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Who decides if my child has SEND?

How we identify and assess children with special educational needs


Often, children may join our school, with parents having a clear picture of their child’s needs – parents know their children best – and as a school we see parents as full partners in their child’s education. Sometimes, however, it is school staff who may initially identify a concern. If this were to be the case, school staff would liaise with parents at the earliest opportunity to discuss such concerns and agree a way forward.


For some concerns, we may discuss the involvement of the Educational Psychology Service, the Learning Support Service, the Occupational Therapy Service, Parent Support Advisor, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service or your local GP. It is important to understand, however, that the purpose of involving professionals is not always to seek a ‘label’ or ‘diagnosis’ – but more often to provide school with advice to help the child learn as well as they possibly can. For example, Professionals may suggest alternative programmes, teaching strategies, resources or services that may help school to address the child's needs in the best way possible.


SEND is flexible and while disabilities may be life-long, Educational Needs are more fluid and our SEND register reflects this. Once a child's needs are identified, provision will be put into place to ensure they are met. Once these needs are addressed and we are confident in the outcomes of the support we have provided, your child will no longer be placed on our SEND register. The flexible approach we have adopted means that we are able to identify and act upon individual needs quickly and efficiently.


Quality First Teaching (QFT)

Most children and young people will have their special educational needs met in mainstream schools through good classroom practice. This is called Quality First Teaching. At St Hild's CE Primary School, we follow a graduated support approach which is called, "Assess, Plan, Do, Review" to meet the needs of pupils with SEND. 

This means that we will:

  1. Assess a child’s special educational needs
  2. Plan the provision to meet your child’s aspirations and agreed outcomes
  3. Do put the provision in place to meet those outcomes
  4. Review the support and progress that has been offered


The SEN Support Plan

As part of this "Assess, Plan, Do, Review" approach, we will produce a SEN Support Plan. This plan describes the provision that we will make to meet a child’s special educational needs. A set of agreed outcomes will be included in the plan to ensure that the support that is provided is tailored to the child's individual needs.  Parents and carers will be fully involved in this process and will contribute to the formation of the plan.

Termly meetings will be held in school with parents and carers, the child, school staff and any other professionals who work with the child, for example speech therapists. All involved parties will contribute to the formation of the plan and the creation of outcomes. Parents and Carers will receive a copy of the plan following each review meeting. 


The completed Plan will be shared with everyone who works with your child including the class teacher, support staff and any professionals from other agencies who work with the child. The SENCO is responsible for ensuring that the outcomes identified in the plan are addressed and the required resources are available, however everyone who works with the child has a responsibility to ensure that the child's needs are met, that the outcomes are achieved and that the next steps are identified.


The SEN Support Plan will be reviewed at least once every term (a minimum of three times during the academic year), however the review may take place sooner if the outcomes have been achieved or if there is a significant change in the level of support required or the needs of the child.


An Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

Historically, children who had higher needs were issued a ‘statement of SEN’ by the Local Authority. From September 2014, statements ceased to be issued, and EHCPs are issued in their place. The Local Authority are currently in the process of converting Statements to EHCPs. All children with a current statement will be assessed against the criteria for EHCPs. If they do not meet the new criteria, this does not mean that their support stops - they will be converted to a SEN Support Plan and they will receive support in this way.

If your child receives a ECHP, their plans are set up by the Local Authority, but they reviewed and monitored by the school and parents and carers at least annually. Parents and Carers attend all meetings and contribute to the formation of the plan.

A small percentage of children and young people with significant learning difficulties might need an assessment that could lead to an Education, Health and Care Plan.  Full details can be found on the Local Offer website.


Evaluating the effectiveness of our provision

The SENCO is responsible for ensuring that systems are in place to meet the needs of all children with SEND. 

At St Hild's, our team of support staff work closely with our class teachers to provide additional support in class to meet the needs of children with SEND. They also support children in small withdrawn groups and 1:1 where needed as part of our Provision Map.


As a school we formally assess the academic progress of all children every half term. The SENCO monitors the progress made by all children with SEND using the outcomes of these assessments. This is in addition to the informal assessments that our staff carry out during daily lessons. The information that is collected is used to assess the effectiveness of the support this is provided.


In order to ensure that the provision that is in place is effective and is meeting the needs of our pupils fully, the SENCO holds review meetings with each class teacher every term. These meetings are in addition to the informal discussions that may take place. The SENCO also holds regular meetings with the support staff team to ensure that the needs of the children in each Provision Map group are being met and the focus of each group remains appropriate. Changes are made to these groups as necessary, for example children may be added to a group if they are experiencing difficulties or they may be removed from a group if the focus is no longer appropriate and alternative support may be provided.


SEN support plan outcomes are evaluated and reviewed with parents and carers and other professionals at least once a term.

The SENCO is responsible for co-ordinating SEND provision throughout the school. 

It is the SENCO’s job to: 

  1. Oversee the day-to-day operation of the school’s SEN policy
  2. Liaise with the relevant Designated Teacher where a looked after pupil has SEN
  3. Advise teachers on using a graduated approach to providing SEN support
  4. Advise on the deployment of the school’s delegated budget and other resources to meet the pupil’s needs effectively
  5. Liaise with parents/carers of pupils with SEN
  6. Liaise with and be a key point of contact for external agencies
  7. Ensure that the school keeps the records of all SEN pupils up to date
  8. Work with the head teacher and school governors to ensure that the school meets its responsibilities with regard to reasonable adjustments and access arrangements