Special Educational Needs and Disabilities - An Overview
The Local Offer provides information for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and their parents or carers in a single place. It shows families what they can expect from a range of local agencies including education, health and social care. Knowing what is out there gives families more choice and therefore more control over what support is right for their children.
To access more information, please visit the website www.doncaster.gov.uk/localoffer
About the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Service
The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Service aims to meet the Local Authority’s statutory duties under the Education Act 1996 in relation to pupils with special educational needs and disabilities. The Council has a duty to identify, assess and make provision to meet the special educational needs and disabilities of children within its area. Further information about finding a school place and the services that the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Team work with can be found on the Families Information Service website.
The Service aims to provide a range of educational opportunities and additional resources for children with special educational needs and disabilities to enable the child’s needs to be met in an inclusive setting.
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities: A Brief Explanation
Many children have some degree of special educational needs and disabilities at some stage in their lives. Most of these additional needs are met by the school the child attends.
A child may have special educational needs and disabilities as a consequence of:
- Physical disability or significant medical condition
- A problem with sight, hearing or speech
- Behavioural, emotional or social difficulties
- An Autistic Spectrum Disorder
- Difficulties with reading, writing or numbers
Parents know their children better than anyone, and have a right to take part in decisions about their child’s education. The closer a parent works with their child’s teachers and school, the more successful any special help will be.
If you think that your child may have special educational needs and disabilities you should:
- Arrange to discuss this with the staff at your child’s school, especially the member of staff designated as the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator (SENDCO)
- If your concerns continue contact the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Team using the details at the top of this page.
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Provision
All schools have a Special Educational Needs and Disabilities policy which sets out how children might be supported in school, copies are available in the school.
It is estimated that approximately 20% of pupils will have some kind of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities at some time during their school life. It is expected that the majority of these Special Needs and Disabilities are such that they will be met in local mainstream schools without the additional involvement of the Council.
However, some pupils’ Special Educational Needs and Disabilities may be such that the Council may consider that some additional or special provision is needed. This will be done in consultation with parents and professionals, and following a full formal assessment.
This provision would be made at the local mainstream school, or at a school or unit which has additional resourcing to meet particular needs. As far as possible, the Council seeks to meet pupils’ Special Educational Needs and Disabilities in a mainstream setting.
In some exceptional cases it may be necessary for placement to be determined at one of the specialist schools within Doncaster, or at specialist schools outside this Council’s catchment area.
To meet these exceptional needs the Local Authority maintains five special schools.
- Coppice School (for Severe Learning Difficulties and autism/challenging behaviour - ages 3 to 19) based at Hatfield.
- Heatherwood School (for Severe Learning Difficulties and complex needs - ages 3 to 19) based on Leger Way, Doncaster.
- North Ridge Community School (for Severe Learning Difficulties - ages 3 to 19) based at Adwick.
- Pennine View School (for Moderate Learning Difficulties and additional needs - ages 7 to 16) based at Conisbrough.
- Stone Hill School (for Moderate Learning Difficulties and additional needs - ages 5 to 16) based at Scawsby.
Placement at these schools can only be made by the Local Authority and is usually following the provision of an EHCP.
Early Years and Childcare Service
The Local Authority provides support for pre-school children with special needs through the Early Years and Childcare Service.
Parent Partnership Service
Other information booklets about the various stages of assessing a child’s special educational needs and disabilities are also available from Doncaster’s Parent Partnership Service.
School Supervised Medication
If your child needs to take medicine when they are at school
Parents and carers have prime responsibility for their child’s health and, whilst the Local Authority and schools champion regular and punctual attendance at school, parents are advised to keep children at home when they are acutely unwell.
Schools should be provided with information about a child’s medical needs by the parent or carer. There is no legal duty on school staff to administer medication, however, schools are under a duty to plan to do so in order to improve children’s access to school.
Each school should have a policy that supports the administration of medication to a child whilst in school (or on school trips) and parents are advised to access a copy of this policy through the school.
Medicines should only be taken to school when essential and where it would be detrimental to the child’s health if the medicine were not to be administered during the school day. Parents and carers should check with their doctor whether it it essential for the child to take the medication during the normal school day.
Schools will only accept medicines that have been prescribed by a medical practitioner and are in the original container as dispensed by the pharmacist, including the original instructions for administration.
Each child requiring medication should be allocated a nominated member of staff who will ensure the medication is stored safely, will oversee administration of the correct dosage as shown on the original container and will record the child having taken the medication.
Some schools may make provision for a child to carry and administer their own medication, such as asthma inhalers for older children, and parents and carers should check with their child’s school.
Further information is available from the Department for Education’s website.
SEN Statutory Assessment, Statement and Annual Review
The term Statutory Assessment is used to describe a Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) assessment. It is the way the Local Authority determines:
- If a child has substantial or complex needs to the degree that may require an Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP).
- What the major needs are.
- How the needs can be met.
- Special resources, equipment or input.
- Access to buildings, curriculum etc.
The Statutory Assessment Process
A decision to assess may be made by the Local Authority. When a request is made, the child will have demonstrated ‘significant cause for concern’ and the school should provide the Local Authority with evidence of the interventions and work with the child including the resources or special arrangements that they have already made available.
If there is insufficient evidence or it is considered that the needs of the child can be met by the school, a decision may be made not to proceed with a statutory assessment.
Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP)
If, following a statutory assessment, the Local Authority decides that a child requires support in addition to that which is provided from within the school’s own resources, an EHCP should be issued.
This EHCP is produced in accordance with the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Code of Practice and it it important that the EHCP is specific and identifies all the child’s needs and matches the needs to detailed provision.
SEND - A Guide for Parents and Teachers (2009) provides information for parents and teachers about an EHCP, their make-up, timescales and what to do if you disagree with the Local Authority findings as well as other information.
Parents have the right to appeal against the Local Authority’s decision through The Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal. Information is also available in SEND - A Guide for Parents and Teachers (2009).
Annual Review Overview
The purpose of an Annual Review is to ensure that at least once a year the parents, pupil, Local Authority, school and all the professionals involved monitor and evaluate the continued effectiveness and relevance of the provision set out in the EHCP.
The meeting should:
- Consider progress by the pupil towards the objectives of the EHCP.
- Consider if the EHCP requires amendment, and if so, how.
- Discuss and set new targets.
- Ensure that 14-19 transition requirements are considered and followed.
Year 9 Annual Review
When a child is in Year 9, their Annual Review has an important additional function - it must draw up a Future Needs Plan, which is a document drawing together information from a range of individuals within and beyond the school to provide a coherent plan for the young person’s transition to adult life.
The organisation and conduct of a Year 9 review is the same as any other review but in addition, the Headteacher should invite the Participation and Transition Service (PATS) to provide written advice.
Other agencies (the Health Authority, the Children and Schools’ Social Work Service) which will also be relevant to post-school years, are also invited to the review where appropriate. A Future Needs Plan is drawn up in consultation with the Participation and Transition Service.
The Future Needs Plan is first drawn up in Year 9 and must be reviewed and updated at every subsequent Annual Review.
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Forms
Requesting a Statutory EHCP Assessment
This form should be used to refer a child for an assessment of special educational need and disability. The form should be fully completed, signed (by school and by parent/carer) and dated before submission to the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Service.
SEND Educational Advice - Appendix B Form
This should be used to provide educational advice towards a child’s assessment of special educational need and disability. The form should signed and dated by the school’s Headteacher or Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator (SENDCO) and submitted to the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Service.
Report from the Statutory Annual Review of EHCP
This should be completed as the report of a child’s Annual Review Meeting and should be sent to the Local Authority no later than ten days after the meeting or the end of that term, whichever is the earlier date. The form should be signed and dated by the school’s Headteacher or Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator (SENDCO) and submitted to the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Service.
Provision within schools
The majority of children with special educational needs and disabilities have their needs met within their local mainstream school. Each school has a designated Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator (SENDCO), who has responsibility for co-ordinating special educational provision within the school. Parents who are concerned about their child’s progress in school should first discuss those concerns with their child’s class teacher, the school’s SENDCO or the Headteacher.
All local mainstream schools have identified funding within their school budget to meet the special educational needs of their pupils, without reference to the Local Authority for statutory assessment or the need to provide a an EHCP. The deployment of these funds is the responsibility of the School’s Governing Body and Headteacher.
Funding Provision by the School (School Action)
Mainstream schools in Doncaster may reasonably be expected to make the following provision from within their own budgets for pupils with SEND but without EHCPs:
- An Individual Education Plan (IEP) for each pupil with SEND at School Action and School Action Plus.
- The arrangement of class or teaching groups, for the whole or part of the school day, that take into account the needs of pupils with SEND.
- Access to specialist services provided by the Local Authority under agreement with the school, such as the Learner and Engagement Support Service or the Educational Psychology Service.
- School policies and programmes that enable pupils with SEND to be as fully included within the social and academic life of the school as possible.
- Additional learning support to assist pupils with health or self-care needs, where these relate to pupils needs.
- The provision of specialist resources to enable pupils with SEND to access the curriculum.
- The provision of smaller items of equipment to enable individual pupils to access the curriculum.
- Close liaison with parents/carers to support the pupil with SEND, including their involvement in the design of IEPs.
- Access to specialist facilities to enable curriculum materials and resources to be adapted for pupils with significant visual impairment.
- Radio aids for pupils with significant hearing impairment, when recommended by the Local Authority’s specialist teacher.
- Reasonable adjustments to the physical environment of the school.
Funding Provision by the Local Authority (School Action Plus)
The Doncaster Local Authority makes the following provision from its central budget for pupils with SEND but without EHCPs:
- Specialist teachers for pupils with visual impairment to advise school staff in the design and implementation of programmes of study that enable pupils with visual impairment to fully access the curriculum.
- Specialist teachers for pupils with hearing impairment to advise school staff in the design and implementation of programmes of study that enable pupils with hearing impairment to fully access the curriculum.
- Specialist teachers for pupils with Autistic Spectrum Disorder to advise school staff in the design and implementation of programmes of study to enable pupils with social communication difficulties to fully access the social life of the school and the curriculum.
- A specialist teacher to advise schools on appropriate access to information and communication technology for pupils with physical impairment.
- Access to specialist staff to advise on physical access, moving and handling of pupils and access to the curriculum for pupils with physical impairment and significant medical needs.
- Access to advice from the Local Authority’s approved centre for access and communication technology for pupils with significant communication difficulties.
- Support for schools from specialist subject inspectors to advise on access to the curriculum for pupils with SEND.
- Specialist services for schools, such as the Learning and Behaviour Support Service, the Learner Engagement Service and Educational Psychology Service.
- Support from the staff of Doncaster special schools to advise their mainstream colleagues on programmes of study to support pupils with SEND.
- Monitoring and advice from the Local Authority to provide support and guidance on management systems for SEND and the effective deployment and monitoring of SEND resources.
- The Doncaster Parent Partnership Service to advise and support parents of pupils with SEND in their relationships with the school and other professional staff supporting their child.
The above provision is accessible through the school and parents who feel that their child may benefit from access to such services are advised to contact the school’s SENDCO or Headteacher.
A small number of children have difficulties which extend over wider areas of the curriculum, are more severe in nature and/or are longer-lived and are deemed to place the child within the designation of SEND. For a small minority of children their difficulties are such that the Local Authority will undertake a statutory assessment of the child’s needs.
If appropriate, will issue an EHCP, setting out the child’s needs and the provision required to meet those needs.
The Government is making changes to the SEND system. The changes, currently set out in the Children and Families Bill, will not start to happen until September 2014. Until then, the current SEND framework, the law and the SEND Code of Practice, all stay in place.
Further information about these changes is available on the Families Information Service website.
What are the arrangements for handling complaints from parents of children with SEND about the provision made at Toll Bar Primary School
At Toll Bar Primary School we operate an ‘open door’ policy. Parents and carers are encouraged to speak with the class teacher about any concerns they may have.
They will be able to discuss additional support children are receiving. If you wish to discuss your child’s needs further please contact the Headteacher or SENDCO who will be able to talk about how Toll Bar Primary School can support children with SEND.
The School’s complaints policy is on our school website. This includes complaints around SEND and Looked after children. The policy can also be obtained through request of a paper copy from the school office. Please follow this policy if you would like to make a formal complaint. In the first instance discussions would be encouraged by the class teacher, SENDCO and Headteacher to try and resolve any issues.