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Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Policy

At Waterbeach Community Primary School all staff take safeguarding very seriously and our policies are developed with a high priority on children’s safety and in the light of our safeguarding policy.

This SEND policy is written to comply with the 2014 Children and Families Act and its SEN Code of Practice together with the Equality Act 2010.

The SEND team at Waterbeach Community Primary School

Inclusion Manager Ingrid Tregoing
Inclusion Assistants Zoe Badcock and Debbie Hayward

Enquiries about an individual child’s progress should be addressed at first to the class teacher since he or she is the person who knows the child best. Other enquiries can be addressed to: Ingrid Tregoing, Inclusion Manager.  Please make an appointment with the school office if you wish to speak to the Inclusion Manager.

Headlines from the 2014 Code of Practice (September 2014)

  • Statements will no longer be issued by the Local Authority. They have been replaced by Education, Health and Care plans (EHC Plans) which can be used to support children from birth-25 years.
  • School Action and School Action Plus have been replaced by one school based category of need known as ‘Special Education Needs Support’ (SENS). All children are closely monitored, and their progress tracked each term. Those at SENS are additionally tracked by the Inclusion Manager.
  • There are four broad categories of SEND:
  1. Communication and interaction
  2. Cognition and learning
  3. Social, emotional and mental health
  4. Physical and sensory.

We have children in all these categories of SEND.

  • We work closely with parents and children to ensure that the views and aspirations of both children and parents are taken into account. Parents are invited to be involved in planning and reviewing SEND provision for their child, at every stage.
  • All Steps to Success meetings involve the parents / carers
  • All children benefit from ‘Quality First Teaching’: this means that teachers will assess, plan and teach all children at the level which allows them to make progress with their learning. In addition, we implement focused interventions to target particular skills.
  • We have high expectations of all our children and strive to ensure that children on our SEND register make progress.

Defining SEND

The 2014 Code of Practice says that:

A person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her. At compulsory school age this means he or she has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others the same age, or, has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools. Taken from 2014 SEN Code of Practice: 0 to 25 Years.

SEND at Waterbeach Community Primary School

Our objectives are:

  • To identify, at the earliest possible opportunity, barriers to learning and participation for pupils with SEND; (see also curriculum and assessment policies)
  • To ensure that every child experiences success in their learning and achieves to the highest possible standard;
  • To enable all children to participate in lessons fully and effectively
  • To value and encourage the contribution of all children to the life of the school
  • To work in partnership with parents
  • To work with the Governing Body to enable them to fulfil their statutory monitoring role with regard to the Policy Statement for SEND
  • To work closely with external support agencies, where appropriate, to support the need of individual pupils
  • To ensure that all staff have access to training and advice to support quality teaching and learning for all pupils

Around 10% of our children are either at SENS (SEND support) or have statements/ EHC Plans (Education, Health and Care Plans). This means that all teachers expect to have children with SEND in their classes.

Types of SEND which we have in school include children with a diagnosis as well as those with learning profiles consistent with the diagnosis:

Communication and Interaction

  • Autistic spectrum and speech and language disorders,

Cognition and Learning

  • Dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia; moderate learning difficulties, global developmental delay.

Social, Emotional and Mental Health

  • ADHD, ADD, attachment disorders, emotional difficulties, mental health difficulties, selective mutism

Physical and Sensory

  • Hearing impaired,
  • Visually impaired

Medical Needs

  • Epilepsy, bowel disorders, Tourette’s syndrome

Identifying children at SENS (SEND Support)

Children with SEN are identified by one of three assessment routes all of which are part of the overall approach to monitoring progress of all pupils:

  • The progress of every child is monitored at termly pupil progress meetings. Where children are identified as not making progress in spite of Quality First Teaching they are discussed with the Inclusion Manager and a plan of action is agreed.
  • Class teachers are continually aware of children’s learning. If they observe that a child, as recommended by the 2014 Code of Practice, is making less than expected progress, given their age and individual circumstances, they will seek to identify a cause. This can be characterised by progress which:
  • Is significantly slower than that of their peers starting from the same baseline
  • Fails to match or better the child’s previous rate of progress
  • Fails to close the attainment gap between the child and their peers
  • Parents sometimes ask us to look more closely at their child’s learning. We take all parental requests seriously and investigate them all. Frequently, the concern can be addressed by Quality First Teaching or some parental support. Otherwise, the child is placed at SEN on our SEND register.

The Inclusion Manager and Assistants are qualified to undertake a range of standardised tests with children. They can use these assessments to add to and inform teachers’ own understanding and assessments of a child.

Although the school can identify special educational needs, and make provision to meet those needs, we do not offer diagnoses. Parents are advised to contact their GP if they think their child may have ASD or ADHD or some other disability.

Working with Parents and Children

We aim to have good and informative relationships with all of our parents at Waterbeach Community Primary School. If a child is experiencing difficulties parents / carers will be informed either at parent consultation meetings (autumn and spring terms) or during informal meetings to discuss the child’s progress. Identification of SEND children will be in line with constant communication with parents, reducing the possibility of surprise.

Once a child has been identified as having SEND, the Inclusion Manager will invite the parents to a meeting to:

  • Formally let them know that their child is being placed at SENS
  • Discuss assessments that have been completed
  • Agree a plan and provision for the next term.

This is part of the graduated approach cycle of ‘Assess, Plan, Do, Review’ required in the Code of Practice.

Depending on their age, and their interest, the child may be invited to attend all or part of the meeting where the Steps to Success are created (an individual plan with targets).

Thereafter, parents, and children, are invited to a meeting at least each term to review progress made, set targets and agree provision for the next term.

Paperwork for children at SENS (SEND support)

Once a child has been identified  ongoing paperwork is completed:

  • Daily/weekly tracking records where  the teacher or teaching assistant will write a short comment about progress made towards each of the targets.
  • Termly, at Steps to Success progress meetings, where old targets are reviewed and new targets drawn up

Moving to an EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plan)

If children fail to make progress, in spite of high quality, targeted support at SENS, we may apply for the child to be assessed for an EHC Plan. Generally, we apply for an EHC Plan if:

  • The child has a disability which is lifelong and which means that they will always need support to learn effectively
  • The child’s achievements are so far below their peers that we think it likely that the child may at some point benefit from special school provision.
  • The child’s behaviour is such that it is impossible to manage without having support
  • Children, who we think will manage in mainstream schools, albeit with support, are less often assessed for EHC Plans. Having a diagnosis (e.g. of ASD, ADHD or dyslexia) does not mean that a child needs an EHC Plan.

If the application for an EHC Plan is successful, a member of the Local Authority will call a meeting for parents, the child and the school together with any health or social care professionals who are involved with the family. The meeting will record the child’s strengths, their dreams and aspirations as well as the barriers they face. Following the meeting, the LA will produce the EHC Plan which will record the decisions made at the meeting.

Teaching and Learning

We believe that all children learn best with the rest of their class. Our aim is for all children to be working independently, in class, at the cusp of their potential. Children with SEND disabilities are entitled to be taught by their teacher, not always by a TA. Teachers aim to spend time each day working with all children with SEN, individually or as part of a group.

When allocating additional TA support to children, our focus is on outcomes, not hours: we aim to put in sufficient support to enable the child to reach their challenging targets, but without developing a learned dependence on an adult.

The school has a range of interventions available and Teachers /Teaching Assistants who are trained to implement them. When considering an intervention, we look first at the child’s profile of learning so that we can select the intervention which is best matched to him/her. Targets for children at SENS are deliberately challenging in the attempt to close the attainment gap between the children and their peers. Interventions are often crucial in closing these gaps and are monitored closely by both the class teacher- who monitors progress towards the targets during the intervention- and by the Inclusion Manager who monitors overall progress after the intervention.

  • At the end of each block of an intervention, children’s progress towards their targets is assessed and recorded.
  • A decision is then made as to whether to continue the intervention, to swap to a new intervention, or to allow a period of consolidation in class.

Adaptations to the curriculum teaching and Learning Environment

Waterbeach Community Primary School is disability friendly. The school is one level, corridors are wide and we have two easy access toilets. We generally find that no additional adaptations to the building are necessary for children with physical disabilities.  Other adaptations to the physical environment will be made, as appropriate, to accommodate children with other sensory disabilities.

All of our classrooms are inclusion-friendly: we aim to teach in a way that will support children with tendencies towards dyslexia, dyspraxia, ASD etc. This is good practice to support all children but is vital for those who particularly need it. All of our children access the full National Curriculum, and we recognise achievement and expertise in all curricular areas. As part of normal class differentiation, curriculum content and ideas can be simplified and made more accessible by using visual, tactile and concrete resources.

Access to extra-curricular activities

All of our children have equal access to before school, lunchtime and after school clubs which develop engagement with the wider curriculum. Where necessary, we make accommodation and adaptation to meet the physical and learning needs of our children. Class trips are part of our curriculum and we aim for all children to benefit from them.

Staff Expertise

All teachers are trained to work with children with SEND and have a variety of experiences.  All have access to advice, information, resources and training to enable them to teach all children effectively. We offer training and self-help opportunities through access to in-house or LA courses, provision of books or guidance towards useful websites.

Some of our TAs have ELKLAN training which helps them to support children with communication difficulties. Other TAs have expertise and training in other areas or specific interventions. All TAs work with children with SEN and disabilities.

If we identify information we can’t access without the aid of additional, more specialist help, the school is able to ask for additional expertise from the local authority. This includes access to Educational Psychologists and Advisory Teachers.

Children with social, emotional and mental health needs      

If a child shows consistent unwanted behaviours, the class teacher will assess the child’s needs, taking into account family circumstances and the child’s known history of experiences. If the child’s behaviour is felt to be a response to trauma or to home-based experiences (e.g. bereavement, parental separation) we complete a CAF (Common Assessment Framework) with the family and support the child through that process.

If parents and school are concerned that the child may have mental health needs, we encourage parents to ask their GP for a referral to CAMHS.

If the child is felt to have long-term social, emotional or mental health needs- for example with anger management- the school offers a range of social skills or therapeutic interventions. These are generally delivered by trained TAs who develop good, trusting relationships with the children.

All children’s behaviour is responded to consistently in line with our Behaviour Policy, although reasonable adjustments are made to accommodate individual needs.

The school has a zero-tolerance approach to bullying, especially towards children with SEND. We will actively investigate all allegations and, if there is cause, work with both the bully and the victim to improve their social skills.

Transition Arrangements

Transition into and within school

We understand how difficult it is for children and parents as they move into a new class or a new school and will do what we can, according to the individual needs of the child, to make transitions between classes- including from the nursery- as smooth as possible. This may include, for example:

  • Additional meetings for the parents and child with the new teacher
  • Additional visits to the classroom environment in order to identify where the toilets are, where the pegs are etc.
  • Opportunities to take photographs of key people and places in order to make a transition social story booklet.
  • Enhanced transition arrangements are tailored to meet individual needs.
  • An Inclusion Assistant oversees the transition of children both in and out of school, completing a “Welcome to WCPS” booklet and a “Moving on from WCPS” booklet.

Transition to Secondary School

Transition reviews for Year 6 pupils are held, where possible, in the autumn term of Year 6. The secondary school SENCO is invited to Annual Reviews and other review meetings. Additional transition arrangements may be made at these reviews e.g. extra visits, travel, training etc.

External agencies and support

The Inclusion Manager will be the focal point for contact with outside agencies.  These may include

  • Primary Specialist Teaching Team
  • Cognitive and Language Specialist Teacher
  • Communication and Interaction Specialist Teacher
  • SEBD (Social, Emotional and Behaviour Difficulties) Specialist Teacher
  • Early Yrs Senco
  • Educational Psychology Service
  • Education Child Protection Service
  • Multicultural Education Service
  • Health Service
  • School Nurse
  • Community Paediatricians
  • Ida Darwin Hospital
  • Occupational Therapy Service
  • Physiotherapy Service
  • Brookside Family Consultation Clinic
  • The Croft Child and Family Unit
  • Speech and Language Therapy Service
  • Hearing Impaired Service
  • Visual Impaired Service
  • Mobility Specialist Service
  • Adoption Service
  • Music Therapy Service
  • Castle Special School
  • Locality Manager
  • Parent Support Advisors
  • Parent Partnership Service
  • Children’s Centre Workers
  • Social Services
  • SEN Case Work Officer
  • Resource and Placement team
  • Student Assessment Service
  • Cottenham Village College

It is the statutory duty of the governors to ensure that the school follows its responsibilities to meet the needs of children with SEND following the requirements of the Code of Practice 2014. There is an allocated Governor who  meets with the Inclusion Manager regularly to discuss actions taken by the school.

The school works, wherever possible, in partnership with parents to ensure a collaborative approach to meeting pupils’ needs. All complaints are taken seriously and are heard through the school’s complaints policy and procedure.

Cambridgeshire County Council’s Local Offer
The purpose of the local offer is to enable parents and young people to see what services are available in their area and how to access them. It includes provision from birth to 25.

November 2014