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St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School

Special Educational Needs Policy

School Mission Statement:

We are a Roman Catholic Community committed to:

  • Mutual respect, positive encouragement and participation.

  • Recognising the different personal and educational needs of all pupils.

  • The delivery of the full national curriculum together with a religious education syllabus approved by the Catholic Church.

  • The highest standards of teaching, learning and performance.

  • Maintaining a supportive partnership with parents, the parish, and the wider community.

  • The professional development of all staff.

Context

All children have the human right to learn and to be educated alongside their peers. At St Thomas’ we are fully committed to meeting the needs of those pupils with Special Educational Needs so far as is reasonably practicable and compatible with the provision of the efficient education of other pupils. At St Thomas’ we believe that all children have rights to a full, enriching and enjoyable curriculum, irrespective of race, belief, gender, background or ability. We aim to meet each child’s requirements, making necessary adaptations and taking into account their needs and wishes. We will consult with children, parents and outside agencies to help support our good practice. Strengths will be acknowledged as well as difficulties, so that adaptations will be made relevant to the individual child. We focus on individual progress as the main indicator of success. Every child is valued. Every child is an individual with a personality, needs and interests. We believe in the right of children to feel safe and to enjoy their school experience – thus developing the whole child, academically, socially, physically, morally, emotionally and spiritually.

High quality teaching that is differentiated and personalised will meet the individual needs of the majority of children and young people. Some children and young people need educational provision that is additional to or different from this. This is special educational provision under Section21 of the Children and Families Act 2014.

SEN Code of Practice 2014 paragraph 1.24

Introduction

The whole team at the school is committed to providing a welcoming, attractive and stimulating environment to support the needs and develop the learning of the children and families in the community. Every child and family in our community is valued and diversity is celebrated. Our school is staffed by a team of qualified teachers and teaching assistants. The school provides a broad and balanced curriculum in a safe, stimulating and caring environment which allows everyone to achieve, develop, learn and grow.

All areas of school life are inclusive and the teaching is tailored towards individual learning providing challenge and support; encouraging everyone to reach their full potential. Staff provide a positive ethos to enable the children to work towards the development of ‘life skills’ and instil life -long learning aspirations for everyone through a range of activities which are fun and enjoyable.

Objectives of the Policy

In providing for those pupils defined as having SEN at St Thomas’ we seek to:

  • Provide the highest standard of education for all pupils.
  • Value all pupils in our school equally.
  • Ensure that all pupils have equal access to a broad, balanced curriculum, which is differentiated to meet individual needs and abilities so that pupils make progress.
  • Work in partnership with parents/ carers and children.
  • Ensure that teachers carry out their responsibilities in identifying Special Educational Needs, thus aiding early assessment.
  • Ensure pupil’s needs are met as soon as possible.
  • Work proactively with the LA and other agencies in identifying, assessing and meeting Special Educational Needs.

This policy will contribute to achieving these objectives by ensuring that provision for pupils with SEN is a matter for the whole school and is a part of the continuous cycle of assessment and review.

We will achieve this by:

  • Ensuring pupil progress is tracked systematically and action is taken to address needs at an early stage.
  • Identifying individuals with special educational needs.
  • Ensuring all class teachers are trained and equipped to support different additional needs.
  • Keeping up to date with research and best practice.
  • Working in a cooperative, productive partnership with the LA and other outside agencies to ensure there is a multi-professional approach to meeting the needs of all vulnerable learners.
  • Listening to pupils and parents, working in partnership with them, respecting their views and concerns.
  • Promoting children’s self-esteem and emotional well-being and helping them to form and maintain worthwhile relationships based on respect for themselves and others.
  • Offering quality provision which meets needs, is value for money and leads to good outcomes.

Definition

Special educational provision means educational provision that is additional to, or otherwise different from, the educational provision made generally for children of their age in schools maintained by the LA or other advisory body, other than special schools in the area.

Definitions of special educational needs (SEN) taken from section 20 of the Children and Families Act 2014.

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 them.

A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if they:

a) have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age; or

b) have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions.

A child under compulsory school age has special educational needs if they fall within the definition at (a) or (b) above or would do so if special educational provision was not made for them.

Children must not be regarded as having a learning difficulty solely because the language or form of language of their home is different from the language in which they will be taught.

Roles and Responsibility for Co-ordination of SEN Provision

Provision for pupils with SEN is a matter for the school as a whole. Responsibility for the organisation and monitoring of provision:

The person responsible for overseeing the provision for children with SEN is the Head Teacher: Mrs Myatt.

The person co-ordinating the day to day provision of education for pupils with SEN is the school SENCo. At St Thomas of Canterbury, the Special Educational Needs Co-Ordination, known as the SENCo, is Mrs Thomas who has completed the National SENCo Award.

SENCo duties include:

  • Helping to co-ordinate provision.
  • Liaising with and advising teachers and support staff.
  • Overseeing the records of all children with SEN.
  • The administration of reviews and SEN Register.
  • Liaising with parents of children with SEN (in conjunction with class teachers.)
  • Contributing to the in-service training of staff.
  • Liaising with external agencies, including The LA, Educational Psychology Services, Health and Social Services and voluntary bodies.
  • The SENCO is responsible for reporting to the governor with responsibility for SEN
  • Supporting the Head Teacher.

Governing Body

The school governing body have specific responsibility to:

  • Do its best to ensure that the necessary provision is made for any pupil who has SEN.
  • Ensure that, pupil’s needs are made known to all who are likely to teach them.
  • Ensure that all teachers are aware of the importance of identifying and providing for those pupils who have SEN.
  • Ensure that pupils with SEN are enabled to access the National Curriculum alongside their peers.
  • Ensure that parents are notified of a decision by the school that SEN provision is being made for their child.

Parents and Carers

At St Thomas’ we value and accept the positive role and contribution parents/carers can make. We make every effort to work in full co-operation with parents/carers, recognising and respecting their roles and responsibilities. Parents/carers are encouraged to work with the school and other professionals to ensure that their child’s needs are identified and met as early as possible. In order that parents play an active part in their child’s development, the school endeavours to provide relevant information so they can reinforce learning in the home.

We acknowledge the difficulties parents/carers can face when their child is going through an Education, Health Care Plan application therefore, we endeavour to provide extra support as their child goes through the process.

School Staff

All teachers are teachers of children with SEN and do their best to adapt the curriculum to meet their needs. Class teachers, through quality first teaching and differentiation, are responsible for setting suitable learning challenges, responding to pupils’ diverse needs, for overcoming potential barriers to learning and for monitoring progress.

Admission Arrangements

The admission arrangements for all pupils are in accordance with national legislation, including the Equality Act 2010. This includes children with any level of SEN; those with Education, Health and Care Plans and those without.

Identification of Pupils Needs

Identification: A graduated approach:

Quality First Teaching

a) Any pupils who are falling significantly outside of the range of expected academic achievement in line with predicted performance indicators and grade boundaries will be monitored.

b) Once a pupil has been identified as possibly having SEN they will be closely monitored by staff in order to gauge their level of learning and possible difficulties.

c) The child’s class teacher will take steps to provide differentiated learning opportunities that will aid the pupil’s academic progression and enable the teacher to better understand the provision and teaching style that needs to be applied.

d) The SENCO will be consulted as needed for support and advice and may wish to observe the pupil in class.

e) Through (b) and (d) it can be determined which level of provision the child will need going forward.

f) If a pupil has recently been removed from the SEN register they may also fall into this category as continued monitoring will be necessary.

g) Parents will be informed of every stage of their child’s development and the circumstances under which they are being monitored. They are encouraged to share information and knowledge with the school.

h) The child is recorded by the school cause for concern but this does not automatically place the child on the school’s SEN register. Any concerns will be discussed with parents informally or during parents’ evenings.

We accept the principle that pupils’ needs should be identified and met as early as possible. There are four areas of need as stated in the SEND Code of Practice, 2014. Whilst these four areas broadly identify the primary need of a pupil we also consider the needs of the whole child, which may also impact on a pupil’s progress

  • Communication and Interaction (C and I)
  • Cognition (Cog)
  • Social Emotional and Mental Health difficulties (SEMH)
  • Sensory and/or Physical. (S/P)

Whilst these four areas broadly identify the primary need of a pupil we also consider the needs of the whole child, which may also impact on a pupil’s progress:

  • Disability
  • Attendance and punctuality
  • Health and welfare
  • English as an additional language (EAL)
  • Being in receipt of the Pupil Premium Grant. (PP)
  • Being a Looked After Child (CLA)
  • Being a child of a service woman/man.

The SENCO works closely within the senior leadership team, using whole school tracking data as an early identification indicator. We use a number of additional indicators of special educational needs

  • the analysis of data, including entry profiles at FS1 and 2 baseline and end of FS
  • data, SATs, reading ages, annual and termly pupil assessments
  • The use of our local authority SEN criteria
  • The following up of teacher concerns
  • following up parental concerns
  • tracking individual pupil progress over time
  • Information from previous schools on transfer
  • Information from other services

SEN Support

Where it is determined that a pupil does have SEN, parents will be formally advised of this and the pupil’s name will be added to the SEN register. The aim of formally identifying a pupil with SEN is to help school ensure that effective provision is put in place and so remove barriers to learning.

The support provided consists of a four – part process: Assess, Plan, Do, Review. This is an ongoing cycle to enable the provision to be refined and revised as the understanding of the needs of the pupil grows. This cycle enables the identification of those interventions which are the most effective in supporting the pupil to achieve good progress and outcomes.

Assess

This involves clearly analysing the pupil’s needs using the class teacher’s assessment and experience of working with the pupil, details of previous progress and attainment, comparisons with peers, as well as the views and experience of parents. The pupil’s views and where relevant, advice from external support services will also be considered. Any parental concerns will be noted and compared with the school’s information and assessment data on how the pupil is progressing.

This analysis will require regular review to ensure that support and intervention is matched to need, that barriers to learning are clearly identified and being overcome and that the interventions being used are developing and evolving as required. Where external support staff are already involved their work will help inform the assessment of need. Where they are not involved they may be contacted, if this is felt to be appropriate, following discussion and agreement from parents.

Plan

Planning will involve consultation between the teacher, SENCO, pupil and parents to agree the adjustments, interventions and support that are required; the impact on progress, development and or behaviour that is expected and a clear date for review. Parental involvement may be sought, where appropriate, to reinforce or contribute to progress at home.

All those working with the pupil, including support staff will be informed of their individual needs, the support that is being provided, any particular teaching strategies/approaches that are being employed and the outcomes that are being sought.

Do

The class teacher remains responsible for working with the child on a day-to-day basis. They will retain responsibility even where the interventions may involve group or one-to-one teaching away from the main class teacher. They will work closely with teaching assistants to plan and assess the impact of support and interventions and links with classroom teaching. Support with further assessment of the pupil’s strengths and weaknesses, problem solving and advising of the implementation of effective support will be provided by the SENCO.

Review

Reviews of a child’s progress will be made regularly. The review process will evaluate the impact and quality of the support and interventions. It will also take account of the views of the pupil and where necessary their parents. The class teacher, in conjunction with the SENCO will revise the support and outcomes based on the pupil’s progress and development making any necessary amendments going forward, in consultation with parents and the pupil.

Specialist SEN Provision

SEN Support (SENS)

Through SENS, the pupil will get help that is either additional to and/or different from the help that the school usually gives pupils through differentiation. If there are concerns that the pupil is not making adequate progress, the class teacher will discuss this with the SENCo. The SENCo will gather information from the pupil, parents and class teacher. The information gathered will help the school decide what help may be needed. The help will be recorded on a Provision Map. This will only record that which is additional to, or different from, the differentiated curriculum and will focus on individual targets that match the pupil’s needs.

These will be reviewed three times a year, though certain children might benefit from more frequent reviews.

Referral for an Education, Health and Care Plan

If a child has significant difficulties which are not improving even with the support given, they may undergo a Statutory Assessment Process which is usually requested by the school but can be requested by a parent. This will occur where the complexity of need or a lack of clarity around the needs of the child are such that a multi-agency approach to assessing that need, to planning provision and identifying resources, is required.

The decision to make a referral for an Education, Health and Care Plan will be taken at during the In School Review (ISR).

The application for an Education, Health and Care Plans will be completed by the SENCO and will combine information from a variety of sources including:

Parents

Teachers

SENCO

Social Care

Health professionals

Information will be gathered relating to the current provision provided, action points that have been taken, and the preliminary outcomes of targets set. A decision will be made by a group of people from education, health and social care about whether or the child is eligible for an EHC Plan. Parents have the right to appeal against a decision not to initiate a statutory assessment leading to an EHC Plan.

Education, Health and Care Plans (EHC Plan)

Following Statutory Assessment, if an EHC Plan is approved this will be provided by Medway Council. The school and the child’s parents will be involved developing and producing the plan. Once the EHC Plan has been completed and agreed, it will be kept as part of the pupil’s formal record and reviewed at least annually by staff, parents and the pupil. The person centred annual review enables provision for the pupil to be evaluated and, where appropriate, for changes to be put in place, for example, reducing or increasing levels of support.

Review of Pupil Progress

At St Thomas’ we acknowledge the importance of keeping records to meet the needs of individual pupils. The following procedures are followed:

  • Class teachers have responsibility for keeping records of concerns, intervention and progress in the class.
  • The SENCo is responsible for ensuring that records are kept properly and available as needed.
  • If the school refers a child for Statutory Assessment to the LA, a record of the child’s work, including the resources or special arrangements already used are made available.
  • St Thomas’ uses a style agreed by the staff for Provision Maps.
  • The Senior Management Team and the SENCo meet with class teachers and teaching assistants three times a year in Pupil Progress Meeting where progress and provision is discussed.
  • On transfer to another educational establishment, the school provides full pupil records to the receiving school, even if the receiving school does not lodge a request. Such records include all the information held by the SENCo.

Resources

The SENCo maintains records of all pupils on the Special Needs Register. Each teacher has Special Educational Needs file containing information pertinent to the SEN pupils in their class which they are responsible for keeping updated and sharing the information with support staff. St Thomas’ has acquired a range of resources to support those pupils with SEN. These are regularly added to each year and we try to meet the children’s needs when resources are recommended.

Evaluating the success of Provision

This policy will be the subject of ongoing review by the Head Teacher, SENCo, SEN Governor, teaching and non-teaching staff. The school might, from time to time, set specific targets against which the success of particular aspects of the policy can be measured.

Complaints procedure

  • In the first instance, parent’s complaints about the provision or organisation of SEN are dealt with through the procedures outlined in the Whole School Complaints Policy.
  • If there continues to be a disagreement with regard to the SEN provision, the LA should make arrangements that include the appointment of independent persons, with a view to avoiding or resolving disagreements between the parents and the school. Parents have a right to appeal to a SEN tribunal at any stage.
  • More detailed information can be found in the new Code of Practise 2014

Accessibility to the Policy

The school makes this policy available in the following ways:

  • on the school’s webpage.
  • paper copies, available upon request from the school office.
  • large print copies, available upon request from the office.

The Governing Body believes that all children, regardless of ability and behaviour, are valued equally at St Thomas of Canterbury School. SEN children are not viewed as a separate entity but are part of the whole school approach, and different children’s needs are recognised and met through varied and flexible provision throughout the curriculum.

SEN Policy Written by Mrs Siobhan Thomas (SENCo)

December 2016

 
Local Offer  
 

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Special Educational Needs Information

The aim at St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School is that all children will achieve to their full potential both academically and socially.

Quality first teaching is vital to ensure we fulfil this aim for our children.

For some children, however, it is necessary to provide additional support and/or resources to enable them to achieve their targets in school.

This document been produced to answer questions you may have about the additional support that is being provided to help your child in school.

SEN– roles and responsibilities

Mrs Siobhan Thomas – SENCo

I am responsible for the co-ordination of special educational needs throughout the school. It is my job to ensure that as a school we are following the Code of Practice https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/send-code-of-practice-0-to-25 well as ensuring all practice in school is in line with our SEN policy (policy is available on the school website or by request at the office). I liaise regularly with staff to ensure that the children are given the most appropriate support/resources for their individual needs. A large part of my role is to work closely with external agencies (see section below) to gain specialist advice and support for individual children. I also ensure that any requests for information on individual children are passed onto the relevant agencies and that parents are kept fully informed of this.

We work with a variety of outside agencies including

  • Educational Psychologist: Dr Colm Lonergan

  • Speech and Language Therapists

  • Speech and Language Technicians

  • Paediatricians

  • Occupational Therapists

  • Physiotherapists

  • Danecourt Outreach Service: Fiona Ewing and Jill Blake

  • School Counsellor: Mrs Gillian Knight

  • The Marlborough Outreach Service

  • Specialist Teachers

One of the biggest barriers to working together is how we communicate.

There are many SEN terms that are abbreviated which can lead to confusion for us all.

Below is a glossary of the most used SEN terms that you may find helpful.

AAP

Attendance Advisory Practitioner

ADD

Attention Deficit Disorder

ADHD

Attention Deficit & Hyperactivity Disorder

AOS

Autism Outreach Service

ASD

Autistic Spectrum Disorder

BESD

Behavioural Emotional & Social Difficulties

BSS

Behaviour Support Service

CAF

Common Assessment Framework

CAMHS

Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service

CAST

Child and Adolescent Support Team

COP

Code of Practice

CP

Child Protection

DCD

Developmental Co-ordination Disorder

EAL

English as an Additional Language

EP

Educational Psychologist

FS

Foundation Stage – Nursery (FS1) and Reception (FS2)

FSM

Free School Meals

HI

Hearing Impairment

ICSS

Individual Children Support Service (Early Years)

ISR

In School Review

KS

Key Stage

LAC

Looked After Child

LEA

Local Education Authority

LSS

Learning Support Service

MLD

Moderate Learning Difficulty

NC

National Curriculum

OT

Occupational Therapist

PSP

Pastoral Support Programme

SALT

Speech & Language Therapy

SLT

Speech and Language Therapist

SEN

Special Educational Needs

SEND

Special Educational Needs & Disability

SENCO

Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator

SpLD

Specific Learning Difficulty

VI

Visual Impairment

Current SEN Updates

What is Pupil Premium?

The Pupil Premium was introduced in April 2011 and is allocated to schools to work with pupils who have been registered for free school meals at any point in the last six years. Schools also receive funding for children who have been looked after continuously for more than six months, and children of service personnel.

Why has it been introduced?

The Government believes that the Pupil Premium, which is additional to main school funding, is the best way to address the current underlying inequalities between children eligible for free school meals (FSM) and their peers.

Who decides on how the money is spent?

In most cases the Pupil Premium is paid directly to schools, allocated to them for every pupil who receives free school meals. Schools decide how to use the funding, as they are best placed to assess what their pupils need.

How are schools accountable for the spending of Pupil Premium?

They are held accountable for the decisions they make through:

  • The performance tables, which show the performance of FSM pupils, compared with their peers.
  • The new Ofsted inspection framework, under which inspectors focus on the attainment of pupil groups, for example, those who are eligible to receive the Pupil Premium.

Children and Families Bill 2013

The Children and Families Bill takes forward the Coalition Government’s commitments to improve services for vulnerable children and support families. It underpins wider reforms to ensure that all children and young people can succeed, no matter what their background. The Bill will reform the systems for adoption, looked after children, family justice and special educational needs.

The Government is transforming the system for children and young people with special educational needs (SEN), including those who are disabled, so that services consistently support the best outcomes for them. The Bill will extend the SEN system from birth to 25, giving children, young people and their parents/carers greater control and choice in decisions and ensuring needs are properly met.

It takes forward the reform programme set out in Support and aspiration: A new approach to special educational needs and disability: Progress and next steps by:

  • Replacing statements and learning difficulty assessments with a new birth- to-25 Education, Health and Care Plan, extending rights and protections to young people in further education and training and offering families personal budgets so that they have more control over the support they need;

  • Improving cooperation between all the services that support children and their families and particularly requiring local authorities and health authorities to work together;

  • Requiring local authorities to involve children, young people and parents in reviewing and developing provision for those with special educational needs and to publish a ‘local offer’ of support.

What is the Local Offer?

  • The Local Offer was first introduced in the Green Paper (March 2011) as “a local offer of all services available to support disabled children and children with SEN and their families. This easy to understand information will set out what is normally available in schools to help children with lower-level SEN as well as the options available to support families who need additional help to care for their child.”

    What will it do?

  • The Medway framework will allow the Local Offer to provide parents/carers with information about how to access services in their area, and what they can expect from those services. With regard to Education, it will let parents/ carers and young people know how school and colleges will support them, and what they can expect across the local settings. During the last year, the Local Offer Steering Group has developed questions for schools, and trialled them with a small number of settings.

  • There are 14 questions, devised in consultation with parents/carers and other agencies, which reflect their concerns and interests. These will be answered by agencies, schools and colleges to provide information to parents and carers to enable them to make decisions about how to best support their child’s needs.

Below are St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School’s responses to these questions.

 

How does St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School know if children need extra help?

We know a child needs extra help when:

  • The parents/carers, teaching staff or the pre-school/ previous school raise concerns.
  • There is a lack of progress.
  • There is a change in the child’s behaviour, which impacts on their learning.
  • A child asks for help.

What should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?

If you have any concerns regarding your child’s progress or wellbeing in school, please pop in to speak to the class teacher, who will direct you to Mrs Thomas, the SENCo for further discussion if this is needed.

How will I know how St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School supports my child?

  • Class teachers have overall responsibility for the planning and teaching of the curriculum for all children, which is monitored by senior leaders in our school. You will receive a termly letter to show you what your child is working on in school. Homework tasks will be sent home to enhance your child’s learning.

  • You will also be kept informed about your child’s progress and the support in place through parent consultations (usually held in Terms 2 and 4) and your child’s annual school report (Term 6).

  • Should your child require additional support, they may be included in a focussed intervention group. These will be run by the class teacher or a teaching assistant and will take place either within the classroom or in a quiet area close by. These interventions will usually last for a term (6 weeks).

  • Specific, planned interventions may be provided for your child in consultation with the head teacher, during pupil progress meetings or with the SENCo. All interventions will be recorded on the class provision map and for children who receive School Support; they will have an individual provision map to show the support they are currently receiving in school. These will be shared with you at least three times a year and will have suggested activities for you to work on at home. If you have any queries regarding the provision map, please speak to the class teacher in the first instance and then the SENCo.

  • Occasionally a child or family may need more specialist support from an external agency and as a result may be chosen for discussion at our In School Review (ISR). These meetings are held three times a year and are an opportunity for the SENCo to seek advice and support from external agencies.

  • If a referral to an external agency is recommended, this will be completed in conjunction with parents/carers and then sent on to the relevant agency. Referrals are usually recommended once the school has provided a high level of support for a child over a sustained period of time. In some cases, however, specialist advice may be required immediately due to the nature of the concern e.g. a child who has significant speech and language difficulties.

  • The Governors of St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School are responsible for entrusting a named person, Mrs Alma Myatt (Head Teacher) to monitor Safeguarding and Child protection procedures. She is also responsible for monitoring and correct administration of the Disclosure and Barring service procedures and the school’s Single Central record. The Governors ensure that the school is as inclusive as possible and treat all children and staff in an equitable way. They monitor and review the accessibility plan and all other statutory policies as defined by the DfE (Department for Education).

How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?

  • All children are entitled to quality first teaching, which will be adapted to individual children’s needs to enable them to access the curriculum.
  • Class teachers and/or teaching assistants may be allocated to work with your child either 1-1 or in a small group to target more specific needs.
  • If appropriate, specialist equipment may be provided for your child e.g. writing slopes, privacy boards, spring-loaded scissors, pencil grips, sit and move cushions.

How will I know how my child is doing?

  • Every child is given a reading contact book in which messages can be exchanged between the adults working with your child in school and yourself. However, we would prefer letters or face to face meetings. Staff always welcome discussions with parents. If your child is in the Nursery, you will have daily contact with the staff to share information, if required.

  • Your child’s class teacher will be available at the end of the day if you need to have an informal chat. If you wish to speak in more detail, please request an appointment with them. Appointments can be made with the SENCo by contacting the school office.

  • You will be kept informed of your child’s progress through parent consultations (usually held in Terms 2 and 4) and your child’s annual school report. (Term 6).

  • Individual provision maps are provided for parents three times a year with details of interventions and targets.

How will you help me to support my child’s learning?

  • Your child’s teacher can suggest ways in which you can help at home through meetings with you, on your child’s provision map or at parent consultation evenings.

  • Mrs Thomas, the SENCo, may meet with you to discuss ways in which you can support your child’s progress.

  • If external agencies have been involved, a report is usually provided with recommendations and ideas that can be used at home as well as in school.

What support will there be for my child’s overall well being?

The school offers a variety of pastoral support for all children including those who may be experiencing emotional difficulties. These may include:

  • Opportunities for children to talk to members of staff such as the head teacher, teachers, teaching assistants, and midday meal supervisors, if they have any concerns.

  • Social skills groups run by teaching assistants.

  • We have a qualified school counsellor who works one day a week. Mrs Knight works with individuals or siblings who have been referred by member of staff or parent.

  • Support from external agencies such as play therapists and BSS may be provided if this is deemed appropriate.

    Pupils with medical needs:

  • Teachers, in consultation with the parents/carers, will complete a detailed care plan for children with specific medical needs.

  • School staff members receive specific training delivered by the school nurse when need arises i.e. children with diabetes, epipen training, tube feeding etc.

  • Where necessary and in agreement with parents/carers medicines are administered in school but only where a signed care plan is in place. This is to ensure the safety of both the child and staff member.

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

At times it may be necessary to engage the support of external agencies to seek their specialist advice and recommendations. These agencies may include:

  • Autism Outreach Team
  • Child Protection Advisors
  • Educational Psychologist
  • CAST (Child and Adolescent Support Team)
  • CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service)
  • AAP (Attendance Advisory Practitioner)
  • PASS (Physical and Sensory Service) to support children with hearing/visual impairments.
  • Inclusion Team
  • Social Services
  • Children’s Therapy Team (Speech and Language/Occupational Therapy)
  • MAGIC (Medway Autism Group and Information Centre)
  • Paediatricians (Medway Hospital)
  • School Nurse

The school has an allocated Educational Psychologist, Colm Lonergan. He attends all of the In School Reviews and will act on any recommendations made during these meetings to assess individual children who may not have progressed despite the interventions that have been put into place for them.

What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had or are having?

All staff at St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School have access to regular training in relation to special educational needs.

The SENCo, Mrs Thomas has completed the National Award for SEN Coordination. She regularly attends training via the Medway SENCo forums and keeps up-to-date with any new SEN reforms.

The school also has access to specialist schools in Medway who can provide specialist advice, training and resources as and when required.

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

Activities and school trips are available for all children. Risk assessments are carried out and procedures are put in place to enable all children to participate.

If a health and safety risk assessment suggests that an intensive level of 1-1 support is required a parent or carer may be asked to accompany their child during the activity in addition to the usual school staff.

How accessible is the school environment?

As a school we are happy to discuss individual access requirements and will, wherever possible, make reasonable adjustments to meet these requirements.

The school has an up-to-date Accessibility plan, which highlights what we already have in place and the plans we have for future developments.

Facilities we have at present include:

  • Ramps into school and onto the playground to make them more accessible for all children, staff and visitors
  • Toilets for adults and children with disabilities.
  • Visual strips on stairs/steps etc to support children/adults with visual impairments.
  • Wide doors in most areas of the building.

How will the school prepare and support my child when joining St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School or transferring to a new school?

St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School understands that moving schools can be a challenging experience and, therefore has strategies in place to support this transition. These include:

  • Meetings between the pre-school or receiving school prior to the child starting/leaving, wherever possible.

  • Liaison with the Individual Children’s Support Service (ICSS) for pre-schoolers with additional needs moving to St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic School.

  • Mrs Copperwheat, our Foundation Stage leader and/or Mrs Thomas will visit the main feeder pre-schools/nurseries if required.

  • Additional visits as well as the usual induction procedures will be arranged for any children who may need extra time in their new school.

  • Transition booklets will be provided for children who may need visual aids prior to starting – these will include photographs of the new teacher/classroom and other areas of the school.

  • The SENCo liaises with the receiving school’s SENCo to share information regarding any children with special educational needs.

How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?

  • The SEN budget is used to acquire resources such as sensory equipment and speech and language activities to support special educational needs throughout the school.
  • The money provided to the school by the Local Authority for children with special educational needs is used to provide support for individual children dependent on their needs. Additional resources may be purchased for individuals or groups of children.
  • Specialist advice/support may be bought in to support individual children.
  • Individual Pupil Premium payments are used to support the children who qualify for this payment.

How is the decision made about how much support my child will receive?

  • When children first join us, additional support for children with special educational needs is allocated using the information provided by the pre-school/previous school. The class teacher will then carefully monitor progress and in consultation with the head teacher and assistant head teacher at pupil progress meetings, together with the SENCo, will adjust the level of support accordingly.
  • During their school life, if further concerns are identified due to the child’s lack of progress or well being then other interventions will be put in place.
  • Parents/carers will be able to see the support their child is receiving on their provision map (see Questions 2 and 4).

How will I be involved in discussions about and planning for my child’s education?

All parents are encouraged to contribute to their child’s education. This may be through:

  • Discussions with the class teacher.

  • During parent consultations.

  • In discussions with the SENCo, Head Teacher or other professionals.

Who can I contact for further information?

If you wish to discuss your child’s educational needs or are unhappy about something regarding your child’s schooling, please speak with your child’s class teacher in the first instance. If you then need further clarification, please contact:

  • Mrs Thomas – SENCo (thoms773@medwaymail.org)
  • Mrs Clark– Chair of Governors

I hope these have answered any queries you may have but do not hesitate to contact the school if you have further questions.