Supporting children with special educational needs in schools
The SEND Code of Practice states that 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 or young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age.
Levels of Support
The type of support that children and young people with SEN may receive will vary widely, as the types of SEN that they may have are very different. However, two broad levels of support are in place: SEN support, and Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP). Children with an EHCP will receive specialist support that will be detailed in their plan.
Children identified at SEN Support may receive targeted support such as:
- a special learning programme
- extra help from a teacher or assistant
- to work in a smaller group
- observation in class or at break
- help taking part in class activities
- extra encouragement in their learning, e.g. to ask questions or to try something they find difficult
- help communicating with other children
- support with physical or personal care difficulties, e.g. eating, getting around school safely or using the toilet
To effectively identify the support that is required at SEN Support, the school will implement the 4-part cycle known as the; ‘Graduated Approach’.
The four stages are;
Assess – Using a range of information that is available from school, family and external practitioners; such as Early Help, Outreach services ,etc; to undertake a holistic assessment to help identify the barriers to learning.
Plan – School, parent and the pupil should agree the adjustments, interventions and support to be put in place. A Person Centred Plan will be compiled and shared with all staff who work with your child detailing the child’s needs and any teaching strategies or approaches that are required.
Do – The teacher is responsible for working with the child on a daily basis. They should work closely with any TA’s to plan and assess the impact of support and interventions and how they can be linked to classroom teaching.
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.
Schools have funding and resources within their school budget to meet the needs of children with SEN. However, in exceptional circumstances, the school may submit a request to the local authority for additional funding support through the Graduated Support Process (GSP).
What to do if you think your child has Special Educational Needs?
If you have any concerns that your child may have SEN or may require additional support it is important to discuss your concerns with their school. The most effective response involves all parties working together to provide a consistent and co-ordinated approach that meets the additional needs of the child. You can contact the school SEN co-ordinator (SENCo) to discuss your concerns or to request further information or visit the SEN pages on the school website. Further guidance and information can also be found on the Shropshire SEN Local Offer.