SEN Report for Whipton Barton Federation – in accordance with section 69(3)(a) of the Children and Families Act 2014
1. What kind of special educational needs provision is made for children at Whipton Barton Federation?
Whipton Barton Infant and Nursery School and Junior School are fully inclusive mainstream schools. We ensure that the progress of all pupils is monitored and that the feelings and opinions of all pupils and parents or carers are listened to. We are able to identify barriers to learning for children whose needs fall into the four primary areas of SEN need which are: communication and interaction; cognition and learning; social, emotional and mental health difficulties and sensory and/or physical needs. We work in consultation with parents to decide whether SEN support is required and we carry out further assessment to identify barriers to learning and the nature of the child’s difficulties.
2. How do we identify and assess pupils with special educational needs?
It is the role of all teachers to monitor and assess the progress of all the pupils in their class. Through their provision map for universal provision the teacher will show what strategies are in place to encourage access to the curriculum on a day to day basis within the classroom. This will enable teachers to distinguish between children who may need some support within the classroom and within the differentiated curriculum and children with Special Educational Needs who may need a more personalised curriculum. Teachers will therefore identify barriers to learning which may exist by using their knowledge and understanding of the four primary areas of SEN as mentioned above. The teacher will listen carefully to the child and his or her parents/carers when deciding if SEN support is required. The role of the SENDco is to support the teachers in these actions. The SENDco will observe children in class, make suggestions to the teacher and carry out assessments if necessary. The SENDco will then, if it is deemed necessary, seek advice from outside agencies including the Educational Psychologist, Speech and Language Therapist, Behaviour Support Team, Communication and Interaction Team, Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist and CAMHS. Any children receiving SEN support will be recorded on the school SEN register which is reviewed regularly.
All children are assessed regularly by their class teacher and their progress is recorded termly. This progress is tracked continuously by the Head of School and SENDco in the case of the SEND children.
The governing body, in particular the SEND governor, also has a role to play in ensuring that the school makes the necessary provision for every child with SEND.
3. a. How do we evaluate the effectiveness of our provision for pupils with SEND?
The quality of the provision for all children, including those with SEND, is evaluated regularly through classroom observations (both drop in and formal lesson observations). All staff are part of a rigorous appraisal system which sets and evaluates the progress towards objectives which deal with pupil progress and staff performance against their job description. The quality of provision is also evaluated through the rigorous and regular analysis of pupil progress through data tracking, book scrutinies and learning talks with pupils.
Interventions which provide targeted input for children identified with SEN are also evaluated and monitored. The TA who runs the intervention, completes an outcome sheet which tracks the attendance and progress of the children involved. These outcome sheets are monitored by the SENDco. After a period of 6-10 weeks (depending on the intervention) the intervention is then evaluated by looking at the entry and exit data for the children involved. Clear progress should be seen in this data and through conversations with the class teachers.
School DAFs (Devon Assessment Framework) are used for all statemented/EHCP children and those with SEN Support who are not part of the multi-agency DAF process. These School DAFs are written and reviewed by the SENDco, class teacher and parent.
The SENDco works closely with the Head of School to monitor the attendance of pupils with SEND and with the governor responsible for SEND to discuss all of the above.
The SEND audit is completed as required regularly and is discussed at SLT (Senior Leadership Team) meetings and governor level to evaluate provision for children with SEND.
b. What are the arrangements for assessing and reviewing the progress of pupils with special educational needs?
Where relevant the progress and attainment of children with SEN is assessed against the same criteria as other pupils, namely the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) framework and the new National Curriculum. Class teachers assess and submit assessments for all children termly and this information is entered onto the school’s data tracking system – SPTO. Where children are working below this level, P levels are used to assess their progress and attainment. These P (performance) levels are statutory levels published by the Department for Education for schools to use with children working below the National Curriculum levels.
Information regarding the children’s progress and attainment is shared with parents at parents’ evenings and through written reports throughout the year. The Group Learning Targets (GLTs) that a child is working towards at all times are displayed in the classroom, in their books and are shared with parents during parents’ evenings. Progress towards small step targets would be shared through the School DAF. Teachers are always available for parents to approach in between these times to discuss a child’s progress or attainment. Written information is also shared with parents as to the intervention support that their child is receiving at any time.
3 c. What is our approach to teaching pupils with special educational needs?
All children are taught as part of a class by a class teacher. Through high quality teaching the teacher is responsible for meeting the needs of all pupils in the class. This includes differentiating the work as appropriate to accommodate all children’s needs. Where a child is identified as having individual needs, a tailored and personalised approach would be implemented by the class teacher in consultation with the SENDco. All resources that are available to the school (both human, physical and financial resources) will be used to support children with additional needs. Through the systems explained above, if a child is identified as not making adequate progress, their needs will be discussed. Some pupils will only need modifications to the teaching approaches, classroom organisation or the provision of equipment or resources as part of the differentiated universal provision. If this is considered to not be enough to meet the pupil’s needs then interventions will be put in place, which are implemented by teaching assistants during the school day under the supervision of the SENDco. These interventions are proven and approved programmes that have been seen to improve the outcomes of such pupils. Where further support is needed, the SENDco will seek the advice of services, agencies and professionals as linked to the four primary areas of special educational needs (communication and interaction; cognition and learning; social, emotional and mental health difficulties and sensory and/or physical needs).
3 d. How do we adapt the curriculum and learning environment for pupils with special educational needs?
As well as the measures detailed in the section above, we will also make any reasonable adaptations as we can to ensure that all children can learn and progress to their best abilities. Where necessary individual workstations are created, tablets, laptops or voice recorders can be used by children for whom recording work by hand is difficult, calm down areas are provided, breaks from learning are built in to the day, visual timetables and prompts are used in all classrooms.
3 e. What additional support for learning is available to pupils with special educational needs?
All EYFS and KS1 (Key Stage 1) classes have at least one Teaching Assistant (TA) to support all learners. Where needed, additional TAs are deployed to support pupils identified as having special educational needs or disabilities. The amount of support will be proportional to their identified needs and will be clearly structured following advice from outside agencies and professionals. Some pupils will also be withdrawn from class each week for short times in order to access enhanced/targeted provision through interventions (speech therapy, phonic support, THRIVE etc).
3 f. How does the school enable pupils with special educational needs to engage in the activities of the school (including physical activities) together with children who do not have special educational needs?
Where it is felt necessary, children with special educational needs may be supported during play or lunchtimes to ensure that they can enjoy these times and interact positively with those around them. The supporting TA will concentrate on engaging the pupil in play activities with their peers, developing their social skills and keeping them safe. A number of extra-curricular clubs are available during the school year and these are open to all children. All trips are risk-assessed and reasonable adaptations are made to ensure all pupils can safely access these experiences. If necessary extra TA support will be made available to ensure the safety and learning experience of any children with special educational needs. All children access whole class PE – possibly with the support of a TA – and extra FunFit movement sessions are run to further develop the gross motor abilities of those children with an identified need in this area. Our accessibility plan is reviewed regularly and any physical adaptations to the school site made (eg: markings for Visually Impaired pupils, wheelchair access, adaptations to toileting facilities).
3.g. What support is available for improving the emotional, mental and social development of pupils with special educational needs?
Activities from the SEAL programme to support all children with social and emotional development are planned into the curriculum for all children. Circle time is used to tackle issues which may arise and we have clear expectations in place for learning and social behaviour.
We are a THRIVE school. This means that children can be screened using the THRIVE programme for their emotional and social development where it has been identified that a development need exists. This screening involves the pupil, teacher and parent and will identify an area of the child’s social and emotional development which needs further support. This support is then provided by withdrawal for short intervention time either 1:1 or in a small group, a classroom environment which provides for the emotional support needed and advice shared with parents or carers as to the support they can provide at home.
We also employ a counsellor who works with children who are known to have an emotional need which requires further support than THRIVE can provide. A referral to the counsellor will only be made with the parents’ knowledge and permission.
We work closely with the Behaviour Support Team to provide for our pupils whose additional needs manifest themselves through challenging behaviour and the Communication and Interaction Team for pupils with a diagnosis of autism who need support with developing social skills.
We maintain open channels of communication with our parents and families and are alert to any significant events in the lives of our children (eg bereavement) which may require additional support at a given time.
4. In relation to mainstream schools and maintained nursery schools, what is the name and contact details of the SEND co-ordinator?
The SENDco is Mrs Claire Upston. Mrs Upston is employed by the Federation to work in both schools. She can be contacted on 467556 or 466072 and via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. What is the expertise and training of staff in relation to children and young people with special educational needs and how will specialist expertise be secured?
The SENDco has completed the National Award for SENDcos. She is also trained to complete the DAF (Devon Assessment Framework) process and paperwork. The SENDco has and continues to attend training around specific areas of SEND as opportunities arise.
All the teaching staff are up to date with changes in SEND legislation and practice both nationally and locally. Our regular inhouse CPD (Continual professional development) programme offers training around key aspects of SEND eg: Autism level 1 training from the Autism Education Trust, SLCN (Speech, language and communication needs) training from the Speech and Language Therapy team, attachment training and mental health training from the EH4MH team (Early Help for Mental Health).
Key members of staff in each year group have been trained in Passive Intervention Strategies (PIPs) which gives a framework for dealing with challenging behaviour.
The SEN TAs who deliver speech and language programmes work closely with the Speech and Language therapist and receives ongoing training as new initiatives arise.
The TAs who run the Thrive intervention groups is a trained Thrive practitioner as is our Family Support Worker and SENDco. All other members of the teaching staff have been trained in the basics of the Thrive programme and how to bring Thrive ideas and strategies into the classroom and school as a whole.
Where other specialist services are required on a needs-led basis this is usually through our partners at Babcock LDP – Educational Psychology, Behaviour Support, Communication and Interaction Team. We also work closely with Honeylands and Vranch House, school nurses, health visitors, social care and CAMHS.
If a child is joining us with a SEND with which we have less experience, specialist advice will be sought. An example of this is visual impairment – in this case we will receive support from the Visual Impairment Support and Advisory Team at Babcock.
6. How is equipment and facilities to support children and young people with special educational needs secured?
Acting on advice from Occupational Therapists, a number of pupils have access to learning aids such as writing slopes, ergonomic pens, wedge cushions or pencil grips. Other pupils have been enabled through the use of tablets or Dictaphones to record their learning. We receive support from the SEN ICT team and currently have several adapted keypads and mice for both classroom and ICT suite use. We work closely with Occupational Therapists and accommodate specialised seating where required.
Our schools are wheelchair accessible from certain points (an old building which has been adapted) and we have disabled toilet facilities and a wet-room shower facility. We have an accessibility plan which is reviewed regularly.
If appropriate we would access further support and advice from outside agencies through the DAF process and access additional funding from the Local Authority if a child’s needs exceed the funding available in our delegated budget.
7. What are the arrangements for consulting parents of children with special educational needs about, and involving such parents, in the education of their child?
From the very beginning of any child’s educational journey with us, we work hard to engage parents and build positive home-school relationships. Daily opportunities for contact are provided through the 15 minute daily challenge time at the beginning of the school day (years Foundation 2 to Year 3) when parents are encouraged to stay with their children and engage in classroom activities, and teachers are available for brief conversations. If a longer conversation is felt necessary then a time can be made with the class teacher. Our universal offer also includes three parents’ evenings and termly reports. These reports also include information about any intervention support the child is receiving.
Parents of children with special educational needs are at the heart of the decision making process as regards the provision for that child. School DAFs are reviewed regularly with the parents as are Behaviour Care Plans if in use. The DAF process allows for a close working relationship between the school and parents. Annual reviews for those children with statements/EHCPs also provide the opportunity for the parents to meet with the school and other further professionals who may be involved in the care of the child.
Family learning opportunities are regularly provided where parents can take part in a course of learning at the school which may involve working with their child during the sessions.
8. What are the arrangements for consulting young people with special educational needs about, and involving them in their education?
Pupil voice for all children is facilitated through school council and specifically for children with special educational needs through the annual review and the DAF processes. In the latter two cases we seek to use a child-centred approach where the views and opinions of the child are sought as is appropriate for their age. We aim to ensure that the children are aware of the interventions that they are involved in, what the learning goals are and when they will take place through the use of a visual timetable.
9. What are the arrangements made by the governing body relating to the treatment of complaints from parents of pupils with special educational needs concerning the provision made at the school?
If a parent of a child with special educational needs has a concern regarding their child’s provision, they would be encouraged in the first instance to speak to the class teacher. The class teacher can then involve the SENDco where necessary. A parent is also free to contact the SENDco direct as detailed in section 4 above. It is hoped that all concerns or questions can be resolved through open working relationships and open lines of communication.
The formal complaints policy and procedure is on the website and is available from the school office of both schools.
The Devon Information Advice + Support service provide confidential and impartial information, support and training for parents and carers who have children (age 0-25 years) with additional educational needs. They can be contacted on 01392 383080 or www.devonias.org.uk.
10. How does the governing body involve other bodies, including health and social services bodies, local authority support services and voluntary organisations, in meeting the needs of pupils with special educational needs and in supporting the families of such pupils?
We work with many other professionals and organisations in order to support children with special educational needs. These include the Educational Psychology team, Behaviour Support Team, Communication and Interaction Team, CAMHs, Visual Impairment Team, Vranch House and Honeylands. Referrals to these professionals would most commonly be made by the SENDco, in consultation with the parents and class teacher. We also work closely with our school nurses and the Health Visiting team. Referrals will either be made to a single agency or more commonly to the multi-agency Integrated Children’s Services through the SPA (Single Point of Access). The new DAF process forms a framework for such multi-agency working.
As a Federation we also signpost parents to other services such as DIAS or Cerebra. Our Family Support Worker who is also involved in the DAF process is also able to signpost to a wide range of services.
11. What are the contact details of support services for the parents of pupils with special educational needs, including those for arrangements made in accordance with section 32?
The school offices can provide some information regarding support services.
The SENDco can answer specific questions and is contactable as detailed in section 4.
Devon’s Family Information Service is also a source of useful information - www.devon.gov.uk/disc_services
There is a link to the Local Authority’s Local Offer under our SEND tab on our website.
12. What are the school’s arrangements for supporting pupils with special educational needs in a transfer between phases of education?
When pupils transfer into the school, every effort is made to share information with previous settings. The SENDco may visit the child in their previous setting if it is felt that this is necessary. As with all pupils, parents are encouraged to look around the school with their child before joining. Where necessary transition visits can be arranged to ease the transition period.
Each July children spend time with their next teacher in their new classroom to facilitate a smooth transition and all relevant documentation is discussed and passed on. Where it is felt necessary children with special educational needs can spend more time in the new classroom to increase their familiarity with the new setting and adults. Photo booklets of the new classroom and staff can be produced for the child to take home and share with parents.
Any specialist equipment that the child needs will move with the child.
Where annual reviews or DAF meetings are taking place, the next class teacher can be involved to ensure that all relevant information is shared.
13. Where is information on the local authority’s local offer published?
As mentioned above the link to the local authority’s local offer is available under the SEND tab on our website. The local offer can be found at www.devon.gov.uk/send