Our SEND Offer
Thomas Whitehead CE Academy SEND Offer
We support children who have a Special Educational Need and/or Disability (SEND) in line with the Children’s and Families Act 2015, the SEN Code of Practice 2015 and Central Bedfordshire guidance. Our SEND policy and the information set out below gives further details regarding this.
The attainment and progress of all children is regularly tracked and monitored by the class teacher and the senior leadership team. This is done through ongoing observations and assessments by the teachers and teaching assistants working with the children. Where a child’s attainment and / or progress in any area is below that which is expected for children of their age discussion is had between the class teacher and the SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator). An initial concern form may be completed by the class teacher. If this is the case it will be shared with parents/ carers and the SENCO. Actions will be carried out as noted on the concerns form. These may include; further observations, specific assessments and / or discussion with other professionals (for example a Speech and Language Therapist or an Occupational Therapist).
We follow guidance set by Central Bedfordshire Council which gives a graduated response to provision for children who have SEND.
The guidance (for early years and for children 5-16) sets out the level of need and of support expected at each stage. This will be explained to you in relation to your child as concerns / needs arise and you will be kept informed regarding any changes. Where appropriate an EHCP needs assessment will be requested and in some cases, this results in a child having an EHCP.
Where a child is identified as having Special Educational Needs or a Disability a record of the additional support provided will be kept and shared with parents/ carers.
This record may take the form of an Individual Education Plan, a SEND Support Plan, a Communication Passport, a Behaviour Support Plan, a Care Plan or an Individual Support Strategies document. These documents will be co-produced and reviewed with you, your child and relevant staff.
SEND reviews are held at least 3 times per year. EHCP reviews are held annually (or every 6 months where the pupil is in Early Years) unless there is a need for an additional review. Small steps of progress are tracked, and next steps planned.
Parents and carers have the opportunity to discuss outside agency reports with Mrs Long (SENCO).
Class Teachers are responsible for ensuring that the curriculum is tailored in order that children’s individual needs are met.
Children are supported to understand their individual targets and are actively involved in tracking their progress towards them.
Examples of support provided are listed within our SEND Report.
Examples of external agencies which may be involved are listed within our SEND Report.
Our SENCO holds National Award for SEN Coordination.
Our SENCO is non classroom based and is employed for 3 days per week.
Our SENCO provides advisory support for those working with children who have Down syndrome in other educational settings.
Our SENCO attends professional studies group / liaison meetings with other SENCOs to share good practice.
We have a number of Teaching Assistants across the school.
Staff training is provided in a number of different ways according to the needs of the staff in accordance with the needs of the children. Many members of staff are able to use some sign language, and some are competent in its use. Some staff have personal experience of supporting a child who has a Special Educational Need and / or a disability in addition to their professional experience. Health professionals provide training for relevant members of staff in relation to individual children’s specific medical needs. A large number of staff are first aid trained. Examples of training and specialisms are listed within our SEND Report.
With parent / carer agreement close liaison is had between external agencies in order to best meet the needs of the children. School staff may attend external meetings /appointments with parents/ carers and other professionals.
Supporting parents / carers is very important to us. We have an easy access / open door policy, a parent support worker and we ensue that information and support is given regarding accessing support from outside agencies.
Thomas Whitehead CE Academy is built on ground floor level and has wheelchair access. There are 3 mobile classrooms which are accessible via ramps. There is a wheelchair accessible toilet.
Children are able (or are supported) to access the curriculum as a result of Quality First Teaching and a tailored curriculum.
Most support is given to children within the classroom. In order to promote inclusion careful consideration is had before withdrawing children from lessons for 1-1 support.
We want all children to participate as fully as possible in all aspects of the curriculum both in and out of school. We encourage all children to attend school trips and residential visits with support as appropriate and we discuss children’s individual needs regarding this with parents/ carers in order to agree appropriate support.
Transition planning is important. Parents and carers of children with SEND are encouraged to contact Mrs Long prior to their child starting at Thomas Whitehead CE Academy in order that transition planning and the best possible provision may be put in place.
Strategies to support the transition of children may include visits by relevant staff to see the child in their current setting (home, pre -school, class, other setting) and to meet with those supporting them there, visits by staff from the setting the child is transferring to in order to see them in our setting and to meet with current staff supporting them, meetings with parents / carers and relevant professionals prior to transition and the sharing of relevant records, opportunities for the child to visit their new class or setting and photographs of / visual information regarding the new class or setting (including staff).