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SEND Information Report and Local Offer Information

What is the SEND Information Report?

The government has listened to what parents say their experience of services is like and have put in place a number of things to bring about improvements. Under the Children and Families Act 2014. One of these is the ‘SEND Information Report’ which becomes statutory in September 2014 under the Children and Families Act 2014 when the new Special Educational Needs (SEN) Code of Practice will be implemented. In 2012 the former Children’s Minister Sarah Teather explained that:

The current system is outdated and not fit for purpose. Thousands of families have had to battle for months, even years, with different agencies to get the specialist care their children need. It is unacceptable they are forced to go from pillar to post, facing agonising delays and bureaucracy to get support, therapy and equipment.

It is a huge step forward to require health, education and care services work together. The reforms will give parents better information and a comprehensive package of support that meets their needs.

Local authorities and other services will set out a local offer of all services available to support children who are disabled or who have SEN and their families. The local offer will enable families to understand what services they can access and what support they can expect from a range of local agencies, including from the local authority, health services, schools, leisure services and the voluntary sector. The offer will include provision from birth to 25, across education, health and social care: http://www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/parents/support-and-aspiration/the-local-offer/

The potential outcomes of the SEND Information Report are:

  • To provide clarity and confidence for parents.
  • To support earlier intervention.
  • To reduce the need for assessment.
  • To identify need and gaps in provision.
  • To provide an evidence base for improving progress and securing better outcomes, at school and local level.

Hawthorn Tree School SEND Information Report

All Lincolnshire maintained schools have a similar approach to meeting the needs of pupils with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities and are supported by the Local Authority to ensure that all pupils, regardless of their specific needs, make the best possible progress in school. All schools are supported to be as inclusive as possible, with the needs of pupils with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities being met in a mainstream setting wherever possible, where families want this to happen.

Click on the questions below for further information about the SEND Information Report within our school:

1. Who are the best people to talk to in this school about my child's difficulties with Learning/Special Educational Needs and/or Disability (SEND)? 

Class/subject teacher:

Responsible for:

  • Checking on the progress of your child and identifying planning and delivering any additional help your child may need (this could be things like targeted work, additional support) and letting the Inclusion Manager and SENCO know as necessary.
  • Writing an Individual Education Plan (IEP), and sharing and reviewing these with parents at least once each term and planning targets for the next term.
  • Ensuring that all staff working with your child in school are able to deliver the planned work/programme for your child, so they can achieve the best possible progress. This may involve the use of additional adults, outside specialist help and specially planned work and resources.
  • Ensuring that the school’s SEND Policy is followed in their classroom and for all the pupils they teach with any SEND

The SENCO (Mr Brady):

Responsible for:

  • Coordinating all the support for children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND) and developing the school’s SEND Policy to make sure all children get a consistent, high quality response to meeting their needs in school.
  • Updating the school’s SEND register (a system for ensuring all the SEND needs of pupils in this school are known) and making sure that there are excellent records of your child’s progress and needs.
  • Facilitating specialist support for teachers and support staff in the school so they can help children with SEND in the school achieve the best progress possible.

Ensuring that you are:

  • Involved in supporting your child’s learning.
  • Kept informed about the support your child is getting.
  • Involved in reviewing how they are doing.

Head Teacher (Mr Lister):

Responsible for:

  • The day to day management of all aspects of the school, this includes the support for children with SEND.
  • The Head Teacher will give responsibility to the SENCO and the class teachers but is still responsible for ensuring that your child’s needs are met.
  • The Head Teacher must make sure that the Governing Body is kept up to date about any issues in school relating to SEND.

SEND Governor (Mrs Elton):

Responsible for:

  • Making sure that the necessary support is made for any child who attends the school who has SEND.

2. What are the different types of support available for children with SEN in Hawthorn Tree? 

Class teacher input via excellent targeted classroom teaching also known as Quality First Teaching

For your child this would mean:

  • That the teacher had the highest possible expectations for your child and all pupils in their class.
  • That all teaching is based on building on what your child already knows, can do and can understand.
  • At times the teacher may direct the class based Teaching Assistant to work with your child as part of normal working practice.
  • Different ways of teaching are in place so that your child is fully involved in learning in class. This may involve things like using more practical learning.
  • Specific strategies (which may be suggested by the SENCO or outside staff) are in place to support your child to learn.
  • Your child’s teacher will have carefully checked on your child’s progress and may have decided that your child has gaps in their understanding/learning and needs some extra support to help them make the best possible progress.
  • All children in school should be getting this as part of excellent classroom, practice when needed.
  • Specific group work with in a smaller group of children.

This group, often called intervention groups by schools, may be:

  • Run in the classroom or outside.
  • Run by a teacher or most often a Teaching Assistant who has had training to run these groups.

Children requiring SEN Support (School based)

This means they have been identified by the class teacher as needing some extra support in school.

For your child this would mean:

  • He/she will engage in small group sessions with specific targets (linked to an Individual Education Plan or IEP) to help him/her to make progress.
  • A teaching/learning support assistant or teacher will run these small group sessions using the teacher’s plan.
  • This type of support is available for any child who has specific gaps in their understanding of a subject/area of learning.
  • The class teacher will review the child’s progress on a termly basis with the parent and together plan new targets for the next Individual Education Plan (IEP).

Children requiring SEN Support (with outside agency involvement)

This means they have been identified by the SENCO as needing some extra specialist support in school from a professional outside the school. This may be from:

  • Local Authority central services such as:

 Autism Outreach, Sensory Education Support Service (for pupils with a hearing or visual need), Pathways (for children with behaviour difficulties), Specialist Teachers and an Educational Psychologist

  • Outside agencies such as:

Speech and Language therapy (SALT) Service, Community Paediatrician, CAMHs, School Nurse.

For your child this would mean:

  • Your child will have been identified by the class teacher or SENCO (or you will have raised your own concerns) as needing more specialist input instead of or in addition to quality first teaching and intervention groups.
  • You will be asked to come to a meeting to discuss your child’s progress and help plan possible ways forward.
  • You may be asked to give your permission for the school to refer your child to a specialist professional e.g. a Speech and Language Therapist or Educational Psychologist. This will help the school and yourself understand your child’s particular needs betters and be able to support them better in school.

The specialist professional will work with your child to understand their needs and make recommendations, which may include:

  • Making changes to the way your child is supported in class e.g. some individual support or changing some aspects of teaching to support them better.
  • Support to set targets which will include their specific expertise.
  • A group run by school staff under the guidance of the outside professional e.g. a social skills group.
  • A group or individual work with outside professional.

The school may suggest that your child needs some individual support in school.  They will tell you how the support will be used and what strategies will be put in place.  This type of support is available for children with specific barriers to learning that cannot be overcome through Quality First Teaching and intervention groups.

Specified Individual support

This is usually provided via a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). This means your child will have been identified by the class teacher or SENCO as needing a particularly high level of support or small group teaching (the amount of hours will be specified by a Statement of Special Educational Needs), which cannot be provided from the budget available to the school.

Usually your child will also need support from professional outside the school. This may be from:

  • Local Authority central services such as the ASD Outreach Team or Sensory Service (for students with a hearing or visual need).
  • Outside agencies such as the Speech and Language therapy (SALT) Service.

For your child this would mean:

The school (or you) can request that the Local Authority carry out a statutory assessment of your child’s needs. This is a legal process which sets out the amount of support that will be provided for your child.

After the school have sent in the request to the Local Authority (with a lot of information about your child, including some from you), they will decide whether they think your child’s needs (as described in the paperwork provided), seem complex enough to need a statutory assessment. If this is the case they will ask you and all the professionals involved with your child to write a report outlining your child’s needs. If they do not think your child needs this, they will ask the school to continue with the support at School Action Plus

After the reports have all been sent to the Local Authority (L.A). The L.A will then decide if your child’s needs are severe, complex and lifelong and that they need more specified extra support in school to make good progress. If this is the case they will write a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP). If this is not the case they will ask the school to continue with the support at School Action Plus and also set up a meeting in school to ensure a plan is in place to ensure your child makes as much progress as possible.

The Statement or EHCP will outline the number of hours of individual/small group support your child will receive from the LA and how the support should be used and what strategies must be put in place. It will also have long and short term goals for your child.  The additional adult may be used to support your child with whole class learning, run individual programmers or run small groups including your child.

This type of support is available for children whose learning needs are:

  • Severe, complex and lifelong
  • Need more than a specified number of hours support in school

3. What should i do if i think my child has special educational needs? 

  • If you have concerns about your child’s progress you should speak to your child’s class teacher initially.
  • If you are not happy that the concerns are being managed and that your child is still not making progress you should speak to the SENCO or Head Teacher.
  • If you are still not happy you can speak to the school SEND Governor.

4. How will the school let me know if they have concerns about my child's learning in school? 

The emphasis is on working together (school and parents) and in the first instance your child’s teacher will talk to you about any concerns they may have about your child’s learning. If your child is then identified as not making progress the school will set up a meeting to discuss this with you in more detail and to:

  • Listen to any concerns you may have.
  • Plan any additional support your child may receive.

5. What support will there be for my child's overall well being? 

Medical support is provided by the School Medical Service and is based on a needs analysis. Pastoral support is managed through the class teacher. There is a detailed policy on the Administration of Medicines available on request. Personal care, would be described as part of the SEND package if required regularly. Occasional needs are met through well trained staff and a well-equipped school. Every child is asked for their views prior to formal reviews.  They may attend any meeting about themselves, though this is generally at the discretion of the parent.   For informal reviews, the child is often in attendance or the parents provide this information.

6. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school? 

Hawthorn Tree recognises the importance of meeting the needs of all children whatever their level or area of need/difficulty. An experienced learning support teacher is contracted to provide bespoke support for children diagnosed with cognitive delay and learning difficulties including dyslexia. The school employs 3 Learning Mentors to support children with emotional and behavioural difficulties. To complement quality first teaching the school employs a qualified teacher to work with a cohort of children who have a general delay in learning in one particular year group. We employ a specialist teaching assistant with EAL to support links with parents. A Locality Parent Support Adviser is contracted to support identified parents and run parent courses around child development. For children with Autism we access support from specialist outreach teachers from the Working Together Team (WTT) and from Pathways for behaviour difficulties.

7. What training do staff recieve? 

All staff are expected to continuing professional development (CPD), as part of this specific and up-to-date on supporting children with a range of special needs as well as specific training on Autism. However, where there is an identified special need the staff working with this child may be asked to attend specific training sessions. E.g: training related to administration of medication for specific pupils, using specific communication devices, positive behaviour management.

8. How will my child be included in activites outside the classroom including school trips?
 

As a fully inclusive school, all pupils participate in whole school, curriculum and off site activities. The extent to which each child participates and the levels of support received will vary between pupils and across time but we differentiate the activities and expectations to enable all pupils to take part.

9. How accessible is the school? 

As a recently refurbished school, Hawthorn Tree is fully accessible. The building is light, classrooms are large and the site is both safe and secure. There are disabled changing and toilet facilities.

We have many families whose first language is not English. Where required we have our own bi-lingual staff who are able to support at reviews or less formal discussions with parents.

10. How will Hawthorn Tree prepare and support my child to join the school? 

Parents will be invited to meet the class teacher at a pre-admissions meeting, which is run by the Head Teacher the purpose of the meeting is to provide information about the school and to gain information about your child. This will provide staff with a summary of key information to help them get to know your child.

The school has a transition process in place whereby pre-school children visit the school for taster sessions in the summer term. The local early years settings liaise with the foundation stage teachers to ensure a smooth settling in process. The SENCo works closely with the early years setting SENCos and where possible, attends transition review meetings to enable any barriers to be removed prior to the child attending school.

11. How will the Hawthorn Tree perpare and support my child transfer to the next stage of education? 

Any child identified requiring SEN support with outside agency involvement should have a transition review at least one term before the transfer which will be attended by all agencies currently working with the child and representation from the receiving school. For transition to Key Stage 3, this will usually be in the Summer Term of Year 6. 

These reviews are important information sharing meetings. Where individual needs require amended transition arrangements, these are put in place.

12. How are resources matched to pupils' needs? 

Where identified, each child receives support matched to their own level of need. With permission from parents, a request for assessment by specialists will be made. They then conduct an assessment and support is allocated based on this report. Teachers carry out regular reviews and assessments every term and these are used in considering the target of each child's individual Special Educational Needs Support Plan. The focus of support and resources is related to individual needs and circumstances.

13. How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child receives? 

The class teacher determines the level of support for individual pupils from within the class team. For those pupils where assessments and tracking indicate additional support maybe required, discussions are held between the class teacher and senior leaders to determine what this might be. Typically, this support continues to be provided from within the class team, but may be targeted at specific times, through intervention 

If the evidence suggests that even higher levels of support maybe beneficial, this is agreed by senior leaders as the resource is provided from within the school. Only in complex and extreme situations, would additional support be requested from the Local Authority.

Throughout this parents would be involved at all levels through informal discussion, parents evening discussions and review meetings.

14. How are parents involved in the school? How can i be involved? 

There is a wealth of information in the parent section of the Hawthorn Tree Website.

There is also a Parents and Friends Association which all parents are part of.

15. Who can i contact for further information? 

The first point of contact for anything relating to your child's education is the class teacher. We encourage parents to contact us on an ongoing basis. Staff are always available to talk outside of teaching hours, or an appointment can be made for a mutually convenient time. 

Additional advice can be obtained from the SENCo, Mr Brady (01205 363031) however this may require an appointment. 

Parents are invited to contact Kathryn Locke, Education Services Practitioner (Parenting), who can provide 1:1 advice on a range of issues such as parental support, transport, diet, transition, attendance, housing, benefits, etc.

Outside of school there are many charities supporting children. There is also the ‘Parent Partnership’ based at Lincolnshire County Council parents can contact on: (01522 553351) or parentpartnership@lincolnshire.gov.uk or visit their website www.lincolnshireparentpartnership.org.uk . They can provide support and guidance for parents on all matters regarding SEN. 

16. How can i access support for myself and my family? 

Lincolnshire’s Early Help Offer is a referral system for children who need additional help, more information can be found by visiting:

http://microsites.lincolnshire.gov.uk/children/practitioners/team-around-the-child-tac/

17. How is our local offer reviewed? 

The local offer was developed in consultation with staff and parents and will be reviewed by Governors on an annual basis, as from September 2014. Additionally the effectiveness of provision is carefully monitored by the school's Senior Management Team and School Governors, comparing the performance of SEND pupils to non-SEND pupils.