Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
At St Francis we aim to meet the needs of all of our children and offer support when required.
We aim to:
- Provide an equal and accessible curriculum where possible for all the children in our care
- Develop a partnership with parents at all times
- Identify a child’s needs as soon as possible and support them individually
- Include and consider views of parents and children with SEND
- Where possible children will be involved in the development of their own programmes
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.
In our recent OFSTED inspection we were praised for our SEND support,
‘Leaders ensure that pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are supported well. They make sure that pupils’ individual needs are identified and that effective support is provided. Pupils’ progress is checked carefully and accurately. Leaders check that teaching assistants are deployed astutely and provide timely support for pupils, particularly those pupils who join the school with little or no English’.
‘Governors give generously of their time and make regular visits to the school. Governor minutes show that they ask searching questions to hold leaders to account for the quality of teaching and pupils’ achievements’.
‘The few pupils with SEND are making good progress. The school keeps a close eye on these pupils and provides effective extra support as required’.
Definition of Special Educational Needs
According to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice (2014) a child or young person has SEN 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:
- has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or
- has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for other of the same age in mainstream school or mainstream post-16 institutions.
Role of the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENDCO)
Our Special Educational Needs Coordinator is Mr O'Connor, who in collaboration with the head teacher and governing body, 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.
Role of the child
The children are at the centre of everything we do. We cater for the individual needs of the individual child and ensure that their views are capture and considered when planning targets, interventions and support and these are shared at review meeting 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. Where a child's needs are more complex parents/ carers are invited annual reviews which may involve other professionals.
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
We support all children to access the curriculum wherever possible:
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, 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. Where a child's needs are more complex parents/ carers are invited annual reviews which may involve other professionals.
We support children's emotional well being
For children identified with additional needs, our Inclusion Manager/Parent Support Advisor 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 complete the program "Circle of Friends" if SENDCO feels this is needed.
We support children with long term medical needs
The school nurse visits school to meet with SENDCO and discuss any issues that have arisen in school that they can offer support with, the school nurse also carries out checks with children (height and weight and hearing) and to provide advice and training to staff (inhaler and epi-pen training). Every class has a medical bag which contains the children in that classes inhalers and information regarding the administration of these, other medicines are stored safely in the school office when 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. We have planned meeting twice annually with an Educational Psychologist who has been assigned to our school.
We support speech and language development and children with ASD
For children with specific speech difficulties we are enable 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.
We support children with physical needs
For children with physical needs we are able to refer children to Doncaster's Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists. These professional visit school and provide specific advice and guidance for target children. Teachers and Teaching assistants follow up any recommendations by providing specific interventions to children for handwriting or fine motor skills either individually or in small groups.
The Role of the Teaching Assistant
All our children are treated as individuals and the class teacher, alongside support staff, plan an appropriately differentiated curriculum for children. 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 SEN. We review these regularly. Assessments are carried out to ensure children are on track to meet targets 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 SEN. For example, we have staff who have developed high levels of expertise in the delivery of speech and language therapy. 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 ‘learning wall’ displays and the posters around class which remind them of spelling rules, writing genres, vocabulary etc.
The Role of School Leaders
All SEN provision is overseen and managed by the SENDCO, Mr O'Connor. He is supported by the Executive Headteacher who has overall responsibility for assessment in school and therefore monitors the progress. Together, they monitor, review and evaluate all SEN provision on a regular basis throughout the year. Governors are reported to regarding the SEND movement within school. Collaboratively set high expectations for all pupils and staff.
Leaders ensure that the school’s physical environment is as appropriate and accessible as possible, within the means and confines of the school building.
The Role of Outside Agencies
With the needs of the child at the heart of what we do, we may seek support from other agencies. This would be when we need specific or substantially greater help such as advice from Educational Psychologists, the School Nurse and the Complex Needs Team. We work with other schools in a cluster who can provide services such as Family Outreach Workers, Counselling and Therapeutic Services.
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; Mr O' Connor. 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’s likely that we will have already spoken to you about any concerns we have.
How will School Support my Child?
The class teacher will plan specific targets and the support needed to meet those targets. This is likely to include lots of extra practice of a specific aspect of learning over the course of the week as well as differentiated tasks within lessons. This will be overseen by Mr O' Connor and any other professionals involved with the child. Any alternative provision will be delivered by teachers and support staff and will be reviewed regularly by teachers and the Inclusion Leader. Any plans or targets will be shared with you at parents’ evenings or at review meetings with the SENDCO.
How will the Curriculum be matched to my Child’s Needs?
As well as individual plans and targets, which would usually be delivered on a one to one basis, we make sure that all children have access to a curriculum which meets individual needs. We might also group children so they access targeted support or specific resources together – this group work often helps with their learning and social needs. Transition support are offered to all pupils throughout the school and this may involve parents or support staff. Please see the Transition Policy on our policies page.
How will I know how well my Child is doing and how will you help me support my Child’s learning?
In addition to normal reporting arrangements, there are parents’ evenings and review meetings where there will be opportunities for you to discuss your child’s progress with the class teacher. The SENDCO, Mr O' Connor, is always available on these evenings for further discussion and to support you with any concerns you may have. You can be involved in supporting your child’s education in consultation with the class teacher. This may involve special homework tasks or reinforcement of classroom strategies in the home. We will always try to offer parent training or learning events to help this process and we welcome suggestions from you if there’s anything else that you would like support with.
What Support will there be for my Child’s overall Well-being?
St Francis Xavier has a caring and supportive ethos. We are an inclusive school. We make 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. This ensures support is available for families who may need additional support. All of our staff are trained in child protection procedures and there are two members of staff, the SENDCO and Inclusion Manager who 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. Where education is the issue, the SENDCO has access to specialists such as Educational Psychology, Speech and Language Therapists, 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 links with many other support agencies.
What training are the staff supporting children with SEN having / had?
Many staff have become trained and specialised in the development of speech and language groups and the delivery of individual programmes of study. Through in-house training and input from outside providers, we also have high levels of expertise in the understanding of behavioural difficulties and have robust systems in place to support and monitor children whose barriers to learning lie in this area. Staff have attended extra training to support their own learning and have become specialised in areas of need such as phonics, dyslexia and specific learning support programmes.
How will my Child be included in activities outside the Classroom?
We ensure all children with SEN are able to access all activities and school trips enjoyed by their peers (although these may have be adapted for those with specific needs). We consult with parents / carers when planning activities to ensure safety and inclusion when it will help meet the child’s needs. Some children with complex needs will receive extra funding and this will be used where possible to employ staff on a one-to-one basis to promote independence but to also support inclusion at all times. Children are consulted with where applicable to determine their interests, needs and involving them in their education. For example, transition from primary to secondary.
How Accessible is the school?
An appropriate and accessible learning environment is provided within the confines of the building and is adapted where possible with additional funding if necessary. Not all of the school is accessible for wheelchairs and having a first floor with two sets of stairs makes one of our classrooms inaccessible for wheelchair users. Please carefully consider this if applying for a place at St Francis Xavier and if your child has a physical or sensory disability as this may prevent them from independently accessing this area. (A visit to the school would be recommended)
How will your school help my Child move on to the next phase of education?
Transition arrangements are firmly established in the school. You and your child, where appropriate, will be involved in any decisions made. Social and emotional support is planned to ensure all children make transitions smoothly and confidently. Please see the Transition Policy.
How are school resources allocated and matched to the Children’s SEN needs?
The school is funded on a national formula per pupil. Blocks of money are allocated depending on the number of children who meet the criteria and who are on the school’s inclusion register. We would use the additional funds to put appropriate support in place to meet the specific needs of your child. This may take the form of a one-to-one support worker to support the child to access a personalised timetable, develop independence and access all areas of the curriculum. However, do be aware that there are strict criteria for additional funding to be granted.
How is the decision made about what type and how much support my Child will receive?
The SENDCO, Mr O' Connor will take advice from all professionals involved with the child alongside the views of you and your child. The best possible package of support will be put in place. We will regularly monitor the support and update where necessary.
How are Parents/Carers involved in the school and how can I be involved?
Parents 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 to show parents our methods of teaching phonics, reading and maths. Teachers are happy to meet with parents, often on a drop-in basis, to discuss ways to support your child at home. The SENDCO meets parents at least three times a year to review progress, set targets and involve the child as much as possible in their education.
How can I find more information?
If you’re considering applying for a place, contact the office, who will direct you to our SENDCO, Mr O' Connor for further information and help with your application.
If you want to discuss something about your child, contact the class teacher in the first instance.
If you want information about other support services, ask our SENDCO, Mr O' Connor
If you want information about the local authority’s Local Offer, visit their website or ask the SENDCO, Mr O' Connor
Handling complaints...Please refer to the school's complaints policy