Special Educational Needs

Local Offer for Families September 2014

At Oldfield School we strive to support all our students and enable them to reach their full potential at school. In order to do this steps are taken to support them through their learning journey.  Quality teaching is vital; however, for some students there are occasions when further additional support may be needed to help them achieve their targets.


Children and Families Bill 2014

The Children and Families Bill takes forward the Coalition Government’s commitments to improve services for vulnerable children and families.  It underpins wider reforms to ensure that all children and young people can succeed, no matter what their background. The Bill reforms the systems for adoption, looked after children, family justice and SEN.

The reform programme is set out in Support and Aspiration: A new approach to special educational needs and disability: Progress and next steps by:

  • Replacing statements and learning difficulty assessments with a new birth to 25 Education and Health Care Plan (EHC) Plan – the Local Authority has responsibility for transitioning existing statements to EHC plans by 2018 and with immediate effect for new applications.
  • Improving cooperation between all services that support the children and their families.

Who are the best people to talk to at Oldfield about my son/daughter’s educational difficulties and/or Special Educational Needs?

Teachers

  • Ensuring that all students have access to good/outstanding teaching and that the curriculum is adapted to meet your son/daughter’s needs (also known as differentiation).
  • Checking on the progress of your son/daughter and identifying, planning and delivering any additional help your son/daughter may need (this could be targeted work, additional support, adapting resources etc….) and discussing amendments with support staff or the SENCO as necessary.
  • Contributing to Single Support Plans (SPs) which are shared and reviewed with parents at least 3 times a year and planning for the future.
  • Ensuring that additional members of staff working with your son/daughter are aware of their individual needs and/or condition and what specific adjustments need to be made to enable them to be included and make progress.
  • Ensuring that additional staff working with your son/daughter in school is supported in delivering the planned work/programme so they can achieve the best possible progress.
  • Ensuring that the school’s SEND Policy is followed in their classroom and for all the students they teach with any SEND.

Teaching Assistants

A Teaching Assistant (TA) may be allocated to a student with exceptional special educational needs and/or disabilities. Or they may be allocated to a class to support the teacher in adapting the timetable to meet the needs of a number of students within their class.

How can I talk to the teacher about my son/daughter if I need to?

You can contact your son/daughter’s teachers by telephoning, emailing or visiting the school to make an appointment.

SEND Governor

The SEND Governor is responsible for:

  • Making sure that the school has an up to date SEND Policy
  • Making sure that the school has appropriate provision and has made necessary adaptations to meet the needs of all students in the school.
  • Understanding and monitoring the support given to students with SEND in the school and being part of the process to ensure your son/daughter achieves his/her potential.
  • Reporting to the full governing body.

The SENCO, Miss Margaret Roberts, is responsible for:

  • Managing the support for students with SEN and/or disabilities by giving responsibility to teachers and teaching assistants but still responsible for ensuring that your child’s needs are met.
  • Coordinating all the support for students with special educational needs (SEN) and or disabilities, and developing the school’s SEN Policy to make sure all students get a consistent, high quality response to meeting their needs in school.
  • Making sure, in liaison with the Senior Leadership Team that the Governing Body is kept up to date about any issues in the school relating to SEND.
  • Following a graduated response appropriate to the needs of the individual student (assess, plan. do, review).
  • Ensuring that parents are:
    • Involved in supporting your son/daughter’s learning
    • kept informed about the support your son/daughter is receiving
    • Involved in reviewing how your son/daughter is doing
    • taking part in planning ahead for them

Liaising with all the other people who may come into contact with the school or help support your son/daughter’s learning e.g. Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapists, Educational Psychology etc…

Updating the school’s SEND record of need, (a system for ensuring all special educational, physical and sensory needs of students in this school are known and understood) and making sure that there are full and frequent records of your son/daughter’s progress and needs.

To provide specialist support for teachers and support staff in the school so they can help your son/daughter (and other students with SEN and/or disabilities in the school) to achieve their potential.

In liaison with the relevant staff and agencies write Support Plans (SPs) that specify the targets set for your son/daughter to achieve.

Organising training for staff so they are aware and confident about how to meet the needs of your son/daughter and others within the school.

How can I talk to the SENCO about my child if I need to?

You can contact the SENCO by telephoning, emailing or visiting the school to arrange an appointment.

How does Oldfield School know if students need extra help?

We know when students need help if:

  • Concerns are raised by parents/carers, teachers or the student’s previous school
  • The student’s progress and/or attainment is significantly below age related expectations
  • There is a significant or prolonged change in a student’s behaviour

If your son/daughter is not making expected progress or if there is another indicator of concern the school will discuss with you

  • Any concerns you may have
  • Any further interventions or referrals to outside professionals to support their learning, and how we can work together to support your son/daughter at home and at school

Sometimes a student may need some short-term help if there is a change in circumstances e.g. a bereavement or family breakdown. Pease talk to your son/daughter’s tutor or their Head of House.

How will the curriculum be matched to my son/daughter’s needs?

Our curriculum is designed to match your son/daughter’s needs by offering personalised learning that is differentiated according to their ability. This will develop their skills as learners and help them to become more independent, enabling them to progress and reach their full potential. Where a student has been identified as SEN, their work will often be differentiated by the teacher, to enable them to access the curriculum more easily.

Parent’s meeting also provide opportunities for parents/carers to discuss the curriculum with the teachers

How will my son/daughter be included in activities outside the classroom?

Activities and school trips are available to all children. Financial assistance via the school’s Pupil Premium allocation or other sources is available to ensure access to all activities where payment is needed. Where a professional makes a recommendation for a student to receive additional support out of school hours, parents will be supported and signposted to the relevant service.

For activities out of school, risk assessments are carried out and the school will make every effort to make reasonable adjustment to enable all students to participate. If it is decided that 1:1 support is required to support a student, an additional staff member or responsible adult may be asked to accompany a student during the activity/trip.

How will Oldfield School staff support my son/daughter?

All students have individual needs. Students in school with SEN will get support that is specific to their individual needs. This may all be provided by the subject teachers or may include:

  • Other staff in the school
  • Working in collaboration with staff from dual placements where applicable
  • Staff who will visit the school from Local Authority central services such as the ASD Outreach Service Team or Sensory Service (for students with hearing or visual need)
  • Staff who visit from outside agencies such as the Speech and Language Therapy Service (SLIP) or Occupational Therapy (OT)
  • An assessment by an Educational Psychologist or other specialists
  • Working 1:1 or small groups on a specific programme of work e.g. Social Skills groups
  • Providing specialist equipment/resources as required to support your son/daughter’s learning and development

The teacher and/or SENCO will always explain to you what the concerns are and what the plans for your son/daughter include. If outside agencies are used, we always ask your permission before making a referral. If you have any queries related to the intervention or support that your son/daughter receives, please contact the appropriate teacher or the SENCO.

Regular reviews of a student’s progress are discussed at Support Plan (SP) meetings. These will usually follow the format of a graduated response. The first part of this meeting is to look at the provision for the student and make decisions about the progress that the student is making. The second part is to make new plans and adjust the provision as necessary.

If a specialist professional works with your son/daughter, there may be recommendations that are made, which may include:

  • Making changes to the way your son/daughter is supported in class
  • Support to set targets which will include their specific professional expertise
  • Your son/daughter’s involvement in a group run by school staff under the guidance of the outside professional e.g. social skills groups
  • A group or individual work with outside professional.

How will I know how well my son/daughter is doing?

Your son/daughter’s tutor, subject teachers and/or the SENCO, are happy to discuss how well they are doing; these discussions do not need to be limited to the regular Support Plan meetings. Some students may also have a home/school communication book so that parents/carers and school staff can monitor progress, record concerns or share achievements.
All reports from outside agencies are passed to you with their ideas for support or resources that may be used at home.

What specialist services can the school access?

Autism Outreach Service
CAMHS
Counselling Services
Educational Psychologists
Occupational Therapists
School Nursing Team, Paediatricians and GPs
Social Care Team
Child Protection Officers
Speech and Language Inclusion Partnership
Education Welfare Officers
Sensory Support Service
Physiotherapy
Parent Partnership
Mentoring Plus

What support will there be for my son/daughter’s wellbeing?

The school offers a range of pastoral support for students who are encountering emotional difficulties. This could be through 1:1 discussions with the tutor, the Pastoral Support Worker or the SENCO, regular ‘monitoring’ meetings with parents/carers, small group support (e.g. a social skills group) and/or include a specific resource to support your son/daughter.

Sometimes the school will get support from elsewhere e.g. the School Nurse. Where necessary, referrals may also be made by school or by parents/carers through the GP to CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Health Services) or an organisation like ‘Off the Record’.

For some students, it may be appropriate for a CAF (Common Assessment Framework) to be used to support the wellbeing of a student and their family. A CAF essentially creates a plan for the student and family and is written by the ‘Lead Professional” in consultation with other professionals that are working with the family.

Where appropriate, homework tasks may be adapted to suit the needs of individual students.

What training opportunities are there for staff supporting students with SEND?

It is the SENCO’s job to support subject teachers in planning for students with SEN and provide in-house training where possible and necessary. The school has a development plan, including identified training needs for all staff to improve the teaching and learning of students including those with SEND. This may include whole school training on SEND issues or to support identified groups of learners in school, such as ASD, dyslexia etc.
Individual teachers and support staff attend training courses run by outside agencies that are relevant to the needs of specific students in their class.

How accessible is the school environment?

We will always do our best to meet the need, and we are always happy to discuss individual access requirements however, not all buildings are accessible for wheelchair users.

How will Oldfield School support my son/daughter’s transition to and from school?

For students transferring from their Primary School at the end of Year 6 there is an Induction Day in Term 6 and a Parent’s Information Evening.  Members of Oldfield staff also visits every partner Primary School to meet prospective students and liaise with their teachers. There are additional transition arrangements for students who are on the SEND List or if there are any concerns about a student who may have difficulties and/or needs regarding transition. Additional transition arrangements may include:

  • The SENCO or a member of her team attending the Year 6 Annual Review meeting for students with a Statement/EHC Plan
  • Additional familiarisation visits by the student to Oldfield
  • Meetings for parents with key staff e.g the SENCO
  • Liaison with the appropriate outside agencies to ensure a smooth transition e.g ASD Outreach Service
  • Records including specialist reports are passed on as soon as possible

For students transferring mid-year, LA procedures are followed (see Admissions and Transport on the B&NES website). The ‘Local Offer’ is also available on the B&NES website.  For students with SEND, the additional transition arrangements would be made as appropriate.

If a student has a current CAF (Common Assessment Framework), we ensure that all professionals are involved in supporting the transition process.

How will Oldfield School allocate resources to support my son/daughter’s needs?

The Senior Leadership Team decide on the allocation of total budget for Special Educational Needs in consultation with the school governors.  The Senior Leadership Team discuss all the information they have about SEN in the school, and decide what resources/training and support they need. SEN funding is usually allocated to employ staff and outside specialists and to buy resources and equipment.

Where a student has significant needs that the school feels that it cannot meet, or no longer meet, the school applies for a statutory assessment of the student, which may lead to further support being provided by the appropriate LA. Parents can also request that their LA carry out a statutory assessment of their son/daughter’s needs.   

How is the decision made about what type and how much support my son/daughter will receive?

Each student is assessed individually and a personalised package of support put into place dependent on need. If these needs change, support is adjusted as necessary. Additional assessments from outside agencies will sometimes mean an increase of support and/or resources. Review meetings are held between the SENCO and parents to discuss the student’s progress and any additional needs that require support.

If a student joins from another school, information provided by the partner school, along with our own assessments, will enable the school to allocate resources/support for the student.

How can I be involved in discussions about planning for my son/daughter?

All parents are encouraged to contribute to their son/daughter’s education. This happens through:

  • Discussions with appropriate teachers or their tutor – either formally through parent meetings, or informally by arrangement
  • Discussions with other professionals e.g. the SENCO, Speech and Language Therapist, Educational Psychologist. Information is shared with you (either verbally or written reports or both).
  • Support Plan or Annual Review Meetings.

This may also happen through other means e.g. a home/school communication book.

Who can I contact for further information?

If you wish to discuss any aspect of your son/daughter’s education, please contact:

  • The subject teacher for subject specific information
  • Your son/daughter’s tutor for day to day information
  • Your son/daughter’s Head of House
  • The SENCO
  • Headteacher
  • The SEND Governor

Please contact the school if you have any further questions.