Special Educational Needs and Disability Policy
At St Joseph’s Primary School we believe that all children are entitled to a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum. All children are encouraged to achieve their full potential and participate in the social, spiritual and academic life of the school. We aim to provide educational experiences that take into account the individual needs of all children and are appropriate to their level of ability.
Documents of Reference
- The Children’s Act (2014)
- SEND Code of Practice 0 – 25 (2014)
- Equality Act 2010: advice for schools DfE Feb 2013
- Schools SEND Information Report Regulations (2014)
- Statutory Guidance on Supporting pupils at school with medical conditions April 2014
- Teachers Standards 2012
- The National Curriculum in England Key Stage 1 and 2
- LA Policy and Guidelines.
- The School’s current Admission Policy
- The School’s current Safeguarding Policy
- The School’s current Accessibility Plan
This policy was created by the school’s SENDCO in liaison with the SLT governors, all staff and parents of pupils with SEND. St Joseph’s is committed to providing an education that includes and stimulates all children, regardless of ability. We have pupils with a wide range of abilities and different needs and endeavour to include them in all activities, providing them with the opportunity to fulfil their potential. We recognise that some pupils will need extra support and adaptations to access the school curriculum and to participate in school activities. This policy gives details of our approach and action we may take to support the pupils in our care.
The coalition government has reformed the way in which provision and support is made for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities in England. New legislation (The Children and Families Act 2014) enacted on the 13th March came into force from the 1st September 2014. A new SEND Code of Practice also accompanies this legislation. More details about the reforms and the SEND Code of Practice can be found on the Department for Education’s website:
One significant change arising from the reforms is that Statements of Special Educational Needs, for those children with the most complex needs, have now been replaced with a new Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan. These plans are being supported by an Education, Health and Care Plan Pathway. You can view an animation describing this new pathway on Durham’s SEND Local Offer website:
This information is also available by putting the above web address into the browser of a smart phone or tablet. The SEND Local Offer is a resource which is designed to support children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities and their families. It describes the services and provision that are available both to those families in Durham that have an Education, Health and Care Plan and those who do not have a plan, but still experience some form of special educational need. The SEND Local Offer includes information about public services across education, health and social care, as well as those provided by the private, voluntary and community sectors. Definitions of special educational needs (SEND) taken from section 20 of the Children and Families Act 2014. You can view our local offer on the school website.
Definition of Special Educational Needs
Children have special educational needs if they have a learning difficulty that calls for special educational provision to be made for them. Children have a learning difficulty if they:
- Have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age.
- Have a disability that prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for children of the same age in schools within the area of the local education authority.
- Are under compulsory school age and fall within the definitions above or would so do if special educational provision was not made for them.
Children must not be regarded as having a learning difficulty solely because the language or form of language of their home is different from the language in which they will be taught.
Communication and Interaction
Children with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) have difficulty in communicating with others. This may be because they have difficulty saying what they want to, understanding what is being said to them or they do not understand or use social rules of communication. The profile for every child with SLCN is different and their needs may change over time. They may have difficulty with one, some or all of the different aspects of speech, language or social communication at different times of their lives.
Children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, including Asperser’s Syndrome and Autism, are likely to have particular difficulties with social interaction. They may also experience difficulties with language, communication, social interaction and imagination, which can impact on how they relate to others.
Cognition and Learning
Support for learning difficulties may be required when children who learn at a slower pace than their peers, even with appropriate differentiation. Learning difficulties cover a wide range of needs, including moderate learning difficulties (MLD), severe learning difficulties (SLD), where children are likely to need support in all areas of the curriculum and associated difficulties with mobility and communication, through to profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD), where children are likely to have severe and complex learning difficulties as well as a physical disability or sensory impairment. Specific learning difficulties (SpLD), affect one or more specific aspects of learning. This encompasses a range of conditions such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia.
Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties
Children may experience a wide range of social and emotional difficulties which manifest themselves in many ways. These may include becoming withdrawn or isolated, as well as displaying challenging, disruptive or disturbing behaviour. Such behaviour may reflect underlying mental health difficulties such as anxiety or depression, self-harming, substance misuse, eating disorders or physical symptoms that are medically unexplained. Other children and young people may have disorders such as attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder or attachment disorder. Our School has clear processes to support children, including how we manage the effect of any disruptive behaviour so it does not adversely affect other pupils (see Behaviour and Use of Reasonable Force Policy).
Sensory and/or Physical Needs
Some children require special educational provision because they have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of the educational facilities generally provided. These difficulties can be age related and may fluctuate over time. Many children and young people with vision impairment (VI), hearing impairment (HI) or a multi-sensory impairment (MSI) will require specialist support and/or equipment to access their learning. Children with an MSI have a combination of vision and hearing difficulties, which makes it even more difficult for them to access the curriculum or study programme than for those with a single sensory impairment. Some children with a physical disability (PD) require additional ongoing support and equipment to access all the opportunities available to their peers.
- To ensure the equality of opportunities for all children re our Admissions Policy and taking into account the Equality Act, 2010.
- To maintain the graduated process of assessment and review, as outlined in the Code of Practice 2014.
- To identify at the earliest opportunity, all children that need special consideration to support their needs (whether these are educational, social, physical or emotional) adopt a whole school approach to the identification, assessment and provision for children with special educational needs (SEND).
- Ensure that assessment and record-keeping systems provide adequate means of recording attainment and achievement and give sufficient information for carefully planned progression.
- To work in partnership with parents, actively encouraging their participation in any decision making process.
- To take into account the views of the child.
- Create a school environment where pupils can contribute to their own learning. This means encouraging relationships with adults in school where pupils feel safe to voice their opinions of their own needs, and carefully monitoring the progress of all pupils at regular intervals. Pupil participation is encouraged through school by wider opportunities such as school council, residential visits, school plays, sports teams and Buddies in the playground.
- To seek support from outside services, when required, so that the child’s needs are addressed as early as possible.
- View our SEND provision as an ongoing, developing process.
- To take into account SEND when identifying staff training needs.
- Ensure that teaching staff are aware of and are sensitive to the needs of all pupils, teaching pupils in a way that is more appropriate to their needs.
- Incorporate Special Educational Needs procedures including Support Plans into curriculum planning and make suitable provision for children with SEND to fully develop their abilities, interests and aptitudes and gain maximum access to the curriculum.
- Help all pupils achieve to the best of their abilities, despite any difficulty or disability they may have and give every child the entitlement to a sense of achievement.
- Ensure that all children with SEND are fully included in all activities of the school in order to promote the highest levels of achievement.
- To promote self-worth and enthusiasm by encouraging independence at all age and ability levels.
- To regularly review the policy and practice in order to achieve best practice.
Roles and Responsibilities
The Governing Body
The Governing Body, in consultation with the Head Teacher, determines the school’s general policy and approach to provision for pupils with SEND, establishes the appropriate staffing and funding arrangements and maintains a general overview of the school’s work.
The Governing Body, having regard to the Code of Practice:
- ensures appropriate provision is made for any child with SEND.
- reports annually to parents on the school’s policy for children with SEND.
- ensures all children, including those with SEND have access to a broad, balanced and appropriately differentiated curriculum.
- appoints a representative of the governing body to oversee SEND provision.
- ensures discussions with parents regarding SEND matters at relevant meetings.
Our SEND Governor is Mrs Katie Bain- Collins
The Head Teacher
The Head Teacher is responsible for the day-to-day management of all aspects of the school’s work, including provision for Special Educational Needs. The Head Teacher, in liaison with the SENDCO, keeps the Governing Body informed of all developments with regard to SEND.
The person responsible for overseeing the provision for children with SEND and also the person co-ordinating the day to day provision of education for pupils with SEND (SENDCO) is :
Miss Rossana Williams.
The key responsibilities of the SENDCO include:
- overseeing the day-to-day operation of the school’s SEND policy
- ensuring quality first teaching addresses immediate concerns
- co-ordinating provision for children with SEND
- liaising with the relevant Designated Teacher where a looked after pupil has SEND
- advising on the Graduated Approach to providing SEND support
- advising on the deployment of the school’s delegated budget and other resources to meet pupils’ needs effectively
- liaising with parents of pupils with SEND
- liaising with early years providers, other schools, educational psychologists, health and social care professionals, and independent or voluntary bodies
- being a key point of contact with external agencies, especially the local authority and its support services
- liaising with potential next providers of education to ensure a pupil and their parents are informed about options and a smooth transition is planned
- working with the head teacher and school governors to ensure that the school meets its responsibilities under the Equality Act (2010) with regard to reasonable adjustments and access arrangements
- ensuring that the school keeps the records of all pupils with SEND up to date
- Changing the way activities are planned and delivered in accordance with targets specified in Support Plans and Educations Health care Plans
- Ensuring quality first teaching is the priority
- Matching activities to the ability / need of each child (differentiation)
- Adapting learning materials such as equipment and activities to suit each child’s needs
- Offer small group support to promote skills identified in Support Plans and Education Health Care Plans.
- Liaise and plan with teachers and SENDCO for the provision of pupils with SEND.
- Record/report on provision and progression of pupils.
Our teachers/teaching assistants work in partnership with parents and the SENDCO to find ways to support each child with their needs, including giving parents ideas on how to help their child at home. All staff are aware of the school’s procedure for identifying, assessing, monitoring and making provision for pupils with special educational needs. They carry out these procedures with pupils in their class, under the direction of the SENDCO. As outlined in the Code of Practice (2014) we endeavour to ensure that such provision is made for those who need it. “Special educational provision is underpinned by high quality teaching and is compromised by anything less.”
Arrangements for co-ordinating SEND Provision
The SEND Co-ordinator will hold details of all SEND records for individual pupils and update the Local Offer as applicable. All staff can access:
- The St Joseph’s Primary School SEND Policy
- A copy of the full SEND Register.
- Guidance on identification of SEND in the Code of Practice
- Information on individual pupils’ special educational needs, including Additional SEND Support Plans.
- Practical advice, teaching strategies, and information about types of special educational needs and disabilities.
- Information available through Durham SEND Local Offer
In this way, every staff member will have complete and up-to-date information about all pupils with special needs and their requirements which will enable them to provide for the individual needs of all pupils. This policy is made accessible to all staff and parents in order to aid the effective co-ordination of the school’s SEND provision.
Please refer to the information contained in our school brochure. The admission arrangements for all pupils are in accordance with national legislation, including the Equality Act 2010. This includes children with any level of SEND; those with Education, Health and Care Plans and those without. Please visit the school website for information regarding the school admission process and primary school admissions.
To appeal against an admission decision, please contact the school for further information or contact the Local Authority.
Access Facilities and Provision
St Joseph’s Primary School can be entered by the main entrance and by a ramp leading into the EYFS. In addition to this, the school is equipped with toilet facilities for the disabled. The school has an accessibility plan and constantly strives to improve our provision, please see the school Accessibility Plan for more details.
Specialist SEND provision
We are committed to whole school inclusion. In our school we support children with a range of special educational needs. We will seek specialist SEND provision and training from SEND services where necessary. The school has Teaching Assistants who support specific areas of development for e.g. Motor Skills and Language Development.
Allocation of resources for pupils with SEND Finance
All pupils with SEND will have access to Element 1 and 2 of a school’s budget which equates to £6,000 (AWPU). Some pupils with SEND may access additional funding for High Level Needs and this is usually retained by the Local Authority, but can also be allocated as a Personal Budget.
The school funding formula is generated to include financial provision to specifically support a pupil’s individual special needs. This funding is prioritised ensuring small steps of progress are continually made by all SEND learners.
At St Joseph’s Primary School, for those pupils with high levels of SEND needs, Costed Provision Maps are created with detailed evidence of supporting resources provided in school. This builds a portfolio of the progress each child makes and identifies how funding and resources are allocated to meet the needs of the individual . Additional funding and financial support can be applied for from the Local Authority through an Education and Health Care Plan.
How do we support children with SEND at St Joseph’s Newton Aycliffe?
Quality First Teaching
All children should have access to a broad and balanced curriculum. The National Curriculum Inclusion Statement states that teachers must set high expectations for every child, whatever their prior attainment. All teachers are teachers of children with SEND. They have a responsibility to:
- Use appropriate assessment to set targets which are challenging and ensures good progression.
- Plan lessons to address potential areas of difficulty and remove barriers to a child’s achievement. In many cases, such planning will mean that children with SEND and disabilities will be able to study the full national curriculum.
- Maintain records and assessments for pupils with SEND.
- Plan for provision and differentiation.
- Provide Support Plans in liaison with support staff, children, parents and carers and SENDCO (when necessary).
Children learn and develop in different ways. Teachers in school recognise this and use different teaching styles and resources, as well as planning different levels of work in the classroom to cater for the various ways children learn.
However, many children, at some time in their school life, need extra help and it is the role of the SENDCO to work with children, parents and staff in school to make sure that this extra support is provided.
A special educational need can be a number of different things. For example, a child may be having problems with reading, maths or behaviour. These may be issues with which school can help, by putting extra support in place and by working in partnership with parents. It may also be due to a disability which makes it harder for a child to use the same educational facilities that the school provides for the majority of children. For some children this may be a temporary difficulty, while others may have a long term need for special help.
Teachers will identify any pupils who are falling significantly outside of the range of expected academic achievement and those in line with predicted performance indicators and grade boundaries will be monitored. Once a pupil has been identified as possibly having SEND they will be closely monitored by staff in order to gauge their level of learning and possible difficulties. The child’s class teacher will take steps to provide differentiated learning opportunities that will aid the pupil’s academic progression and enable the teacher to better understand the provision and teaching style that needs to be applied. The SEND Co-ordinator will be consulted as needed for support and advice and may wish to observe the pupil in class. It can then be determined which level of provision the child will need to ensure they are reaching their potential.
If a pupil has recently been removed from the SEND register they may also fall into this category as continued monitoring will be necessary.
Parents will be informed fully of every stage of their child’s development and the circumstances under which they are being monitored. They are encouraged to share information and knowledge with the school. The child is recorded by the school as being under observation due to concern by parent or teacher but this does not automatically place the child on the school’s SEND register. Any concerns will be discussed with parents informally or during parent’s evenings. Parent’s evenings are used to monitor and assess the progress being made by children. Where it is determined that a pupil does have SEND, parents will be formally advised of this and the decision will be added to the SEND register. The aim of formally identifying a pupil with SEND is to help school ensure that effective provision is put in place and so remove barriers to learning.
The support provided consists of a four–part process:
This is an ongoing cycle to enable the provision to be refined and revised as the understanding of the needs of the pupil grows. This cycle enables the identification of those interventions which are the most effective in supporting the pupil to achieve good progress and outcomes.
This involves clearly analysing the pupil’s needs using the class teacher’s assessment and experience of working with the pupil, details of previous progress and attainment, comparisons with peers and national data, as well as the views and experience of parents. The pupil’s views and where relevant, advice from external support services will also be considered. Any parental concerns will be noted and compared with the school’s information and assessment data on how the pupil is progressing. This analysis will require regular review to ensure that support and intervention is matched to need, that barriers to learning are clearly identified and being overcome and that the interventions being used are developing and evolving as required. Where external support staff are already involved their work will help inform the assessment of need. Where they are not involved they may be contacted, if this is felt to be appropriate, following discussion and agreement from parents.
Planning will involve consultation between the teacher, SENDCO and parents to agree the adjustments, interventions and support that are required; the impact on progress, development and or behaviour that is expected and a clear date for review. Parental involvement may be sought, where appropriate, to reinforce or contribute to progress at home. All those working with the pupil, including support staff will be informed of their individual needs, the support that is being provided, any particular teaching strategies/approaches that are being employed and the outcomes that are being sought.
The class teacher remains responsible for working with the child on a day-to-day basis. They will retain responsibility even where the interventions may involve group or one-to-one teaching away from the main class teacher. They will work closely with teaching assistants and to plan and assess the impact of support and interventions and links with classroom teaching. Support with further assessment of the pupil’s strengths and weaknesses, problem solving and advising of the implementation of effective support will be provided by the SEND Co-ordinator.
Reviews of a child’s progress will be made regularly. The review process will evaluate the impact and quality of the support and interventions. It will also take account of the views of the pupil and where necessary their parents. The class teacher, in conjunction with the SENDCO will revise the support and outcomes based on the pupil’s progress and development making any necessary amendments going forward, in consultation with parents and the pupil.
Identification, Assessment and Review
Pupil assessment is an on-going process and forms an essential part of teaching and is designed to promote the raising of achievement. A pupil assessment provides important information for pupil review and support meetings and is also used to gather evidence for referral to external support agencies/organisations.
Inclusion of pupils with SEND
The Head teacher and SEND Co-ordinator oversee the school’s policy for inclusion and is responsible for ensuring that it is implemented effectively throughout the school. The school curriculum is regularly reviewed to ensure that it promotes the inclusion of all pupils. This includes learning outside the classroom. The school will seek advice, as appropriate, around individual pupils, from external support services through Local Authority provision.
Referral for an EHC Plan
If a child’s needs are very complex and/or severe we may ask the Local Authority to carry out an Education, Health and Care Assessment: This is a very detailed assessment of each child’s needs where the complexity of need around the needs of the child are such that a multi-agency approach to assessing that need, to planning provision and identifying resources, is required. Parents/carers also have the right to ask the Local Authority to carry out this assessment although it is usually best if they can do this with the support of the school. The decision to make a referral for an Education, Health and Care Plan will be taken at a progress review. The application for an Education, Health and Care Plan will combine information from a variety of sources and Parents or carers, the school and a range of professionals will all be asked to provide written reports.
Information will be gathered relating to the current provision provided, action points that have been taken, and the preliminary outcomes of targets set. A decision will be made by a group of people from education, health and social care about whether or not the child is eligible for an EHC Plan.
At the end of the assessment phase, the Local Authority will consider these reports to help decide whether or not to issue an Education, Health and Care Plan for the child. An EHC needs assessment will not always lead to an EHC plan. The information gathered during an EHC needs assessment may indicate ways in which our school can meet the needs of a child without an EHC plan.
Following a request for an EHC needs assessment, or the child having otherwise been brought to its attention, the local authority must determine whether an EHC needs assessment is necessary. The local authority must make a decision and communicate the decision to the child’s parents or to the young person within six weeks of receiving the request.
Parents have the right to appeal against the content of the EHC Plan. They may also appeal against the school named in the Plan if it differs from their preferred choice. Once the EHC Plan has been completed and agreed, it will be kept as part of the pupil’s formal record and reviewed at least annually by staff, parents and the pupil. The annual review enables provision for the pupil to be evaluated and, where appropriate, for changes to be put in place, for example, reducing or increasing levels of support. They must be reviewed by the local authority as a minimum every 12 months.
Education, Health and Care Assessment is only appropriate for a small number of children. Miss Williams will be able to advise with regard to this.
Further information about EHC Plans can found via the SEND Local Offer: http://wss.durhamlea.org.uk/localoffer/ or by contacting :
The County Durham SEND Information Advice and Support Service on either: 0191 5875841 or 03000 267 007
Access to the Curriculum
All pupils follow the National Curriculum at a level and a pace that is appropriate for their abilities. Our SEND philosophy places SEND children at the heart of personalised learning and our curriculum is tailored to meet individual pupils needs.
At times and when it is felt appropriate, modifications to the curriculum may be implemented.
To successfully match pupil ability to the curriculum St Joseph’s Primary School remain committed to:
- A range of teaching and learning styles.
- Differentiated learning materials.
- Access to ICT and Technology.
- Additional in class support
- Additional out of class support
- Flexible groupings – including small group support work.
- An innovative curriculum.
- The appropriate use of rewards and sanctions.
- A broad range of extra-curricular activities.
- Assessment procedures that emphasise pupils’ strengths and achievements.
- Applications during national testing at Key Stage 2 to obtain access arrangements as appropriate.
How do we consult with our SEND pupils at St Joseph’s ?
Ensuring that all children attending St Joseph’s Primary School receive provision that maximises their enjoyment and achievement is central to all we offer. The SEND children attending our school are aged 4-11 years so consulting with them to seek their views about how we are meeting their needs has to be age appropriate.
We use the following strategies:
- Have regular meetings and discussions with parents about what we have planned for their child.
- Make close observations during school to identify the types of activities and experiences that most engage each child so these can be developed further and be used inform future planning.
- Involve SEND children with planning their own activities and encouraging them to share what they would like to learn and participate with.
- Extend any resources that they show a preference for.
- Most importantly, ensure the children with SEND are happy, motivated and make expected levels of progress throughout their time in school.
Partnership with Parents
At St Joseph’s Primary we value our partnership with parents. Parents are consulted and kept informed about provision for their child. All parents are welcome to help in school and are invited to attend school activities. Parents are encouraged to share any concerns with staff and can always make an appointment to see the Class Teacher. Miss Williams is available, by appointment, to meet with parents to discuss any concerns.
At St Joseph’s Primary School we recognise how important a successful transition is to our pupils with additional needs. We work in partnership with our feeder secondary schools to provide an enhanced level of transition for those who we feel would benefit from this.
The period of transition depends on the individual needs of the pupil. If it is felt appropriate secondary school colleagues will attend Annual Reviews to meet the current class teacher, parents and most importantly the pupil. We have found this strategy particularly useful in easing any worries or concerns parents and pupils may have. We are particularly keen to involve parents/carers as much as possible in their child’s transition to secondary school.
When a secondary school has been allocated to the child, parents are fully involved and consulted at all stages of the transition process.
Transition from each year group within school is supported so that children meet with their new teachers and are familiar with the new classroom environment and organisation.
New starters in EYFS children are provided with the following opportunities:
- Parents Introductory Meeting.
- EYFS staff visit the children in Nursery settings.
- Children’s visits to EYFS class in the Summer Term.
- A structured start to life at St Joseph’s.
Agencies and Partnerships:
The school has strong working relationships and links with external support services in order to fully support our SEND pupils and aid school inclusion. Sharing knowledge and information with our support services is key to the effective and successful SEND provision within our school. Any one of the support services may raise concerns about a pupil. This will then be brought to the attention of the SEND co-ordinator who will then inform the child’s parents.
St Joseph’s Primary School works closely with a range of professionals in order to provide the highest level of support for pupils with SEND.
- Local Authority Special Educational Needs Inclusion Team
- Durham Educational Psychology Service
- Newton Aycliffe One Point Hub
- Health Agencies, particularly School Nurse Service.
- Central Durham Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)
- Speech and Language Therapists
- School Parent Support Advisor
- Looked After Children Team
- Medical Practitioners
Confidentiality and Information Sharing
The school, and all members of staff at the school, will ensure that all data about pupils is handled in accordance with the requirements of the law, and any national and local guidance. Any member of staff who has access to sensitive information about a child or the child’s family must take all reasonable steps to ensure that such information is only disclosed to those people who need to know.
Regardless of the duty of confidentiality, if any member of staff has reason to believe that a child may be suffering harm, or be at risk of harm, their duty is to forward this information without delay to the designated member of staff for child protection.
Confidential information is kept by the Head teacher or SENDCO in a secure place.
Compliments and Complaints
The education of all pupils who attend St Joseph’s Primary School is very important to us and as the school is part of the community, the action of the individuals who work in it, will and should, be open to comments, compliments, question and, sometimes, criticism.
Compliments and suggestions for improvement are always greatly received and can be passed on either directly to staff and the SENDCO, or formally recorded via our school questionnaires to parents or in the form of a letter to the Head Teacher. These comments may be published on this area of our school website.
Any complaints will be dealt with as quickly and efficiently as possible. These concerns are either sorted out informally, often as a result of discussions, or become formal complaints. The period of consideration will vary with the gravity and complexity of the complaint and the urgency with which it needs to be settled.
Further information can be found in our School Complaints Policy for which you can request a copy from us.
Miss R T Williams
Deputy Head Teacher / SENDCO