SEND Information Report for Parents and Carers
What is Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)?
A child or young person has special educational needs (SEN) if they have a learning difficulty or disability that calls for extra support to be put in place. A child of compulsory school age or young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age or has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream school. ‘SEND Code of Practice 2014’.
Who are the best people to talk to at Trafalgar Infant School about my child’s difficulties with learning, special educational needs (SEN) or disability?
Your child’s teacher is the first person to contact. They are regularly available to listen to your concerns and to discuss your child’s progress. They will ask how the school can help and will do their best to give you advice for supporting your child’s learning.
Mrs Sam Kavanagh (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) and Inclusion Co-ordinator (InCo)) is also available to meet with you to discuss your child’s needs. She will be happy to meet with you and the class teacher if you wish, and if any outside agencies are involved, she will talk you through any reports and discuss the best possible ways to support your child. She can signpost you to outside support agencies for help and advice at home. To make an appointment call the school office: 0208 894 5729
How does Trafalgar Infant School support children with special educational needs?
Our priority is to provide high quality teaching for all children (Quality First Teaching). Teachers regularly make adjustments to their practice to ensure all children have access to teaching and learning. This includes differentiating the activity; arranging and adapting classroom furniture and seating plans; adjusting the format of resources such as the whiteboard, books and reading materials; supplying specialised writing tools and classroom equipment; using signing and visual timetables as well as implementing a variety of teaching styles to engage and include all pupils. Children with SEN and their parents also help to write a ‘pupil profile’ to provide details of the child’s specific needs and the best way to support them. This is made accessible to all adults who work with the child.
We also look at the whole school day and the wider school environment, responding to individual needs and making adaptations when necessary. We provide quiet zones in the playground, small group support at lunchtimes and playtimes, sensory toys and distraction tools to help with focus and concentration. Assemblies, special themed activities (e.g. Inclusion Week) and lessons within the curriculum also help develop and foster sensitivity and understanding of people with different needs and experiences and celebrate the contribution they can make.
The school has experience of meeting the needs of pupils with a range of educational needs including: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), mental health difficulties (often manifested in behavioural difficulties), cerebral palsy, dyslexia, dyspraxia, emotional and social needs, epilepsy, hearing impairment, learning difficulties and speech and language needs. When a child enters our school with a need that is more unfamiliar, we access training and advice to provide appropriate support.
Children presenting with these difficulties will not necessarily have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), but they will still receive appropriate support and our admission arrangements do not discriminate against, or disadvantage disabled children or those with special educational needs: we follow the usual school admissions procedures. Decisions on the admissions of pupils with an EHCP are made by the Local Authority who have or are undertaking the assessment. For Trafalgar Infants School, this is usually Richmond.
How does Trafalgar Infant School identify a special educational need?
Every child in the school has their academic progress tracked regularly. The class teachers also have regular meetings with the SENCo and with parents/carers to address any concerns there may be about the social and emotional wellbeing of our children. Our expectation is that the children make at least expected progress and we strive to close the gap in attainment between them and their peers. The SEND Code of Practice (2014) describes adequate progress as:
- similar to that of children of the same age who had the same starting point
- matching or improving on the child’s rate of progress
- allowing the attainment gap to close between the child and children of the same age
To make sure that every child’s needs are met, we use the Assess, Plan, Do, Review model:
- class teacher assesses the child’s needs
- class teacher plans appropriate adjustment(s)
- classroom practice is adapted for the child
- progress is reviewed
If there continue to be concerns, the class teacher will discuss it with the SENCo. and parent/carers. If all agree that your child will benefit from additional targeted support and intervention (such as Maths or English work, social skills group, therapeutic play sessions), appropriate support will be organised. All support is monitored, reviewed and adjusted by both class teacher and SENCo.
Assessments from external agencies may be arranged to provide further understanding of the needs. The school works in partnership with other agencies to offer support where necessary, for example, educational psychologists, the school nurse, speech and language therapists, play therapist, emotional literacy support assistants, family support workers, physiotherapists and social service. Additional support will then be given, using the Assess, Plan, Do, Review model and the class teacher will update you on progress.
What happens if, despite this extra support, my child is still not making adequate progress?
There may come a point where a high level of support has been provided in school, several outside agencies have worked with and supported your child and progress is still limited. This is when parents and carers, class teacher, outside agencies involved with your child and the InCo will meet to discuss whether to undertake an Education, Health and Care needs assessment with a view to requesting an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). As a parent/carer you can make a request for an EHC assessment at any time.
What training and expertise do the staff have in relation to children with SEND?
All teachers and teaching assistants receive regular training on different areas of learning and health needs. We also provide more specific training for staff on particular conditions and disabilities when necessary. This may be for the staff working with that particular child, but it is also regular practice for this training to be shared with all staff. Outside agencies such as educational psychologists, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists and the learning needs team provide recommendations and training if required.
Training has included epilepsy awareness, diabetes training, epipen training, understanding mental health issues, supporting children with reading, writing and spelling difficulties, understanding autism, dealing with anxiety, understanding speech and language development and a range of other issues that may arise.
How does Trafalgar Infant School let me know if they have any concerns about my child?
In the first instance, the class teacher will contact you to discuss your child’s strengths and any current concerns or difficulties they are experiencing. They will let you know what we will be doing to address these needs better and will discuss any planned changes to classroom provision. If additional support has been put in place and progress is less than expected, the SENCo will ask to meet with you and the class teacher to discuss further support and next steps.
How does Trafalgar Infant School evaluate the effectiveness of the provision?
Each intervention has a baseline assessment and/or a set of targets set at the beginning. These may be academic targets or targets that address social, emotional or mental health issues, including behaviour. They are usually very specific and break down the overall goal into smaller steps. Progress is then measured against these targets at the end of a timed period. Parents and children are invited to have input into reviewing these outcomes with resources for home being offered if appropriate. A named governor is responsible for monitoring the provision/outcomes for pupils with special educational needs.
How will Trafalgar Infant School involve my child in the SEND process?
Children are at the centre of any planning and support. Where possible and appropriate, taking into account the age of the child and the type of need, the child is involved in the process. They will have any intervention or support explained to them and they will be invited to share their views. This is particularly valuable when a child has an EHCP when they will be invited to the annual review meeting to share what has worked well for them. All support can then be reviewed to ensure it meets their needs in an effective and meaningful way for them.
How does Trafalgar Infant School support your child moving on to another class?
- Information will be discussed and passed on to the new class teacher as part of the class handover meetings, including any outside agency reports and resources that support your child.
- If appropriate, a social story or information book can be sent home to help with their understanding of change.
- Any equipment will be available in the new classroom e.g. sloping board for writing.
- It may be necessary for your child to have additional visits to the new classroom or additional time with the new class teacher or teaching assistant to aid their transition.
What happens if my child already has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)?
Trafalgar Infant School has a legal obligation to meet the provision detailed in the documentation. All staff working with the child will be working towards achieving the outcomes defined in the EHC Plan. Parent/carers will have an opportunity to meet each term with the SENCo and class teachers to review progress and will be invited to contribute to and attend an annual review meeting. This meeting will also include reports and/or attendance from the outside agencies currently involved with your child. Trafalgar Infant School currently meets the needs of children with an EHCP.
What if my child has special educational needs and a medical condition?
We make arrangements to support children with medical conditions so they can access their education. Individual healthcare plans are put in place for those children with specific conditions needing additional support, monitoring and care. These healthcare plans will be co-ordinated with any SEND plans. For more information see our Medical Needs Policy.
How is Trafalgar Infant School accessible to children with SEND?
As part of our requirement to keep the appropriateness of our curriculum and learning environment accessible to all, we evaluate the needs of individual children and make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to allow all children access to curriculum activities, clubs and trips. This is always done in partnership with parents/carers. For more information, see our Accessibility Strategy and Action Plan and Inclusion Policy.
What outside agencies are available to support my child?
All referrals are discussed and agreed with the SENCo, who will generally make the referral. You may also wish to discuss health concerns with your GP. The school buys in additional support and expertise from:
- The educational psychology (EP) service
- The speech and language service
- The school nurse
- Membership to professional networks e.g. SENCo forum etc.
- Access to local authority services through the Achieving for Children service level agreement, speech and language therapy service, occupational therapy service, physiotherapy service and Child and Adolescent Mental Health service (CAMHS)
What support is available to parents and carers outside of school?
Richmond Borough Council Achieving for Children ‘Local Offer’ provides information on local services and support available for families including children and young people aged 0 – 25 years with special educational needs or disabilities.
Email address for enquiries & feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone number for enquiries: 020 8547 4722
Achieving for Children’s Information leaflet for young people
Achieving for Children’s Information leaflet for families
Kingston SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS).
SENDIASS offers independent advice across a wide range of subjects. This includes help with personal budgets and how to use the Local Offer plus:
- Support with understanding reports and letters, attending meetings and preparing for assessments and reviews
- Information and signposting to support services in your area
- Support with transition and preparing for adulthood
- Support with and signposting to mediation
- Advice and support on benefits
Telephone 0208 831 6179