SEND (SPECIAL EDUCATION NEEDS AND DISABILITIES) LOCAL OFFER
Changes in the Children & Families Bill mean that on 1st September 2014 a new SEN Code of Practice came into force. Children are now at the centre of planning and decision making for their needs.
The principle points of this new legislation are:
- Young people and their families must be involved in discussion on the support that they need in order to share their knowledge and to feedback on the pupils’ progress.
- Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP) have replaced statements of Special Educational Need. Since September 2014 new assessments must follow EHCP guidelines.
- Previous categories of School Action & School Action Plus have ceased to exist and have been replaced by a single school-based category for children who need extra specialist support, known as SEN Support.
Details of the Local Authority’s Local Offer can be found at https://www.access-unlimited.co.uk/
SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS THROUGH THE LEARNING SUPPORT DEPARTMENT
We have a long tradition of promoting and achieving inclusion for all young people who join the community of Copleston. The staff of the Learning Support Department work with students, parents and colleagues across the school to ensure that all young people at Copleston have the best learning environment to allow them to learn and develop to their fullest potential. The staff have extensive experience of working with students in the four areas of need:
- Cognitive & Learning
- Communication & Interaction
- Social, Emotional and Mental Health issues
- Sensory/ physical needs
We also have expertise within the department in inclusion for students who have English as an additional language (EAL) and who may face barriers to learning as result. However, it should be noted that the majority of students who have EAL do not have special educational needs and make great progress in their learning of English by being immersed into mainstream classes.
There is a very wide range of support available and we aim to offer support that is student-centred and flexible to meet individual needs. It may include any of the following
- One to one reading and spelling tuition
- Access to specialist computer programmes to boost literacy
- Pupil passports & profiles
- Breakfast Club
- Break and lunchtime supervision
- Lunchtime club
- Friendship groups and buddying
- Social skills groups
- Language enrichment sessions
- Life skills
- Access arrangements for exams
- Support with transition to further or higher education
- In-class support
- 1:1 withdrawal teaching/support sessions
- Physical support
- Vocational Support
- Visual stress screening & coloured overlays & exercise books
- Time out
- After school homework support
- Wellbeing support from experienced professionals
- After school clubs such as craft, lego & board games
- Resilience course in KS4
- Assistive technology to support learning
- Speech & language sessions
The Learning Support Department works closely with many other professionals from outside schools: family GPs, CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service), Community Paediatricians, School Nurses, the Education Welfare Service, EOTAS (Education other than at school) and Advisory teachers from the Local Authority.
At the centre of all that we do, is the student and we place a high priority on the students’ views and feelings about the support that they receive. We have students in the school who have additional learning needs such as ASD or dyslexia who are also gifted and talented, and perhaps bilingual. For us, therefore, flexible support for every individual is key.
WHAT KINDS OF SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS ARE CATERED FOR AT COPLESTON?
The main areas of need that we currently support are: ASD, ADHD, Sensory impairments such as hearing and vision difficulties, SpLD (dyslexia), Dyspraxia and complex combinations of needs.We also support students with maintaining good mental health.
We respond to all students in our catchment area who have special educational needs to the best of our ability
HOW DOES THE SCHOOL KNOW IF STUDENTS NEED EXTRA HELP AND WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I BELIEVE THAT MY CHILD MAY HAVE SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS?
A student may be identified as having Special Educational Needs and/or a Disability (SEND) at any time during his / her education. This may be a long-term difficulty requiring continuing support or a short-term difficulty requiring a specific intervention.
Information about your child’s special educational needs comes from a number of sources:
- Primary school liaison
- Cognitive Abilities Tests
- Screen tests for reading and spelling
- Learning support / teacher feedback
- Parental concern
- Student self-referral
- Pastoral Team concern
- Teacher referral
- Professional referral
HOW DO YOU CONSULT PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH SEN AND INVOLVE THEM IN THEIR CHILD’S EDUCATION?
- All parents are welcome to discuss any concerns about their child with the pastoral team (Leader of Learning or form tutor), in the first instance. They can also make an appointment to see Mrs Pilkington (SENCO) directly.
- For students who have known SEND difficulties but who do not have an EHC Plan for complex and severe need, regular contact to discuss and review SEN provision is welcome, either through the pastoral team, or directly to the SENCO.
- For students who have either a statement or an EHC Plan, at least termly contact will take place, including an Annual Review meeting.
WHAT ARRANGEMENTS ARE MADE FOR INVOLVING YOUNG PEOPLE WITH SEN IN THEIR EDUCATION?
Student Voice is very important to us.
Students’ views are regularly gathered on Teaching and Learning and also the environment. Each year group has a Council made up of two members from each form and these feed into the Whole School Council (Years 7-13).
Students’ views are collected prior to the Annual Review / Transition Plan meetings and students are always invited to these meetings.
Students are involved in interviews to produce pupil passports & profiles
WHAT ARRANGEMENTS ARE MADE FOR ASSESSING AND REVIEWING YOUNG PEOPLE’S PROGRESS TOWARDS OUTCOMES AND HOW ARE PARENTS AND STUDENTS INVOLVED IN THE PROCESS?
For students on an EHC Plan, the process of Annual Review & Transition Planning (from Year 9 upwards) reviews and assesses pupil progress.
Parental involvement with pastoral teams and SENCO for Target Reports, SPSFs, external, staff and peer mentoring, Family Network meetings reviewing progress and challenges directly with the student.
Detailed tracking, monitoring and reviewing is carried out for all students at Copleston. The students are at the centre of the process. There are two progress checks (reports), which are sent home electronically to parents / carers.
The annual Consultation Evening for each year group is attended by subject teachers and SENCO.
WHAT ARRANGEMENTS ARE MADE FOR SUPPORTING STUDENTS IN MOVING BETWEEN PHASES OF EDUCATION AND IN PREPARATION FOR ADULTHOOD?
Students with EHCPs contribute their views and opinions through the Transition Planning process and are at the centre of the discussions.
For all other students with SEN, the IAG team and the Learning Support Department work closely with the Pastoral Team to ensure that transition planning, Work Experience, Apprenticeships, Advice & Guidance, Pathways choices and related matters are fully addressed.
The SENCO liaises with relevant staff in further education establishments to ensure that the needs of students transferring are known.
WHAT IS THE SCHOOL’S APPROACH TO TEACHING YOUNG PEOPLE WITH SEND?
“Quality First Teaching” is the first means of inclusion for all students in the school (Code of Practice).
Provision for pupils with special educational needs & disabilities is a matter for the school as a whole. In addition to the governing body, the school’s Principal, SENCO and learning support team, and all other members of staff have important operational responsibilities. All teachers are teachers of pupils with special educational needs. Teaching such pupils is therefore a whole-school responsibility, requiring a whole- school response.
HOW ARE ADAPTATIONS MADE TO THE CURRICULUM AND THE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT OF STUDENTS WITH SEND?
A wide range of strategies for inclusion are used at Copleston and with each new student with unique combinations of special needs and abilities, Learning Support staff and mainstream staff work together to devise and develop tailored, personalised support. Adaptations might include the provision of coloured overlays or backgrounds, adjustable table tops, pencil grips, enlarged font on printed materials, the provision of ICT and the careful structuring of lesson content and delivery to ensure maximum engagement in learning for the full range of learning styles.
Overhead projectors and interactive whiteboards allow classroom teachers to use very multi-sensory methods in delivering information to students and information can be highlighted, enlarged etc. very easily in a low key way using this technology.
Teachers and LSAs have regular training on inclusive practice for students with a wide range of SEND including the behaviour issues that can arise from Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) needs. Many strategies used by teachers as part of Quality First Teaching such as matching tasks carefully to pupils' levels and abilities, structuring lessons to include a wide range of learning styles, structuring the learning carefully, keeping instructions very clear and consistent, stepping the learning carefully, are inclusive for all students including those who have SEND.
For students who have physical or sensory impairments such as difficulties with vision and hearing, our site is adapted using ramps, highlighting of key areas etc and this is carried out by our site team working in conjunction with Local Authority Advisors, students and parents and the school's SENCO to ensure that we minimise barriers to inclusion and access presented by the environment.
WHAT IS THE EXPERTISE AND TRAINING OF STAFF TO SUPPORT YOUNG PEOPLE WITH SEND AND HOW IS SPECIALIST EXPERTISE SECURED?
All staff are regularly trained in inclusion strategies to use in the classroom to ensure Quality First Teaching. In addition, we have three specialist LSAs, who are trained in inclusion for ASD students, part of a wider, highly experienced Learning Support team.
The department also signposts to the following:
- Educational Psychology Service
- Educational Welfare Service
- School Nurse
- Suffolk Young Carers
- County Inclusive Support Service (CISS)
- Sensory Support Services
- Integrated Delivery Team (formerly CAMHS)
- IAG (Information Advice & Guidance)
- Integrated Team (Children & Young People Service at Suffolk County Council)
- School counsellor – in three days a week
- Wellbeing Consultant -in school two days a week
- Primary Mental Health Worker
- Specialist Speech & Language Therapist –in school fortnightly
- Dyslexia Outreach Team (DOT)
- Autism & ADHD
- ICT Outreach (Thomas Wolsey)
The SENCO is a highly experienced teacher with many years’ experience of teaching and providing pastoral support to the full spectrum of students' abilities. The SENCO works in consultation with mainstream teachers, pastoral teams, students and parents to discuss measures to support students' needs at first within the school's own resources, and then by agreement with parents through written referrals out to partner agencies. This is always done with parent's agreement and the school aims to be very supportive to parents in helping them to access appropriate services.
The school seeks regular feedback through half-termly Parent Forum, email contact (through website or direct to staff), via specialist focus groups.
There is regular student voice sampling. Students with SEND have termly interviews with a member of the Learning Support department to update their pupil passport.
Staff are involved in frequent Learning Walks. Performance Management review meetings are held for teaching assistants.
Students’ progress is monitored through rigorous tracking throughout the year. The SENCO & Assistant Principal i/c Data review students’ progress after each data drop. Any concerns are followed up.
This is a key focus for us as a school. Learning Support assistants are trained to foster engagement and inclusion within lessons. The Quality First Teaching approach fosters direct interaction and engagement of SEND students in their learning and with their peers. Where barriers exist, teachers use a wide range of strategies, equipment, teaching styles and resources, imaginative, creative and careful grouping alongside direct teaching assistant support for individuals and groups.
The school recognises its duties under the Equality Act to ensure that every student feels valued, safe and secure and to be able to engage in the full range of school activities.
The Learning Support Department works extremely closely with pastoral staff in order to support all students’ emotional and social development and well-being. Staff are highly trained and experienced in recognising the additional challenges that some SEND students face in their daily lives at school and the impacts that these can have on their social and emotional well-being. Every pupil has support from a large pastoral team, including their form tutor, Pastoral Support Worker, Assistant Leader of Learning and Leader of Learning. In addition to this, students with SEND may have chat times, social skills groups,breakfast club, lunchtime club and after school clubs, including homework support, which are offered by the Learning Support Department. Daily informal social and emotional support is offered by LSAs. Both Learning Support and Year teams can further refer students to a wide range of organisations and services who can offer further specialist support.
A Wellbeing Consultant and School Counsellor also offer support to students and work closely with our Primary Mental Health Worker.
The school strives to create an ethos and environment where all students feel secure and confident enough to engage fully with the life of the school. It recognised the importance of celebrating the achievements of students in the school who have overcome significant barriers to attainment and succeeded and to recognise the effort and personal strengths that this has involved.
As for all the preceding sections, communication is key and we invite all parents to raise any issues or concerns with us directly at an early stage so that they can be resolved.
This is a key focus for us as a school. LSAs are trained to foster engagement and inclusion within lessons. The Quality First Teaching approach fosters direct interaction and engagement of SEND students in their learning and with their peers. Where barriers exist, teachers use a wide range of strategies, equipment, teaching styles and resources, imaginative, creative and careful grouping alongside direct LSA support for individuals and groups.
- ADHD - Attention Deficit Disorder
- ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder
- SEMH – Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulty
- Dysc - Discalculia
- Dysp - Dyspraxia
- Dysg - Disgraphia
- H.I. - Hearing Impairment
- Irlen - Irlen Syndrome
- MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulty
- Mute - Selective Mutism
- OCD - Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- ODD - Oppositional Defiant Disorder
- SPD - Semantic Pragmatic Disorder
- SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty / Dyslexia
- SLCN - Speech, Language, Communication Needs
- Stam - Stammering
- V.I. - Visual Impairment
- FNM -Family Network Meeting
- CIN – Child in Need
- EHC Plan – Education & Health Care Plan
- IAG – Information Advice & Guidance
- SEND – Special Educational Needs & Disability
- SENCO – Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator
- LSA – Learning Support Assistant
- ALOL – Assistant Leader of Learning
- HOY – Leader of Learning
- PSW – Pastoral Support Worker
- CISS -County Inclusive Support Service
- DOT – Dyslexia Outreach Team
- SALT – Speech & Language Therapist / Therapy
- EP / Ed Psych – Education Psychologist