QUEEN S COLLEGE, LONDON. Special Educational Needs (SEN) and Learning Difficulties and Disabilities (LDD) POLICY DOCUMENT

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1 QUEEN S COLLEGE, LONDON Special Educational Needs (SEN) and Learning Difficulties and Disabilities (LDD) POLICY DOCUMENT

2 Policy for Special Educational Needs (SEN) and Learning Difficulties and Disabilities (LDD) Introduction Queen s College is an academically selective school, and places very great importance on the nurture and development of each individual girl. The College measures its success by the development of each individual, and welcomes all girls who are able to make the most of the opportunities on offer at Queen s. Girls must meet the required standards in the College s entrance examination and have an interview with the Principal or other senior member of staff in order to be offered a place. The College will take all reasonable steps to support students with special educational needs (SEN) and learning disabilities and/or difficulties (LDD) during the admissions process. Parents of girls with special educational needs or learning difficulties are advised to discuss their daughter s requirements with their own school before sitting the entrance examination, so that adequate provision can be made during the admissions process. A copy of an educational psychologist s report or a medical report should normally be provided to support a request for special arrangements, such as extra time in the entrance examinations. During a girl s time at Queen s, the College expects to consult with parents about adjustments that may reasonably be made to enable a student to access fully the curriculum and the wider, vibrant life of the College. The SENCO/Learning Support teacher will co-ordinate appropriate provision. Aims of SEN and LDD provision 1. To recognise and support the needs of girls with special educational needs and learning difficulties 2. To support students and provide advice for teachers to maximise engagement with their academic work and enjoyment of learning 3. To enable a girl to achieve her full potential and to maintain self-esteem in the process SEN and LDD defined According to part 4, chapter 1, paragraph 312(ff) of the Education Act 1996: A child has special educational needs if he or she has a learning difficulty which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her.

3 A learning difficulty is defined as being where a child has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of his age or where s/he has a disability which either prevents or hinders him from making use of the educational facilities of a kind generally provided for children of his age. There are generally recognised to be four areas of need: 1. Cognition and learning needs (these include specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia and dyspraxia) 2. Behavioural, emotional and social development needs 3. Communication and interaction needs (including autistic spectrum disorders) 4. Sensory and/or physical needs (including visual or hearing impairment) Policy objectives A whole-school approach to meeting individual student needs in accordance with the SEN Code of Practice 2002 and the Equality Act 2010 Early identification of students with special educational needs or learning difficulty To make staff aware of the needs of their students To ensure, as much as possible, inclusion of students with special educational needs and learning difficulties in every area of school life To provide support for teachers in meeting the learning needs of students and to ensure that appropriate resources and information are available to teachers so that they may better understand students with different learning profiles To involve the students fully in the planning and provision for their special educational needs or learning difficulties so that they may become self-reliant, independent learners who know their own strengths and how to compensate for their weaknesses To communicate fully with parents, recognising the importance of working in partnership Learning difficulties and disabilities (LDD) In the context of Queen s College, students considered as having learning difficulties may fall into one or more of three categories: 1. A student may have specific or general difficulties in one or more areas of the curriculum 2. A student with a visual, auditory or physical impairment which affects her ability to learn or to access learning 3. A student with emotional or psychological difficulties, of a temporary or more permanent nature, or a girl with a specific behaviour problem. Note:

4 These problems are supported through the pastoral system. Nevertheless learning difficulties are often associated with and sometimes cause emotional and behavioural problems, and the SENCO/Learning Support teacher will work in conjunction with pastoral staff to support a girl in this instance. Responsibility for students with special educational needs and learning difficulties The principles of inclusive education emphasise clearly that responsibility for meeting the needs of those students with special educational needs lies with the whole institution. Everyone in the College is responsible for taking reasonable steps to understand and provide for the needs of all students. The teacher primarily responsible for monitoring the overall progress of any girl with special educational needs or learning difficulties will normally be the student s Form Tutor sometimes with additional support from the Year Tutor and Head of Section, in consultation with the SENCO/Learning Support teacher. The SENCO/Learning Support teacher is appointed by the Principal to oversee the dayto-day operation of this policy, which is reviewed annually. General principles of provision Queen s College places great importance on the nurture and development of each individual girl. At some times a girl may need greater support, and at others she may need support in the short-term. Support is provided on an individual basis depending on need All teachers share the responsibility for identifying and responding to the learning needs of their students Teachers may refer a girl who is causing concern to the SENCO/Learning Support teacher at any time The SENCO/Learning Support teacher keeps a register of those students with special educational needs and learning difficulties which is available to all staff on the Q: drive. The list is updated regularly and reviewed each term Students with special requirements in public examinations will be allowed similar provision in internal examinations The aim is to provide an educational environment which will enable a student with learning difficulties and/or special educational needs to be able to access the curriculum fully and to reach her full potential without stigma. This would usually involve specific classroom strategies within the normal teaching environment and sometimes it

5 might involve, in addition, support sessions with the SENCO/Learning Support teacher The primary aim is to provide awareness among staff of the individual needs of the students in their care and to provide them with strategies to deal with them in the classroom, while always being mindful of the importance of independent learning and self-reliance on the part of the student We recognise our responsibility to those who are selected to attend Queen s College to offer appropriate help and support. Identification and assessment at Queen s College Introduction Reasonable adjustments to the College s normal practices will be made to support each girl with special educational needs and/or learning difficulties. Partnership between school and home is very important. The most effective provision for students with special educational needs and/or learning difficulties occurs when an open, working partnership exists between parents or guardians, the College and outside professionals. It is very important to identify learning needs accurately so that the most appropriate provision can be made. Information on students with special educational needs is passed on to the SENCO/Learning Support teacher before a student enters the College: 1. Records are passed from Queen s College Prep School 2. New applicants to Queen s College are asked to submit any information such as records of previous learning support, copies of assessments undertaken by previous schools, or reports from educational psychologists 3. While at Queen s College, teachers may observe previously unrecognised areas of potential difficulty in a student and communicate these concerns to the SENCO/Learning Support teacher. Additionally, in her first term at Queen s a girl will take a series of screening tests, administered and marked by the SENCO/Learning Support teacher. The results of these tests are available to all staff and are used to identify girls who might be at risk for possible learning difficulties and girls for whom additional support might be required. Screening results may indicate grounds for further investigation which might include a targeted preliminary assessment by the

6 SENCO/Learning Support teacher and a recommendation may be made for a full educational psychologist s assessment. Demands on the students, once they arrive, may differ substantially from their previous experience in school. During the first year, learning difficulties which have remained hidden, or that a student has coped well with thus far, may come to light. It is not unusual for the transition from Class 1 to GCSE levels of work, or even that from GCSE to A-level work, to highlight difficulties in the same way. 4. Students may be referred to the SENCO/Learning Support teacher at any time. Parents should discuss any social, medical or familial circumstances that may affect a student s learning or her behaviour with the Form Tutor in the first instance. S/he may then wish to inform the SENCO/Learning Support teacher. It is preferable for all relevant staff to be kept informed of such circumstances. Girls already identified as having special educational needs and/or learning difficulties All girls who have any form of identified special educational needs and/or learning difficulties that we are aware of are put on a register. This register is available to all staff on the Q: drive, and provides a summary of a student s potential difficulties and any special provision required such as extra time or computer use. The SENCO/Learning Support teacher keeps on file any reports or assessments from previous schools as well as those undertaken after a girl s arrival at Queen s. Individual files contain all supporting evidence for applications for any type of special provision. Student files are available for consultation by staff at any time in the Learning Support office; however information in the Learning Support office is always to be treated as confidential. The SENCO/Learning Support teacher communicates mainly with the girl s Form Tutor. Any new referral to the SENCO/Learning Support teacher should be accompanied by as much detailed background information about the concern as possible, and with evidence showing the concern. The SENCO/Learning Support teacher typically has an initial consultation with the student to discuss the referral and then decide the most appropriate next steps. Parents and Form Tutors are kept informed at all stages of the process. The length and nature of the support provided is determined collaboratively between the girl, the SENCO/Learning Support teacher, and parents and often subject teachers. Support is most effective when it is a collaborative effort. The Learning Plan

7 In some cases a formal Learning Plan is created by the student and the SENCO/Learning Support teacher. The Learning Plan briefly summarises the particular difficulties experience by the student, and suggests strategies to address the difficulties. Any important supplementary information considered important for the classroom teacher may also be included on the Learning Plan. A copy of the Learning Plan will be sent to a girl s parents, as well as to the Form Tutor and all relevant teachers. Learning Plans are revised annually and are available to staff on the Q: drive. They are working documents so may change within the course of a year as progress is made and learning goals evolve. Girls identified with learning difficulties after their arrival at the College There are a number of ways in which a girl may be identified as requiring additional help from the SENCO/Learning Support teacher. The Form Tutor or a parent may make a referral. Information is gathered about the nature of the concern from relevant staff and the SENCO/Learning Support teacher may use a screening test to find out more about what difficulties may exist. If sufficient evidence of possible learning difficulties is discovered, the SENCO/Learning Support teacher will inform the Form Tutor and parents and may recommend that the parents seek a formal assessment from an educational psychologist. In some cases the SENCO/Learning Support teacher may also carry out a specialist teacher assessment. There is a fee for all assessments undertaken by the SENCO/Learning Support teacher. Specialist support teaching The SENCO/Learning Support teacher is in school for four days each week and teaches students on an individual basis. She aims to fit sessions around a girl s curriculum timetable in order to cause the minimum of disruption. She works closely with the girl and her teachers in order to help her overcome any barriers to learning that her difficulties present, keeping parents informed at every stage. Each girl is different and thus individual teaching tailored according to individual needs. Typically a girl might have 4-6 sessions. However sometimes one or two sessions are all that is required, while some girls maintain a long-term relationship with the SENCO/Learning Support teacher and have regular sessions as appropriate. Internal and external examinations The SENCO/Learning Support teacher liaises with the Examinations Tutor and the Director of Studies to inform them of those will receive up to 25% extra time in internal exams, and of those who may use a computer and about any other special provision required. The SENCO/Learning Support teacher also provides the Examinations Tutor and the Principal with copies of all assessments as well as lists of girls eligible for extra time in external examinations. Currently such concessions

8 are granted on the provision of appropriate evidence from an educational psychologist or a specialist teacher. Any girl receiving extra time, or any other special arrangement requiring an application to the examination bodies, will need to have sufficient supporting evidence with which to support a formal application. Requirements are established by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ). Computers A student may obtain permission to use a computer in examinations upon proof of need. Recommendation of computer use must be obtained from an educational psychologist or by special assessments given by the SENCO/Learning Support teacher. A girl must demonstrate the ability to type more efficiently than she writes and specific standardised scores exist to guide decisions. Parents must provide use of a computer within lessons, but in examinations the College will provide one. If a girl uses a computer in examinations it must be her usual way of working within the College and parents must sign a computer agreement form before a girl can begin using a computer in the College. The SENCO/Learning Support teacher liaises with the Director of Studies to inform her of arrangements for use of computers. For use of computers in external examinations, the SENCO/Learning Support teacher holds on file supporting evidence of need. This evidence is also given to the Examinations Tutor who arranges computers for use in public examinations. Student using computers in public examinations will usually be invigilated separately. The Examinations Tutor and Director of Studies arrange this, and the Examinations Tutor ensures that the computers meet the requirements established by the JCQ. Other provision Arrangements for other special provisions in public examinations are carried out by the SENCO/Learning Support teacher and the Examinations Tutor. They are jointly responsible for ensuring that special arrangements meet the requirements established by the JCQ. The SENCO/Learning Support teacher will inform teachers when they have a student requiring other provisions. Costs There is no charge for specialist tuition by the SENCO/Learning Support teacher. The full cost of an educational psychologist s assessment and report, if deemed necessary, is paid by the parents of the student in question. Fees charged within the

9 College for handwriting assessments, partial screenings and full assessments reflect the cost to the College of providing such services. English as an additional language (EAL) In order to cope with the academic demands of Queen s College, students must be fluent English speakers. Students with EAL may be referred to the SENCO/Learning Support teacher for support in reading comprehension, vocabulary building and writing skills support. A Learning Plan with subject specific strategies may be created and sent to relevant teachers. A girl will not be regarded as having a learning difficulty solely because English is not the language spoken at home. Responsibilities The SENCO/Learning Support teacher will always do her best to help a girl, but cannot guarantee particular results or outcomes. The aim is to improve learning and performance, but increased self-awareness and self-confidence are also seen as important measures of success. The SENCO/Learning Support teacher does not undertake pro-actively to identify every instance where a girl may have special educational needs and/or learning difficulties. Rather the aim is to respond thoroughly, professionally and supportively to any case of actual or possible educational need brought to light. Statements of Special Educational Needs Under the Education Act of 1996, parents have the right to ask the Local Authority to make an assessment with a view to drawing up a Statement of Educational Needs. The College also has the right to ask the Local Authority to arrange an assessment. If the Local Authority refuses to make an assessment, the parents (but not the College) have a right of appeal to the First Tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability). Where a prospective student has a Statement of Educational Needs, we will consult the parents and where appropriate the Local Authority to ensure that the provision specified in the Statement can be delivered by the College. We will co-operate with the Local Authority to ensure that relevant reviews of Statements are carried out as required.

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