5 - 16: Support at School
The vast majority of children and young people with special educational needs and/or disability (SEND) are supported in local mainstream schools.
All children are different so teachers and support staff spend time identifying the needs of individual children, whether they have a special educational need or not, before they enter school and throughout their school life. This helps to ensure all children settle in well and feel happy and confident in school and make good progress in their lessons.
If the school feels that a child might have a Special Educational Need then a meeting with parents and the child if appropriate will be arranged to investigate the needs further before the child is classed as having an SEN.1
1st step - Talking to the teacher
Working in partnership with all parents leads to the happiest children and the best education. If at any time you are concerned about your child please arrange an appointment with your child’s class teacher/ form tutor as soon as possible; an initial phone call or letter might also be a good start. It is also important to ask any questions you may have during parent meetings. If a child is not making progress additional assessments will be made to ensure that the school is meeting their needs. If after further investigation the school believes your child may have Special Educational Needs then the school will arrange a meeting, to identify these needs further and plan support.
2nd step – Talking to the SENCO, regular reviews of progress
When progress continues to be less than expected the school’s Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) may be involved to ensure that needs are identified accurately and that appropriate support is put in place. Please see our Special Educational Needs section for more information.
The success of this plan of meeting special educational needs and ensuring progress depends on regular reviews. This process really helps to ensure that everyone involved in supporting the child really understands his or her needs.
Schools may use different ways to communicate with parents and carers, for example:
Home school books and/or phone calls, letters and quick informal chats at the beginning and/or end of the school days as and when needed.
Open door policy so that parents can make appointments to see the class teachers and/or SENCO when they are concerned and would like a longer discussion.
Extended parents meetings so that a more thorough identification of a child’s needs can take place and the desired outcomes can be decided upon.
Annual reports with details of the progress a child with SEN has made towards their desired outcomes.
SEN Support review meetings when decisions can be made about additional assessments and strategies required to secure better progress
More information about SEN Support can be found in the following SEN Support fact sheet
We want encourage all children, including those with SEN, to make decisions about their education. All children are expected to evaluate their own learning success and discuss their needs with their teacher; this may be achieved by asking questions in lessons or setting targets.
Children with SEN support have a plan that outlines the support needed to achieve additional agreed outcomes and to help them become better prepared for adulthood. These outcomes are decided with pupils and with parents and recorded as a SEN Support plan (My Plan).
3rd step - Children with an EHC plan or statement
Some children with the most persistent and significant level of special educational needs may require an EHC needs assessment (nationally approximately 2.8% of the total population have EHC plans).
Where despite schools having taken relevant and purposeful action to identify, deliver and review the SEN support (known as a graduated approach) the child is not making expected progress, a request for an Education Health and Care needs assessment may be considered. Schools will be required to provide the evidence of actions already taken and reviewed over time. Please see Bath and North East Somerset’s Guidance for initiating a statutory Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment for more information.
An EHC needs assessment may result in an Education Health and Care plan (EHC plan). When it does not, the information gathered can be used to inform SEN support provided by the school.
Transition between schools
Before any child moves, schools will try and find out as much about them as possible to help them settle in quickly. Children with SEN may need a more detailed transition plan which may involve additional visits, discussions with parents, sharing of assessments and plans, liaison with SENCO or year group leaders.
If appropriate a one page profile can be drawn up to communicate to staff exactly how to help the child and explain what the key outcomes are.
If possible the new school should be invited to the last SEN Support or annual review of a child with an EHC plan so a transition plan can be set up as part of this meeting.
For information regarding schools and the support they offer children with SEND, please visit www.rainbowresource.org.uk which will provide information and contact details for individual schools and will link to their specific web pages and SEND local offers. School contact details can also be found on this website via the following link: http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/schools-colleges-and-learning/find-school.