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Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Our Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) is Miss Jennifer Murphy

A Celebratory Approach to Working with Children with SEND

The Department for Education (DfE) has also published a guide produced by Pen Green Children’s Centre – ‘A Celebratory Approach to Working with Children with SEND – Giving additional support in the Early Years’ (formerly ‘A Celebratory Approach to SEND assessment in the Early Years’) to help practitioners who may be supporting children who require additional help or children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. Please click on the link below to view this useful document.   

  • SEN Code of Practice The Code provides a model that all schools have to have regard for when supporting children with special educational needs. This provides for help to be offered at two levels: School Provision and EHCP-(Educational Health Care Plan).

Policies which relate to Special Educational Needs and Disabilities in our school.

If you are not satisfied with the provision for your child with SEND at any time, please speak to Miss Murphy or Mrs Berry in the first instance. If you wish to make a complaint, please follow our complaints procedure as detailed in our Complaints Policy, under the Policies tab.

A Speech and Language Screening Toolkit

WellComm is a toolkit designed to help early years settings identify children from six months to six years old who might be experiencing delays with speech and language. It can then help put immediate interventions into place, while waiting for a more formal assessment.

An early start

All children entering our school are screened to establish a baseline. Usually this would happen in the first few weeks after they have started but there are some exceptions. We wouldn’t screen a child who was very unsettled, for example.

WellComm operates a simple traffic light system of banding children in one of three categories. Green means no intervention is currently required, amber means extra support and intervention and red means consider referral to a specialist service for further advice and give extra support and intervention.  After assessment, we put in place immediate interventions for those who don’t achieve the green band. We look at the results to see areas where there are groups of children who need to work on the same targets.

Timely action

WellComm comes with The Big Book of Ideas, a collection of over 1,000 play-based activities, effective in meeting the individual needs identified during the screening process.  It offers invaluable support in deciding how best to address areas that require improvement, for example through focused questions, story time or play based learning.

Being able to offer practical help to children straight away is fantastic. We can also re-screen to check they are progressing. 

​Results are shared with parents and with primary schools when a child moves up to reception classes.

Benefits of WellComm 

  • Helps to quickly identify three and four year olds with speech and language development issues
  • The Big Book of Ideas ensures intervention resources are readily available to move children forward immediately.
  • Traffic light system means it is easy to spot where children are struggling and monitor progress
  • Shows ways of developing the curriculum to support speech, language and communication in a meaningful way through an increased awareness of children’s needs.
  • Evidence based assessment which supports referrals to speech therapy services and enhances language programmes in place for children with speech, language and communication difficulties

What is Makaton?

Help your child to communicate their needs using this programme of signs and symbols as used by Justin and Mr Tumble on Something Special.

Makaton is designed to support spoken language – the signs are used in spoken word order to help children and adults to communicate. Using signs can be useful for children who have no speech (because they have communication difficulties or are very young), or whose speech is unclear. Children’s understanding often develops ahead of their speech. This can be frustrating as they know what they want but struggle to express it.

Using signing can help to empower children to say what they want to say, and alleviate this frustration. Makaton symbols can also be used to support communication in many different ways – they’re especially useful for those who have limited speech and who cannot, or prefer not to sign.

Who can Makaton help?

Makaton can help children and adults who have difficulty with:

  • Communicating what they want, think or how they feel
  • Making themselves understood
  • Paying attention
  • Listening to and understanding speech
  • Remembering sequencing

Makaton is a visual way to develop communication skills which helps to stimulate sounds and words. This in turn encourages language development (i.e. putting words together) – Makaton aids understanding by giving you an extra visual clue to what’s being expressed.

Things to do together:

  • Find out more about Makaton through The Makaton Charity, which exists to ensure everyone living with learning or communication difficulties has the tools and resources they need to communicate.

Reasonable Expectations of Mainstream Schools for children with a Special Need or Disability

Roles and Responsibilities in Schools for children with SEND

Education and Health Care Plans

Some children or young people with more complex educational needs receive support through an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan. EHC plans started to replace statements of special educational needs from 1 September 2014, but because the move from the old to new system is gradual statements will still exist for a while longer.

What is an EHC plan?

An EHC plan is a legal document that describes a child or young person’s special educational, health and social care needs. It explains the extra help that will be given to meet those needs and how that help will support the child or young person to achieve what they want to in their life. The plan is drawn up by the local authority after an EHC needs assessment.

An EHC plan can be issued to a child or young person between the ages of 0 and 25 years.

Who needs an EHC plan?

EHC plans are for children and young people whose special educational needs require more help than would normally be provided in a mainstream education setting (a college, school, nursery). Although the plan can include health or social care needs, your child will not get a plan if they only have health or social care needs that do not affect their education.

What does an EHC plan look like?

The plan has 12 sections labelled alphabetically:

A: The views, interests and aspirations of your child.
B: Special educational needs (SEN).
C: Health needs related to SEN.
D: Social care needs related to SEN.
E: Outcomes – how the extra help will benefit your child
F: Special educational provision (support).
G: Health provision.
H: Social care provision.
I: Placement – type and name of school or other institution.
J: Personal budget arrangements.
K: Advice and information – a list of the information gathered during the EHC needs assessment.

The plan should be written so that everyone can understand it. It should be clear and detailed about the amount and type of support your child will get and how the support will help your child.

Review of the plan

The plan must be reviewed at least once a year. This is a chance for everyone involved in supporting your child to check how well they are progressing and whether anything needs to be changed. At the end of the review the local authority may make changes to the plan, end it or leave it unchanged.

The plan will remain in place until your child leaves education or the local authority decides that your child no longer needs the plan to help them in their education. If you move to another local authority the plan will be transferred.

Parents in Partnership

Speech and Language Guidance