According to the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Code of practice. A child or young person has SEN ‘where their learning difficulty or disability calls for special educational provision, that is provision different from or additional to that normally available to pupils of the same age.
“Has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age.”
“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.”
Schools and colleges must support children and young people through the Graduated Approach to identify those with a Special Educational Need (SEN). Children or Young People who have been diagnosed with a condition (speech and language, dyslexia, autism etc.) may have a recognised SEN, but will not automatically be included on the SEN register unless they need and or are getting, significant, additional, and personalised support to access learning.
Where a child or young person is identified as needing SEN Support, the school or college must meet with the child or young person and / or their parents / carers to discuss their long-term aspirations and agree the outcomes and support needed to achieve these over the current Key Stage.
This is done through a four-part (Assess – Plan – Do – Review) person-centred, whole school / college, cycle of support – which is part of The Graduated Approach.
The class or subject teacher, working with the SENCO, must carry out a thorough assessment of the child or young person’s needs. The class teacher is responsible for the child or young person’s progress and development. The SENCO records concerns about progress and shares this information with those involved in the assessment, giving more information if needed.
The child or young person and their family are at the centre of the process and any decisions made must be with their involvement and agreement.
Class or subject teachers must know and understand the outcomes and recommendations of assessments and use them to make adjustment to their teaching or use of targeted interventions.
Teachers are by now developing an understanding of what support works best for the child or young person and will put together an SEN Support Plan.
The child or young person must receive high quality class or subject teaching and targeted provision, which is different from and additional to, that made for the majority of their peers.
This should take place within the classroom. If a child or young person is taken out of the classroom for intervention, teachers must have good reason for this.
The purpose of the intervention must be clear.
Outcomes must be discussed, agreed, and planned for the child or young person with parents / carers.
All staff that work with a child must be made aware of the child or young person’s needs, the support they require and any teaching strategies or approaches that support their progress. In larger schools this can be done by producing a ‘pupil profile’ circulated to all staff involved.
Teachers need to work closely with support and specialist staff to assess the impact of any interventions in place and keep clear, accurate records of what has been done.
Progress towards planned outcomes should be tracked and reviewed at least once a term and this information used to plan the next phase of the Graduated Approach.
Ideally a review meeting will take place termly between teachers, the SENCO, support staff, parents / carers and the child or young person (if they feel comfortable to take part). Some schools / colleges just have an internal meeting between the class teacher and the SENCO although parent / carers should be aware and have input on any changes.
The meeting is to discuss what impact the teaching approaches and targeted provisions has had on the child or young person’s progress and development.
If a child or young person is not making adequate progress after several cycles of the Assess – Plan – Do – Review cycle and the SEN Support Plan has been reviewed each time, a request for an Education Health Care Needs Assessment may be considered as the next step in the Graduated Approach.
At Kirklees Independent Advice Service (KIAS) and Calderdale SENDIASS we can give free, legally based, confidential, impartial advice and support including:
We would be happy to hear from you on: