Special Educational Needs
Aycliffe Community Primary School Special Educational Needs and Disability Policy
Aycliffe Community Primary School is a community where children’s rights are learned, taught, practised, respected, protected and promoted. Pupils and the school community learn about children’s rights by putting them into practice every day.
• Article 28: Every child has the right to an education. Discipline in schools must respect children’s dignity and their rights.
• Article 29: Education must develop every child’s personality, talents and abilities to the full. It must encourage the child’s respect for human rights, as well as respect for their parents, their own and other cultures, and the environment.
• Article 31: Every child has the right to relax, play and take part in a wide range of cultural and artistic activities.
• Article 13: Every child must be free to express their thoughts and opinions and to access all kinds of information, as long as it is within the law.
• Article 17: Every child has the right to reliable information from a variety of sources, and governments should encourage the media to provide information that children can understand. Governments must help protect children from materials that could harm them.
High quality teaching, differentiated for individual pupils, is the first step in responding to pupils who have or may have SEN. Additional intervention and support cannot compensate for a lack of good quality teaching. Schools should regularly and carefully review the quality of teaching for all pupils, including those at risk of underachievement. This includes reviewing and, where necessary, improving, teachers’ understanding of strategies to identify and support vulnerable pupils and their knowledge of the SEN most frequently encountered SEN Code of Practice (2014, 6.37).
In Aycliffe Community Primary School the quality of teaching is judged to be good and working towards outstanding.
Definition of SEN: 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 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 others of the same age in mainstream schools
Definition of disability: Many children and young people who have SEN may also have a disability under the Equality Act 2010 – that is’…a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term and substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities’. This definition provides a relatively low threshold and includes more children than many realise: ‘long-term’ is defined as ‘a year or more’ and ‘substantial’ is defined as ‘more than minor or trivial’
At Aycliffe Community Primary School we can make provision for every kind of frequently occurring special educational need, for instance dyslexia, dyspraxia, speech and language needs, autism, learning difficulties and behaviour difficulties. There are other kinds of special educational need which do not occur as frequently and with which the school is less familiar, but we can access training and advice so that these kinds of needs can be met.
The school also currently meets the needs of pupils with Education, Health and Care plan's (EHCP). Decisions on the admission of pupils with a statement of special educational need or Education, Health and Care plan are made by the Local Authority.
The admission arrangements for pupils without a statement of special educational needs or Education, Health and Care Plan do not discriminate against or disadvantage disabled children or those with special educational needs.
At Aycliffe Community Primary School we monitor the progress of all pupils six times a year to review their academic progress. We also use a range of assessments with all the pupils at various points including the Salford Reading Test, grammar tests, mathematics tests and the statutory assessments.
Our Teaching and Learning Policy develops practice to catch pupils in the moment of experiencing difficulties with their learning and provide extra practice or teaching to address their needs. Where progress is not sufficient, even if special educational need has not been identified, we put in place extra support to enable the pupil to catch up using our provision map or adjustments to whole class teaching.
Some pupils may continue to make inadequate progress, despite high-quality teaching targeted at their areas of weakness. For these pupils, and in consultation with parents, we will use a range assessment tools to determine the cause of the learning difficulty and we have access to external advisors who are able to use assessment tools.
The purpose of this more detailed assessment is to understand what additional resources and different approaches are required to enable the pupil to make better progress. These will be shared with parents, put into a provision map and reviewed regularly, and refined or revised if necessary. At this point we will have identified that the pupil has a special educational need because the school is making special educational provision for the pupil which is additional and different to what is normally available.
If the pupil is able to make good progress using this additional and different resource (but would not be able to maintain this good progress without it) we will continue to identify the pupil as having a special educational need. If the pupil is able to maintain good progress without the additional and different resources he or she will not be identified with special educational needs. When any change in identification of SEN is changed parents will be notified.
We will ensure that all teachers and support staff who work with the pupil are aware of the support to be provided and the teaching approaches to be used.
Each review of the provision map will be informed by the views of the pupil, parents and class teachers and the assessment information which will show whether adequate progress is being made.
The SEN Code of Practice (2014, 6.17) describes inadequate progress thus:
• Is significantly slower than that of their peers starting from the same baseline
• Fails to match or better the child’s previous rate of progress
• Fails to close the attainment gap between rate of progress
• Widens the attainment gap
Every pupil in the school has their progress tracked six times per year. In addition to this, pupils with special educational needs may have more frequent assessments of reading age etc. Using these it will be possible to see if pupils are increasing their level of skills in key areas.
If these assessments do not show adequate progress is being made the provision map will be reviewed and adjusted.
We follow the Mainstream Core Standards advice developed by Kent County Council to ensure that our teaching conforms to best practice. In meeting the Mainstream Core Standards the school employs some additional teaching approaches, as advised by internal and external assessments. These are delivered by additional staff employed through the funding provided to the school as ‘notional SEN funding’. At Aycliffe Community Primary School we follow the advice in the Mainstream Core Standards on how to adapt the curriculum and the learning environment for pupils with special educational needs. We also incorporate the advice provided as a result of assessments, both internal and external, and the strategies described in statements of special educational needs or Education, Health and Care Plans.
As part of our budget we receive ‘notional SEN funding’. This funding is used to ensure that the quality of teaching is good in the school and that there are sufficient resources to deploy additional and different teaching for pupils requiring SEN support. The amount of support required for each pupil to make good progress will be different in each case and a full list of the interventions we can offer is on our provision map. In very few cases a very high level of resource is required. The funding arrangements require schools to provide up to £6000 per year of resource for pupils with high needs, and above that amount the Local Authority should provide top up to the school.
All clubs, trips and activities offered to pupils at Aycliffe Community Primary School are available to pupils with special educational needs either with or without a statement of special educational needs or Education, Health and Care Plan. Where it is necessary, the school will use the resources available to it to provide additional adult support to enable the safe participation of the pupil in the activity.
At Aycliffe Community Primary School we understand that an important feature of the school is to enable all pupils to develop emotional resilience and social skills, both through direct teaching and indirectly with every conversation adults have with pupils throughout the day.
For some pupils with the most need for help in this area we also can provide the following list e.g. access to counsellor, mentor time with member of senior leadership team, external referral to CAHMs.
Pupils in the early stages of emotional and social development because of their special educational needs will be supported to enable them to develop and mature appropriately. This will usually require additional and different resources, beyond that required by pupils who do not need this support.
Mrs Tracey Cook is the SENCO at Aycliffe Community Primary School. She is an experienced qualified teacher, and has been a SENCO since February 2015. Mrs Cook has also holds the National Award for Special Educational Needs Co-ordination and the Postgraduate Certificate in SEN co-ordination. She has also completed the following SEN training in addition to general teaching and leadership training:
Advanced level Drawing and Talking Therapy
Attachment aware schools – supporting learning and promoting resilience
Supporting ASD in the classroom
Managing anger and The incredible 5 point scale
ADHD awareness and Supporting ADHD in the classroom
Mrs Cook also attends SENCO briefing forums regularly to keep updated with any changes regarding SEN locally or nationally.
Where a training need is identified we will find a provider who is able to deliver it. The cost of training is covered by the notional SEN funding.
Where external advisors recommend the use of equipment or facilities which the school does not have, we will purchase it using the notional SEN funding, or seek it by loan. For highly specialist communication equipment the school will seek the advice of the KCC Communication and Assistive Technology team.
All parents of pupils at Aycliffe Community Primary School are invited to discuss the progress of their children on three occasions a year and receive a written report once a year. In addition we offer all parents of pupils with SEND an opportunity to take part in a Structured Conversation four times a year.
As part of our normal teaching arrangements, all pupils will access some additional teaching to overcome barriers to learning or practise learning if the progress monitoring indicates that this is necessary; this will not imply that the pupil has a special educational need. All such provision will be recorded, tracked and evaluated on a Provision Map which will be shared with parents three times per year.
If following this normal provision improvements in progress are not seen, we will contact parents to discuss the use of internal or external assessments which will help us to address these needs better. From this point onwards the pupil will be identified as having special educational needs because special educational provision is being made and the parent will be invited to all planning and reviews of this provision. Parents will be actively supported to contribute to assessment, planning and review.
In addition to this, parents of pupils with a statement of SEN or Education, Health and Care Plan will be invited to contribute to and attend an annual review, which, wherever possible will also include other agencies involved with the pupil. Information will be made accessible for parents.
When a pupil has been identified to have special educational needs because special educational provision is being made for him or her, the pupil will be consulted about and involved in the arrangements made for them as part of person-centred planning. Parents are likely to play a more significant role in the childhood years with the young person taking more responsibility and acting with greater independence in later years.
The normal arrangements for the treatment of complaints at Aycliffe Community Primary School are used for complaints about provision made for special educational needs. We encourage parents to discuss their concerns with Class Teacher, SENCO or Headteacher to resolve the issue before making the complaint formal to the Chair of the governing body.
If the complaint is not resolved after it has been considered by the governing body, then a disagreement resolution service or mediation service can be contracted. If it remains unresolved after this, the complainant can appeal to the First–tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability), if the case refers to disability discrimination, or to the Secretary of State for all other cases.
There are some circumstances, usually for children who have a Statement of SEN where there is a statutory right for parents to appeal against a decision of the Local Authority. Complaints which fall within this category cannot be investigated by the school. The governing body have engaged with the following bodies:-
• Free membership of LIFT for access to specialist teaching and learning service
• Link to Disabled Children’s Service for support to families for some pupils with high needs
• Access to local authority’s service level agreement with Speech and Language Therapy Services / Occupational Therapy Services / Physiotherapy Services for pupil with requirement for direct therapy or advice
• Ability to make ad hoc requests for advice from Communication and Assistive Technology Team, etc
Kent Parent Partnership Service (KPPS) and Information Advice and Support Kent (IASK) provides free, impartial, confidential, advice, support and options around educational issues for parents who have children with special educational needs or disabilities (0-19). They empower parents to play an active and informed role in their child’s education. They can be contacted on
HELPLINE: 03000 41 3000
Office: 03000 333 6474 413000
Minicom: 0300 333 6484
At Aycliffe Community Primary School we work closely with the educational settings used by the pupils before they transfer to us in order to seek the information that will make the transfer is a seamless as possible. We also contribute information to a pupils’ onward destination by providing information to the next setting.
The local authority’s local offer is published on http://www.kent.gov.uk/education-and-children/special-educational-needs and parents without internet access should make an appointment with the SENCO for support to gain the information they require.
We recognise that all pupils are equal regardless of cultural or ethnic background, religion, social circumstances, gender, sexual orientation, ability and disability. The curriculum and whole ethos of the school demonstrates that diversity is understood, is welcomed and appreciated within the school. Equal opportunities means that all children have the right to a broad and balanced curriculum with which all pupils can engage and achieve.
Tracey Cook April 2018