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Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEND) Information Report

SENco: Charlotte Ratcliffe

SEND Assistant:  Hayley Dance

SEND Link Governor: Barbara Sheldon

‘Everyone at Stoke Minster is special’


At StokeMinsterPrimary School we aim to provide a happy, friendly, safe, secure and stimulating environment where every child is valued, challenged and fully developed.  We aim to give all the children in our care, the skills and knowledge necessary for lifelong learning, to provide opportunities to encourage them to develop their potential and to grow as balanced individuals. Every teacher is a teacher of every child, including those with SEND. All are to be enabled to fully participate in all aspects of school life, to enjoy school and to be valued, to make good progress and to achieve the highest standards possible.

It is the aim of our SEND policy:

  • To meet the requirements of all pupils who may have SEND at any time during their school life at Stoke Minster;
  • To ensure that all children are included in all aspects of the curriculum;
  • To plan sharply differentiated activities to allow each child access to a broad and balanced curriculum;
  • To ensure pupil progress is recorded, monitored and reviewed regularly;
  • To ensure pupil participation.


Our objectives:

  • To identify and provide for pupils who have special educational needs and additional needs.
  • To work within the guidance provided in the SEND Code of Practice 2014.
  • To operate a ‘whole pupil, whole school approach’ to the management and provision of support for special educational needs.
  • To provide a Special Educational Needs Coordinator  (SENco) who will work with the SEND Inclusion Policy.
  • To provide support and advice for all staff working with special educational needs and disabilities.


We recognise and value the essential role that parents play in their child’s progress.  It is our continued aim therefore, that parents are consulted about the requirements of their child and are involved in the formation of any strategies that are put into place.


Roles and Responsibilities of the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENco)

The SENco is responsible for the implementation of the Special Educational Needs Policy and coordination of provision made to support individual children with SEND.  The SENco liaises with staff to monitor the pupil’s progress and plan further interventions and support when progress is slower than expected.


What is the Local Offer?
The Local Offer was first introduced in the Green Paper (March 2011) as a local offer of all services available to support disabled children and children with SEN and their families. This easy to understand information will set out what is normally available in schools to help children with lower-level SEN as well as the options available to support families who need additional help to care for their child.

What will it do?
•    The Local Offer will provide parents/carers with information about how to access services in their area, and what they can expect from those services. With regard to Education, it will let parents/ carers and young people know how school and colleges will support them, and what they can expect across the local settings. During the last year, the Local Offer Steering Group has developed questions for schools, and trialled them with a small number of settings.
•    There are 17 questions (please see below), devised in consultation with parents/carers and other agencies, which reflect their concerns and interests. These will be answered by agencies, schools and colleges to provide information to parents and carers to enable them to make decisions about how to best support their child’s needs.

What kinds of SEND does the school provide for?
Stoke Minster Primary School accomodates all SEND in line with the Equality Act 2010 and provision is made available in all four areas of need outlined in the 2014 SEND Code of Practice.
The areas of need are:
Communication and Interaction- for example, where children and young people have speech, language and communication difficulties which make it difficult to make sense of language or to understand how to communicate effectivelty and approriately with others.
Cognition and Learning-for example, where children and young people learn at a slower pace than others their age, have difficulty in understanding parts of the curriculum, have difficulties with organisation and memory skills, or have a specific difficulty affecting one particular part of their learning performance such as in literacy or numeracy.
Social, emotional and mental heath difficulties-for example, where children and young people have difficulty in managing their relationships with other people, are withdrawn, or if they behave in ways that may hinder their or other children's learning, or have an impact on their health and wellbeing.
Sensory and/or physical needs-for example, children and young people with visual and/or hearing impairments, or a physical need that means they must have additional ongoing support and equipment.

How does this setting know if their children/young person needs extra help and what should I do if I think my child/young person may have special educational needs?
The SEN Code of Practice (2014) states that a child has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made. We aim to identify children who need extra help as early as possible in their school life so that we can put in necessary interventions to support their learning. 
Stoke MInster Primary School knows that a child needs extra help if;
•    concerns are raised by parents/carers, teachers, teaching assistants or the pupil's previous school
•    there is lack of expected progress or attainment
•    there is a change in the pupil's behaviour
•    a pupil asks for help
We use baseline tests in FS1 and ongoing assessments to monitor progress throughout the early years, enabling us to identify children who need extra help. Throughout KS1 and KS2 we use standardised tests to assess and monitor children’s progress in reading, spelling and receptive language plus a test in decoding skills for reading. Progress is also carefully monitored in reading, writing and maths through our school’s tracking system. 
If you have concerns that your child may have special educational needs then please in the first instance contact your child's teacher, Miss Dance the Assistant SENCo or Mrs Morris the SENCo.

 How will the setting support my child/young person?
All children will have access to quality first teaching from their class teacher.
•    Each pupil's education program will be planned by the class teacher and reviewed half termly. It will be differentiated accordingly to suit the pupil's individual needs.This may include additional general support by the teacher or teaching assistant in class.
•    If a pupil has needs related to more specific areas of their eductaion, such as spelling, handwriting, numeracy and literacy skills etc. specific interventions will be used to support them. The interventions will be regularly reviewed by the Assistant SENCo/SENCo to asecrtain the effectiveness of the provision to inform furture planning.
•    Occasionally a pupil may need more expert support from an external agency such as Speech and Language Therapy, Hearing, CAHMS etc. Referral forms are then forwarded to the most appropriate agency. After a series of assessments, a program of support is usually provided to the school and parents/carers.

How will teaching approaches and the curriculum be matched to my child or young person's needs?
Personalised learning means that we plan lessons that take into account children’s difficulties and thus ensure access to a broad and balanced curriculum for all children.
When a pupil has been identified with a special educational need their work will be differentiated by the class teacher to enable them to acces the curriculum.
Teaching Assistants may be allocated to work with the pupil in a 1:1 or small focus group to target more specific needs.

How will both you and I know how my child/young person is doing and how will you help me to support their learning?
We will monitor all children’s progress and set high expectations no matter what their prior attainment. You will be kept informed of your child’s progress at termly meetings. A Passport , created with information from parents, child and teacher, will include all the ways that we at school, and you as parents, can help and support your child’s learning.
There will be monthly parent/carer afternoons to allow time to meet with the SEND team and discuss any concerns or talk about ways to support your child's learning at home. We will also have practical sessions where you can work with your child alongside the SEND team doing a range of activities.

What support will there be for my child's/young person's overall wellbeing?
Your child’s Passport will include suggestions and strategies to support his/her overall wellbeing including the naming of a significant adult to talk to. The class teacher can ask for our Home/School Links Worker to talk to both you and your child and she can seek advice from the school nurse and make a referral for counselling should the need arise. We have a strong PHSCE and Christian ethos in school and adults listen to children’s concerns and take them seriously. We have children trained as Play Leaders and Peer Mediators on the playground and have two Learning Support Assistants who will shortly be trained in delivering Restorative Justice conferences with children. We focus on the positive: kindness, attendance as well as attitude to learning and achievement are all celebrated.

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the setting?
The school has Dyslexia Friendly Schools Level 1 status. Staff are experienced and can spot dyslexia type difficulties from quite a young age. We have some staff who have had experience of teaching children with ASD, with support and advice from specialist services, and they too can spot the symptoms displayed by children. In such cases they will always speak to the SENCO for advice. Early Years practitioners are trained to use speech and language interventions such as the Social use of Language (SULP) programme and Spirals. Two HLTAs are skilled in delivering Talking Partners which helps to develop spoken language. We have support and advice from the Special Educational Needs & Disability Service (SEND) who can carry out specialist assessments to help us support children with ASD, dyslexia and speech, language and communication needs. We also have regular visits from our Educational Psychologist who will assess and put in an appropriate programme of support. The school nurse can make referrals for medical and emotional needs and children can be referred to Child and Adult Mental Health Services (CAMHs) should parents need their support.

What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND have had or are having?
All staff have had dyslexia and ASD awareness training. Learning Support Assistants have had training in reading and spelling programmes as well as specific programmes to support dyslexia type difficulties. Future training is planned for a refresher in spelling strategies and phonics and Better Reading Partnership training.
How will my child/young person be included in activities outside this classroom including school trips?
All children are fully included in all activities both inside and outside the school. This may mean an allocated adult to support your child on a school trip if this is needed. In some instances, parents could be invited to come along.
Risk assessments are carried out and procedures are put in place to enable all children to participate.

How accessible is the environment?
The building is fully wheelchair accessible with ramps and a lift from KS1 to KS2. Interactive whiteboards are tinted to reduce glare and visual stress. All classes have access to a timetabled IT suite and there are a bank of iPads and notebooks that can be used throughout the school.

How will the setting prepare and support my child/young person to join the next stage of education and life?
At Stoke Minster Primary School we aim to ensure that pupil's transition is as smooth as possible, we use strategies such as:
•    Whole school Transition Days where each class spend the afternoon with their new class teacher.
•    Secondary school staff visit pupils prior to them joining their new school.
•    Meetings between SENCo and the SENCo from the secondary school to pass on information regarding SEN pupils.
•    Where a pupil may have more specialised needs, a separate meeting is arraged with the class teacher, the school SENCo, the secondary school SENCo, the parent/carers and where appropriate the pupil.

How are the setting's resources allocated and matched to children's/young people's special educational needs?
The school’s resources enable staff to receive training to support all children in their learning and enables school to purchase specific resources, when required. The funding we receive through the National SEND budget is used to provide the facilities to support pupils with SEND through:
•    In-class support from teaching assistants (TAs)
•    Small group support from TAs e.g. literacy & maths support
•    Specialist support from TAs e.g. Talking Partners
•    Provision of specialist resources e.g. assessment tools
•    Training relating to SEND for all staff.

How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?
The decision is made through a process of consultation where a mutually agreed decision will be reached to decide the type and frequency of support given to each individual pupil.
For pupils with SEND but without a Statement/Education Health Care Plan (EHC), the decision regarding the support required will be taken jointly between the class teacher, SENco and Senior Leadership Team, in conjunction with parents. They are reviewed termly, with decisions being based upon tracking of pupil progress and as a result of assessments made, including those by outside agencies.
For children with a Statement/EHC, this decision will be reached when the plan is being produced, or through the annual review.

How will our child and young person be involved in the decisions about their learning?
All pupils are encouraged to participate fully in the life of the school.
Pupils are involved in the development of their own Pupil Passport's. The pupils give their opinion on how the school can support their learning and how they themselves can support their learning both in school and at home.
Pupils are aware of their targets and know what they have to do to improve. Support is tailored to their individual needs.
Pupils are also encouraged to talk to their teacher if they have any questions or worries about their learning.
If your child does not want to or struggles to share their feelings verbally, they can write or draw their worry and put it into the school's Worry Box.

How will we be involved in the decisions about the learning of our children and young people?
If your child has a special need or disability we will:
•    Talk to you about your child's difficulties in learning or disability to understand their needs.
•    Invite you into school to develop your child's Pupil Passport and to discuss any targets set by the class teacher.
•    Talk to you about the range of programmes we have in school to help children who need extra support in an area of their learning and/or development.
•    We also hold 'Open Afternoons' where you can raise any questions or concerns and meet/talk with other parents over a cup of tea. The open afternoons are held in school with the SENCo, Assistant SENCo and the SEN lead in KS1. The sessions give you the chance to talk to the SEN Team about your child's learning or if needed, an appointment can be made for you to meet with a representative from the SEN Team to discuss further. Some of the sessions will be practical and will involve your child, giving you the opportunity to work together.

How are parents involved in the setting? How can I be involved?
Parents are actively encouraged to be part of our community and to be part of children’s progress and learning. Parents are encouraged to come into school to hear readers.
Parents are also invited to our SEND open afternoons which take place monthly. Letters will be sent home in advance with your child to invite you along to our open afternoons.
What do I do if I want to make a complaint?
As stated in our Complaints Policy, if you are concerned about anything to do with the education/support that we are providing for your child at school, you should in the first instance, discuss the matter with your child's class teacher. Most matters of concern can be dealt with in this way. All teachers work very hard to ensure that each child is happy at school, and are making good progress; they always want to know if there is a problem, so that they can take action before the problem seriously affects the child's progress.
If you feel that a situation has not been resolved through contact with the class teacher, or that your concern is of a sufficiently serious nature, you should make an appointment to discuss it with the Headteacher. The Headteacher considers any such complaint very seriously and investigates each case thoroughly. Most complaints are normally resolved at this stage.
Should you have a complaint about the Headteacher, you should first make an informal approach to one of the members of the governing body, who is obliged to investigate it. The governor in question will do all s/he can to resolve the issue through a dialogue with the school, but if you are unhappy with the outcome, you can make a formal complaint, as outlined below.
Only if an informal complaint fails to resolve the matter should a formal complaint be made to the Governing Body. This complaint must be made in writing, stating the nature of the complaint and how the school has handled it so far. You should send this written complaint to the Chair of Governors.
The Governing Body must consider all written complaints within three weeks of receipt. It arranges a meeting to discuss the complaint, and invites you (the person making the complaint) to attend the meeting, so that you can explain your complaint in more detail. The school gives you at least three day’s notice of the meeting.
After hearing all the evidence, the governors consider their decision and inform you about it in writing. The governors do all they can at this stage to resolve the complaint to your satisfaction.

What other support Is available to parents and how can I contact them?
SEND Information, Advice & Support Service (SENDIASS)
Tel: (01782) 234701 or 234847
E-mail: iass@stoke.gov.uk
Web: www.sendiass-stoke.co.uk
Stoke-on-Trent Safeguarding Children Board
Tel: (01782) 235100
E-mail: co-operativeworking.enquiries@stoke.gov.uk
Web: http://www.safeguardingchildren.stoke.gov.uk/ccm/portal/
Special Educational Needs Assessment and Monitoring Service (SENMAS)
Tel: (01782) 232740
email: SENMAS@stoke.gov.uk




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