At St Francis we aim to meet the needs of all of our children and offer support when required.
We aim to:
Provision for children with special educational needs is a matter for the school as a whole. In addition to the governing body, the school’s head teacher; the SENDCO and all other members of staff have day-to-day responsibilities.
Definition of Special Educational Needs
According to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice (2015) a child or young person has SEND if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her. A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:
Role of the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENDCO)
Our Special Educational Needs Coordinator, Ms Watson, plays a key role in determining the development of the provision in the school in order to raise the achievement of vulnerable children. Working closely with staff, parents and carers, and other agencies, the SENDCO takes day-to-day responsibility for the operation of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Policy, which can be found below.
The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 defines a disabled person as one who has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. Most children with Special Needs will not be disabled by this definition of the Act. At St Francis Xavier, we are a fully inclusive school, therefore the admission of pupils with disabilities is considered in the first instance in the same way as their peers. Further considerations are made in the light of need and accessibility.
It is the Governors’ Policy to accommodate pupils with disabilities should parents wish. Steps are taken to ensure pupils are treated equitably and that classroom and curriculum enrichment activities encourage the participation of all pupils, including those categorised as having SEND. Staff organise human and physical resources within the school to increase access to learning and participation by all pupils.
Facilities provided to assist access to the school by pupils with disabilities are:
Further information can be found in the school's accessibility plan.
Ensuring those with disabilities are treated equally
At St Francis Xavier we strive to do more to ensure that disabled are pupils are not placed at a disadvantage relative to their peers. As a school, when planning a lesson or activity we will take all reasonable steps to ensure that all pupils can access that learning opportunity. This includes providing appropriate resources or services.
For further information regarding how we have increased the extent to which disabled pupils can participate in the curriculum and improved the physical environment of the school to support this, please see our accessibility policy.
Role of the child
The children are at the centre of everything we do. We cater for the individual needs of the child and ensure that their views are captured and considered when planning targets, interventions and support. These are shared at review meetings through the children's one page profiles
Role of the Parents/Carers
Parent/Carers have meetings with their child's teacher at parents' evening and receive a written report on their child's attainment and progress at the end of the year. If you have any concerns regarding your child's needs, attainment or progress please organise a meeting with your child's class teacher or our SENDCO through the school office. If you and the school feel that your child has significant additional needs, they will be added to the school's Special Educational Needs register. Parents/Carers are invited to attend meetings, with our SENDCO, about their child at least three times a year. During these meetings, previous targets are reviewed, additional support and intervention is offered and planned for, and new targets are set. If a child has an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP), an Annual Review will be held to discuss progress and next steps. As well as parents or carers, other professionals may attend as part of this support.
Doncaster Local Authority Local Offer for SEN
The Local Offer provides information for children and young people with Special Educational Needs (SEND) and their parents or carers in a single place. It shows families what they can expect from a range of local agencies, including education, health and social care. Knowing what is out there gives families more choice and therefore more control over what support is right for their children.
St Francis Xavier Contribution to the Local Offer
All settings must co-operate with the LA in the development and review of the Local Offer as set out in Chapter 4 of the SEND Code of Practice (January 2015) and the associated Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014 (Part 4). Below the link to St Francis Xavier's SEN Report and the link to our contribution to the Local Offer
How we support children with SEND
Within School Support
We support all children to access the curriculum
We support children with additional needs
If you and the school feel that your child has significant additional needs, they will be added to the school's Special Educational Needs register. Parents/Carers are invited to attend meetings about their child with our SENDCO at least three times a year. During these meetings, previous targets are reviewed, additional support and intervention is offered and planned for and new targets are set. If a child has an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP), an Annual Review will be held to discuss progress and next steps. As well as parents or carers, other professionals may attend as part of this support.
We support children's emotional well being
For children identified with additional needs, our Inclusion Manager/Parent Support Advisor, Miss J Hodby, provides work in a group basis or one to one basis. The work provided is varied and can be help to support with attachment issues, behavourial support, confidence building, anxiety and self esteem. We may also use the programme "Circle of Friends" if needed.
We support children with long term medical needs
The school nurse meets with the SENDCO to discuss and support any issues that have arisen in school. The school nurse also carries out checks with children (height, weight and hearing) and provides advice and training to staff (inhaler and epi-pen training). Every class has a medical bag containing inhalers and information on how to administer these as needed. Other medicines are stored safely in the school office once a consent form has been filled in by a parent.
We work in partnership with other agencies to ensure we support all children with additional needs. This includes a twice yearly planning meeting with the Educational Psychologist assigned to our school. Support is also offered from the Behaviour Outreach Support Service (BOSS) and Early Years Inclusion Officers. In addition, we work with other schools in a cluster to provide services such as Family Outreach Workers, Counselling and Therapeutic Services.
We support speech and language development and children with ASD
For children with specific speech difficulties we are able to refer children to Doncaster's Speech and Language Therapy Department and we work closely with our speech and language therapist to support these children. We also receive support from the ASCETs team which, with parental consent, observe children and support teachers and LSAs in providing a specifically differentiated curriculum for children with autism.
We support children with physical needs
For children with physical needs we are able to refer children to Doncaster's Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists who visit school and provide specific advice and guidance for target children. Strategies or interventions can then be put in place to support children's needs, either individually or as part of a small group. Support is also available from services working with hearing or visually impaired children
The Role of School Staff
Learning Support Assistants (LSAs)
All our children are treated as individuals and the class teacher, alongside support staff, plan an appropriately differentiated curriculum. This ensures high quality teaching and learning with effective support and resources. When needed, we put in place targets, plans and appropriate provision to meet the additional needs of children with SEND. We review these regularly. Assessments are carried out to ensure children are on track to meet their outcomes and that planning accurately addresses their needs. Progress and plans are regularly reviewed and evaluated to inform next steps.
Many staff in school are trained, and have worked alongside other professionals, to develop their skills, knowledge and expertise in specific areas of SEND. For example, we have staff who have developed high levels of expertise in the delivery of speech and language programmes. High priority is given to the emotional and social wellbeing of our children and we offer nurture groups and 1:1 support for children who may benefit.
Staff ensure that their classrooms are stimulating and provide prompts and challenges for all pupils. Children with SEND benefit from the whole school approach of ‘learning wall’ displays as well as posters around class which remind them of key skills such as spelling rules, writing genres and specific vocabulary.
All SEND provision is overseen and managed by the SENDCO. She is supported by the Executive Headteacher who has overall responsibility for monitoring and assessment in school. Together, they review and evaluate all SEND provision on a regular basis throughout the year, setting high and realistic expectations for all children. This information is also reported to Governors. In addition, the School Leaders ensure that the school’s physical environment is as appropriate and accessible as possible, within the means and confines of the school building.
SEND: Identification, Resources and Support
What do I do if I think my child may have Special Educational Needs?
You should contact your child’s teacher initially or arrange a meeting with the SENDCO. We will listen carefully to concerns and put appropriate actions in place. This may involve suggesting other professionals who might be able to help. Because we closely monitor every child’s attainment and progress, it is likely that we will have already shared any possible concerns with you.
How will School Support my Child?
A SEND Support Plan (SSP) will be set up for each child on the SEND Register. This outlines the child's needs and provision, alongside long-, medium- and short-term outcomes. If appropriate, these may include advice from external agencies. Specific interventions or approaches will be delivered by the class teacher and support staff and is overseen by the SENDCO. Progress against these outcomes is monitored regularly. The Support Plans will be shared with parents/carers and are formally reviewed three times a year.
How will the Curriculum be matched to my Child’s Needs?
As well as individual plans, we make sure that all children have access to a curriculum which meets their needs. Targeted support or resources may be used individually or as part of a group. Transition support is offered to all pupils throughout the school and this may involve parents or support staff. For further information, please see the school's Transition Policy.
How will I know how well my Child is doing and how will you help me support my Child’s learning?
In addition to the usual reporting arrangements, parents’ evenings and review meetings provide the opportunity for you to discuss your child’s progress with the class teacher. The SENDCO is available at parents' evenings for further discussion and to support with any concerns you may have.
Class teachers can offer advice on ways to support home learning. Workshops or parent/carer training events are sometimes offered to support this and we welcome suggestions for any possible ways that we could provide further support for this.
What Support will there be for my Child’s overall wellbeing?
St Francis Xavier has a caring and supportive ethos. We are an inclusive school, making sure all our children have the highest levels of pastoral care possible. This support may include specific sessions, where programmes are planned to meet the additional emotional and social needs of individual children. We have close partnerships with outside agencies to ensure that assistance is available for families who may need additional support. All of our staff are trained in child protection procedures, and the Headteacher and the Inclusion Manager are specially designated to ensure the safeguarding of all children.
What specialist services and expertise are available or accessed by the school?
Our open door policy ensures you can feel confident when you approach school with a problem. You can tell us your concerns and we will access a range of services to provide support. This may involve referral to targeted services such as counselling or family support. To support educational needs, the SENDCO has access to specialists such as Educational Psychology, Speech and Language Therapists and the Complex Needs Team. We recognise the importance of early diagnosis and intervention and have close links with the Early Years Team. Similarly, we work closely with the School Nurse, who is available to train staff when children have specific medical issues and we have links with many other support agencies.
Staff training and development
Many staff have had training in the delivery of speech and language programmes for individuals and groups. Through in-house training and input from outside providers, we also have high levels of expertise in the understanding of behavioural difficulties with systems to support and monitor children with these needs. As part of their own professional development, some staff have attended training in phonics, dyslexia and the delivery of specific learning support programmes.
How will my Child be included in activities outside the Classroom?
We ensure all children with SEND are able to access all activities and school trips enjoyed by their peers, adapting these as needed. We consult with parents/carers when planning activities to ensure safety and inclusion.
How Accessible is the school?
An appropriate and accessible learning environment is provided within the confines of the building and is adapted where possible. One of our classrooms is not suitable for wheelchair users as it is accessed via a staircase. A visit to the school is recommended to enable you to see the school environment first hand.
How will your school help my Child move on to the next phase of education?
Transition arrangements are well established in school, including those between classes, as well as the transition to Year Seven. Families are also included in this process where appropriate. Support for transition includes consideration of the social and emotional needs of the child, to help them manage this smoothly and with confidence. For further information, please see the school's Transition Policy.
How are school resources allocated and matched to the Children’s SEND needs?
In addition to the general funding given for every pupil on roll, a block of money is allocated to the school for SEND. This is used to support the needs and provision of pupils, including the deployment of staff and resources as well as specific training or services. Individuals with more complex needs may be further supported by top up funding, if they are found to meet the criteria. This is accessed through a referral to a local authority panel.
How is the decision made about what type and how much support my Child will receive?
Information on your child's needs will be used to set the outcomes on the Support Plan. This will be done in consultation with school staff, parents and any outside agencies if appropriate. The Support Plan outlines the type and frequency of provision and it is regularly monitored and reviewed.
How are Parents/Carers involved in the school and how can I be involved?
Parents/carers are kept informed about teaching and learning through regular newsletters, the news page for each class on our website, parents’ evenings and other events. We have learning workshops which outline our methods of teaching phonics, reading and maths. Teachers are happy to meet with parents/carers, often on a drop-in basis, to discuss ways to support your child at home. The SENDCO meets parents/carers at least three times a year to review progress and set targets. Where possible, child is also involved in this process.
How can I find more information?
Your child's class teacher can be contacted if you would like to discuss a specific issue. Please contact the SENDCO if you would like more information on SEND in school, including support services and the Local Offer.
Complaints: Please refer to the school's Complaints Policy