At Bethersden Primary School we are an inclusive learning community Dedicated to Excellence. A community where all members are valued equally and treated fairly according to their needs; cultural, religious or social background and are given the richest possible opportunities to develop their own personal excellence.
At times, children may need additional support with their educational or social and emotional education. We aim to remove any barriers to learning and ensure each child is able to flourish. Throughout their time at Bethersden Primary School, we value the involvement of the child, the family and professionals in supporting each child’s own needs.
The Children & Families Act (2014) sets out new requirements to be implemented for supporting children and young people/adults with Special Education Needs & Disabilities. We work in partnership with external agencies and the appropriate local authority services to ensure that all children, including those with SEND, make the best possible progress. The school can provide for children with the following SEND:
Areas of Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Bethersden Primary School provides for:
- Communication and Interaction
- Cognition and Learning
- Physical and sensory
- Social, emotional and mental health needs
Below are some key questions summarising the key points from the SEND Information Report.
Who is responsible for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities at Bethersden Primary School?
Your child’s class teacher is the person with daily responsibility for your child.
At Bethersden Primary School we have two qualified Special Educational Needs and Disability Co-coordinators, Mr Stuart Gawthorpe (Headteacher) and Mrs Rebecca Simmonds. SENDCos are responsible for the strategic planning of interventions and supporting class teachers. They are also happy to meet with parents to discuss concerns where the class teacher has not been able to help.
What are the roles of those responsible for SEND?
As a parent, your first point of contact is the class teacher. Each class teacher provides Quality First Teaching in the classroom. They monitor progress, plan for the individual needs of the children, and assess the achievement of each child. Class teachers consider and monitor appropriate additional support within the class. They liaise with parents and the SENDCo when identifying strengths and needs.
The SENDCo liaises with specialist services such as speech and language therapists, educational psychologists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, paediatricians, the school nursing team etc. They monitor the success of the interventions provided within the school, adjusting provision accordingly. The school records of SEND are maintained and communicated to parents by the SENDCo. They also support colleagues in their understanding of SEND and inclusion and how this translates into Quality First Teaching in the classroom.
How accessible is the school for children and visitors with SEND?
Our school is set in three small buildings with varying degrees of ease of access. We have accessible toilets in our main building. As we are situated in an old building not all areas of the school provide easy access and it would be helpful for you to make an appointment to view the school so we can discuss any individual needs.
In line with The Equality Act (2010), Bethersden Primary School will make reasonable adjustments for children with disabilities, whether short or long term.
Bethersden Primary School will make all trips and extra-curricular activities available to children with SEND wherever possible with the support of external providers and agencies where necessary. Breakfast Club and after school clubs are available to all children with SEND.
How do we support parents of children with SEND?
We know that children achieve their full potential when home and school work in partnership. We operate an open door policy where you are able to speak to your child’s class teacher when needed, although we ask that you make an appointment at the end of the school day so that you have the privacy and time you need.
Members of the Leadership Group are also available at the start and end of the school day at the school gate. Alternatively, you can contact the school by telephone (01233 820479) to make an appointment.
For children with complex needs, ‘team around the child’ meetings will be organised to ensure that all professionals involved in your child’s provision are involved.
How do I let the school know that I am concerned about the progress of my child?
If you have any concerns we recommend you speak to your child’s class teacher to arrange an appointment to discuss this with them initially.
Further discussion might be held between yourself, your child’s class teacher and the school SENDCo to discuss further if appropriate.
If you are not happy with the support put in place for your child, you can contact the Headteacher. If you are still dissatisfied after you have contacted the Headteacher, you can contact the school SEND Governor.
How will the school let me know if they are concerned about the progress of my child?
The class teacher will raise any concerns that they have regarding your child’s progress and learning throughout the year with you. The teacher will discuss your child’s progress with you at our parents’ evenings when you will be kept informed of your child’s progress and any additional support being given.
We have regular meetings between the class teacher, SENDCo and the Leadership Group in the school to ensure all children are making progress to meet their full potential. This is another way to identify if your child is not making expected progress. If your child is identified as not making expected progress the school will continue to closely monitor this and set up support for your child and ask for your input in identifying concerns you may have.
Following additional support, if your child is still not making expected progress the school will discuss with you: any further interventions or referrals to outside professionals to support your child’s learning and how we could work together with external agencies to support your child at home/school.
How do we identify and assess early SEND needs and put the appropriate support in place?
For some children, we are aware of SEND through early diagnosis, records from a previous school/nursery setting and parents notifying us on enrolment. The sharing of information at this stage is essential to ensure the best support possible can be put in place for your child. In these cases, we contact the relevant professionals that have been working with your family to share information and strategies.
For other children, SEND might present later on in their development or might be communicated through certain behaviours at home or in school or through interactions with their peers and/or their environment.
There are regular reviews of children’s progress where class teachers and the Headteacher discuss in depth the progress of all children and any barriers they might be facing to their development and progress. Provision maps are adjusted according to discussions at these meetings.
SENCOs have an open door policy whereby any member of staff or parent can come and share a concern about a child for assessment of need and provision planning to take place at any point in the term where appropriate.
We also recognise that behaviour is a communication, and when discussing repeated or high incidence of unwanted behaviours in school, it is school policy to consider possible reasons for unwanted behaviours and which provision we can put in place to support the child displaying these behaviours. SENDCOs and parents will be involved in these discussions.
What support and provision does Bethersden Primary School offer?
We have a wide range of support and provision we can put in place to support your child with their needs. Please make an appointment with the school so we can discuss your child’s individual circumstances.
What if I don’t think there has been an improvement in my child’s progress?
We regularly check the impact of any interventions and adjust provision for individual children accordingly. Where progress is not being made despite additional provision or where a specific need is apparent, referrals to outside agencies can be made, for example, Educational Psychologist, Speech and Language Therapist etc. Assessments by these services might result in recommendations for specific strategies during whole-class teaching or targeted and specialist intervention. The school will act on these recommendations as quickly as possible for each child. The impact of these will also be reviewed and evaluated regularly. If your child’s needs are particularly complex or they continue not to make progress despite appropriate intervention, application for High Needs Funding or an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) might be discussed together with you. A member of the SEND team will contact you directly to discuss this if needed.
What if I think my child needs and Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)?
If it is felt that a child is not making progress despite targeted and specialist support, further support may be needed. This can come in the form of support from the local authority in the production of an EHC plan to put in place additional provision. This replaced the Statement of Special Educational Need in 2014.
The school will complete an assessment, gathering evidence to support an application, the Local Authority (LA) will consider the application and contact the school and family with their decision as to whether the needs are complex enough to warrant this. If they decide to proceed, all agencies involved with the child need to submit assessment forms to build a picture of the child’s needs. A meeting involving the parent, SENDCo and relevant professionals will also be arranged.
The LA will then consider the complexity of the needs and make a decision about funding based on this. They may decide that the provision that can be provided through the school’s funding is sufficient to meet your child’s needs, or they will suggest an appropriate level of funding that they will send to the school for additional provision to be put in place to meet your child’s needs, this would be covered by High Needs Funding.
Ideally this process is completed with school and parents working in partnership. However, if parents would like to apply independently they can contact the local authority. Details of how to apply will be included in the ‘Local Offer’ section of the local authority’s website (see website links under ‘Where do I find more information?’)
What if we request an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) and the local authority say no?
If the Local Authority (LA) decides not to issue an EHCP, they will write to you informing you of their decision. They will suggest that the school review or continue with the support at the current level, followed by a meeting in school to write a plan for the child to assess and monitor progress. Following some additional cycles of support in school, a further application for an Education Health Care Plan might be advisable.
Any concerns about the decision need to be directed to the Local Authority but we are happy to help you with any questions you may have.
How do we help children with additional needs or an EHCP during statutory testing?
Children sit national tests at the end of Year One, Year Two and Year Six. During tests, provision will be put in place to support children with additional needs. These are known as access arrangements.
Where necessary, applications will be made for the following access arrangements: additional time; scribes; dyslexic friendly paper; access to additional resources such as a laptop; EAL provision for those new to the country within the last year and a half and registered in an official language. This will be in line with what the child receives as part of their normal classroom provision. For some papers, provision can also be made for children to have access to a reader or to a quieter environment.
For very few children with an EHC Plan, it may not be appropriate for them to sit the tests. This will be agreed in consultation with the parents. If this is the case, during the time they will complete alternative work with a member of staff.
How do we support children with additional needs or an EHCP when they transition to a different school?
Every transition a child goes through is important. When children start a new year in our schools, those children with additional needs are supported through the use of transition books (made accessible to the individual child), meetings between current and new teaching/support staff. Staff training sessions are dedicated to give teachers time to share detailed information about their class and the specific needs of the children in their classes.
If your child is moving to another school (including to secondary school), we will contact the SENDCo and share relevant information about your child’s needs. We will pass on any records and arrange a meeting with staff where appropriate.
Where can I find more information?
In the first instance we would advise you to speak to us in school first so that we can signpost you to the most relevant information. Kent Councy Council also provide a website with further information which can be accessed at this link https://www.kelsi.org.uk/special-education-needs/special-educational-needs
What to do if I have a complaint?
Your child’s class teacher is your first point of call. If they are able to resolve the matter, they will do so. They might also refer the matter to other relevant members of staff, such as the SENDCO or Headteacher. If you are still unhappy with the response, you can arrange to speak with the SENDCo yourself or arrange an appointment with the Headteacher. Appointments can be made via the school office or in person at the school gate in the mornings and afternoons. Following a meeting with the Headteacher, if you are still unhappy, you can follow Bethersden Primary School’s Complaints Proceedure.