A child has Special Educational Needs (SEND) if he or she has identified learning difficulties or disabilities that make it significantly harder for him or her to learn than most other children of about the same age.
Many children will have additional educational needs of some kind during their education. At Carlton le Willows Academy we work with children and their families, as well as other schools and agencies, to help most children overcome the barriers their difficulties present quickly and easily. We have excellent support within out teaching departments, House, Tutor and student support provision that meet the vast majority of these needs.
However, some children may need extra help for some or all of their time in school.
So Special Educational Needs at Carlton le Willows Academy could mean that a child has:
- established and significant learning difficulties – in acquiring basic skills in school
- complex and challenging emotional or mental health difficulties – making friends or relating to adults
- sensory or physical needs – such as hearing or visual impairment, which might affect their ability to access the curriculum
- identified and significant communication problems – in expressing themselves or understanding what others are saying – including Autistic Spectrum needs
- complex or significant medical or health conditions – which may slow down a child’s progress and/or involves treatment that affects his or her education
All children make progress at different rates and have different ways in which they learn best. Teachers at Carlton le Willows Academy take careful account of this in the way they organise their lessons and teach. Children making slower progress or having particular difficulties in one area may be given some extra help or different lessons to help them succeed.
The Academy SEND (Learning Support) department offers advice and information to teaching staff to help them plan for additional needs of a child. It does this in partnership with parents and agencies to try and ensure there is a clear understanding of a child’s needs.
What if I have concerns?
You should not assume, just because your child is making slower progress than you expected or the teachers are providing different support, help or activities in class, that you child has special educational needs. There are regular meetings with House tutors and subject teachers throughout the year. In most cases they will be able to advise you on your child’s progress.
If you have any concerns about your child’s progress, you should first talk to your child’s tutor or subject teachers. At Carlton le Willows Academy there is a Special Educational Needs Co-coordinator (SENCo) Ms Marks, who is responsible for co-ordinating help for children with special educational needs. You will be able to talk over your concerns with your child’s tutor, subject teacher and/or SENCo and find out what the school thinks. The SENCo, teacher or tutor will be able to explain what happens next.
Working together with your child’s teachers will often help to sort out worries and problems. The closer you work with your child’s teacher, the more successful any help can be.
What if I still have concerns?
If you have met with your child’s teachers and still have concerns you should first talk to the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo). You could also talk to the head of your child’s house or student support. It is important that you co-operate as much as you can with Academy staff in any discussion about your child’s needs, progress and provision. You may find it helpful to write down your worries before a meeting and, if you want to, you can bring a friend or relative with you. You may also find it helpful to talk to other parents. You can also contact the parent partnership service (http://www.ppsnotts.org.uk) who can also give you the names of local voluntary organisations and parents’ groups that might be able to help you.
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If your child still does not seem to be making educational/emotional progress or needs a lot more extra help, the Academy will work with other professionals to develop a clearer understanding of how best to support them. The Local Authority (LA) may additionally decide to carry out a statutory assessment of your child’s education and health needs. This is only required for a very small number of children (less than 1% or the total school population) and is only necessary if the Local Authority and Academy cannot provide all the help that your child needs. It is usually only required for children who have the most significant and long-term special educational needs which need a very detailed assessment (see EHC Plans).
Curriculum Planning and Assessment for Students with Special Educational Needs Provision (SEP)
Curriculum planning and assessment for students with special educational needs takes account of the type and extent of the difficulty experienced by the student.
Teachers at Carlton le Willows encounter a wide range of students with special educational needs, some of whom will have disabilities. In most cases, the action necessary to respond to an individual’s requirements for curriculum access is met through greater differentiation of tasks and materials, consistent with school-based intervention as set out in the school policies and the SEN Code of Practice 2014.
A smaller number of students may need access to specialist equipment and approaches, or to alternative or adapted activities, consistent with school-based intervention augmented by advice and support from external specialists (as described in the SEN Code of Practice 2014) this is described as Special Education Provisions (SEP) or, in exceptional circumstances, with an Education Health Care (EHC) Plan. These two levels of SEN provision replace the old SEN Code of Practice School Action, School Action Plus and Statement.
We have a learning hub at the Academy. This is staffed by a team of experienced support staff. Some additional specialist provision such as target teaching, mind mapping, touch typing, ASDAN, AOPE, Prince’s Trust and nurture support is delivered here. In most cases, SEN children are supported within the classroom setting. We aim wherever possible to educate all students alongside their peers.
Where further support is required externally, the school works closely with other service providers and specialist staff at the local authority to manage a broad range of additional needs.
All teachers and support staff at Carlton le Willows work closely with representatives of other agencies who may be supporting the student.
All teachers at Carlton le Willows are teachers of SEND. Teachers plan carefully for SEND children in their lessons. They take careful note of advice they are offered and differentiate their practice accordingly to meet the child’s needs.
Subject teachers take specific action to provide access to quality first learning for students with special educational needs by:
- providing for students who need help with communication, language and literacy
- planning, where necessary, to develop students’ understanding through the use of all available senses and experiences
- planning for students’ full participation in learning and physical and practical activities
- helping students to manage their behaviour, to take part in learning effectively and safely
- helping individuals to manage their emotions, particularly trauma or stress and to take part in learning
Moving between any educational phase can be a challenging experience for any young person. Carlton le Willows Academy aims to support this process through careful planning and effective communication. The school works closely with all feeder primary schools to ensure there is a good understanding of the individual needs of each student whilst providing opportunities for the young people themselves to experience a successful induction. The school also provides access to high quality CIAG through its work with Careers Inc who provide impartial advice and guidance to young people and support to the Learning Support team when planning for Post 16 provision.
Students with disabilities and/or health needs
Not all students with disabilities or health needs will necessarily have learning or communication needs, Many students with disabilities learn alongside their peers with little need for additional resources beyond the aids which they use as part of their daily life, such as hearing aid or equipment to aid vision. Teachers take action, however, in their planning to ensure that these students are enabled to participate as fully and effectively as possible within the national curriculum and the statutory assessment arrangements. The Learning Support team help teachers to respond to potential areas of difficulty through identification and advice at the outset of work.
Teachers take specific action to enable effective participation for students with disabilities and/or health needs by:
- planning appropriate amounts of time to allow for the satisfactory completion of tasks
- planning opportunities, where necessary, for the development of skills in practical aspects of the curriculum
- identifying aspects of programmes of study and attainment targets that may present specific difficulties for individuals
Students who are learning English as an additional language (EAL)
Students for whom English is an additional language (EAL) have diverse needs in terms of support necessary in English language learning. Planning takes account of such factors as the student’s age, length of time in the country, previous educational experience and skills in other languages. Careful monitoring of each student’s progress in the acquisition of English Language skills and of subject knowledge and understanding is carried out to confirm that no learning difficulties are present.
The ability of students for whom English is an additional language to take part in the national curriculum may be ahead of their communication skills in English. Teachers plan learning opportunities to help students develop their English and should aim to provide the support students need to take part in all subject areas.
At Carlton le Willows Academy EAL support is co-ordinated by the Student Services team.
Teachers take specific action to help students who are learning English as an additional language by:
- developing their spoken and written English
- ensuring access to the curriculum and to assessment
- liaising closely with Student Services and external agencies for advice and information
Exam access arrangements
At Carlton le Willows Academy the Learning Support department works with colleagues to co-ordinate Exam Access Arrangements. See also Exam Access within the school website.
- These are agreed through assessment, consultation and application to the exam board QCA. These additional arrangements allow candidates/learners with special educational needs, disabilities or temporary injures to access the examination
- Access arrangements allow candidates/learners to show what they know and can do, without changing the demands of the assessment: for example, readers, scribes, word processors and Braille question papers
- The process for granting an access arrangement and the evidence required will vary according to the assessment, as well as the nature of the access arrangement and the reason for seeking it. Access arrangements are intended to increase access to assessments but cannot be granted where they will directly affect performance in the skills that are the focus of the assessment
- Access arrangements are not there to give candidates an unfair advantage, but to give all candidates a level playing field in which to demonstrate their skills, knowledge and understanding.
- The Equality Act requires awarding bodies to agree reasonable adjustments for disabled candidates/learners in order to lessen or remove the effects of a ‘substantial disadvantage’ in an assessment. For example a Braille paper is an access arrangement which would be a reasonable adjustment for a Braille reader, but not for a candidate/learner who was unable to read Braille. A reasonable adjustment for a particular person may be unique to that student
- The reasonableness of the adjustment will depend on the needs of the disabled candidate/learner
- An adjustment may not be considered reasonable if it involves unreasonable costs, time frames or affects the security or integrity of the assessment
- There is no duty on the awarding bodies to make any adjustment to the competencies being tested in an assessment
- Special consideration is an adjustment to a candidate’s mark or grade to reflect temporary illness, injury or other indisposition at the time of the assessment
Learning support plans (SEP)
If a student is assessed as requiring ‘SEND Support’ (2014 SEND Code of Practice – CoP) they will have learning support plans (SEP).
The SEN Support process at Carlton le Willows is based on an assess, plan, do, review process as set out in the 2014 Code of Practice. This process is designed to co-ordinate an effective response to the identified needs of a student.
The support plans are designed to provide everyone with a fuller understanding of a students’ needs and what is required to enable learning.
The Learning Support Plans are regularly reviewed and amended to reflect progress and attainment.
Parents and students are invited to attend the review meetings, along with any external agencies involved in supporting a child and young people are encouraged to play an active role in their review meetings. This partnership is seen as essential to supporting children to succeed.
Subject teachers are integral to the SEND process. They are involved in all stages of the process. The subject teachers retain responsibility for the progress of students in their lessons.
Annual review and meeting for children with educational health care (EHC) plan
As said above, this represents only a very few children at the Academy. If your child has an Education and Health Care Plan you will be aware of this as you will have been involved in drawing this up with the Local Authority. This is for children whose additional needs are assessed as exceptional.
- If your child has an Education Health Care Plan (EHC Plan), the Academy, in consultation with the Local Authority, will review your child’s statement at least once a year, checking your child’s progress and making sure that the statement continues to meet their needs.
- We will invite you to a review meeting and ask you to send in your views on your child’s progress over the past year
- The review meeting looks at written reports and at your child’s statement, and will see if it needs changing in any way. You are also asked for your views on your child’s progress
- You can bring a friend or an independent adult, and your child should be able to attend at least part of the meeting
- After the meeting, we will send you a copy of the decisions
- The Academy also sends a report to the Local Authority recommending any agreed changes to the statement
- The Local Authority may then decide to make changes to your child’s EHC Plan
Carlton le Willows Academy aims to provide high quality support for all learners identified with additional needs. In the 2015/16 academic year, 69 students within the school population were identified at SEP level and two students held an Education Health and Care Plan.
Results achieved by Year 11 leavers indicate that 53% of students at SEP or EHCP level made three levels of progress in English and 47% of those students made three levels of progress in Maths. 20% of students at SEP or EHCP level made four levels of progress in English and 40% of those students made four levels of progress in maths.