During the coming weeks, we know that some schools and colleges are closing or partially closing, which will affect EHC assessments, EHCP reviews and provision in school during this time. All of our advice for schools and parents about Coronavirus and its impact on SEND is available here.
Devon Information Advice and Support (DiAS) also offer information about coronavirus, school, education and SEND.
5 – 15
Most children with SEND can be supported to achieve their potential in mainstream schools in Devon and as a Local Authority we expect all our schools to be inclusive and supportive places where all children and young people can learn, build relationships and be part of the community.
The duties education settings have are set out in the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, 0-25, Code of Practice.
Information about each academy and maintained school in Devon can be found on the individual school’s website. This information should include details about the SEND support the school offers, its SEND policy and a SEN information report. For more information on the schools available in Devon and how to apply see School admissions. For information on ensuring that your child is well supported to move from one educational stage to the next, please see Transition.
- What support should be available at school?
All schools must be fully inclusive and do their best to meet the needs of children with SEND. Staff must ensure that children with SEND achieve their potential academically and as part of the school community.
Teachers are responsible for pupils’ learning and they will be supported by the school’s Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo). Schools can choose to support children with SEND in any way that will help including small group teaching and support time with a teaching assistant. Any additional support should be provided following an ‘assess, plan, do, review’ cycle to make sure that it is effective. For more information about this please see our graduated response information.
Depending on the child’s needs they may receive support from advisory teachers or services. Some pupils are supported through outreach work by staff from specialist centres or resources bases. This may be through visits or support given to staff at the pupil’s school. Some groups of schools work as federations or trusts, which means they share resources and knowledge in order to support each other and help children with SEND.
Children should be educated in their own year group, unless there are very exceptional circumstances. However, if a child has special educational needs which mean they might need to be educated as part of a different year group, or separately, this would need to be assessed by an educational psychologist and the SEN 0-25 Team.
Schools should provide support from year 8 to help young people plan their future employment and make decisions about the future. For young people with SEND, this support should include annual reviews with discussions about future plans including education, work and independence skills. For children with an EHC plan, representatives from Careers South West may be invited to the annual reviews in year 9 and year 11.
Education settings must consider whether a child or young person with SEND needs to have a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan written for them. This plan sets out the actions to be taken and by whom to ensure the safety of a child or young person with a disability in the case of an emergency evacuation.
- How will schools monitor pupils’ progress?
Schools monitor pupils’ progress every day during lessons and use this information to match teaching to needs. Schools should discuss your child’s progress with you informally when needed, at parents’ evenings and at SEND support review meetings. Families of children with SEND may have additional meetings to discuss progress or to review an EHC plan or statement.
If you feel that your child needs more support you should discuss this with their teacher and the SENCo.
Schools should give children, young people and their parents or carers information about any formal assessments that will involve the child or young person. In all formal assessments, access arrangements must be considered so that children with SEND can perform at their best. Arrangements that can be put in place depend on the child’s needs but may include rest breaks, extra time, an adult to help with reading, Braille versions of tests, making test papers easier to see and a separate place in which to complete the test. These arrangements should be similar to those which the child has in class every day.
- What can I do if I am worried about my child’s progress?
If you are worried about the progress your child is making at school, the first person to contact is the teacher. Teachers are responsible for the learning of your child and they may be supported by a teaching assistant. If the teacher cannot answer your query, then arrange to speak to the school’s SENCo or Head teacher.
If the SENCo and head teacher are unable to address your concerns then arrange to meet with the school governor who is responsible for SEND.
In the event that your concern is still not resolved then you should request a copy of the school complaints policy and follow its advice.
- How is support in school funded?
Schools receive money according to how many pupils there are in the school and what ages they are. This should pay for a curriculum which meets the needs of all children in the school.
This is an amount a school receives to provide for the needs of children and young people who require additional support. Appropriate provision for pupils with SEND should be additional to and different from the usual support provided for other learners in the class.
Top up funding
This provides for children and young people with the most complex needs. Who should receive this funding, how much they should receive and for how long is decided by a range of professionals with experience and expertise in SEND working together in the best interests of the child.
School budgets can be used to help children with SEND in any way which the school believes will provide appropriate support. This may be through additional resources, additional time with an adult or training for staff. To make the best use of resources, schools may work together in local groups called learning communities to share ideas and expertise. Some groups of schools work as federations or trusts, which means they share resources to be more efficient and get more value for money.
The pupil premium
This is additional funding given to schools by the government so that they can support disadvantaged children and young people, and close the attainment gap between them and their peers. Schools receive the pupil premium for each child registered as eligible for free school meals in reception to year 11, and for children in care. Schools are free to spend the pupil premium as they see fit and are responsible for how they use this funding to support individual eligible pupils.
The year 7 literacy and numeracy catch-up premium gives schools additional funding to support year 7 pupils who did not achieve at least level 4 in reading and/or maths at the end of key stage 2. Parents should be told if their child is eligible and schools must publish a report on how this funding was spent each year.
- Children on a break from full-time education
All children of compulsory school age are entitled to a full-time education. However, very occasionally different arrangements may be required to meet a pupil’s needs.
In very exceptional circumstances there may be a need for a temporary part-time timetable to meet a pupil’s individual needs. For example, where a medical condition prevents a child from attending full-time education and a part-time timetable is considered as part of a re-integration package. Guidance for temporary part-time timetables provides an overview and more information about this. If this is being considered, schools must submit the form for notification of a temporary part-time timetable.
In exceptional circumstances schools have the right to exclude a pupil but this should be avoided if possible and only used as a last resort. Where children have SEND, schools must give particular consideration to their fair treatment. If your child is excluded from school you should speak to the education inclusion service. This service provides impartial advice about dealing with inclusion, reintegration and exclusion. Support from the team can help a child to stay in school, or return to school after an exclusion and offer opportunities to help them achieve their full potential.
Wave – Devon’s Offer for Reintegration
Wave Multi-Academy Trust has an offer for Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 students.