What does SEND mean and what is the 'school offer'?
SEND stands for Special Educational Needs and Disability.
- All children are individuals and their abilities in each area of the curriculum vary across a wide spectrum.
- There are situations where a child’s needs are such that it is difficult for a class teacher to provide appropriately for them without additional and/or specialist support. This is usually when a child is described as having ‘special educational needs’.
- All schools have a duty to be accessible and inclusive for the children within their community. It is our job to support parents in providing the best possible education for children. For the vast majority of children that will be through attending their local mainstream school.
- There are four broad areas of need within SEND: Cognition and Learning Needs Communication and Interaction Needs Social, Emotional and Mental Health Needs Sensory and/ or Physical Needs
- We do not ‘fit’ a pupil into a category, but rather provide support based on their particular area/s of need as stated in the Code of Practice: “These four broad areas give an overview of the range of needs that should be planned for. The purpose of identification is to work out what action the school needs to take, not to fit a pupil into a category. In practice, individual children or young people often have needs that cut across all these areas and their needs may change over time. For instance, speech, language and communication needs can also be a feature of a number of other areas of SEND, and children and young people with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) may have needs across all areas, including particular sensory requirements. The support provided to an individual should always be based on a full understanding of their particular strengths and needs and seek to address them all using well-evidenced interventions targeted at their areas of difficulty and where necessary specialist equipment or software
- For a small number of children their needs may be better met at an alternative setting. In those circumstances we have a role to support parents in identifying and accessing what is best for their child.
What should I do if I think that my child may have special educational needs?
- If your child is already attending Begbrook Primary Academy, then your first point of contact should be your child’s class teacher. Teachers are available at the end of the day so this is often a good time to arrange an appointment.
- If your concerns cannot be addressed by the class teacher or your child has not yet joined us at Begbrook please ask to speak to Caroline Clark who is our SENDCO (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator). To contact the SENDCO please call us on 0117 903 0386 or email – [email protected]
How does school know if my child needs extra help?
- If a child needs something more than is available through normal classroom practice then they can be described as having special educational needs. This covers a wide range of needs from a child struggling to make good progress in reading or maths to social, speech or physical difficulties.
- If your child is new to school and they have needs that have already been identified, then information and assessments will come from the previous setting. A transition meeting may be arranged which will include you.
- If your child is not making the same progress as other children and we feel that your child has SEND then we will assess and plan what action needs to be taken. Assessment may include classroom observations, formal assessments, meetings with your child’s class teacher and consultations with you and your child. From this, we may involve outside professionals for advice. We will keep you informed at each stage.
How will Begbrook support my child?
- The role of the class teacher is fundamental to any additional needs being met. They will use ongoing lesson assessments to create appropriate lesson plans, seating plans and work.
- Quality First Teaching includes differentiation, target setting and personalised learning. Your child’s class teacher will use a range of strategies and resources to enable your child to access to the curriculum. In all classes, teachers will support learning at different levels and different rates.
- Regular meetings will be held between the class teacher and parents to share progress. The SENCo may also be involved in these meetings.
- Some children may take part in a formal intervention programme supporting their area of need. If your child takes part in one of these programmes you will be updated and given ideas about how you can support at home.
- Following assessment and planning, children with SEND will have targeted, personalised plans created which will outline their needs, any health & safety risks, and strategies that work well when teaching or supporting them.
- Where a child needs further support to access learning, we may seek support from outside agencies. This may include training, advice, case conferences and interventions. It may also be appropriate for your child to learn alongside trained Learning Support Assistants individually or as part of a small group.
How will both you and I know how my child is doing?
- There will be meetings with the class teacher to review progress as required.
- Children identified as having SEND are set targets linked to their individual need. These targets are recorded and reviewed regularly.
- Teachers may discuss any child causing them concern with their parents on a more frequent basis. The SENCo is available at parents’ evenings to speak to parents children on the SEND register.
- For pupils with an Education and Health Care Plan, there is a statutory requirement to meet each year for an ‘annual review’ of the child’s needs.
- You may wish to contact the class teacher or SENDCO via email. We also contact parents via parentmail – please ensure that the academy has your up-to-date email address and mobile phone for this.
- Students with high need SEN may be assigned a 1:1 Teaching Assistant for specific periods in the day. There may also be a learning mentor who will take the role of liaising with parents, meeting with the child more frequently, attending meetings and generally being an ambassador for the child in school.
What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing?
- All the schools in the Cabot Learning Federation provide nurture support and develop emotional resilience.
- All schools have designated first aiders and a procedure for administrating prescribed medications. We have access to the School Nursing Service and CAMHS. We also contact First Response should there be a need to access a variety of other support services.
- Pupils’ views are sought, listened to and acted upon wherever possible.
- There are many adults in school available to support your child’s pastoral needs: Our Principal (Miss Counsell), Vice Principal (Miss Adams), Assistant Principal (Mrs Horner), the SENDCo (Miss Clark), and LSAs. Certain students may also be referred to for help from our Learning mentor (Mr England). Begbrook also has a supportive teaching team and lunchtime supervising team who all have the children’s happiness as one of their key priorities.
- In our academy, the class teacher is the first port of call for all discussion about your child. They will discuss any concerns with appropriate members of staff.
- We have a clear behaviour policy (available on this website) and access to behaviour specialists for support and advice when needed, e.g. access to outreach provision.
- Children have access to key workers, teaching assistants or learning mentors in order to support them in voicing their views.
Which other services and outside agencies are available to the school?
- Begbrook have access to an Educational Psychologist, a speech and language specialist, behaviour specialists and other therapeutic services.
- We also have access to services provided by the local authority e.g. BAT (Bristol Autism Team), Sensory support service, Learning Improvement Team, Behaviour Improvement Team and Early Years Inclusion Team.
- The school also works with health professionals such as speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, Primary Mental Health Nurse, School Nurse and Child and Adolescent mental health services (CAMHS). These can be accessed through the health care team via your GP or through the school nurse.
What training has the staff supporting children with SEND had or are they having?
- SENDCos are qualified and regularly complete training and research in order to develop their knowledge and practice. We collaborate within the Federation and with other Bristol SENDCOs to share and form best practice. Our SENDCO has successfully completed The National Award for Special Educational Needs coordination.
- As part of the ongoing professional development process that happens within school, each member of the Begbrook staff team is encouraged to identify training needs early on in the school year and then plans put in place to achieve that during the year. This may include visiting other schools, attending local training, inviting in specialists or being a part of whole-school training.
- Many staff undertake further training to develop their skills across a variety of aspects of school life.
- In our academy, we have Teaching Assistants and other staff with specialist knowledge in supporting children with Attachment Disorder, Autism, Hearing impairments, physical needs, Literacy, Numeracy, PSHE (personal, social, health education) and trained Thrive Practitioners. If your child has specific needs where teaching staff need extra training, this will take place and specialists will be involved where necessary.
How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom, including school trips?
- We assess the risks for individual children and operate an inclusive policy to maximise access for all children.
- We have regular educational visits as well as people coming into school to support topic areas. There is one residential trip in year 6. All children, including those with SEND are given the opportunity to come.
- We provide any support that is required for full inclusion as we choose visits that are accessible to all. You are encouraged to join and support the school and your child on some trips and visits.
How accessible is the academy environment?
- Begbrook is accessible to students and parents with physical limitations and/or mobility impairments.
- We have disabled parking areas from which people can enter the school.
- All rooms are at ground level and are wide enough to allow wheelchair access.
- Disabled toilets and walk in shower/changing areas are available around school.
- Most classrooms benefit from acoustic tiling to support those with hearing impairments.
How does Begbrook support its pupils when it’s time for them to move class or to leave the school?
- We will ask you and the current school if your child has any additional needs prior to your child joining us at Begbrook. Some children may benefit from a home visit too.
- Where your child’s needs have already been identified by a previous setting, then we will liaise with them. You may also be invited to a transition meeting with both schools.
- We recognise that there are children who find yearly transition tricky and these are provided with extra support as appropriate to their needs. Parents will be fully involved and we value your input at any point in this process.
- Reception age children starting school for the first time will have a ‘meet the teacher’ session before the September start and a home visit canbe arranged for children starting with SEND – the SENDCo will liaise with you on this. The SENDCo will attend any meetings with nursery where needed.
- For children moving on to Secondary school, there will be opportunities for them to visit their new school. The SENCo will liaise with the new setting. If the child is on our SEND register, then additional meetings can be arranged in advance. SENDCos from the secondary schools will be invited to the appropriate Annual Review to prepare the student for the transition.
- Should your child leave our school before the end of year 6, we will work with you and their new school in ensuring that your child’s needs are understood.
How are the academy’s resources allocated and matched to children’s young people’s SEN?
- Schools receive funding for all children including those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and their needs are met from this, including equipment. The Local Authority may contribute more funding if the cost of meeting an individual child’s additional needs is more than £10 000 a year.
- High Quality First Teaching is the first step in responding to pupils on our SEND register. The assessment and planning will inform what interventions will support the classroom teaching. This will be reviewed termly.
- If progress is still not as expected, despite a suitable period of appropriate and effective support and interventions, then specialists will be involved. The impact of their advice will be monitored.
- If progress is still not being made, despite ‘relevant and purposeful action’, then we will consider requesting an Education, Health and Care assessment which will be reviewed annually. This process will take a minimum of 20 weeks to implement. Throughout this process, you will be involved.
- If your child qualifies for an Education, Health and Care plan (ECHP), the assessment of your child’s needs identifies something that is significantly different from what is usually available, there may be additional funding allocated. You will be told if this means you are eligible for a personal budget and this must be used to fund the agreed plan. For students who have an EHCP, our focus is that their needs are met and their objectives worked on. This is often better achieved by pooling resources e.g. running interventions for small groups.
How are parents involved in the academy?
- We are a child and family centred school, so you can be involved in the decision making about your child’s support – you should arrange to talk to your child’s teacher to discuss any concerns. We will discuss with you whether your child’s understanding and behaviour are the same at school and at home and will take this into account when determining how to help your child make progress.
- In some cases, we make an arrangement with parents to have a home – school book to support your child’s learning.
- We hold review meetings for children on the SEND register and in some cases, where appropriate, hold a formal annual review where you are expected to attend and give your views. Teachers and parents are encouraged to have as many informal conversations as are necessary to help progress your child’s learning.
- We have an active PTFA and actively encourage parents to volunteer in the school.
- We set homework weekly for children to repeat and practise activities that are new and present an achievable challenge for the individual pupil. Support is also available if you wish to understand more about how to help you child at home. Please ask to speak with the adults working with your child or look out for parent information evenings.
Who can I contact for more information?
Your first point of contact should be your child’s class teacher. You may find it helpful to arrange an appointment with them.
You may also wish to contact : –
- Caroline Clark – SENDCo & Designated Teacher for LAC – [email protected]
- Tel – 0117 903086
SEND and You (parent advice group) – www.supportiveparents.org.uk – 0117 989 7725
Who can I speak to if I have a complaint?
- The SENDCO is available to talk about any issues. Parents can make an appointment to by contacting school on 0117 903 0386.
- The Principal is also always willing to meet with parents if they have a complaint or concern.
- Parents are able to refer any unresolved issues to the chair of the Academy Council who can be contacted in writing through the school.
- The Local Authority provides a service for parents of special needs children who need support to resolve problems through the Parent Partnership Service. (Tel. 0117 303 5004)
- If you still feel the issues are unresolved, the Principal will arrange a meeting with the Chair of the Academy Council. Please contact the school for this to be arranged.
- If your concern is with the local authority, then please contact the school or SEND and You.
- SOS SEND run local drop ins and have an advice line for issues around provision and EHCP. https://sossen.org.uk/
How can I find out about the Local Authority’s ‘Local Offer’ for pupils with special needs?
The LA’s ‘Local Offer’ will provide parents with information about all the arrangements and services available throughout Bristol for children with any type of special need or disability. This can be accessed via the following link.
Please see the below for information on how to help support your child.
The South Glos Way Inclusion Toolkit