SEND and the Local Offer

Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) and the Local Offer

Here at St. Vincent’s we believe that quality first teaching will enable our pupils to make good progress and reach their potential. However there are sometimes barriers to learning which prevent some children from making as much progress as we would hope and this is when additional support or advice may be required.

What do I do if my child is struggling or not making as much progress as they should be?

If this is the case, your child’s class teacher will already be aware and your child may be receiving some additional support in the classroom; have access to resources to support them in their learning or be part of a ‘catch up’ or intervention group. Please contact your child’s class teacher if you have any concerns and they will advise you on the best course of action.

Does this mean that my child has special educational needs?

Not always. Some children struggle with some aspects of their learning and may require extra support. If your child makes good progress with the ‘catch up’ programme and class support they may not need any further action.

However if your child’s progress is still slow or if there is evidence of a specific need he/she may need an individualised plan. This will be discussed with you and your child will be set specific targets to help him/her improve. This is called SEND Support.

What is the definition of special educational needs?

A child or young person has SEND if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her

A child of compulsory school age or a 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, or

-has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions

How is SEND identified?

Class teachers, supported by the senior leadership team will make regular assessments of progress for all pupils. These assessments seek to identify pupils making less than expected progress given their age and individual circumstances. This can be characterised by progress which:

• is significantly slower than that of their peers starting from the same baseline

• fails to match or better the child’s previous rate of progress

• fails to close the attainment gap between the child and their peers

• widens the attainment gap

It can include progress in areas other than attainment – for instance where a pupil needs to make additional progress with wider development or social needs in order to make a successful transition to adult life.

For some children, SEND can be identified at an early age. However, for other children and young people, difficulties become evident only as they develop. We aim to be alert to emerging difficulties and respond early.

Slow progress and low attainment do not necessarily mean that a child has SEND and should not automatically lead to a pupil being recorded as having SEND. However, they may be an indicator of a range of learning difficulties or disabilities. Equally, it should not be assumed that attainment in line with chronological age means that there is no learning difficulty or disability.

Who do I speak to about my concerns?

Your first point of contact is your child’s class teacher who knows your child well. Your child’s teacher will discuss concerns with the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO )

SENCO (Infant Dept )   Mrs Tiernan

SENCO (Junior Dept)    Mrs Farrell

You may wish to contact the SENCO directly and you can do so by contacting the Office in the relevant department.

What if I am not happy with the provision my child receives?

We do our very best to work with you and outside agencies to provide the best possible support and provision for your child. However, if you are not happy with the provision we ask that you talk with us about it. If concerns remain, then parents may use the complaints procedure.  We are an inclusive school and actively encourage parents to work in partnership with us. 

What are the areas defined in the SEND Code of Practice?

Communication and interaction

Children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) have difficulty in communicating with others. This may be because they have difficulty saying what they want to, understanding what is being said to them or they do not understand or use social rules of communication. The profile for every child with SLCN is different and their needs may change over time. They may have difficulty with one, some or all of the different aspects of speech, language or social communication at different times of their lives.

Children and young people with ASD, including Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism, are likely to have particular difficulties with social interaction. They may also experience difficulties with language, communication and imagination, which can impact on how they relate to others.

Cognition and learning

Support for learning difficulties may be required when children and young people learn at a slower pace than their peers, even with appropriate differentiation. Learning difficulties cover a wide range of needs, including moderate learning difficulties (MLD), severe learning difficulties (SLD), where children are likely to need support in all areas of the curriculum and associated difficulties with mobility and communication, through to profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD), where children are likely to have severe and complex learning difficulties as well as a physical disability or sensory impairment.

Specific learning difficulties (SpLD), affect one or more specific aspects of learning. This encompasses a range of conditions such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia.

Social, emotional and mental health difficulties

Children and young people may experience a wide range of social and emotional difficulties which manifest themselves in many ways. These may include becoming withdrawn or isolated, as well as displaying challenging, disruptive or disturbing behaviour. These behaviours may reflect underlying mental health difficulties such as anxiety or depression, self-harming, substance misuse, eating disorders or physical symptoms that are medically unexplained. Other children and young people may have disorders such as attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder or attachment disorder.

Sensory and/or physical needs

Some children and young people require special educational provision because they have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of the educational facilities generally provided. These difficulties can be age related and may fluctuate over time. Many children and young people with vision impairment (VI), hearing impairment (HI) or a multi-sensory impairment (MSI) will require specialist support and/or equipment to access their learning, or habilitation support. Children and young people with an MSI have a combination of vision and hearing difficulties.

Some children and young people with a physical disability (PD) require additional ongoing support and equipment to access all the opportunities available to their peers.

What happens if my child is identified as having SEN?

Some children enter school already having been identified as having SEN, others are identified during their time at school. If your child has been identified as having a special educational need, your child's class teacher and the SENCO will work with you to set targets for your child and additional support and/or resources provided to aid their learning will be discussed with you. It is important that your child’s views are part of this process and your role in supporting your child is vital.

There are four main stages of this process – Assess, Plan, Do, Review. This is a partnership between home and school and if appropriate other agencies involved with your child.  The individualised plan will be reviewed on a termly basis and you will be invited to a meeting to review your child’s progress and set new targets.

What support will there be for my child's wellbeing?

At St. Vincent's we have a Pastoral Care Team. The Pastoral Care Team work with children who may lack self-esteem or confidence or be troubled by some aspect of their personal life. In each department, we have set up quiet, reflective and calming places to go. We have trained three of our staff in a programme called "Happy to be me". We are beginning to see excellent results in the children's concentration, well being and confidence and in their educational development.

How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including physical activities and school trips?

Our school is fully inclusive and adaptations will be made where possible. If additional adult support is needed to ensure your child can access what is on offer, this will be provided where appropriate. Close liaison will take place between school and staff involved in providing the activity or hosting the trip, so they are always fully aware of your child’s needs.

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?

The school has a long established link with advisory services in Trafford. This includes Speech and Language Therapists; Sensory Impairment Service; Special Needs Advisory Service (SENAS) and the School Nursing Team. The Educational Psychologist linked to our school is Sheelagh McHugh who also has responsibility for other schools in Trafford. The School Nurse provides a drop-in session for parents each half term.

Staff receive regular training on various aspects of special educational needs.

How accessible is the school environment?

We take seriously our need to carry out accessibility planning for disabled pupils as required by Schedule 10 of the Equality Act 2010. We have prepared an Accessibility Plan which plans for:

  • Increasing the extent to which disabled pupils can participate in the school’s curriculum.
  • Improving the physical environment of the school to enable disabled pupils to take better advantage of education, benefits, facilities and services provided.
  • Improving the delivery to disabled pupils of information which is readily accessible to pupils who are not disabled.

Children with disabilities or special educational needs are not treated differently as we are fully inclusive. We have accessible toilets and both buildings have wheelchair access.

How are parents and young people themselves involved in the school?

The school operates an’ open door policy’ If you want to discuss an issue in more detail you can make an appointment to see the appropriate member of staff. There are two formal parents’ evenings throughout the year and you will receive a report at the end of the school year. If your child has special educational needs regular review meetings may take place where all professionals involved in supporting your child can meet with you to discuss the next steps. Parents are invited in to school to help with reading, help on school trips and support school events, assemblies and drama productions. Each year group provides half termly newsletters and curriculum plans are published on the website.

All children take part in class assemblies, Masses, drama productions and are encouraged to help throughout school.

What happens if SEND Support is not adequate to meet the needs of my child?

For the majority of children, SEND support will meet their needs and support them in making progress thus closing the attainment gap. For some, further advice or support may be required and an Education, Health and Care needs assessment may be required  in order for the local authority to decide whether it is necessary for them to make provision in accordance with an EHC plan.

The purpose of an EHC plan is to make special educational provision to meet the special educational needs of the child or young person, to secure the best possible outcomes for them across education, health and social care and, as they get older, prepare them for adulthood

In considering whether an EHC needs assessment is necessary, the local authority will consider whether there is evidence that despite the school having taken relevant and purposeful action to identify, assess and meet the special educational needs of the child, the child has not made expected progress.

How can I find out more?

The SEND Code of Practice published in July 2014 is available on the DFE website. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/send-code-of-practice-0-to-25

Trafford Council  also publishes information regarding provision for SEND across the borough. This is called the Local Offer. All local authorities  publish a Local Offer, setting out in one place information about provision they expect to be available across education, health and social care for children and young people in their area who have SEND or are disabled, including those who do not have Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans. This information can be found at http://trafford.childrensservicedirectory.org.uk

If you require any additional information please do not hesitate to contact the school. We are here to help and would rather you express your concerns to us than worry about your child. 

Contact the School

St Vincent's Catholic Primary School

Orchard Road
Altrincham
Cheshire
WA15 8EY
Headteacher: Mrs A Harrop

Tel: 0161 911 8040
admin@stvincents.trafford.sch.uk

Testimonials

We couldn’t be happier with St Vincent’s, our children are really happy there. - Parent Survey
It is a wonderful environment, our children are flourishing - Parent Survey
The school ethos gives the children excellent opportunities to develop their spirituality and knowledge of their faith. - Parent Survey
It is a really friendly school, I have been made to feel very welcome. - Parent Survey
We love St Vincent’s, keep doing what you are doing! - Parent Survey