SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS AND DISABILITY
Ocean Academy’s policy for inclusion is based on the belief that all children should have equal opportunities and access to every aspect of academy life. A continuum of provision should ensure that the ongoing needs of all children should be met at all levels so that aspirations and outcomes can be realised.
Ocean Academy is committed to ‘Closing the Gaps’ for all individuals, nurturing a strong sense of self-worth and a positive attitude to learning through engagement and purpose. All staff have a responsibility to identify and respond to any child they feel is becoming vulnerable academically, socially, physically or emotionally.
All children, whatever their needs will be encouraged to accept difference, feel free to have their say regarding class and school issues and respect the options, view and values of those around them. Inclusion at Ocean Academy not only promotes equality for vulnerable children and those with special educational needs or disabilities, it also encompasses inclusion with regard to democracy, individual liberty, mutual respect, tolerance of different faiths and beliefs and inclusion through abidance with the rules and expectations of the classroom, school, local community and beyond.
Frequently asked questions
How do you know if children/young people need extra help and what should I do if I think my child/young person may have SEND?
At Ocean Academy we monitor pupils’ progress closely and use ongoing assessment to enable us to quickly identify pupils who may need additional help. Children may need additional support for many reasons such as:
- They are struggling socially, emotionally or behaviourally;
- They are finding it difficult to keep up with their peers / national expectations;
- They are not making as much progress as expected;
- They are not meeting their full potential.
When teachers have a concern about a child they discuss this with the Special Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO). We then carry out a range of assessments within class or 1:1 to try to find out why children might need additional help. This may include discussions with pupils, reading /writing / maths assessments and/ or conversations with parents. We may also seek specialist advice where needed to support both the school and parents.
At every stage during this process we will consult with parents to discuss any concerns we have. If you have a concern about your child you should speak to their class teacher or make an appointment with the school Special Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) or Principal.
How will your staff support my child/young person?
There are a range of ways we will support your child from differentiation of work within class to small group or 1:1 interventions. We will draw up a programme of support, an Individual Education Plan (IEP) or Group Education Plan (GEP) to ensure your child’s needs are being met. The frequency and type of support will vary according to your child’s needs. As a minimum each half-term you will be offered a meeting with your child’s class teacher to review and evaluate the effect of any support put in place. These meetings may be more frequent depending on your child’s needs and may also involve the school SENCO depending on the needs of your child.
Our SENCO has responsibility for overseeing the programme of support your child will receive. They will work closely with the class teacher, intervention teacher and learning support assistants as well as outside agencies to ensure your child’s needs are addressed and the IEP / GEP is subsequently being implemented.
How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s young person’s needs?
When planning lessons the teachers will consider how the curriculum can be altered for your child and looks at the support they need to access the curriculum. They will also ensure any targets set on a child’s IEP are worked towards. This may include regular individual or small group interventions.
Differentiation is core to all we do. We expect teachers to cater for all abilities from the most able, children at the earliest stages of English acquisition to children with complex needs. They are supported in this process by the SENCO. Planning is carefully monitored to ensure it meets the needs of all pupils.
How will both you and I know how my child/young person is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s/young person’s learning?
As part of the process of designing an IEP for your child we encourage parents to support their child’s learning by offering advice and information about what you can do. Throughout the year we offer parent workshops to help you learn how to help your child.
We have an open door policy for you to discuss any concerns about your child with either their class teacher, the SENCO or Principal. We encourage all parents to have regular dialogue with our staff. All parents can discuss their child’s progress at termly parents evenings. In addition to this if your child is receiving additional support there will be a half-termly meeting to discuss their progress. IEPs / GEPs will be reviewed at least half-termly and new targets to support your child will be set.
We also arrange meetings with outside agencies to provide you additional information should this be required.
Depending on the level of your child’s needs you may also receive a weekly summary of the support they have received so you can see the progress they have made and this will help you support your child at home.
What support will there be for my child’s/young person’s overall wellbeing?
At Ocean Academy, we support the whole child. We believe a child can only succeed if their pastoral, medical social and emotional needs are met. We will work closely with parents to develop the whole child and signpost you to agencies that can support your child outside of school where needed.
Children will be supported if they have social, emotional or mental health needs. This support will vary according to the needs of the child. They may receive some additional 1:1 support from an LSA, be included as part of a group intervention or receive support from outside agencies, such as the educational psychology service.
Our staff receive regular training in regards to special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and inclusion. Where they work with a child with specific needs they receive appropriate training to enable them to carry out their role effectively. This has included the introduction of sign language for all pupils.
Children who have medical needs will have an Individual Health Care Plan, which will be written with the school nurse. The plan will provide details about the support your child will receive and any additional measures the school will put in place to ensure your child can access the full curriculum. Further information can be found in the Medical Policy.
The safety of all our pupils is paramount. Regular risk assessments of the school environment take place.
What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by your setting?
At Ocean Academy we have a range of staff and provisions designed to meet the full range of our pupils needs:
- An intervention teacher to deliver booster and 1:1 interventions based on need;
- A Learning Support Assistant to support children with SEND.
- Learning Support Assistants trained to support learning in our classes;
- Setting / groups.
We liaise with various outside agencies to support our children:
- Speech and Language Therapists;
- Educational Psychologists;
- Learning Support;
- Counselling services;
- Community paediatricians;
- Occupational therapists;
- Sight / hearing services;
- Other health services.
What training do staff supporting children and young people with SEND have?
Staff at Ocean Academy have a range of training to support children with SEND such as:
- Learning Support Assistant training levels 1, 2 and 3;
- Sign language training;
- Autistic Spectrum Disorder training;
- Child psychology training;
- Down syndrome training;
- Move to Learn/Learn to Move physiotherapy training;
- Child development training;
- Speech and language training;
- Hearing support training;
- Child-protection training;
- First Aid training.
How will my child/young person be included in activities outside the setting including trips out?
When arranging activities outside of the school the activity / area will be visited prior to the event and a thorough risk assessment will be carried out. Should staff find any issues that may prevent a child from taking part fully we will try to be as inclusive as we possibly can and make all reasonable adjustments to include pupils. We do however recognise that sometimes there may be some needs that we just cannot meet. Under these circumstances we will work closely with parents to find an appropriate provision or setting for a child. Parents will be given plenty of notice before a trip takes place so extra provision can be made.
How accessible is the setting environment?
As a new building, Ocean Academy has been designed to be accessible for all pupils:
- There is a lift in the building to allow pupils with mobility difficulties to reach the first floor.
- A hearing support system will shortly be in place in certain classrooms to cater for children with hearing difficulties.
- There are accessible changing and toilet facilities.
As a school we aim to make the school as accessible as possible for families whose first language is not English. We have members of staff who speak different languages. We also have access to interpreters should the need arise. As much a possible we try to keep communication as simple as possible.
At Ocean Academy we continually review our learning environments to ensure they are accessible to all children. We work with other services, such as occupational therapy services, hearing services to provide the most suitable environments for our children.
How will the Academy prepare and support my child/young person moving to the next stage of education/life. How will you increase their independence?
When your child joins our Academy we will endeavour to find out as much information about him/her as possible, through contact with parents and other schools or services who might have been involved with your child.
As part of the transition into school from infant school settings staff attend a transition meeting to meet with all infant schools to share information about the children who will be starting school. Year 3 teachers and if necessary the SENCO will then visit any children in their infant school should this be necessary. Should there be a need we will give staff pre-training, put an IEP in place, visit other settings to meet staff and pupils and take careful advice on how to support your child.
As children move on to a new setting we will arrange visits and ensure all information is shared with the relevant person in that setting to ensure a smooth transition.
How are the Academy’s resources allocated and matched to children’s/young people’s SEND?
Through careful planning we allocate our resources as best as we can to meet the needs of all our pupils. We make all reasonable efforts to meet an individual child’s needs. Our SENCO works with local authority and academy partners to maximise the resources we can access to support your child’s needs. Funding is directly correlated to the number of SEN pupils on role and can be reviewed by the Governing body.
How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?
This varies on a case by case basis and depends on the expert advice and resource we receive to support a pupil or whether or not there is a Education, Health and Care Plan (ECHP) in place but parents form part of this discussion. Our SENCO oversees this process.
Once children have been identified as having additional needs an Individual Education Plan (IEP) will be developed. The IEP will identify the areas children need support with and provide targets to help the child make progress. The IEPs will be reviewed at least half-termly and children’s progress will be continually monitored to ensure they are making at least expected progress.
For children with ECHPs there will be an annual review to discuss their progress and targets at length.
How can I be involved?
As a parent you will be consulted at all stages of the process so you are aware of your child’s targets, how you can support them at home and the progress they are making.
Children on IEPs may receive a weekly summary of the support they have received so parents can follow this up at home.
IEPs will be reviewed every half-term and parents invited in to discuss the targets. In addition to this we offer termly parents evenings to discuss their progress in class. We also operate an open door policy so parents can discuss any concerns with class teachers, SENCO (Special Needs Co-ordinator) or the Principal.
Local authorities provide a resource called the Local Offer which explains about the support and services available for families of children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities.
The Local Offer covers education, health and social care services for people from birth to 25 years old that have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). It tells you what’s available, who it’s for and how to use it.
Overview of changes from the 2001 Code of Practice (CoP)
In September 2014, the new special educational needs and disability (SEND) Code of Practice came into effect. The changes to the Code of Practice took account of feedback from three consultations, carried out by the Department for Education, and subsequent changes made to the Children and Families Bill during the final stages of its passage through Parliament.
- The new CoP covers the 0 – 25 age range and includes disabled children as well as those with SEN.
- There is a focus on the participation of children & parents in decision-making, at individual and strategic levels.
- There is a focus on high aspirations & improving outcomes for children.
- There is guidance on a graduated approach to special educational needs (assess, plan, do, review) and rather than the codes ‘School Action’ and School Action Plus+’ there will be a single category of ‘SEN’.
- All schools must publish an SEN Information report.
- Schools and colleges are more accountable for funding allocated for SEN and disability.
- There is guidance on the ‘Local Offer’ of support for children with SEN & disabilities.
- There are new 0-25 years Education, Health & Care Plans (EHCP) which will replace Statements and Learning Difficulties Assessments.
- The new CoP supports developing a process to make personal budgets available to parents and/or young people with EHCPs.