My child has SEN - what happens next?
SEN support in school
Most children and young people with SEN will be able to have their needs met in a mainstream school. Schools should adapt their approach and provide a personalised curriculum that is differentiated and that identifies any additional targeted support and intervention. This is called SEN support. Shropshire Provision for SEND - A Guide for Mainstream Schools provides further information about the support that schools can put in place to meet the special educational needs of children across all four areas of need.
Your school may suggest a meeting to write a 'one page profile' for your child. This will help everyone working with your child to learn about their special educational needs, their strengths and how to support your child. You may also want to write a one page profile with your child to share with others. This could include clubs or classes that your child attends outside of school.
Please take a look at our 'What is SEN Support' leaflet for more information.
The Graduated Approach
The four stages are:
- Assess – A thorough and holistic assessment is essential to ensure that the ‘needs’ are accurately identified to ensure that the most appropriate and effective interventions are implemented. Assessments may be carried out by school staff (eg Dyslexia, Early Help – ‘Family Webstar’) or may involve external agencies (educational psychologists, specialist outreach support, Sensory Inclusion Service)
- Plan – Once the key barriers to learning have been identified it is possible to plan the most effective interventions. The teacher and SENCo should agree, in consultation with the parent and the pupil, the adjustments, interventions and support to be put in place. All teachers and support staff who work with the pupil should be aware of their needs, the outcomes sought, the support provided and any teaching strategies or approaches that are required
- Do – The class or subject teacher should remain responsible for working with the child on a daily basis. Where the interventions involve group or 1:1 teaching away from the main class or subject teacher, they should still retain responsibility for the pupil. They should work closely with any TAs to plan and assess the impact of support and interventions and how they can be linked to classroom teaching. The SENCo should support the class teacher and provide advice on the effective implementation of support
- Review – The impact and quality of the support and interventions should be evaluated, along with the views of the parent and child. The class teacher, working with the SENCo, should revise the support in light of the pupil’s progress and development.
Graduated support plan (GSP)
Your child’s school may consider it necessary to request additional funding from the local authority to provide further targeted support for a limited period of time, or for a specific intervention. This may happen where the cost of additional, targeted support is likely to be greater than the resources generally available to schools to meet the needs of children with SEN. This will also include occasions where it may be necessary to access additional specialist support for a limited period (this doesn't include a one-off assessment by a specialist).
If your child’s school requests additional funding through a GSP it will involve you in this decision, and your consent will be required in order to make the request. Your child’s school will complete the request form and submit a complete plan that will identify appropriate outcomes for your child. This request will be considered by a panel that includes SEN officers, an educational psychologist and a headteacher. The school will be notified of the panel decision within two weeks of us receiving the request.
How can schools request additional resources?
The school will need to provide information about the interventions and support that have been put in place already. This should already be available as it's expected that the school will have already completed at least two cycles of ‘assess, plan, do, review’ as part of their graduated approach. Schools will also be expected to have considered what other universal and targeted support may be available through early help, and will have sought external advice from a specialist/advisory teacher or an educational psychologist. In addition, the school may have held a pupil planning meeting. If a pupil planning meeting is required this will also involve you as the parent and your child/young person if appropriate.
If we agree that additional funding is required a graduated support plan (GSP) will be developed and funding allocated for a fixed period. The GSP will describe your child’s special educational needs as well as any additional needs that may have been identified through an early help assessment. It will also identify the ‘SMART’ outcomes to be achieved and the provision that will be put in place. For more information about what this might look like please look at the Shropshire Provision for SEND - A Guide for Mainstream Schools. In exceptional circumstances a school may be able to request additional funding without the need to demonstrate two cycles of 'assess, plan, do, review' in order to support a child who is demonstrating that they have a very high level of need that, with early intervention and targeted help, may be temporary in nature. We'll consider all such requests on an individual basis.