. This information then forms the basis for planning a differentiated programme to meet a recognised need.
In the identification of Special Needs we follow a Graduated response to which there are three stages
- Pupil aware – If a pupil is causing concern due to lack of progress a discussion will be held about possible causes, this will include seeking the views of the parents and an appropriate set of actions will be devised. This may include being part of an intervention group, following a specifically tailored programme. After a period of time, the intervention is evaluated. If it is decided that further assessment required due to lack of progress, it is at this point the school will start to consider if there is an area of difficulty that comes under the four areas of special needs.
- SEN support – If a pupil has a recognised need within one or more of the four areas outlined in the Code of Practice, then individually tailored support will be put in place. Parents will be made aware of what this provision will be and will also be involved in reviewing what happens next throughout the time it is in place.
- EHC plan – If a pupil has had significant amount of individualised support for a sustained period of time, and there are still concerns over progress from school or from parents then a request for a statutory assessment can be made. This request requires all professionals and parents to provide information which goes towards a decision if the pupil’s needs are sufficient enough for a plan to be required. If it is then a plan is put together and once in place the pupil is able to attend a special school if that is the parent’s wishes.
As early as possible, the individual needs of the pupil are identified and the appropriate provision is made. This may include:
- Different learning materials
- Specialised equipment
- Individual or group support
- Staff development or training in alternative strategies
- Planning interventions and monitoring progress
- Seeking advice from LA support team
If any of the above is put into place then this is called SEN support.
Some of the professionals who may be sought for advice, support, materials and equipment can include:
- Learning and Cognitive Service
- Communication and Interaction Service
- Education Psychological Service
- Behaviour support Service
- The School Medical Service
- Speech and Language Support Service
- Physical and Sensory Impairment Support Services
- Occupational Therapist
The school’s Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator is Mrs Jackson who can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
A pupil who is at SEN support should receive support across the day and the week. This support will be timetabled and the support will be in place for at times of greatest need. This support maybe shared support or one to one.
We expect all Ambleside Academy young people who are SEN support will have a PLP (personalised learning plan). A PLP has several targets which the child is working towards. The child is supported by teacher and their teaching assistant in achieving these. A PLP also outlines how much one to one support a child receives and what times of the day this happens. A PLP should be reviewed at least every term. A PLP is to be discussed with parents and the child (if appropriate) when drawn up and at review meetings.
Every half term the SEN plan should be revised by the class teacher, the TA who works with the pupil where they will review the strategies tried, the targets set and if any progress has been made. From this review, decisions will be made as to next actions. There should also be a Review meeting once a term where parents and if appropriate other professionals will be invited to discuss progress and next steps.
Raising a concern
The first thing you should do is raise your concern with your child’s teacher. They will discuss the concern with you and then share your concerns with the Principal and the SENDCO.
Then your child’s teacher and the provider lead will discuss strategies already used with child and possible alternatives.
These discussions will then be fed back to the parents at the earliest possible moment where the provider lead, the child’s teacher and parents hopefully agree what interventions are needed whether it is no additional action is required, or the kind of interventions outlined for School Aware or those required for SEN support.
You may wish to consider a formal complaint to the Raleigh Education Trust.
An assessment of needs is where a written request is made by the child’s parent or the Provider with the support of unity Academy to the LA to formally identify the child’s needs. To have a formal assessment the child will have a level of need which is of significant cause for concern. Assessments involve the LA considering all of the evidence by working co-operatively with parents, the child’s setting and as appropriate, other agencies, in deciding whether a statutory assessment is necessary.
If the LA decides that the degree of the pupil’s learning difficulty and the nature of the provision necessary to meet the child’s special educational needs are such that it requires the LA to issue a plan outlining the SEN provision then there are two main courses of action. Firstly the parents may choose to keep their child in their current provision. The child will be supported by HLN and the plan outlines the provision to be provided. Secondly the child’s parents may wish to send their child to a Special school which specialise in children with a significant level of need.
A child cannot attend a special school without a plan and which provision whether it is mainstream or not will be discussed and decided upon at a meeting after the EHCP has been issued. All plans must be reviewed at least annually with the parents, the pupil, the LA the school and professionals involved.
The Nest is a focused provision classroom which supports children with Communication and Interaction needs.
The Nest staff are suitably qualified and passionate about their roles, they work alongside and under the direction of the SENCo Mrs Jackson. They are proactive as a team to ensure that they have regular up to date training and attend courses to ensure that they are able to deliver the best education and support for all children in the focus provision and the wider school.
What makes our focused provision special?
All the children that are in our focused provision are treated as individuals and are encouraged to work to their full potential.
This is done through individualised learning, through a bespoke creative Focus Provision curriculum. Through our curriculum we aim to provide:
• Engaging opportunities to broaden children’s knowledge and understanding.
• To develop children’s communication using augmentative structure. Using a variety of symbols, signing, sentence structure, communication books and verbal communication through an engaging environment.
• Appropriate learning opportunities based on each child’s individual needs.
• To equip the children with the necessary skills to become a celebrated individual, within the wider community.
• To develop and promote independent life skills
We use the children’s Education and Health Care Plans (EHCP’s) to support their longer-term outcomes, as well as the bespoke curriculum. We support the children with all their other needs, this includes their communication and language, we pride ourselves in being a total communication focus provision.
We support those children who require positive behaviour plans and
sensory processing difficulties to access all areas of our curriculum and their individual areas of their learning.
All children within The Nest are included within Ambleside Academy’s school life, they are part of shine assemblies, sports days, celebrations days, school trips and topic-based days.
The school employs an intimate carer, who supports the toileting needs of children who are unable to do so themselves. They support children who for medical reasons are unable to manage their own toileting needs.
The Intimate Carers can work alongside parents devise a toilet training programme. Each child with a programme is reminded to toilet at several points during the day and is changed whenever necessary, using items provided by parents.
This member of staff will also administer prescribed medication after written parental permission has been given. If the administration of medication is over a prolonged period of time, then a health care plan is written which outlines which medicine is to be taken and how often. This plan is signed by both school and the parents and each plan is reviewed on a regular basis.
The community health team
The community health team consists of school nurses, health visitors and paediatricians who share information with the school. They can provide advice to families via requests from the school or parents/carers. The team also have contact with the SENCO and attendance team, and may provide information to support SEN reviews and safeguarding meetings.