Information on Special Educational Needs

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Barbara Speake Offer to pupils who require special needs support

For the SEN ‘Local Offer’ provided by the Local Authority, please click here.

Parents’ guide to the cycle of intervention at Barbara Speake Schools for Performing Arts.

1. Who are the best people to talk to at Barbara Speake Schools about my child’s difficulties with learning, special educational needs or disability?

  • In the first instance, you should talk to your child’s class teacher about your concerns. Click here to email an initial contact regarding concerns.
  • The class teacher will liaise with the school’s SENCo (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator).
  • If after a period of time you continue to have concerns, you should request a meeting directly with the SENCo.

2. How will Barbara Speake Schools let me know if they have any concerns about my child’s learning, special educational needs or disability?

  • Your child’s class teacher may initially speak to you at the beginning or the end of a normal school day and arrange a further time to discuss the concerns.
  • The class teacher may also raise concerns at a parent/teacher consultation meeting.
  • The SENCo may contact you and arrange a meeting to discuss your child’s difficulties with learning and any possible support strategies the school might be considering.

3. How will Barbara Speake Schools consider my views and those of my child with regard to their difficulties with learning, special educational needs or disabilities?

  • At Barbara Speake Schools we believe it is essential for parents and carers to be involved in all areas of their child’s learning and we actively encourage a dialogue. We believe that it is crucial to gain an understanding of your child’s perspective on any difficulties they may experience with their learning.
  • You will be able to share your views and discuss your child’s progress at regular meetings with the class teacher and others.
  • If your child has an identified special educational need you will be invited to a termly meeting with the class teacher and, when appropriate, the SENCo to actively work in partnership to review any benefit or difference made to your child as a result of an intervention being used. This meeting will also offer an opportunity to identify desired outcomes and related interventions for the next term. If your child has an Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP) you and your child will be able to share your views at the Annual Review.

4. How does Barbara Speake Schools ensure the teaching staff are appropriately trained to support my child’s special educational needs and/or disability?

  • At Barbara Speake Schools we believe that your child’s learning needs will first be met through outstanding teaching delivered by their class teacher.
  • We regularly commit to professional development for all teaching and support staff to ensure there is the appropriate expertise to support any child with special educational needs.
  • Training for individual staff members is arranged when necessary.
  • Barbara Speake Schools is able to access training programmes from a variety of organisations, both national and local.

5. How will the curriculum and the environment at Barbara Speake Schools be matched to my child’s needs? 

  • We carefully plan our curriculum to match the age, attainment levels and needs of all children.
  • The class teacher will differentiate and adapt planning and teaching to match your child’s needs and/or disability.
  • It may be appropriate to use a variety of strategies, resources and approaches to ensure the outcomes for your child are optimum.
  • Additional specialist advice is sought where appropriate and, when necessary, accessibility aids and technology may be used to support your child’s learning.
  • Barbara Speake Schools regularly reviews its Accessibility Plan to ensure that all children have the fullest access to the curriculum and the school site as possible.

6. What types of support may be suitable and available for my child?

  • This really depends upon the nature of your child’s needs and difficulties with learning. But our education provisions will match the needs of the four broad areas of need as defined in the SEN Code of Practice 2014;

           1.   Communication and interaction
2.   Cognition and learning
3.   Social, emotional and mental health
4.   Sensory and/or physical needs

  • At Barbara Speake Schools we have a three tiered approach to supporting a child’s learning.

           1.    Universal – this is the quality first teaching your child will receive from their class teacher and may include some very minor adaptations to match learning needs.
2.    Targeted – it may be appropriate to consider making additional short term special educational provision to remove or reduce any obstacles to your child’s learning.  This takes the form of a graduated four part approach of

a) assessing your child’s needs to have clarity on exactly where they currently are in their learning

b) planning the most effective and appropriate intervention,

c) systematically providing this intervention and

d) reviewing the impact on your child’s progress towards individual learning outcomes. Specific targeted one to one or small group interventions may be run outside the classroom. You will be kept informed of your child’s progress towards specific learning outcomes.

3.    Specialist – it may be necessary to seek specialist advice and regular long term support from a specialist professional outside Barbara Speake Schools in order to plan for the best possible learning outcomes for your child. This may include an educational psychologist, speech and language therapist, occupational therapist, sensory advisory teachers and the child development service. The school may need to prioritise referrals to these services. For a very small number of pupils access to these specialists may be through an Education and Health Care Plan.

7. How will Barbara Speake Schools support my child to reach their learning outcomes?

  • The class teacher and other staff working with your child ensure that your child receives appropriate teaching and support in order to reach these goals. The support plan, strategies and progress will be reviewed termly.
  • External agencies and specialists may also review your child’s progress and adapt their planning accordingly.

8. What is an EHC Plan and who can request one for one for my child?

  • The purpose of an EHC Plan, which replaced Statements of SEN, is to make specific educational provision to meet the special educational needs of a child or young person, to secure improved outcomes for them across education, health and social care and, as they get older, prepare for adulthood. An EHC Plan will contain:

           1.    the views and aspirations of you and your child,
2.   a full description of their special educational needs and any health and social care needs,
3.   the established desired outcomes for your child’s progress,
4.   the specific provision required and how education, health and social care will work together to meet your child’s needs and support the achievement of the agreed outcomes.

  •  You or the school, usually the SENCo, can request that the local authority conduct an assessment of your child’s needs. This may lead to an EHC Plan.

9. How will you help me to support my child’s learning?

  • We acknowledge that you know your child best and understand that the relationship between parents and the school is symbiotic. We will listen and respond to the suggestions you make as well as offering our own professional view. We may suggest strategies or activities for you to do at home to support your child’s learning.
  • The SENCo  may also support you with strategies, resources and ideas for supporting your child’s learning at home.

10. How is support allocated to children and how do they move between the different levels of support at Barbara Speake Schools?

  • Barbara Speake Schools receives funding from the local authority. These funds include money to support the learning of children with SEN and/or disabilities.
  • The Headteacher, in consultation with the school Governors, decides the budget for SEN provision on the basis of the needs of the children.
  • The Headteacher and the SENCo discuss the effectiveness of the school’s current interventions and provisions and prioritise an action plan, which may include additional or alternative interventions, staff training and equipment needs.
  • This process is reviewed regularly to ensure the best possible intervention is provided to those children who require additional support to learn.

11. How will Barbara Speake Schools know that the support has made a difference to my child’s learning and how can I and my child be included in this review process?

  • Your child’s progress will be assessed in two ways: through the whole school assessment procedures used for every child and with regard to any specific intervention programmes or strategy.
  • The impact of support is carefully measured and considered to review whether the learning outcomes have been achieved.  Adaptations will be made where necessary and it may be decided that a further and/or different period of support would be beneficial for your child.
  • You and your child will be kept informed and encouraged to be actively involved in all stages of planning and reviewing this support.

12. What support will there be for my child’s happiness and wellbeing at Barbara Speake Schools?

  • At Barbara Speake Schools for Performing Arts we pride ourselves on knowing every child very well. We believe that the well-being of all our pupils is crucial in enabling them to do their very best.  Members of staff take this aspect of school life very seriously and are available to provide support to match your child’s needs.
  • You can be confident that your child’s class teacher, the SENCo and Headteacher give particular attention, time and effort to every child. You should also feel free to contact your child’s class teacher if you have any concerns.
  • Barbara Speake Schools is an inclusive school and committed to providing equal opportunities for all children.
  • When necessary, we will make reasonable adjustments to ensure that children with SEN and/or disabilities are included in all activities.
  • You should also feel free to contact your child’s class teacher if you have any concerns.

13. How is my child included in all the same activities as his/her peers at school?

  • Barbara Speake Schools is an inclusive school and committed to providing equal opportunities for all children.
  • When necessary the school will make reasonable adjustments to ensure that children with SEN and/or disabilities are included in activities.
  • You should also feel free to contact your child’s class teacher if you have any concerns.

14. How will Barbara Speake Schools support my child in transition stages?

  • We liaise closely with the school or nursery from where your child will transfer. We have discussions with the relevant staff members on any individual needs and how best to support your child in our school.
  • While at Barbara Speake Schools, we take care to ensure that during transition points (between classes each year and at the end of Key Stages) all staff are aware of individual pupils’ needs, learning progress and best support strategies.
  • Barbara Speake Schools makes arrangements to ensure there is a smooth transition when your child transfers to their secondary school of choice.
  • If your child has an EHC Plan, we will participate and/or facilitate its review in sufficient time prior to their moving between key phases of education. You will be kept informed of these arrangements and asked to attend the reviews.

15. If I have any other questions about my child at Barbara Speake Schools who can I ask?

  • At Barbara Speake Schools we are very happy to speak to you about any aspects of your child’s education. It is best to speak to one of the following in this order:

           1.   The Class Teacher
2.   The SENCo/Assistant SENCo
3.   The Headteacher