Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
What is the SEND Local Offer?
The government has listened to what parents say their experience of services is like and have put in place a number of things to bring about improvements. One of these is the ‘Local Offer’. In 2012 the former Children’s Minister Sarah Teather explained that:
“The current system is outdated and not fit for purpose. Thousands of families have had to battle for months, even years, with different agencies to get the specialist care their children need. It is unacceptable they are forced to go from pillar to post, facing agonising delays and bureaucracy to get support, therapy and equipment”.
“It is a huge step forward to require health, education and care services to work together. The reforms will give parents better information and a comprehensive package of support that meets their needs”.
Local authorities and other services will set out a local offer of all services available to support children who are disabled or who have SEN and their families. The local offer will enable families to understand what services they can access and what support they can expect from a range of local agencies, including from the local authority, health services, schools, leisure services and the voluntary sector. The offer will include provision from birth to 25, across education, health and social care.
The potential outcomes of the Local Offer are:
To provide clarity and confidence for parents and children.
To support earlier intervention.
To reduce the need for assessment.
To comprehensively assess a child’s situation more efficiently.
To identify need and gaps in provision.
To provide an evidence base for improving progress and securing better outcomes, at school and local level.
Ash Hill Academy SEND Local Offer
All DAT schools have a similar approach to meeting the needs of pupils with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities and are supported by the Local Authority to ensure that all pupils, regardless of their specific needs, make the best possible progress in school. All schools are supported to be as inclusive as possible, with the needs of pupils with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities being met in a mainstream setting wherever possible, where families want this to happen.
The key people in the academy, who would be happy to talk with you are:
Your child’s form tutor
Your child’s subject teacher
Julie Ryan – Assistant SENDCo
Tracey Page – Assistant Principal - Inclusion
John Higgins – Principal
There are many different ways in which we support SEND pupils and their families at Ash Hill. We are proud of our inclusive approach and ensure that all children and families are welcome, regardless of their needs. We aim to meet the needs of individual through a personalised individual offer.
We value the contribution made by parents and understand how important it is to work as a team. Therefore, please feel welcome to speak to us about any concerns or queries that you might have.
Who are the best people to talk to in this academy about my child’s difficulties with learning/Special Educational Needs and/or Disability (SEND)?
Checking on the progress of your child, and identifying planning and delivering any additional help your child may need (this could be things like targeted work, additional support) and letting the Inclusion Manager and SENDCo know as necessary.
Writing a Personalised Learning Plan (PLP), and sharing and reviewing these with parents at least once each team and planning for the next term. This is generally done with the support of the SENDCo or a member of the academy inclusion team, as necessary.
Ensuring that all staff working with your child in the academy are able to deliver the planned work/programme for your child, so they can achieve the best possible progress. This may involve the use of additional adults, outside specialist help and specially planned work and resources.
Ensuring that the school’s SEND Policy is followed in their classroom and for all the pupils they teach with any SEND
Coordinating all the support for children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND) and developing the academy's SEND Policy to make sure all children get a consistent, high quality response to meeting their needs in the academy.
Updating the academy's SEND register (a system for ensuring all the SEND needs of pupils in this academy are known) and making sure that there are records of your child’s progress and needs.
Providing support for teachers and support staff in the academy so they can help children with SEND in the academy to achieve the best progress possible.
The Principal (John Higgins) and Assistant Principal - Inclusion (Tracey Page):
The day to day management of all aspects of the academy, this includes the support for children with SEND.
The Principal will give responsibility to the SENDCo and subject teachers but is still responsible for ensuring that your child’s needs are met.
The Principal must make sure that the Governing Body is kept up to date about any issues in the academy relating to SEND.
Education Advisory Board:
Making sure that the necessary support is made for any child who attends the academy who has SEND.
What are the different types of support available for children with SEND at Ash Hill Academy?
Class teacher input via excellent targeted classroom teaching also known as Quality First Teaching
For your child this would mean:
That the teacher had the highest possible expectations for your child and all pupils in their class.
That all teaching is based on building on what your child already knows, can do and can understand.
At times the teacher may direct a Teaching Assistant to work with your child as part of normal working practice.
Different ways of teaching are in place so that your child is fully involved in learning in class.
Specific strategies (which may be suggested by the SENDCo or outside staff) are in place to support learning.
Your child’s teacher will have carefully checked on your child’s progress and will have decided that your child has gaps in their understanding/learning and needs some extra support to help them make the best possible progress.
Specific group work with in a smaller group of children.
These groups, often called intervention groups by schools, may be:
Run in curriculum areas, the Learner Achievement Centre (LA Centre), the Bridge, or the Personal Learning Centre.
Run by a teacher or a Teaching Assistant.
This means they have been identified by the class teacher as needing some extra support in the academy and an Individual Education Plan will be written for them.
For your child this would mean:
He/she will engage in group sessions to help him/her to make progress.
A Teaching Assistant/teacher or outside professional will run these small group or 1-1 sessions.
Specialist groups run by outside agencies, for example Speech and Language therapy or Occupational therapy groups
Stage of SEN Code of Practice: SEN Support (K)
This means a child has been identified as needing some extra specialist support in the academy from a professional outside the academy. This may be from:
Local Authority central services such as ASD Outreach or Sensory Service (for pupils with a hearing or visual need).
Outside agencies such as the Speech and Language therapy Service.
For your child this would mean:
They would have an Individual Support Plan, written in consultation with parents and the child.
Your child will have been identified by the class teacher or SENDCo (or you will have raised your own concerns) as needing more specialist input instead of or in addition to quality first teaching and intervention groups.
You will be asked to come to a meeting to discuss your child’s progress and help plan possible ways forward.
You may be asked to give your permission for the academy to refer your child to a specialist professional, for example a Speech and Language Therapist or Educational Psychologist This will help the academy and yourself have a greater understanding of your child’s needs to ensure they receive the appropriate support and intervention.
The specialist professional will work with your child to understand their needs and make recommendations, which may include:
Making changes to the way your child is supported in class e.g. some individual support or changing some aspects of teaching to support them better.
Support to set better targets which will include their specific expertise.
A group run by academy staff under the guidance of the outside professional, for example a social skills group.
A group or individual work with outside professional.
The academy may suggest that your child needs some individual support in the academy. They will tell you how the support will be used and what strategies will be put in place. This type of support is available for children with specific barriers to learning that cannot be overcome through Quality First Teaching and intervention groups.
Specified Individual support
This is usually provided via a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). This means your child will have been identified by the class teacher or SENDCo as needing a particularly high level of support or small group teaching (the amount of hours will be specified by a Statement of Special Educational Needs), which cannot be provided from the budget available to the academy.
Usually your child will also need support from professionals outside the academy. This may be from:
Local Authority central services such as the ASD Outreach Team or Sensory Service (for students with a hearing or visual need).
Outside agencies such as the Speech and Language Therapy Service.
For your child this would mean:
The academy (or you) can request that the Local Authority carry out a statutory assessment of your child’s needs. This is a legal process which sets out the amount of support that will be provided for your child.
After the academy have sent in the request to the Local Authority (with a lot of information about your child, including some from you), they will decide whether they think your child’s needs seem complex enough to need a statutory assessment. If this is the case they will ask you and all the professionals involved with your child to write a report outlining your child’s needs. If they do not think your child needs this, they will ask the academy to continue with the support at SEN Support (K).
After the reports have all been sent to the Local Authority (L.A) the Authority will then decide if your child’s needs are severe, complex and lifelong and that they need more specified extra support in the academy to make good progress. The authority will also ensure that all other avenues of support have been explored, by the school such as a Common Assessment Framework (CAF), Team Around the Child (TAC) and a personalised learning programme of support have been implemented before a referral is considered. If this is the case, and the child still struggles to make sufficient progress, they will write a Statement of Special Educational Needs or Education health Care Plan (EHCP). If this is not the case they will ask the academy to continue with the SEN Support (K) and also set up a meeting in the academy to ensure a plan is in place to ensure your child makes as much progress as possible.
The Statement or ECHP will outline the number of hours of individual/small group support your child will receive and how the support should be used and what strategies need be put in place. It will also have long and short term goals for your child. The additional adult may be used to support your child with whole class learning, run individual programmers or run small groups that include your child.
This type of support is available for children whose learning needs are:
Severe, complex and lifelong
Need more than a specified number of hours support in the academy
How can I let the academy know I am concerned about my child’s progress in the academy?
Speak to your child’s form tutor or subject teacher initially.
If you are not happy that the concerns are being managed and that your child is still not making progress you should speak to the Curriculum Leader, Year Learning Manager or SENDCo.
If you are still not happy you can speak to the Education Advisory Board.
Follow the links for additional SEND support and information on our academy website.
How will the academy let me know if they have concerns about my child’s learning in the academy?
If your child is then identified as not making progress the academy will set up a meeting to discuss this with you in more detail and to:
Listen to any concerns you may have.
Plan any additional support your child may receive.