SEAFORD COLLEGE Policy Summary

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1 LSU SEN Policy

2 SEAFORD COLLEGE Policy Summary Seaford College is committed to providing equal access for all pupils to the broad and balanced curriculum to which they are entitled, including the provisions of the National Curriculum. Children with special educational needs may at times require a more specialised programme than the majority of children of the same age, in part or in all of their school work. We place a very high priority on the need to provide the best possible education for such children, no less than for children who display no learning difficulties or other problems. The purpose of this policy is: 1. To ensure that all pupils with special educational needs (SEN) are identified and supported in the school. 2. To ensure that there is support for teachers to meet the learning needs of all pupils. 3. To ensure that appropriate resources are available for pupils with temporary or longterm special needs. Compiled by: Nicholas Foster Ratified by the Governing Body: Review date: Summer GENERAL A definition of SEN According to the SEN Code of Practice (November 2001): Children have special educational needs if they have a learning difficulty which calls for special educational provision to be made for them. Children have a learning difficulty if they: Have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age; or Have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for children of the same age in schools within the area of the local education authority. 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. The school in context Seaford College is a mainstream independent secondary day and boarding school. However, it does have a high proportion of students who have a specific learning difficulty. The school has a Learning Support Centre, which provides specialist help to those students, mainly on a one-to-one basis.

3 2. INFORMATION ABOUT SEN PROVISION The governing body The governing body of Seaford College seeks to ensure that the needs of all students are met and that the necessary provision made for students with SEN, both with and without statements of special need, is adequate and secure. The governor with responsibility for SEN is Graham Sinclair, Chairman. Whole School Approach Provision for pupils with special educational needs is a matter for the school as a whole. In addition to the governing body, the school s head teacher, the SENCO or SEN team and all other members of staff have important responsibilities. (paragraph 1:31 of SEN Code of Practice, 2001) All teachers are teachers of children with special educational needs. (SEN Code of Practice, 2001 para 6:2) SENCO The Special Needs Co-ordinator is Nicholas Foster. He is responsible for the co-ordination of provision. The SENCO s responsibilities include: overseeing the day-to-day operation of the school s SEN policy co-ordinating provision for pupils with special educational needs liaising with and advising fellow teachers overseeing the records of all pupils with special educational needs liaising with parents of pupils with special educational needs contributing to the in-service training of staff liaising with external agencies including educational psychology services, health and social services, and voluntary bodies managing the SEN team (as detailed in para 6:35 of SEN Code of Practice, 2001) Admission arrangements Pupils with special needs are admitted to Seaford College according to the same criteria as other pupils, provided that admission is compatible with: a) the provision of efficient education for the children with whom the child will be educated; b) the efficient use of resources Special facilities/units Seaford College has a room in the Rick Hawkes wing that is fully equipped for use by a student who is in a wheelchair. The new Wilberforce House building (for Years 6 to 8) has had a lift installed, so that physically disabled students can access all areas. Ramps are available for access to all ground floor classrooms throughout the College. Seaford College

4 is committed to the integration of pupils with a wide range of needs, and to their involvement in the whole life of the school, in line with our Equal Opportunities Policy. The Learning Support Centre at Seaford College is a separate one-storey building and has eight rooms available for individual tuition. It also has a computer suite with six computers, which students can use during study periods and prep times. The Learning Support Centre has created a supportive atmosphere for students, who feel able to drop in to discuss problems at any time. It has three full-time members of staff Nicholas Foster (Head of Learning Support), Annie Jensen and Linda Ferris. Ann Angier, Elsa Barden, Margaret Gilbert, Iona Hopkins, Joanna Lorimer-Green, Heather Russell and Shelly Stafford work in the centre on a part-time basis. The Centre supports students in their literacy and numeracy work and with curriculum and coursework. Study skills are also taught to pupils as part of their individual lessons. The Centre provides considerable pastoral support. Fiona Gray comes in two weeks a week to help in the classroom. 3. IDENTIFICATION, ASSESSMENT AND PROVISION FOR ALL PUPILS WITH SEN The Special Needs Handbook outlines the process of identification, assessment and provision, through the different levels of action and intervention. Seaford College s assessment procedures provide information that is used to identify pupils with SEN. Initial Identification and Assessment Seaford College admits children from Year 3 onwards. The school is aware that any student admitted may have unidentified special educational needs. A screening programme is carried out with all new students. They are given a series of standardised tests to assess their reading comprehension, spelling and Maths abilities. The results are used to identify any students who are performing significantly below their chronological age. Parents are only contacted when results are significant and discussions take place as to whether support is required. If it is thought appropriate, a child may be referred to an educational psychologist for assessment. Seaford College is aware that it should receive the child s primary school records within 15 days of the child ceasing to be registered at the school, and then information regarding known special educational needs should be included. (As stated in paragraph 6:6 of the SEN Code of Practice 2001). The College should also receive copies of the statements of pupils joining the school. This information provides a good basis for shaping the child s curriculum and pastoral planning in the first few months of school. Discussions would also take place with the parents and the child regarding the level of help required. The Code of Practice says in paragraph 6:8 that it is good practice for secondary schools to arrange induction days for transferring pupils in the summer term. Any child offered a place at the school is invited to come for a taster day, where they join in school activities and participate in lessons. This may also involve time within the Learning Support Centre if deemed appropriate. This day helps ensure the child makes a smooth transition to Seaford. Furthermore, new students are invited to spend a day at Seaford College towards the end of the previous summer term, where they get the chance to meet other students soon to start at the school. Help at all times It is recognised by the College that a child may experience difficulty at any time during their secondary education. In order for this to be identified as quickly as possible, Seaford has in place a system for referral for a child causing concern. Subject teachers and house staff can quickly inform the Learning Support Centre of difficulties so they can take appropriate action, thus avoiding undue stress to the student concerned. The earlier action is taken, the quicker appropriate help can be provided without unduly disrupting the organisation of the school, and the more responsive the pupil is likely to be. (SEN Code of Practice 2001 para 6:10)

5 Students may also refer themselves to the Centre. The positive attitude of the whole school towards the Learning Support Centre means individuals have the confidence to ask for help should they feel it would benefit them. Due to the high percentage of students with special educational needs, Seaford College can only guarantee one lesson of specialist tuition per week for each student. Once each student has been timetabled, any remaining spaces will be allocated to those students with the greatest degree of difficulty. Central to the work of every class and every subject is a continuous cycle of planning, teaching, assessment and evaluation that takes account of the wide range of abilities, aptitudes and interests of the pupils. The majority of pupils will learn and progress within these arrangements. (SEN Code of Practice, 2001, para 6:3) Assessment and Provision An important aspect of Seaford College s Special Educational Needs provision is the ongoing assessment of a child s progress within the school. As the Code of Practice states: The school should ensure that ongoing observation and assessment provides regular feedback to all teachers and parents about the pupil s achievements and experiences, and that the outcomes of such assessment form the basis for planning the next steps of the pupil s learning. (SEN Code of Practice, 2001, from para 6:9) The Learning Support Centre regularly speaks with subject teachers regarding children s progress. The children s opinions are sought on their perceptions of how they are managing, parents are encouraged to make contact with their observations. Within the Centre children are assessed regularly to check on their reading and spelling. IEPs are produced twice yearly to set targets and monitor progress. Lessons in the Centre are tailored to the individual s needs. They are usually one-to-one lessons, giving the student freedom from any kind of distraction. The lessons also give them an opportunity to discuss anything to do with their education in a supportive environment. Students are taught study skills, and given help with the curriculum, coursework, literacy and numeracy. The Centre aims to build the student s confidence in their abilities, thereby encouraging them to achieve their full potential in all aspects of school life. Whilst the majority of support is given on an individual basis, there is limited opportunity for inclass support from Mrs Gray, our Learning Support assistant, who comes in once a week. Sometimes, Learning Support teachers go into classes to observe their students and to offer support. Gap year students are involved in the classroom, focusing particularly on reading with year 4 and 5 pupils. All students in Year 10 are assessed during the first week of the Autumn term to see whether they are entitled to any exam concessions in their GCSEs. Parents are only consulted if the results are significant; further testing may be recommended and is carried out in house by Nick Foster, Anni Jensen or Ann Angier. Timetabling The timetabling of lessons is managed with extreme care. Students are never taken out of core subjects. It is also important to ensure they are not taken out of subjects of pleasure and may be strengths (for example, sports, music and art). The timetabling of lessons is carried out through discussions with subject teachers, parents and the students themselves. Lessons are available before the school day begins, and also at lunchtimes. This gives students more flexibility and is particularly useful for those approaching their GCSEs.

6 Curriculum access The Learning Support Centre works closely with subject teachers through meetings and written communication regarding students progress, to ensure that learning is differentiated according to the needs of each pupil. As it states in the Code of Practice: Subject teacher planning should be flexible so as to recognise the needs of all pupils as individuals and to ensure progression, relevance and differentiation. (para 6:21) The College is aware of this and chooses to judiciously use setting and streaming of pupils as a means of ensuring students work at a level which stretches them and continues to motivate them. The streaming of pupils is carried out subject by subject as it is noted that, an individual pupil may progress at different rates in different subject areas. (para 6:21) As already stated, Seaford College sees it as vital that students do not miss core subjects or other lessons at which they excel or from which they derive a sense of worth, and to that end we ensure students access to the wider curriculum is not unduly affected. Graduated response to Learning Difficulties 6:25 Good practice can take many different forms. Even those schools that decide to follow the Code s model closely may need to make adjustments to reflect their particular circumstances. The model applies to maintained secondary schools other than special schools but might be adopted differently in, for example, a selective or partly selective school and a large inner-city comprehensive school. The model embodies the principles set out below, which are central to this Code and to which all schools should have regard: provision for a pupil with special educational needs should match the nature of their needs there should be regular recording of a pupil s special educational needs, the action taken and the outcomes. (SEN Code of Practice, 2001) These principles are important to Seaford College, where on-going assessment of the pupil s special educational needs ensures that relevant adjustments are made to the strategies applied in their teaching. Record Keeping Seaford College s Learning Support Centre produces IEPs twice yearly for students with special educational needs. School reports are written termly. These grade effort and achievement, discussing the student s progress, and highlighting any areas of concern. A number of students come to the College with Educational Psychologist s reports, as well as reports from other agencies. These reports are kept centrally, along with records from the child s previous school(s). The College also has referral forms that staff can use to highlight any areas of concern regarding a change in a student s behaviour, attitude to work, punctuality, et cetera. Seaford believes it is important to keep all channels of communication open to ensure everyone who is concerned with a student s welfare has a full picture of how that student is dealing with school life. As a significant number of students board, this is essential to the community as a whole.

7 Pupil Profiles The Learning Support Centre produces this resource every year. Its purpose is to provide teaching staff with a brief sketch of each SEN student s strengths and weaknesses. This gives staff a useful guide to appropriate ways of supporting the student and differentiating their curriculum. 6:28 The information collected should reveal the different perceptions of those concerned with the child, any immediate educational concerns and an overall picture of the child s strengths and weaknesses. (SEN Code of Practice, 2001) Any outside agencies which are supporting Seaford students are kept fully informed of the pupil s progress in school. The School will also notify these agencies should any further concerns arise. Records of such communications are kept. The role of the SENCO at Seaford College The Head of Learning Support at Seaford takes day-to-day responsibility for the operation of the SEN policy and co-ordination of the provision made for individual pupils with SEN, working closely with staff, parents and other agencies. The Head of Learning Support also provides related professional guidance to colleagues with the aim of securing high quality teaching for pupils with SEN. (extracts from para 6:32 of SEN Code of Practice, 2001) The Learning Support Centre intends to re-introduce its inter-departmental lunches, to hold informal meetings to discuss further ways in which the Centre can be of benefit to the particular department, and also for the department to raise any specific issues regarding SEN and their subject. Meetings can be suggested by staff or requested by parents, at which the Head of Learning Support is present, together with a student s personal tutor, and specific subject staff, to discuss a pupil s progress. Records of the outcome of such meetings are documented. Monitoring pupil progress 6:44 All pupils should know what is expected of them. For example, secondary schools general marking policies should therefore be consistent across all subjects. Schools should be similarly consistent in other areas, making clear, for example, how they expect all pupils to behave and to present their work. The emphasis on literacy across the curriculum will help to achieve consistency in handwriting, spelling, punctuation and presentation. Thus for all subject areas and for all pupils including those with SEN, there will be a common set of expectations across the school which are known to everyone, and a further commitment to support those pupils who have difficulty meeting those expectations. (SEN Code of Practice 2001) Seaford College differentiates its marking system for spelling, punctuation and presentation for its SEN students. It is felt that being too rigorous in marking mistakes in these areas would be detrimental to the pupil s motivation. The College believes it is more important to encourage creative thought and a curiosity for knowledge than to accentuate known weaknesses.

8 6:45 It is for individual schools to decide the procedures they should adopt for meeting the needs of all pupils, for observing and assessing their progress, and for deciding the nature of the specialist educational provision that they should make. It is essential that these procedures are carefully managed and monitored, and that there are effective internal communication and liaison arrangements between staff. (SEN Code of Practice 2001) As previously stated, meetings are often held by staff at Seaford College to discuss the progression of specific students with SEN. Students are carefully monitored and any cause for concern is documented and appropriate action taken, making sure that all relevant staff members are informed. 6:48 The key test of the need for action is evidence that current rates of progress are inadequate. There should not be an assumption that all pupils will progress at the same rate. A judgement has to be made in each case as to what it is reasonable to expect that a particular pupil will achieve. Where progress is not adequate, it will be necessary to take some additional or different action to enable the pupil to learn more effectively. Whatever the level of pupils difficulties, the key test of how far their learning needs are being met is whether they are making adequate progress. 6:49 Adequate progress can be defined in a number of ways. It might, for instance, be progress which: closes the attainment gap between the pupil and the pupil s peers prevents the attainment gap growing wider is similar to that of peers starting from the same attainment baseline, but less than that of the majority of peers matches or betters the child s previous rate of progress ensures access to the full curriculum demonstrates an improvement in self-help, social or personal skills demonstrates improvements in the child s behaviour is likely to lead to appropriate accreditation is likely to lead to participation in further education, training and/or employment. (SEN Code of Practice 2001) Seaford College endeavours to ensure that all students are making adequate progress, This is done through differentiated teaching styles, matching the learning to a pupil s strengths. It may be achieved through support from the Centre. This may be removed (on consultation with the student and his/her parents) if it is felt the pupil is able to manage the curriculum independently. SCHOOL ACTION 6:51 The triggers for intervention through School Action could be the teacher s or other s concern, underpinned by evidence about a child or young person who, despite receiving differentiated learning opportunities: makes little or no progress even when teaching approaches are targeted particularly in a pupil s identified area of weakness shows signs of difficulty in developing literacy or mathematical skills in poor attainment in some curriculum areas presents persistent emotional and/or behavioural difficulties, which are not ameliorated by the behaviour management techniques usually employed in the school. (extract from 6:51 SEN Code of Practice 2001)

9 Subject teachers should continue with differentiated strategies, adapting these, in consultation with the support teacher, so that together they try to meet the child s needs. Seaford College, has introduced the concept of Learning Pathways, which are linked to the College s Differentiation Policy. The Learning Pathway can be adjusted as appropriate and enable different Teaching and Learning strategies to be employed. There is also the option of adjusting the student s streaming to a higher or lower set, if it is felt this may help alleviate any difficulties. The student can be put in for a different level of examination after consultation with all relevant parties. Head of Department meetings give an opportunity for concerns about particular students to be raised and a plan of action through the whole school agreed. The student can be referred to the Learning Support Centre for a discussion of their needs this would be in consultation with the pupil s parents. The student also has the option of seeing the school s Chaplain or counsellor to discuss emotional/behavioural problems. Seaford College has a pastoral system, which would involve meetings with the student s personal tutor to discuss any difficulties. This could also include discussions with the student s Housemaster/mistress. The school may ask parents to attend these meetings, and if it is felt appropriate, subject teachers may also be involved, as well as staff from Learning Support. It is important that any withdrawal from the classroom does not interfere unduly with the child s access to the whole curriculum. Any action would be monitored and reviewed as necessary. Parents are informed and consulted about School Action support. Indeed, as the SEN Code of Practice says in paragraph 6:56: parents may often be the prime source of further information about their child. The information collected can be maintained as part of the pupil s individual record that will also include previous observations on the child made as part of the assessment and recording systems in place for all pupils. INDIVIDUAL EDUCATION PLANS 6:58 Strategies employed to enable the pupil to progress should be recorded within an Individual Education Plan (IEP) the IEP should include information about: the short-term targets set for or by the pupil the teaching strategies to be used the provision to be put in place when the plan is to be reviewed success and/or exit criteria outcomes (to be recorded when IEP is reviewed). (SEN Code of Practice 2001) The Learning Support Centre at Seaford College is in constant contact with subject teachers. Informal discussions take place on a regular basis about students with SEN, and opinions and advice are sought. This all helps to shape the IEP and ensures that it is relevant and effective for the student. IEPs are reviewed twice yearly. Meetings with a particular student s parents to discuss progress and plan further action are welcomed at Seaford. This is seen as a productive way of ensuring that communications regarding a pupil s attitude and behaviour are kept open. Any developments can be highlighted and a concerted effort can be made by all parties to help the pupil.

10 SCHOOL ACTION PLUS 6:64 The triggers for School Action Plus could be that, despite receiving an individualised programme and/or concentrated support, the pupil: continues to make little or no progress in specific areas over a long period continues working at National Curriculum levels substantially below that expected of pupils of a similar age continues to have difficulty in developing literacy and mathematics skills has emotional or behavioural difficulties which substantially and regularly interfere with their own learning or that of the class group, despite having an individualised behaviour management programme has ongoing communication or interaction difficulties that impede the development of social relationships and cause substantial barriers to learning. (extract from para 6:64 of SEN Code of Practice 2001) Some students at Seaford College are already receiving help from outside agencies on admission to the College. It is important that good relations are set up and effective communication takes place so that all parties concerned can work towards providing the most beneficial setting for the pupil to receive their education. On occasions, if a child is having some of the difficulties listed above, we would suggest to the parents that an educational psychologist or other specialist be brought in to provide new strategies and targets for the pupil. All relevant information would be made available to the specialist so they could plan the most appropriate action to address the pupil s educational needs. We would also hold meetings with the specialist so that those specifically involved with the student could discuss the best way forward, and whether any particular equipment or materials might facilitate the pupil s learning. Such meetings would be documented and a fresh IEP drawn up from the recommendations, which would be implemented as far as possible in the classroom setting. The Learning Support Centre would provide any additional help on a one-to-one basis. The school would seek the specialist s guidance (and their own appraisal of the success of the implementations) as to when there might be a review of the strategies put in place. However, as stated in paragraph 6:62 of the SEN Code of Practice: the involvement of specialists need not be limited to such pupils. Outside specialists can play an important part in the very early identification of special educational needs and in advising schools on effective provision designed to prevent the development of more significant needs. They can act as consultants and be a source for in-service advice on learning and behaviour management strategies for all teachers. At Seaford College we are aware of the importance of this statement, and invite specialists to come and speak at INSET days regarding the best practice for management of students with SEN.

11 SCHOOL REQUEST FOR STATUTORY ASSESSMENT 6:70 For a very few pupils the help given by schools through Action Plus may not be sufficient to enable the pupil to make adequate progress. It will then be necessary for the school, in consultation with the parents and any external agencies already involved, to consider whether to ask the LEA to initiate a statutory assessment. 6:71 (extract) Where a request for a statutory assessment is made to the LEA, the pupil will have demonstrated significant cause for concern. 6:72 By the time the head teacher considers requesting a statutory assessment of a pupil s special educational needs, the school should be in a position to provide written evidence of or information about: the school s action through School Action and School Action Plus individual education plans for the pupil records of regular reviews and their outcomes the pupil s health including the pupil s medical history where relevant National Curriculum levels attainments in literacy and mathematics educational and other assessments, for example from an advisory specialist, support teacher or an educational psychologist views of the parents and of the pupil involvement of other professionals any involvement by the social services or education welfare service. (SEN Code of Practice 2001) All Seaford College staff involved with the pupil must keep detailed records to provide the necessary information to make a decision on whether the pupil requires a statutory assessment. Whilst this decision is being reached, and during the assessment (if it is decided one should be carried out), the pupil will continue to receive the support previously agreed through School Action Plus. The Head of Learning Support is responsible for co-ordinating all the information required to make the decision regarding a statutory assessment. Working with children with statements of special educational needs If a child at Seaford College has a statement of special educational needs, the strategies to meet the short-term set targets are written in the IEP. The IEP only records the strategies that differ from or are additional to those already being carried out in the student s normal differentiated curriculum. All previous support must remain in place. Staff at Seaford must continue to keep detailed records of their contact with the student and the student s responses to the measure used. Annual review of a statement of special educational needs The LEA will notify the College when it is time for the annual review of a statement. The annual review provides an opportunity for all the relevant participants to discuss the effectiveness and appropriateness of the statement. A decision can be made to end a statement at the review, if it is felt the objectives of the statement have been achieved. It is also possible that the statement may require amending to encompass newly identified needs.

12 Working in partnership with other agencies The Learning Support Centre at Seaford College has established good working relationships with several educational psychologists. As paragraph 10:8 of the SEN Code of Practice (2001) states: The educational psychologist can be a very important resource for the school Through regular consultation with schools, educational psychology services can provide help in clarifying problems and devising problem solving strategies. As well as consulting outside specialist regarding specific students, the College recognises the important role such specialists can play in providing in-service training. They can be a source for in-service advice on learning and behaviour management strategies for all teachers. (Extract from Para 10:13, SEN Code of Practice 2001) Working with parents The Learning Support Centre at Seaford College tries to forge strong links with students parents, so they can work together to provide the best possible chance for the pupil to succeed. Parents can telephone whenever they wish with enquiries or information; meetings can be held with relevant staff to discuss the pupil s progress. The school holds parents meetings twice a year, and there are a number of social functions where discussions can take place in an informal atmosphere.

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