Most children and young people in mainstream schools will have their special educational needs met through good classroom practice. This is called Quality First Teaching.
Early Identification of Need
In deciding whether to make special education provision to support educational, social, physical or emotional needs, we listen very carefully to the views of parents, staff and the child themselves. Often children may join Middleton-in-Teesdale Primary with parents having a clear understanding of their child’s needs and as a school, we see parents as partners in their child’s educational journey. Sometimes, however, school staff may initially identify a concern. If this were the case staff would liaise with the parents at the earliest opportunity to discuss such concerns and agree ‘next steps’.
For some concerns, we may discuss the involvement of specialist support, for example, Education Psychology, SENDIASS (support for families) or Occupational Therapy. It is important to understand that the involvement of professionals does not always seek to ‘label’ or ‘diagnose’ children but to seek advice or strategies to help them to reach their full potential.
Where a pupil is identified as having a special educational need we follow a graduated approach which takes the form of cycles of “Assess, Plan, Do, Review”.
This means that we will:
- Assess a child’s special educational needs
- Plan the provision to meet your child’s aspirations and agreed outcomes
- Do put the provision in place to meet those outcomes
- Review the support and progress
As part of this approach, every child with SEN will have an individualised SEN Support Plan that describes the child’s needs, outcomes & provision to meet those needs. Parents/carers and child/YP (where appropriate) views are integral to this process.
A small percentage of children and young people with significant and/or complex needs may require an assessment that could lead to an Education, Health and Care Plan.
A SEN Support Plan: the school oversee children and together the school and parents initiate, review, amend and cease support for children whose needs are seen at a ‘SEN Support Plan’ (school) level.
An Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP): An education, health and care (EHC) plan is for children and young people aged up to 25 who need more support than is available through special educational needs support. EHC plans identify educational, health and social needs and set out the additional support to meet those needs. Children at this level have their plans initiated and ceased by the Local Authority, but reviewed and monitored by the school and parents at least annually.
We value the contribution that parents can make to their child’s education and both school and home must work hard at this important aspect of school life. Parents and carers are always welcome to call in and see how their child is doing and you are encouraged to contact the class teacher or SENCO if you want an update on progress. For children who are in receipt of a school ‘SEN Support Plan’ we hold meetings termly to review children’s progress towards their outcomes and to devise new outcomes for the following term. The ‘SEN Support Plan’ is a working document- staff may find that outcomes are met before the termly meeting. In this instance they may invite parents into school early to review and set new outcomes.
If a child has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) parents will also attend an additional parent’s meeting each year. This is a child centred ‘Annual Review’ for all pupils with an Educational Health and care Plan.
How are children involved in the Plan, Do Review approach?
As with everything related to any child in our school – they have an opinion and voice that is listened to. At child centred reviews (for children with statements and EHCPs) the child is invited to the review and is able to join in the discussion about how their learning is going.
They all write their views prior to the meeting to submit their own ideas with the help of our SEND staff. Children at the Support Plan phase are actively involved in reviewing their termly targets and have the opportunity to add their comments to the plan as it progresses. At Middleton-in-Teesdale Primary we build effective relationships that with our children, which means that we have regular, conversations with our children leading to a very clear picture of what our children enjoy, what works and what they need.
Throughout the SEN support process, we also invite advice and opinion from any outside agencies that are also in contact with the child. If parents and professionals involved with a child feel that further support is needed to meet the needs of a child currently on a Support plan, it may be felt that an EHC assessment is required. Professional and parents will work very closely together at this stage to ensure that any relevant interventions and targeted support is used effectively to help to meet needs.
For more detailed information see the Local Offer
Details of Identification and Assessment of Pupils with SEN
As well as listening carefully to the views of parents and class teachers, the SENCO will check the termly assessments of all children in the school to ensure that progress is being made. If there are children not making the expected level of progress, the SENCO along with the Head teacher and class teacher will meet to discuss the reasons for this.
Parents will be invited to meet with staff to help to put together a Support Plan to address any concerns. The SENCO will carefully monitor the progress of children on ‘SEN Support Plans’ or Education, Health Care plans. Termly assessments carried out by the teacher will be monitored and progress will be evaluated. The SENCO will also routinely collect in the
teacher’s SEN file to monitor the efficacy of Support Plans.
The SENCO routinely carries out learning walks and book scrutiny to monitor the support given to children and the progress that is made. The SENCO will observe teaching to ensure that the teaching styles are meeting the needs of all learners. Teachers will be responsible for planning activities suited to the needs of all of the children. Every class has an appointed teaching assistant who is responsible for supporting groups of children and, in some cases, individuals. They will spend time on individual or group interventions and will use this knowledge to help inform the teachers’ planning.
Assessments of progress will be made on the school’s assessment system. This allows progress and attainment in all areas to be recorded and monitored. Staff in school understand that all children are individual and unique. We recognise the efforts and abilities of all children and praise them for their successes.
For further information please view or download our Accessibility Plan which can be found in the School Policies section of our website.