- What provision is there for pupils with special educational needs?
- Admission arrangements.
- How does the school know if pupils need extra help?
- Our approach to teaching children with SEN.
- Monitoring and Evaluation of SEN.
- How will I and my child be involved in making decisions about and planning for my child’s education?
- What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?
- What training is available to staff supporting pupils with SEND?
- What Specialist services are available within, or accessible to the school?
- How will the school support my child through transition?
- Information on further support and guidance.
What provision is there for pupils with special educational needs?
A child is defined as having SEN if he or she has a learning difficulty, which calls for a special educational provision, namely a provision different from or additional to that normally available to pupils of the same age. A learning difficulty means that the child has significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age; or, that the child has a disability, which hinders them from making use of educational facilities from those generally provided by schools for children of the same age, within the same area.
At Tor School we are able to cater for pupils from KS1-KS4. As an alternative provision (AP) we have the flexibility to work with pupils in a variety of ways that support and enable them to engage with school successfully. In addition to a pupil attending school in one of our 4 various provisions, we also have the capacity to deliver outreach teaching, working with pupils at home whilst supporting their progress back into school.
As a fully inclusive school, Tor school provides education to those pupils for whom mainstream school is too great a challenge at that moment in time and/or have complex needs. We also work with pupils who have been out of education for a period of time to try and engage them so that they can once again attend school. As a result the school operates a personalised curriculum designed to cater for the pupil’s need that covers the 4 areas outlined below. Many of our pupils may have a broad spectrum of complex needs that fall across some or all of these areas.
The Code of Practice (2015) provides an overview of the range of needs, which is divided into 4 broad areas. These areas are:
- Communication and Interaction – these children have a difficulty in communicating with others. This may be because they have difficulty saying what they want to, understanding what is being said to them or they do not understand or use social rules of communication. They may also experience difficulties with language, communication and imagination, which can impact on how they relate to others.
- Cognition and Learning – children with learning difficulties learn at a slower pace than their peers, even with appropriate differentiation. Learning difficulties cover a wide range of needs and are grouped as moderate learning difficulties (MLD). Specific learning difficulties (SpLD), affect one or more specific aspects of learning, such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia.
- Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties – Social, emotional and mental health difficulties-children may experience a wide range of social and emotional difficulties which manifest themselves in many ways. These may include becoming withdrawn or isolated, as well displaying challenging, disruptive or disturbing behaviour. These behaviours may reflect underlying mental health difficulties such as anxiety or depression, self-harming, eating disorders or physical symptoms that are medically unexplained. Other children may have disorders such as attention deficit disorder
- Sensory and or Physical Needs – some children require special educational provision because they have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of the educational facilities generally provided. Many children with vision impairment (VI), hearing impairment (HI) or a multi-sensory impairment (MSI) will require specialist support and /or equipment to access their learning.
School staff support pupils at a level appropriate to their needs through effective personalisation in the classroom whilst linking to and being mindful of their Tor Learning Plan (the Tor school version of an Individual Education Plan). This is constantly reviewed as the pupil makes progress.
Pupils requiring more specific intervention to access the curriculum may be supported in a range of ways, for example:
- Individual or small group literacy and numeracy programmes
- Evidence based interventions
- Individual or small group social and emotional development programmes
- In class support
- Individual programmes to meet specific needs
Entry and access to Tor school is through the Panel for Excluded and Vulnerable Pupils. Permanently excluded pupils and referrals for vulnerable pupils are discussed by the Panel for Excluded and Vulnerable Pupils (PEVP). This panel is a group of professionals and inclusion teams, who decide on the most appropriate course of action. Julie Wigley is the Access Liaison Officer who works with schools communicating information about pupils who have been excluded and may be at risk of Permanent Exclusion.
How does the school know if pupils need extra help?
Pupils that attend Tor School are referred by a local panel called PEVP. The mainstream school that the pupil leaves provides Tor school with the SEN transfer information, detailing all identification, assessment and intervention information. Upon transition, pupils with identified needs will be supported through liaison meetings with parents, key staff from both settings and support agencies. An individual support plan of transition will be created to ensure a successful move is achieved.
Whilst at the Tor School, the monitoring and identification of SEN is ongoing and is embedded in the whole school process of monitoring the progress and development of all pupils. We recognise the benefits of early identification and making effective provision in improving the long-term outcomes for children with SEN. We strongly believe the purpose of identification is to work out what action the school needs to take, not to fit the pupil into a category. It is also important to identify the full range of needs, not simply the primary need of an individual pupil and we are acutely aware of underlying issues that impact on engagement and outcomes. Initial assessment and the ongoing review of a pupils need is completed regularly through using:
- Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire
- THRIVE assessment
- Screening for reading and spelling
- Cognitive Ability Tests
- Teacher feedback
- Parental concerns
- Pupil concerns
- Concerns from other staff such as Adolescent support workers, school nurse, Teaching Assistants
More thorough personalised diagnostic testing is completed in-house or through engagement with outside agencies when required.
How will I and my child be involved in making decisions about and planning for my child’s education?
At Tor school we believe in a person centred approach to information gathering and planning using the cycle of ‘assess, plan, do, review.’
Parents and pupils are fully included in this process and all input is valued.
The process includes:
- Initial visit to school
- Introductory meetings
- Parent/carer and key worker meetings every 6-8 weeks
- Planning meetings may also include other professionals that are able to support
Our Approach to Teaching Children with SEN (including adapting the learning environment/curriculum):
Our approach to teaching pupils with SEN focuses on the individual and their need, not a label that may have been attached to them. We take a holistic approach, looking at all aspects of the child’s education and follow best practice guidelines in the provision of our services. We talk to all those concerned, sometimes organising a meeting, to get together and agree the best way to support the child and meet their goals. All teachers are teachers of SEN and we believe strongly that the quality of the teaching and taking an understanding and supportive holistic approach is a major factor in meeting the needs of our pupils.
Monitoring and evaluation of SEN
The SENCO and the head teacher regularly monitor and evaluate the quality of provision for all SEN pupils. The school aims to use interventions in school that have proven outcomes and are evidence based. The impact of SEN provision on the progress and outcomes for children on the SEN register is measured through:
- analysis of pupil tracking data and test results at pupil progress meetings
- progress against comparative data and based on their age and starting points.
- interventions baseline and exit data
- progress against individual targets
- pupils’ work and interviews
The Staff and SENCO maps provision for each pupil. Decisions are made as to whether specific interventions are proving to be effective in terms of impact and time spent on them for each pupil. Each year we review our provision offer and plan accordingly for the short, medium and long developing picture of need.
What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?
We are passionate about education and of meeting the needs of children so that they can succeed in a way that relates to them as young people. Many of our pupils have SEMH needs and we pride ourselves in our ability to meet the SEMH needs and wellbeing needs of our pupils. Many of the pupils we work with have attachment difficulties that make it hard for them to engage in mainstream education. We take a holistic approach that directly looks at the wellbeing of our pupils and the attachment issues that may underpin some of theirs behaviours. As a school we have adolescent support workers, parent & family support workers that work in house and we also have very good relationships with other supports agencies that we regularly use to enable us to support our pupils fully.
What training is available to staff supporting pupils with SEND?
Training needs are identified in response to the needs of pupils we work with and through staff training records.
School staff have specific training and expertise in many areas such as: speech and language, literacy and numeracy interventions, supporting pupils with ASD, dyslexia, any many more. The school operates regular staff training sessions on key aspects of Special Educational Needs teaching. These are carried out by the SENCO or other members of the school, each with specialist knowledge and expertise in this area.
The SENCO attends network meetings and regularly has input at staff training.
In addition there is regular training in
- Child Protection (Safeguarding)
- First Aid awareness e.g. use of epi-pen, asthma awareness, epilepsy awareness
- Disability Awareness
- Great personlised Teaching
- Social and emotional training
- Team-teach training is updated annually
What Specialist services are available within, or accessible to the school?
We as the Tor School have very strong relationships with outside agencies as well and host of specialist services within the school itself.
- Testing, and support for Specific Learning Difficulties such as Dyslexia and Dyscalculia
- Speech and Language support
- Staff have experience and training of working with pupils with general learning difficulties, Dyslexia, Autism, Sensory Impairments and behavioural difficulties
- Parent Family Support Worker
- Adolescent support workers
- Careers Advisors
External services that the school can use to support pupils and families:
- Educational Psychology
- Advisory Teacher Support Services- Learning Support; Language and Communication; Sensory; Physical Impairment and Medical Support Team (PIMST)
- Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)
- Educational Welfare Service (attendance)
- School Nurses
- English as an Additional Language team
- Integrated Therapy Services, including Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy
- Get Set (Early Help)
- Children’s Social Care
How will the school support my child through transition?
As a school, Tor school has excellent links with all the providers locally, and has a strong tradition of supporting pupils to be able to engage with education pre 16 and then support transition to post 16 education. In joining the school, the key worker will visit and meet with the pupil and in conjunction with the mainstream school plan transition package that should allow for a successful move to Tor School. As pupils’ progress through the school they are given a vast amount of support from the schools post 16 advisor, who will personalise support and will ensure all pupils have individual transition programmes.
Should you have any questions regarding Special Educational Needs at the Tor School then please contact the school SENDCO, Matthew Hill: phone number 01458 258296, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information on further support and guidance:
Somerset County Council SEN local offer
The Local Offer provides information on the services available for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) aged between 0 to 25 in Somerset and how to access them.
Special educational needs and disability: a guide for parents and carers.
‘Getset’ is the early help and support for children, young people and their families in Somerset.
Written by: Matthew Hill
Review Date: September 2019