What should I do if I think my child has special needs or a disabilty and what is the process involved?
Following the SEND Code of Practice, the School uses a graduated approach when meeting the needs of children with SEN. Please note that parents/carers can refer a concern to staff directly using our ‘Parental Concern Investigation Report’ which can be found on page 19 of the full SEND policy (see online or ask our office for details). Up to 20% of children and young people have special educational needs at some stage in their lives; only around 2% have special educational needs which are of a severe and complex nature. For many children, simple changes to the way that the curriculum is delivered can make a significant impact on removing the barriers to their learning.
- In the first instance make an appointment to speak to your child's class teacher.
- The teacher might feel that it would be helpful to have the SENCO attend the meeting also.
- The School closely monitors all of its children with special needs and at the meeting we may feel that we do need to put in place some strategies and interventions to try and remove your child's barriers to learning.
- Some children will need something which is 'additional to and different from' that which is normally provided for all children.
- If a child requires this type of support the School will monitor them according to the SEND Code of Practice 2015. You will be kept informed of the additional support that your child is receiving. This could mean that the class teacher may be using different strategies to help your child to learn, or perhaps your child will be receiving some additional support in a small group alongside other children with similar needs.
Most frequently asked questions:
How will we be kept informed of our child’s progress?
- Parent Meetings
- Specially arranged meetings with the class teacher/SENDCO.
- Personal profiles (Individual Education Plans)
- Annual Review (For children on Statements or EHCP’s)
- TAF (Team Around the Family)/EHA (Early Help Assessments) Meetings
- The small group work will be carefully targeted to address your child's needs and his/her progress will be closely monitored and evaluated.
- At this point you may be able to support your child e.g. extra reading practice, or providing opportunities to practice new skills that have been taught in class.
- The School will monitor your child at this stage for a period of time. You will be kept informed of their progress through regular meetings. At the meeting the School will share with you how they plan to personalise learning for your child.
- Often this level of support in addition to the classroom curriculum differentiation is sufficient to mean that your child no longer has barriers to their learning and they start to make progress. However, for some children this may not be enough and the School, with your agreement, will make the decision to increase the level of support provided.
- Sometimes the School may decide to involve some external professionals or agencies to provide them with more specialist advice and guidance in order to support them to remove the barriers to your child's learning. This external support might be from an Educational Psychologist; Speech and Language Therapist; Occupational / Physiotherapist; Specialist Advisory Teacher; or a medical professional. If your child's needs are wide ranging or more complex, then it may involve several of these people who will need to work in a co-ordinated way.
- As more people become involved in helping the School to meet your child's needs, your child's class teacher or the SENCO, or Head teacher in School may decide an Early Help Assessment (EHA) meeting is required. Once established, the TAF will help the School to organise Team Around the Child Meetings where everyone involved, (including yourself), can sit down together and discuss the best way forward to help the School help your child to make progress.
- The School may decide to draw up an Personal Profile (Individual Education Plan). This will record the additional more specialist strategies and interventions that will be required to help remove the barriers to your child's learning. You will be kept informed all the way through the process and will be able to make suggestions as to how you can help at home to ensure all round support for your child.
- Only a very small percentage of children require support of an additional nature beyond this. If this is the case, then the SENCO may discuss with you the possibility of asking the Local Authority to undertake a statutory assessment of your child's needs. If this is considered appropriate, then the School will collect together all your child's information and evidence of all the carefully evaluated additional strategies and interventions that have been put place and with your permission send it off to the Local Authority for them to consider the information at a panel meeting and make a decision whether or not to carry out a statutory assessment of your child's needs. Whilst this is taking place the School will continue to meet your child's needs with the support that is already in place.
- Once the Local Authority receives a request to consider whether to make a Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP) assessment or not, a legal timescale begins. The process of statutory assessment is carefully bound by the legislation and guidance within the SEND Code of Practice. The SENCO will be able to explain the process and timescales to you or alternatively you would find this in the SEND Code of Practice. If the decision is made to go ahead with a statutory assessment then the Local Authority will signpost you to guidance and support that will assist you through the process for example from the Parent Partnership Service.