Special Educational Needs
Identification of additional need may be dealt with at 3 stages: School Action, School Action Plus or Statement.
When a subject teacher, member of the pastoral team or SENCo identifies a child in need of additional support they may require interventions that are additional to or different from those already provided as part of the College’s usual differentiated curriculum and strategies.
School Action – The Learning Development Team
If usual curriculum diifferentiation or classroom strategy is not sufficient to assist the pupil in making expected progress, they may be placed on the SEN register at School Action. At this stage, the Learning Development Team become involved and identify the area of additional need that your child may require, perhaps after some additional investigation with reading, spelling or comprehension tests. If a specific need is identified your child may be supported on one of the following in College programmes:
DRIVE - Dyslexia recovery scheme, which provides catch up in gaps of reading and spelling knowledge.
Read Write Inc - A reading recovery programme which focuses on the learning and revision of synthetic phonics.
OASIS - Counselling and support systems designed to encourage behaviour modification.
Pathfinders - A social skills and communications programme to improve communication skills.
When a need is identified, an action is decided upon to help meet the needs of the pupil and to assist them to progress in the light of their earlier assessment. It may be necessary for your child to be placed on one of the above-mentioned programmes, or for us to liaise with outside agencies for advice on strategies or equipment. An Individual Education Plan (IEP) will be drawn up which sets out the concern, states what is to be done to address the concern and by whom. You will be in regular contact with the Head of Progress at this stage.
During the year you will be invited to review meetings at which your child’s academic targets will be discussed and their IEP is reviewed.
School Action Plus – Outside Agencies
If, despite receiving the additional support through School Action, your child is still not making expected progress, the College may seek help from external support agencies. We may feel that we need some advice on your child’s particular need or that a specialist agency could provide additional support to help us get the best support and understanding of your child’s additional needs. At this point a child may move to School Action Plus.
For a few pupils, the help given at School Action Plus may not be sufficient to enable them to make adequate progress. It will then be necessary for the College, in consultation with parents and any external agencies already involved, to consider whether to ask the Local Authority to initiate a statutory assessment.
If your child’s educational needs are considered to require more attention than those of the average child, then, with your permission, we might ask for statutory assessment under 1980/1993 Education Acts. Your child’s needs would be assessed by support services, in particular the Educational Psychologist. County Special Education at County Hall would assess whether your child needs a Statement of Special Educational Needs (a child remains at School Action Plus during this time).
There are many reasons for a Statement. Your child’s learning needs may require significantly more resources than other students and may necessitate additional staffing needs. When considering if a child meets the criteria for a Statement, the County team will need to decide if the College can meet the child’s needs under its current provision. If this is the case they will not grant a Statement as it will not provide anything additional to your child’s current package. However if they decide that your child has an additional need that cannot be met under the College’s current support programme or, if the cost of providing additional support for your child will be in excess of additional costs of £6,000 or more, they may decide to issue your child with a Statement in order to provide the support they feel your child needs. This might enable us to put your child in smaller groups so that they get a better student/teacher ratio, or to work on an individual basis, or provide for some in-class assistance from a Teaching Assistant. However it is worth noting that following the Governments review of SEN, schools are now expected to provide increasing levels of support from their budget previously provided by additional funding so Statement thresholds have risen.