Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
What are special educational needs?
A child or young person has special educational needs if he or she has a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her.
A learning difficulty or disability is a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age.
Special educational provision means educational or training provision that is additional to, or different from, that made generally for others of the same age in a mainstream setting in England…. Health care provision or social care provision which educates or trains a child or young person is to be treated as special educational provision. (Code of Practice 2014)
Provision for children with special educational needs is a matter for the school as a whole. In addition to the Governing Body, the Headteacher, the SENCO and all other members of staff both teaching and support staff have very important day-to-day responsibilities. ‘All teachers are teachers of children with special educational needs. Teaching such children is therefore a whole school responsibility.’
High quality teaching which is differentiated and personalised should be available for all pupils. At the heart of the work of every school class is a continuous cycle of planning, teaching and assessing which takes account of the wide range of abilities, aptitudes and interests of children. The majority of children will learn and progress within these arrangements. Those children whose overall attainments or attainment in specific subjects fall significantly outside the expected range may have special educational needs.
This SEN information report has been created in collaboration with stakeholders to provide a comprehensive overview of the Academy’s approach to identifying and supporting pupils, to ensure that ALL pupil’s make good progress and that any barriers to learning are recognized and removed as much as possible.
Occasionally, some children have difficulties in accessing the National Curriculum and need additional support to help them to learn. At Veritas Primary Academy, we have experienced support staff working in each class who, together with the class teachers, give extra assistance to these children. In addition, there is a wide range of support groups available to support learning and improve social and attention and listening skills.
The school provides support for children with behavioral and emotional issues: Children with English as an additional language recieve support at the early stages of language acquisition and the Home/School liaison officer works closely with families that may have personal and confidential matters.
If we believe your child will benefit from additional help then you will be informed of this before arrangements are made. Some children experience difficulties for a short time, while others may need further support from Outside Agencies such as the Speech and Language Department, Occupational Therapy and the Educational Psychology Service.
Parents who wish to discuss their child’s learning needs can make an appointment with the SENCO at the office.
For further information on inclusion please see our Special Educational Needs & Disability Policies in the Policies section or at the bottom of this page.
Veritas Primary Academy is committed to inclusion and ensuring that all learning needs, where possible, are met. Please see below our updated SEND policy which includes information about how our SEND provision works at Veritas Primary Academy as well as a link to the Local Offer in Staffordshire. You can download this report in full by clicking on the SEND report at the bottom of the page.
HOW DO WE IDENTIFY IF A PUPIL HAS SEN?
A pupil will be identified as having a SEN where their learning difficulty calls for special educational provision, namely provision different from or additional to that normally available to pupils of the same age.
Many will have differentiated work prepared for them by their teacher in conjunction with the support staff which will be additional to and different from the curriculum available for the majority of children of their age.
Children could be identified as having SEN through a variety of ways including the following:
- Child performing significantly below age expected levels that require extra provision to be made.
- Concerns raised by Parent or by a previous school
- Concerns raised by a teacher: for example behavior or self-esteem is affecting performance
- Liaison with external agencies
- Information received from health specialists
Slow progress and low attainment do not necessarily mean that a child has SEN and will not automatically lead to a pupil being recorded as having SEN. However, it may be an early indicator of a range of learning difficulties or disabilities.
All adults who work with children in school will have a responsibility to monitor emerging difficulties and respond at the earliest opportunity. Academy staff aim to have good, informative relationships with parents. Staff will communicate concerns and it shouldn’t come as a surprise to a parent to learn that their child is being identified as having SEN. The progress of each child is monitored at termly pupil progress meetings. Staff also aim to be as responsive as possible to parents who express their own concerns.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I THINK MY CHILD MAY HAVE SEN?
If you have any concern regarding your child’s progress or well-being then please speak to Mr Flynn, the Academy’s Inclusion Manager or Yateen Bhoola, the Academy’s Head Teacher.
WHAT KINDS OF SEN ARE PROVIDED FOR AT VERITAS PRIMARY ACADEMY?
At Veritas Primary Academy, children with identified SEN are under all areas of need as outlined in the SEN Code of Practice 2014:
Communication and interaction
- Speech, language or communication needs (SLCN)
- Difficulties with making themselves understood
- Difficulties with understanding or using social rules of communication
Sensory and/or Physical needs
- Children who have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of the educational facilities generally provided
- Visual impairment (VI)
- Hearing impairment (HI)
- Multi-sensory impairment (MSI)
- Children with a physical disability (PD)
Cognition and learning
- Moderate learning difficulties (MLD) – children who learn at a slower pace than their peers, even with appropriate differentiation.
- Severe learning difficulties (SLD) – children who are likely to need support in all areas of the curriculum
- Profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD) – children are likely to have severe and complex learning difficulties as well as physical or sensory impairment.
- Specific learning difficulties (SpLD) – children who have specific difficulties in one aspect of learning. This encompasses a range of conditions such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia.
Social, emotional and mental health difficulties
- children who display challenging, disrupting or disturbing behaviours as a result of social and emotional difficulties.
- Children with underlying mental health issues such as anxiety, depression self harming, eating disorders or attachment disorder
WHAT IS OUR APPROACH TO TEACHING CHILDREN WITH SEN?
At Veritas Primary Academy, we recognise that our pupils have a variety of needs. We are committed to offering a highly differentiated, broad and balanced curriculum which is inclusive of all pupils. Our response to SEN is underpinned by a three step graduated approach.
STEP 1 – whole school
Quality first teaching which is differentiated and personalised by, or under the direction of, the classroom teacher to meet the diverse needs of all learners.
The SENCO supports teachers in the effective implementation of provision.
Assessment and monitoring in line with whole school assessment policy.
STEP 2 – progress concerns
Once staff have tried a range of interventions and they have evidence that a child is still not making adequate progress, a referral using an ‘early concern’ form can be made to the SENCO clearly indicating previous interventions OR concerns are raised by parents/carers or the pupil’s previous school.
The Code of Practice describes ‘adequate progress’ as progress which:
- is similar to that of peers starting from the same baseline;
- matches or betters the child’s previous rate of progress;
- closes the attainment gap between the child and their peers;
- prevents the attainment gap growing wider’
STEP 3 – intervention through graduated support
Once a potential special educational need is identified, four types of action will be taken to put effective support: Assess, Plan, Do, Review.
- Assess: Clear analysis of the students’ needs
- Plan: following assessment, the teacher, SENCO, parent / carers and pupil, agree on a plan of action
- Do: the pupil’s teachers and support staff are made aware of the plan and implement the adjustments, support and interventions
- Review: the quality, effectiveness and impact of provision is evaluated with the cycle starting again at “Assess” once the updated needs of the pupil have been established.
The role of the Class teacher in SEN
We believe that all children learn best with the rest of their class. Therefore, pupils with identified SEN work alongside their peers as much as possible and are taught by their teacher. Class teachers are responsible for ensuring that all children have access to quality teaching and that the curriculum is adapted to meet your child’s individual needs (known as Quality First Teaching).
Where appropriate, teachers will adapt their classrooms and learning areas to ensure pupils with specific needs can access the curriculum.
Class Teachers have overall responsibility for pupil progress and next steps for learning. At times, teachers may direct Support Assistants to work with SEN pupils on a one to one or small group basis. The impact of these interventions is closely recorded and monitored by support staff in weekly records which are held by the class teacher.
Learning Support Assistants /Teaching Assistants
Teaching Assistants are directed by the inclusion manager or class teacher to support pupils with SEN when it is felt that this will improve outcomes for the student. This could take the form of planned small group or 1:1 interventions.
For pupils with very high or complex levels of SEN or disabilities, a teaching assistant may be directed to support an individual pupil for longer periods of the school day. However, Veritas Primary Academy aims for pupils to work as independently as possible and with a wide range of peers and adults so even pupils with such high levels of SEN or disabilities are included in classroom activities as much as possible.
HOW DOES THE SCHOOL MAINTAIN UP TO DATE SEN RECORDS?
Veritas Primary Academy manages its records of pupils requiring additional support on the academy’s SEN register and Monitoring register.
Which Pupils go on the SEN register?
- Pupils who have a diagnosed SEN or disability
- Pupils that have been monitored for 2 rounds or assess, plan, do and review with targets/expected outcomes but are not making progress
- Pupils that have external agencies involved
- Pupils that are in receipt of Additional Educational Needs funding
- Pupils with a Statement or Education Health Care Plan for SEN
- Pupils who are currently being referred for statutory assessment
- Pupils who have significantly low standardised scores in assessments for two or more areas of their learning.
These students require individual, laminated targets for each developmental area which are placed on desk. Additionally, learning plans for teachers, are to be shared with parents at termly parent consultations.
Which Pupils go on the Monitoring Register?
- Pupils whose attainment levels are just below the expected level after making reasonable adjustments for their learning and are not making any progress after a term.
- Pupils with low standardised scores in assessments for two or more areas
- Pupils who are currently undergoing early concern assessment by their teacher and whose concerns have been discussed with parents
If a pupil is monitored and continues to present concerns, they may then require additional support and to be placed on the SEN register.
Managing pupils needs on the SEN register
- Either through tracking or further assessments an area of need will be identified
- In discussion with parents, pupils will have an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) that will target a specific area. The plan will define what needs to be done, when and by whom
- SMART targets will be put in place to support the child to make progress
- ILPs will be reviewed termly, (or more regularly if the teacher feels targets are too easily met or not achievable) with the parent/carer and pupil and more targets will be decided upon if necessary
- A weekly record of work carried out will be kept in the teacher’s SEN file, this can be completed by whomever is working with the pupil and is reviewed termly by the academy’s SENCo
- Every pupil on the SEN Support Register has an individual SEN Support Record which includes more detailed information about the pupil, such as involvement of external agencies
- A ‘provision map’ of provision will be kept to show the type, length of time and impact of interventions carried out across the academy
- It is the teacher’s responsibility to maintain and keep up-to-date records and the SENCO’s role to oversee practice
- Should school be unable to meet the needs of the pupil through our own provision arrangements then we will seek support from outside agencies
The school receives funding to respond to the needs of pupils with SEND from a number of sources:A proportion of the funds allocated per pupil to the school to provide for their education (the Age Weighted Pupil Unit); The Notional SEN budget: The Pupil Premium funding for pupils who meet certain criteria. In addition, for those pupils with the most complex needs, the school may be allocated Additional Educational Needs funding.
This funding is then used to provide the equipment and facilities to support pupils with special educational needs and disabilities through:
- In-class support from teaching assistants
- Small group support from teaching assistants e.g. nurture groups, literacy and numeracy support
- Parent workshops
- Provision of specialist resources e.g. assessment software
- CPD relating to SEND for staff
- Bought in support from external agencies e.g. access arrangement assessment, speech and language support.
- Specialist support from teachers e.g. 1:1 tuition
- Individual pupils receiving Additional SEN Support will be monitored in line with the whole school assessment policy. Class teachers will consult with parents when reviewing progress and will inform parents of any additional support they can provide at home.
HOW DOES THE ACADEMY INVOLVE EXTERNAL AGENCIES WITH SEN?
Specialist Services and teachers with specialist qualifications may be called upon to provide intensive specific programmes to be followed by all adults coming into active learning situations with the child.
The view and opinion of parents/carers will be sought at this time.
External agencies which the school can make referrals to include:
- Special Educational Needs Service (SENSS)
- Behaviour Support Services
- Visual Impairment Team
- Educational Psychologist Service
- Physical and Disability Support Service
- Dyslexia Centre & Assessment
- Autism Outreach Team
- Hearing Impairment Team
- Social Services
- Educational Welfare Officers
- School Nurse
- CAMHS (Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service)
Once a professional from and external agency is involved in supporting a pupil, they may work with the pupil and the school in a variety of ways, including: supporting in class, observing and producing reports and recommendations, working 1:1 with the pupil on a regular basis for a specific amount of time and communicating all necessary information with both parents and the Academy.
For a very small percentage of pupils, whose needs are significant and complex and the special educational provision required to meet their needs cannot reasonably be provided from within the academy’s own resources, a request will be made to conduct an assessment of education, health and care needs. This may result in and Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan for the pupil being provided.
WHAT SUPPORT WILL THERE BE FOR THE OVERALL WELL BEING OF CHILDREN WITH SEN?
Veritas Primary Academy holds close links between parents/caregivers and the home environment through the family liaison officer.
The family liaison officer offers emotional and practical support through meetings in school and through home visits to any parent or caregiver with SEN children in school. Support can include benefit claims, accessing support groups, tips on behaviour as well as school nurse referrals.
Additionally, specialist learning mentors offer social, emotional and behavioural support to all students on a one to one basis, in small groups or on a whole class basis.
In managing the administration of medicines and providing personal care, the academy has detailed care plans which detail medicines specific to students with SEN which are administered by a trained first aider. Specific training is also given to support workers providing personal care with parents or care givers being involved to gain details and agree procedures to meet the pupil’s needs. This is also the case in creating Asthma care plans or in using epi-pens. Veritas Primary Academy strongly encourages student voice and for all of its SEN pupils to put forward ideas. Each class has a class representative who put forward the concerns of the class to Senior Leadership. Alongside this, class representatives are involved in school wide decisions which are based on student voice, including that of each classes SEN pupils.
HOW DOES THE SCHOOL SUPPORT PUPILS AND FAMILIES?
The concept of parents as partners is central to the SEN and Disability Code of Practice (2014) and is essential to ensuring that pupils achieve the best possible outcomes.
Parents will always be kept informed about their child’s progress at school and any significant difficulties will be made known to parents at the earliest stage by class teachers. Parents of pupils with SEN are encouraged to make informal arrangements with class teachers and the inclusion manager to discuss ongoing progress throughout the school year. This may include using a home-school diary to maintain ongoing communication.
Additionally, Veritas Primary Academy produce a Personal Learning Passport to encourage student voice in what they feel are their strengths, interests, what they like about school, what they find hard and what helps them to achieve. This is completed with the child and parent and is a guide for the class teacher to best support the pupil’s learning.
Parents are encouraged to attend more formal review meetings/parent consultations, where they will have the opportunity to discuss their child’s progress. They will also have the opportunity to discuss the Individual Learning Plan targets and how they will support them at home.
Parents are encouraged to look at the Staffordshire local offer (regulation 3a);
Links with other agencies to support the family and pupil can be found at;
Support services for parents of pupils with SEN include:
- Parent Partnership;
- If you have a general enquiry, would like to speak to one of the team or a parent wanting to request information and support please telephone 01785 356921 during office hours. Alternatively, email on email@example.com.
- Parent In The Know newsletters;
HOW ARE SCHOOL STAFF TRAINED TO SUPPORT PUPILS WITH SEN?
All of our teachers are trained to work with children with SEN.
Some are very experienced and others less so, but all have access to advice, information, resources and training to enable them to teach all children effectively. Part of the inclusion managers role is to identify any training staff may need in order to meet the needs of pupils with SEN.
Staff training takes place in a variety of ways including:
- Staff sharing good practice with each other (e.g. during staff meetings/phase meetings)
- Staff working alongside one another to improve practice (mentoring)
- Advice/training from our Specialist SEN Teachers (both planned opportunities and through staff ‘drop-ins’)
- Attending training courses
- External agencies leading staff meetings/LSA meetings on specific areas of SEN
HOW DOES THE SCHOOL DELIVER SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS WITH EMOTIONAL, SOCIAL AND MENTAL HEALTH DIFFICULTIES?
Whole school approach
Our ethos is to work in a positive learning climate where praise and celebration of all peers’ achievement is part of the daily routine.
In addition, positive reward strategies are used with all pupils such Bronze, Silver and Gold awards for achievement and weekly celebration assemblies. Veritas Primary Academy recognises that this system may not work for all pupils, and particularly for pupils where there are underlying emotional or mental health difficulties. Some pupils are therefore given individual rewards and consequence programs which cater more for their individual needs.
Class teachers will adapt their teaching to ensure that the needs of pupils with any emotional, social or behavioural difficulties are catered for.
This may include planning individual activities, adapting language, providing additional resources, allowing pupils ‘time-out’ or introducing individual rewards and consequences with more immediate results. Class teachers use the school’s PHSE curriculum to develop behaviour and social skills with the whole class or with small groups as appropriate. It is the class teacher’s responsibility to ensure that pupils with such difficulties make progress in line with their peers.
Learning Support Assistants /Teaching Assistants
Additional adults (TAs) may be used to deliver specific interventions for pupils with emotional, social or mental health difficulties.
This could be in the form of Wave 2 (small group) support such as Social Skills groups or in the form of Wave 3 (one-to-one) support such as specific emotional literacy programs. TAs may also be directed by class teachers to support pupils within the classroom or to contribute to any individual rewards and consequence programs.
Support from External Agencies
Veritas Primary Academy have two specialist SEN Teachers who visit monthly to advise and support school staff with planning provision for pupils with high levels of need.
For pupils with particularly high levels of need, the school will refer to other external agencies for additional advice and support. This will always be done through consultation with parents.
The external agencies that school may refer to include:
- Educational Psychologist
Veritas Primary Academy has a zero tolerance approach to bullying, especially towards children with SEND disabilities.
We will actively investigate all allegations and, if there is cause, work with both the bully and victim to improve their social skills
HOW HAVE WE MADE THE SCHOOL ACCESSIBLE TO PUPILS WITH SEN?
Veritas Primary Academy is disability friendly.
Corridors are wide, we have an elevator to the second floor and we have several easy access toilets which have been fully modified for students with disabilities. Should it be required, disabled showering and changing facilities are available to students. In the event of emergencies, Veritas Primary Academy has all the required resources to evacuate students safely from schools including evacuation chairs for students with physical disabilities.
All of our students have equal access to before school, lunchtime and after school clubs to promote engagement and interest in the curriculum.
Veritas Primary Academy also utilises external agencies which provide specialist support to students with auditory and visual difficulties. Currently, the academy support students with difficulties in both of these areas with hearing and speaking aids being in use as well as reading and typing resources for the visually impaired.
No child is excluded from a trip because due to SEN disability or medical needs. The academy involves parents and care givers in the planning process for such trips and gives maximum chance for attendance. When possible, Teachers will visit sites with adequate time ahead of trips to discuss alternative arrangements for SEN students.
HOW DOES THE SCHOOL SUPPORT PUPILS WHEN THEY ARE LEAVING THE SCHOOL?
We recognise that transition between year groups and between schools can be difficult for a child with SEN or disability and we take steps to ensure that any transition is as smooth as possible.
Transition to the Academy
- Parents visit the Academy for a school tour and are given a prospectus. A meeting is then arranged with a member of the Senior Leadership Team and Inclusion Manager who discuss how well suited the learning environment is to the SEN students’ needs as well as to answer any questions the parent or caregiver may have
- Reception aged students with Special Needs are encouraged to do a half day visit to experience the Reception environment
Transition to a new school
- We contact the school SENCO and discuss SEN arrangements or support that need to be made for your child
- If possible, we arrange additional visits to the new school (particularly when a child is moving from Year 6 to Year 7)
- We make sure that all records about your child are passed on as soon as possible, and remain in contact with the receiving school if necessary
- Student completes a reflection booklet on their learning which is passed on to parents for the student’s next school to review.
Transition to a new class
- Information is passed on to the new class teacher in advance and a planning meeting will take place with the new teacher
- For some pupils, additional visits to their new classroom will take place and a transition support book may be set up.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE A COMPLAINT ABOUT THE SCHOOL’S SEN PROVISION?
In all cases where a parent/care giver has concerns about an SEN matter, or in the instance that they may like to be more involved in the decision making process, we would encourage them to contact the head teacher in the first instance.
Parents may also write to the Chair of Governors
The school Complaints policy is available on request.
Key Staff with responsibility for pupils with SEND
- Mr M Flynn: Inclusion Manager
- Ms. Angela Kerr: Headteacher
- Mrs K Bailey: Family Liaison
To discuss any matters relating to SEN, please contact the school office to make an appointment on 01785333400 or firstname.lastname@example.org
REVIEWING THE SEN POLICY
The SEN policy will be reviewed annually by Governors.
Parent governors will be involved in this process