Special Educational Needs & Disabilities

The SEND (Special Educational Needs & Disabilities) Policy contains information about who to contact if you have concerns about your child; the opportunities we provide for children with SEND and the ways in which parents are involved in the decisions relating to their child with SEND. Answers to frequently asked questions can be found below. This report will be reviewed and updated every year.

Who can I contact if I have concerns that my child may have SEND?

In the first instance, parents should speak to the class teacher about their child’s progress. However, if further information is required, please contact:

Mrs Diana Delaney, SENDCo (Special Educational Needs & Disabilities Coordinator) – senco@wransom.herts.sch.uk

Mrs Mary Driver, Headteacher – head@wransom.herts.sch.uk

In the event of dissatisfaction, having spoken to those named above, parents should refer to the school’s Complaints Policy.

How does the school know if children need extra help?

At William Ransom School, we believe in early identification of SEND, with the vast majority of pupils who require extra support being identified within their first years at the school.

Judgements will be made about the needs of children based on:

  • Information provided to the school by parents
  • Records provided to the school by previous settings
  • Continuous assessment of each child’s progress by the class teacher
  • Diagnostic tests, such as SATS
  • The views of the pupil

Termly meetings between the class teachers, the headteacher and SENDCo (Pupil Progress Meetings) are used to analyse the progress of all children, looking at both current levels and progress made, and identifying those who may fall below expectations in either respect.

How will school staff support my child?

All pupils will receive high quality teaching in the classroom, which aims to both stretch and support pupils of all abilities. In some sessions, Teaching Assistants are available for general support.

For those children needing more help, a variety of small group, paired and individual learning opportunities are provided, with interventions tailored to a wide range of needs. These are run by teachers or Teaching Assistants. The amount of time spent on a particular intervention is entirely determined by individual need. Parents will be informed if their children are receiving additional support or have been included in an intervention group.

How will I know how my child is doing?

There are opportunities for all parents to meet with their child’s class teacher termly and a written report is provided at the end of the academic year. In addition, we operate an ‘open door’ policy whereby parents can arrange a meeting with their child’s teacher, the SENDCo or Headteacher, via the school office, at any time.

More frequent parent meetings may be arranged for children with SEND, which may include the SENDCo, Headteacher or support staff as deemed appropriate by either school staff or parents.

Home-school books will be provided for a small number of children.

Parents of children with an Individual Education Plan (IEP) will be invited to come into school to discuss the targets set each term and those with an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) will attend a yearly review as well as interim meetings.

For those children whose needs are additionally supported by outside agencies, parents will be invited to meetings with these external professionals.

How will the learning and development provision be matched to my child’s needs?

The school uses the ‘Assess, Plan, Do, Review’ cycle (known as the ‘graduated response’) to constantly review children’s progress and make decisions as to the most appropriate form of support for the future, where appropriate.

In addition to ‘differentiation’, which is marked on teaching plans, a wide range of group, paired and individual support opportunities are available at the school, tailored to meet individual needs. These are regularly reviewed by the class teacher, support staff and SENDCo, using the graduated response model.

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

The wellbeing of all children is paramount at William Ransom as, without this, successful learning cannot take place. There is a strong behaviour policy in school and the children respond well to this. In addition to PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) sessions in all classes, to include work on resilience and mindfulness, children with SEND may be supported through ‘Friendship Groups’, the ‘Circle of Friends’ intervention, social stories, individual work on reducing anxiety and anger and building self-esteem and ‘buddy’ systems. In addition, the Sycamore (SEND) Office has an open door policy for all children who wish to talk through any issues with an adult.

The medical needs of children will be dealt with sensitively on an individual basis and always through consultation with parents.

The opinions and concerns of children with SEND are sought regularly and individual support may be put into place on the basis of these.

Some children with SEND may be able to access counselling or mentoring support through Hitchin Partnership and parents can speak to the ‘Parent Partnership’ or a ‘Family Support Worker’.

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

The school is able to access specialist support from a wide variety of external agencies, depending on the needs of individual children.

We currently access support from the NHS Speech and Language team, The local SpLD (Specific Learning Difficulties) Base, our link Educational Psychologist, The Communication and Autism Team, the Outreach team at Woolgrove Special Needs Academy, Hitchin Primary Behaviour Support Service (HPBSS), the Hearing Impairment Team, the Visual Impairment Team and Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists and Paediatricians from the Child Development Centre (CDC).

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

All teaching staff receive regular training on ASC (Autistic Spectrum Condition) and Dyslexia, which are the two most commonly arising areas of need in the school.

Staff who support children with SEND in group, paired, or individual work have, in addition, received training from Woolgrove Special Needs Academy, the Specialist Advisory Services and Herts for Learning about how best to support children with SEN, as well as specific training for ASC. Further training has been received from other agencies relating to Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Speech, Language and Communication, Visual Impairment, Hearing Impairment and Medical Needs as well as training to deliver specific interventions and to administer medication.

Individual staff will attend further training as needs arise in school and as their role requires it.

If you are ever unsure how to support your child at home, please contact the class teacher who will be happy to help.

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

At William Ransom School, we encourage parents to work closely with school staff to achieve the best results. This is particularly important in the case of children with SEND.

In addition to parent consultation meetings and IEP meetings, as mentioned above, parents can make an appointment to discuss any area of their child’s learning at school at any time. Parents of children with SEND will always be informed if their child is to start on an intervention programme, with an opportunity offered to come into school for further discussion.

For the parents of children with greater levels of SEND, requiring an EHCP, parents will be involved in drawing up the plan and at each annual review.

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

The needs of all pupils will be taken into account when planning school trips and other activities outside the classroom. Staffing will be organised according to levels of need and any necessary equipment will be taken. Where appropriate, adjustments will be made to plans, parents’ views will be sought as to the best arrangements for individual children, and may be invited to join the trip, and staff at the site of the visit will be informed of needs and asked to make adjustments as necessary.

How accessible is the school environment?

William Ransom complies fully with the Equality Act and, where necessary, reasonable adjustments are made for any child with SEND.

Despite the split-level nature of the school buildings, all areas are accessible by wheelchair. The school has three disabled toilets and two lifts.

If parents wish to see the Accessibility Plan and / or the Equality / Diversity Scheme, they should contact the school office.

If there is a need to offer support to parents whose first language is not English, the school would access support from the Hertfordshire County Council Translation and Interpreting Service.

Should there be a need to make the building more accessible for people with a disability, the school would need to seek advice from Hertfordshire County Council.

How will the school prepare and support my child to join the school, transfer to a new school or the next stage of education and life?

Before starting at William Ransom School, parents of children with SEND will be encouraged to speak to the headteacher, SENDCo and proposed class teacher in order to make arrangements to ensure a smooth start. It may be appropriate for the child to visit the school more often than the two visits organised for all children.

Each year, with a change of class within the school, several children are given a booklet containing photographs and information about their new class which they can look through over the summer holidays with their parents.

At the time of transfer to secondary school, we meet with the SENDCo and Head of Year 7 of the secondary school to discuss the needs of children. IEPs and current targets are shared and all relevant records are passed on, as well as information about necessary day to day adjustments. Some children will need more visits to their new school than their peers and these will be arranged through discussion with parents and the new school.

How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s Special Educational Needs & Disabilities?

The school’s SEND budget is primarily used to employ support staff to work with children, although money is also used for staff training and general SEND resources, as well as more specialist equipment.

When a child requires more support than that which can be provided from the school budget (according to a nationally prescribed threshold per pupil per year), ‘top-up’ funding, called ‘Exceptional Needs Funding’ (ENF) can be applied for from the local authority.

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

All school resources are allocated according to need, and decisions about support are made by the head teacher in collaboration with the SENDCo, class teachers, support staff and parents.

Current data, along with staff observations and parental concerns will be used to determine how much support individuals will receive and the form that support will take. Occasionally, external professionals will offer advice about levels of support required by individual children.

Sometimes the support a child will require will take the form of resources or equipment, rather than adult intervention.

Where can I find out about the local authority’s local offer of services and provision for children with SEND?

The ‘Local Offer’, published by the Local Authority and detailing provision they expect to be available across education, health and social care for children and young people in the area who have SEND or are disabled, can be found at:

www.hertsdirect.org/localoffer

September 2019

This report has been written by the headteacher and SENDCo, in collaboration with teaching and support staff and in consultation with parents and Governors.

SEN Courses

From time to time we are given information about SEND courses which might be of interest to parents. These will be posted to the SEND News page.