Special Educational Needs or Disability Information Report


Introduction

Welcome to the Special Educational Needs or Disability Information Report for Gorseland Primary School. This report forms part of the Suffolk Local Offer for Special Educational Needs and Disability. As a school we think it is important that parents and cares have access to this information.  We have a legal duty to publish this information and to review it annually.


What is the Local Offer?

Following the Children and Families Act (2104), the Special Education Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years (2104) became effective from the 1st September 2014. From this date, Local Authorities and schools are required to publish information about services they expect to be available to support children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. The Local Authority refers to this as the ‘Local Offer’. Our Local Authority is Suffolk County Council.

The purpose of the Local Offer is to provide choice and transparency for families. It will be an important resource for parents in understanding the range of services and provision in the local area and should support them in making informed choices and decisions.

The Suffolk Local Offer can be found on the Access Unlimited Website.


What is the Special Educational Needs or Disability Information Report?

The Special Educational Needs and Disability Information Report is specific to the school and includes information regarding the provision for pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disability that is available at that school. The School Special Educational Needs and Disability Information Report forms part of the Local Authority’s Local Offer.


Gorseland Primary School Special Educational Needs or Disability Report

Our school is committed to formulating and following a policy for Special Educational Needs or Disability that meets the requirements of the new Special Educational Needs or Disability Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years.

Following consultation, this updated version of our Special Educational Needs or Disability Information Report provides an outline of the provision and support available at our school to meet the needs of pupils with Special Educational Needs and disabilities.  For further information please also see Gorseland SEND policy.

 

Updated: Nov 2015

To be reviewed: Autumn 2016
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities FAQs

Who are the key school staff that I may need to speak to about my child’s needs?

In the first instance, contact your child’s class teacher as they work with your child on a daily basis.  Other key school staff include:

Head teacher            Mr. Darron Jackson

Deputy Head            Mrs.  Nicky Ling

 

Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo)                    Mrs. Nicky Ling

Family Liaison Officer                                                                     Mrs. Delma Kirkpatrick

Specialist Support Centre Leader                                                 Mrs. Rachel Wallace

Early Years Leader (Nursery & Year 1)                                        Mrs. Tanya Haig

Assistant Head Yr. 1, 2 & 3                                                 Mrs. Julie Cracknell

Assistant Head Yr. 4, 5 & 6                                                Mr. Daniel Trinder

SEND Governor                                                                               Mrs. Liza Asti

Children Looked After (CLA) lead                                                Mrs. Nicky Ling

 

Should you wish to make an appointment, please contact the school office on 01473 623790 or email office@gorseland.net

How does the school know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child has special educational needs?

  • When a child has identified or suspected Special Educational Needs or Disability, before they start at Gorseland School, we work with the people who already know them and use the information already available to identify how we can meet their current and any emerging needs in our school setting.
  • If you tell us you think your child has SEND we will discuss this with you and check it out. We will share with you what we find and agree with you what we will do next and what you can do to help your child.
  • Our regular pupil progress meetings will indicate whether a child is not making the expected progress or is attaining below age expected levels; this may indicate a SEND. Staff will also raise concerns if they feel that other factors such as a child’s behaviour, self-esteem, ability to follow instructions or ability to form relationships are affecting performance or wellbeing.
  • Liaison with external agencies for example health professionals.

 

What kinds of SEND does the school provide for?

Our Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) supports our staff in a variety of approaches which means we are able to adapt to a range of SEND which fall under the four broad areas of need: Cognition and learning; communication and interaction, social, emotional and mental health; sensory or physical.   

How do I raise concerns if I need to?

TALK to us first. In the first instance, contact your child’s class teacher as they work with your child on a daily basis.  At Gorseland School we build positive relationships with parents.  We are open and honest with parents and hope that they are able to be the same with us.

How will the school support my child and how will this be explained to me?

The level of support your child receives will depend on their needs which we know can change over time. It is our aim to be responsive to any developing and emerging needs.

Many children will have their additional needs met through excellent targeted classroom teaching also known as Quality First Teaching (Universal Support). This means teaching where:

  • The teacher has the highest possible expectations for all pupils.
  • Teaching is carefully planned to build on to what the child can already do and understand so as to accelerate progress.
  • Different ways of teaching are put in place so the child is fully involved in learning.
  • Specific strategies (which may have been suggested by the Special Educational Needs Coordinator or another professional) are put into place to support the child’s learning.

 

Some children may take part in specific group work with a smaller group of children. Such groups are put together to address specific gaps that have been identified in a child’s learning and will be closely monitored to ensure that they are resulting in good progress for the child. These groups may be:

  • Run in the classroom or outside the classroom.
  • Run by a teacher or teaching assistant who has had training to run these groups, usually school staff but sometimes from an approved outside agency which would only be done with a parent’s permission.

 

Some children may have needs that require one to one support. This support may be:

  • To deliver a specialist package (for example a programme devised by a speech therapist, occupational therapist, physiotherapist).
  • To access certain parts of the curriculum.
  • Individual teaching programmes to improve literacy or maths skills.
  • Support with medical/physical needs.
  • Support to manage social situations and emotional needs.

 

If, despite the support put in place, a child is continuing not to make expected progress it is at this stage that we may consider adding the child’s name to the school’s Special Educational Needs register.  This process will be discussed with parents and they will be notified in writing.  The time a child remains on the Special Educational Needs register varies, however, if targeted support has been effective and your child has made sufficient progress they may be removed from the register and monitored.  Again, this will be discussed with parents.

For children whose needs are severe, complex and lifelong the school (or parents) can request that the local Authority carry out a statutory assessment of the child’s needs. This is a legal process you can find out more about by looking at Suffolk County Council’s Local Offer.

After a request has been made to the Local Authority they will decide whether they think the child’s needs (as described in the paperwork provided), seem complex enough to need a statutory assessment. If they do they will ask parents and all professionals involved with the child to write a report outlining the child’s needs. If they do not think this is necessary, they will ask the school to continue with the support they are providing and may make suggestions as to how this can be further improved.

If they do decide to carry out statutory assessment, the reports requested by the Local Authority will be carefully collated and they will write an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP). The ECHP will outline the support the child will receive from school and any other agencies involved in their care and what strategies must be put in place. It will also have long and short term goals for the child. It will then be regularly reviewed, with the child and parents providing input as to how well it is meeting their needs.

Please see flow chart below to help clarify this process.



How will we explain things to you?

We aim to be child and family centred so you can expect ‘no decision about me without me’.

 

When we assess for SEND we will discuss with parents what we are assessing and the results of that assessment. We will also want parents to share with us their perceptions of how their child is doing in school and what their understanding and behaviour is like at home. 

 

Following on from this, we will plan what support might be appropriate and share this information with you. Progress and the outcomes of any support will be regularly reviewed and fed back to you. Support will be adapted in light of this to ensure your child’s needs continue to be met.

 

As a minimum, the class teacher will meet with parents on a termly basis to discuss your child’s needs and progress towards their targets, (this could be part of parent’s evenings but class teachers will always make an additional appointment to talk to you as the need arises).  The SENCo is also available to discuss your child on scheduled parent’s evenings but, is available at other times to talk things over with you.

 

It is easy to assume that all is well if we don’t hear from parents. If you would like more information about anything regarding your child’s needs or progress PLEASE ASK.

 

How does the school know how well my child is doing?

At Gorseland School, we measure children’s learning attainment and progress against national age related expectations.

Your child’s class teacher will continually assess each child and note areas where they are improving and where further support is needed. We track all children’s progress from entry (baseline) in Nursery or Reception through to Year 6, using a variety of different methods including nationally agreed expectations and standardised reading, spelling and maths scores.

Each child’s progress will be discussed at our regular pupil progress meetings. These meetings, between class teachers and the senior leaders in the school, discuss the progress each child is making. Things that are working well will be noted and any necessary changes to the existing support will also be discussed. If any change is suggested for your child, you will be informed.

If your child has SEND and specific support through individual targets, class teachers will review this with you termly.

How will I know how well my child is doing and how will I know how to support them at home?

A child’s education should be a partnership between parents and teachers; therefore we aim to keep communication channels open and communicate regularly. We offer an open door policy where you are welcome any time to make an appointment to meet with either the class teacher or SENCo and discuss how your child is getting on. We offer advice and practical ways you can support your child at home.

The school has systems in place to measure children’s achievement against national age related expectations (see Section ‘How does the school know how well my child is doing?’).

All children are carefully tracked throughout their time at our school. This information is available to be shared with you at scheduled meetings and at any other time you may wish to request it. Class teachers continually assess children and note areas of progress and difficulty and adjust their planning accordingly.  If your child has SEND, a support plan will be drawn up that will include individual targets, the support we will put in place, how you can help your child and what your child can do. These targets will be set by the class teacher in consultation with your child and the SENCo as necessary. You will receive feedback at the termly reviews of these targets. Homework will be set as appropriate to allow your child to repeat and practice new learning and share it with you.

How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?

All work within class is pitched at an appropriate level so that all children are able to access it according to their specific needs.  All of our staff are trained to make work easier or more challenging so that every child is able to learn at their level.  We use a range of additional strategies, schemes and materials so that we have something at the right level for children with SEND.

As well as adapting the learning activities to match individual children’s specific needs we use approaches that support all of the children’s different learning styles. We are aware that some children learn best when doing (kinaesthetic learners), some are very visual learners, some benefit from collaborating with others while some prefer to work on their own.

What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?

Gorseland School aims to be an inclusive school. We welcome and celebrate diversity. We believe that children feeling safe, secure, happy and confident are crucial to their wellbeing. We have a caring, understanding team looking after the children.

Your child’s class teacher has overall responsibility for the pastoral, medical and social care of every child in their class on a daily basis making them a parent’s first point of contact.

For children with SEND the class teacher will liaise with the SENCo for further advice and support. This may also involve liaising with outside agencies such as health and social care professionals; this would be done with your permission.

We have also recently appointed a Family Liaison Officer at the School.  The Family Liaison Officer’s role is to provide pastoral support to parents/carers and help with any issues that you may have in relation to supporting your children, both at home and in school.  The Family Liaison Officer can talk to you impartially and confidentially providing a ‘listening ear’ if you ever need advice or support.

What are our school values?

We believe that the stages of childhood should be appreciated and made enjoyable and rewarding in their own right and not only considered as preparation for what follows.

  • The school environment should provide a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, conducive to learning.
  • Children are seen as individuals with differing needs catered for and equal opportunities provided.
  • The school is an important part of the community.
  • The school is a democracy where decisions are made following discussions involving staff, governors and the children.

 

One of our core aims is:

  • To provide a varied programme of personal, social and health-promoting activities so as to encourage physical and emotional wellbeing.

Gorseland has a full time Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) who is also a key part of the pastoral support we offer to children and parents alongside the work of the Headteacher, Family Liaison Officer, phase leads, teachers and support staff.

When a child has a medical need we will work with you and any relevant medical professionals to put together an Individual Health Care Plan which we will review with you according the nature of the need.

How will my child be able to contribute their views?

Pupil Voice is very important to us at Gorseland School and we seek to gather pupil views when we make key decisions and as part of our monitoring processes. Research shows that pupil participation has positive benefits for behaviour and community cohesion; it develops a feeling of responsibility and helps children take ownership of their own learning.

We believe that children have clear views about their needs and what helps them to succeed and that these views need to be respected.

Gorseland encourages forums where all pupils can express their views on aspects of school life.  Staff regularly carry out pupil perception interviews to gather information about how pupils feel about their learning, what supports them in their learning and what would improve things further for them.

Children on the SEND register will have an opportunity to discuss their learning and progress with their class teacher; working together with staff to plan support and targets.  When formal meetings are held between parents, school staff and any outside professionals; pupils will be encouraged to contribute their views by either attending the meeting or expressing them to an adult prior to the meeting who will then deliver them on the child’s behalf. We try to encourage children to take part in this process but remain sensitive to their age and their individual needs.

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?

We work closely with any external agencies that are relevant to individual children’s needs which include:

  • Support from Local Authority Advisory Team (Please see SuffolkInfoLink)
  • County Inclusive Resource Outreach for Autistic Spectrum Disorders
  • County Resource Outreach for Dyslexia
  • Pupil Referral Unit Outreach for a range of behavioural needs
  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Educational Psychology
  • Social Services
  • Integrated Team
  • GP
  • Paediatrician
  • School Nurse
  • Parent Partnership
  • Mental Health Service for Children and Young People in Suffolk (CAMHS)
  • Looked After Children Education Support Services (LACESS)

 

Any discussions with the above professionals include parents and the child as appropriate. Together we review the child’s progress, agree what everyone will do to make learning more effective and set appropriate targets.

 

What training have staff had regarding special needs?

Gorseland has a strong commitment to continuous staff training and development. We consider it very important to keep up to date with the most recent research and its findings regarding SEND.

The school has a continuous programme of auditing the skills and expertise of staff and providing the relevant training to fill any development areas identified.  This includes whole staff training on the SEND needs typical in our school, such as Dyslexia friendly strategies and Autistic Spectrum Disorder, as well as more specific training based on individual roles and responsibilities. 

How accessible is the school environment?

  • Gorseland school is wheelchair accessible. The school is all on one level.
  • Emergency evacuation plans are drawn up for any wheelchair users or people with limited mobility with a designated route and an alternative route clearly identified.
  • The school has two disabled toilets large enough to accommodate changing.
  • The school has a shower and changing bed.

 

Accommodating children who need adaptations to the school environment is carefully considered each year when children move classes and changes/adaptations are made as necessary.

We strongly advise parents to meet with us as soon as possible so we can explore the accessibility of the school with your child’s needs in mind and make any additional changes identified.

We regularly audit the school’s accessibility with a range of other professionals (e.g. physiotherapists, occupational therapists, health and safety officers).

We liaise with advisers from the Equalities and Minority Ethnic Attainment Team (EMEA) to assist us in supporting families with English as an additional language (EAL).

How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?

All children are included in all parts of the school curriculum and we aim for all children to be included on school trips and choose visits that are accessible to all. We will provide the necessary support to ensure that this is successful.

A risk assessment is carried out prior to any off site activity to ensure everyone’s health and safety will not be compromised. Where a child has additional needs this will be taken into account at this stage and additional control measures put in place to enable them to participate fully. For children with significant needs they may require an individual risk assessment. We understand that including parents to ensure that a child is able to take part in any trip or activity successfully may make both the parent and child feel more at ease. We will talk to you about what will work best for your child.

 

What support is there for behaviour, avoiding exclusion and increasing attendance?

We understand that difficult behavior is likely to be a symptom of an underlying issue. We try to work with the child and their family to identify what might be causing the problem and then work together to support them in moving forward.

We have a very positive approach to all types of behaviour with a clear rewards and consequences system that is followed by all staff and pupils.

After any behaviour incident we expect the child to reflect on their behaviour with an adult. They may be asked to complete a reflection form. This helps to identify why the incident happened and what the child needs to do differently next time to change or improve their behaviour.

If your child has on going behavioural difficulties we will talk to you and your child together. We may write a Behaviour Management Plan to identify the specific issues and how best to manage them. It will include the sort of support the school will be giving your child. Short term, achievable targets will also be set for your child and these will be reviewed regularly with you. We will meet with you as often as necessary to do this, even if it is as much as once a week.

The attendance of every child is monitored on a daily basis by the Administration Team. If your child is absent and you haven’t written or called to tell us why you will be contacted by us.

Lateness and absence are recorded and reported upon to the Senior Leadership Team. The registers are also inspected regularly by the Education Welfare Officer (EWO). Our staff will work with any family who is struggling with lateness and attendance to support them in overcoming the difficulties.  For further information, see Gorseland Behaviour Policy.

 

What support is there for Children who are looked after?

At Gorseland, we are committed to ensuring that looked after children make good progress and close the attainment gap between them and their peers.  Gorseland has a designated teacher appointed to the role of promoting the educational achievement of looked after children.  The designated teacher works in partnership with children, carers, families, school staff, social workers and a wide range of services, including the Virtual School and Looked After Children Education Support Service (LACESS).

 

How will the school prepare and support my child when joining the school and transferring to a new school?

We think it is very important that children are well prepared for the next stage in their education and feel comfortable and supported through any transitions

We encourage all new children to visit the school prior to starting when they will be shown around and meet their teachers. A series of induction events are planned for pupils and parents for all children starting in Reception.

We liaise closely with High Schools to ensure smooth transition. We may write social stories with any children for whom it is considered transition may prove difficult or especially worrying. These include key information about the new setting and relevant photographs of staff and parts of the school building. They will also focus on any key areas of change that may be causing anxiety.

We recognise that some children, including those with SEND, will need something in addition to our planned transition programme. Such pupils will have an extended transition programme put in place that is tailored to meet their individual needs. This may include additional visits to the school to assist with the child becoming more familiar with their new surroundings and new key adults. Staff will accompany children on any of these additional visits to support them and work through any questions or specific issues that arise.

Staff from the receiving school will liaise with the staff from the feeder school to discuss each child’s specific needs and hand over any paperwork. Staff from the receiving school will also visit pupils in their existing school to meet them in a familiar setting and observe how their current teachers manage their individual needs. This also includes visiting pre-school settings when children first join us in Reception. Where staff and parents feel there is a need we will hold a Professionals Meeting prior to transition to ensure that the child’s needs are fully understood and that we have the correct provision in place.

The SENCo will offer to meet with you at the end of each academic year to discuss your child’s transition into the next school or year group to explore any concerns and adjust plans for meeting the child’s needs.

Most of the secondary schools our pupils move on to run extended transition programmes for any vulnerable pupils. Whether or not such a programme would be beneficial for your child will be discussed with you and your child at the relevant time.

If your child has an EHCP the SENCo from the school you wish your child to attend after leaving us will be invited to attend your child’s Annual Review in their final year at Gorseland.

How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s additional needs?

We receive funding for all children who have SEND and will use this funding to meet the needs of each individual pupil as best as we possibly can. This includes the cost of some of the learning support assistants, the delivery of some interventions, staff training and additional equipment if required.

Suffolk Local Authority also has a system for securing High Tariff Needs top up funding for pupils whose needs match specific criteria and whose needs are considered greater than can be met through the school’s general Special Educational Needs or Disability allowance. If the school can provide evidence of the child’s needs meeting the strict criteria set then extra funding will be secured. This funding is set out in bands with the amount awarded increasing as they complexity of need increases.

Children with an EHCP will have resources allocated appropriately and carefully depending on the content of the plan. If the plan identifies something that is significantly different to what is usually available, there will be additional funding allocated. Parents will have a say in how this is used. You will be told by the Local Authority if this means you are eligible for a personal budget. This must be used to fund the agreed plan.

How can I be involved?

We aim to involve you in the decision making process.  We encourage you to meet with us as often as you feel necessary. Your child’s class teacher will be happy to share information about your child’s progress and listen to what you have to say about what your child is doing at home. We hope that this will make sure that we are doing similar things to support your child at both home and school and that we can share what is working well in both places.

The SENCo is available to meet with you and discuss any worries or concerns you may have.

All information from outside professionals will be discussed with you so you are aware of any recommendations they have made. If you do not have a face to face meeting with the relevant professional and receive a written report instead, the SENCo will be happy to meet with you and discuss the contents.

Any homework set will be adjusted to meet your child’s needs and we would appreciate your support in completing it with your child.

The SENCo would be happy to expand further on any of the information given above. Please contact the school directly.

The following websites offer further advice and support for parents of children with SEND:

www.suffolk.gov.uk/parentpartnership

www.access-unlimited.co.uk

You can also find further information in the Gorseland SEND Policy.

What do I do if I have a complaint?

In the first instance, any day to day concerns should be addressed to the class teacher.  Should you need further support then you should speak with the phase lead or SENCO.  If you consider the matter to still require further investigation, then you should speak .to the Headteacher, please also see the Governing body complaints procedure.

 

As a parent or carer of a child with SEND you can also contact The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Advice and Support Service or SENDIASS