Special Educational Needs(SEN) and disabiltiy information

Key Contact Personnel in School

SENCO: Miss Olwen Jones, Assistant Head - Inclusion

Assistant SENCO: Mrs Simpson

Named SEN Governor: Mrs Linda Blumsum

This policy will be reviewed at least annually and/or following any updates to national and local guidance and procedures
This policy is written in line with the requirements of:-

• Children and Families Act 2014
• SEN Code of Practice 2014:
• Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014
• Part 3 Duties on Schools – Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators
• Schedule 1 regulation 51– Information to be included in the SEN information report
• Schedule 2 regulation 53 – Information to be published by a local authority in its local offer
• Equality Act 2010
• Schools Admissions Code, DfE 1 Feb 2012
• SI 2012 1124 The School Information (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2012
• SI 2013 758 The School Information (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013

This policy should be read in conjunction with the following school policies; Behaviour for Learning Policy, Equalities Policy, Safeguarding Policy, Homework Policy, and Complaints Policy.

This policy was developed with parents of students with SEN and members of the Governing Body. The policy will be reviewed annually.


Definition of SEN

A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her. 

A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty if he or she:
1. Has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age; or
2. Has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions. SEN Code of Practice (2014, p 4)

Definition of disability
Many children and young people who have SEN may also have a disability under the Equality Act 2010 – that is ‘…a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term and substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities’.  This definition provides a relatively low threshold and includes more children than many realise: ‘long-term’ is defined as ‘a year or more’ and ‘substantial’ is defined as ‘more than minor or trivial’ SEN Code of Practice (2014, p5)

1 The kinds of special educational need for which provision is made at the school

At Aylesford School, we can make provision for every kind of frequently occurring special educational need without an Education, Health and Care Plan, for instance Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Speech and Language needs, Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, learning difficulties and Social, emotional , mental health difficulties. We make provision through our quality first teaching, training events for all staff and student profiling for students with SEN Support. We also visit all primary schools as part of our transition process to make sure we get the up to date information. In addition, to the SENCO we have a team of lead teaching assistants and an Assistant SENCO who are available to speak to 8.00am-4.00pm. 

In the past and currently, we have supported students with a range of needs including cognition and learning (Dyslexia/Dyspraxia), Asperger’s Syndrome, Autism, physical disabilities and social, emotional and mental health difficulties.  There are other kinds of special educational need which do not occur as frequently and with which the school is less familiar, but we can access training and advice so that these kinds of needs can be met. 

The school also currently meets the needs of pupils with an Education, Health and Care plan with the following kinds of special educational need: Physical Disabilities including Cerebral Palsy, Visual Impairment Epilepsy, Autism (including Selective Mutism), Speech and Language Difficulties, Cognition and Learning and Social, Emotional and Mental Health difficulties. Decisions on the admission of pupils with an Education, Health and Care plan are made by the Local Authority.

The admission arrangements for pupils without an Education, Health and Care Plan do not discriminate against or disadvantage disabled children or those with special educational needs.

2 Information about the policy for identification and assessment of pupils with SEN

At Aylesford School, we monitor the progress of all pupils at least 3 times a year to review their academic progress in our data collection points. We also use a range of assessments with all the pupils at various points:
• Star Reading Tests linked to accelerated reader
• Suffolk Reading Tests
• LASS Testing
• Boxall Profile
• 5 Point Scale
• Leuven’s Well-Being Scale
• Character Strengths and Behaviour for Learning incidents

Where progress is not sufficient, even if special educational need has not been identified, we put in place extra support to enable the pupil to catch up. Examples of extra support are Literacy and Maths Catch up Interventions, Student Support Managers, , mentoring, Flexible timetabling, Guided Reading, targeted literacy numeracy support and subject specific intervention e.g. key word work

Some pupils may continue to make inadequate progress, despite high-quality teaching targeted at their areas of weakness.  For these pupils, and in consultation with parents, we will use a range assessment tools to determine the cause of the learning difficulty.  At Aylesford School we are experienced in using the following assessment tools:
• Star Reading Tests linked to accelerated reader
• Suffolk Reading Tests
• LASS Testing
• Boxall Profile
• 5 Point Scale
• Leuven’s Well-Being Scale

We have access to external advisers who are able to use the following assessment tools such as WRAT/WRIT which are used by the Specialist Teaching Service, commissioned by the school through LIFT (Local Inclusion Forum Team).

The purpose of this more detailed assessment is to understand what additional resources and different approaches are required to enable the pupil to make better progress.  These will be shared with parents, put into a SEN Provision Plan and reviewed regularly, and refined or revised if necessary.  At this point we will have identified that the pupil has a special educational need because the school is making special educational provision for the pupil which is additional and different to what is normally available. 

If the pupil is able to make good progress using this additional and different resource (but would not be able to maintain this good progress without it) we will continue to identify the pupil as having a special educational need.  If the pupil is able to maintain good progress without the additional and different resources he or she will not be identified with special educational needs. When any change in identification of SEN is changed parents will be notified.

We will ensure that all teachers and support staff who work with the pupil are aware of the support to be provided and the teaching approaches to be used, this is shared through a Student Profile and/or a Provision Plan.

3 Information about the school’s policies for making provision for pupils with special educational needs whether or not they have EHC Plans, including

3a How the school evaluates the effectiveness of its provision for such pupils

Each review of the SEN support plan will be informed by the views of the pupil, parents and class/subject teachers and the assessment information from teachers which will show whether adequate progress is being made.

The SEN Code of Practice (2014, 6.17) describes inadequate progress thus:
• Is significantly slower than that of their peers starting from the same baseline
• Fails to match or better the child’s previous rate of progress
• Fails to close the attainment gap between rate of progress
• Widens the attainment gap

For pupils with or without an Education, Health and Care Plan there will be an annual review of the provision made for the child, which will enable an evaluation of the effectiveness of the special provision.  The collation of all annual review evaluations of effectiveness will be reported to the governing body.

3b The school’s arrangements for assessing and reviewing the progress of pupils with special educational needs

Every pupil in the school has their progress tracked at least 3 times per year.  In addition to this, pupils with special educational needs may have more frequent assessments of reading age, spelling age, etc.  The assessments we use at Aylesford School are referred to in section 2. Using these it will be possible to see if pupils are increasing their level of skills in key areas.

If these assessments do not show adequate progress is being made the SEN support plan will be reviewed and adjusted.

3c The school’s approach to teaching pupils with special educational needs

High quality teaching, differentiated for individual pupils, is the first step in responding to pupils who have or may have SEN.  Additional intervention and support cannot compensate for a lack of good quality teaching.  We regularly and carefully review the quality of teaching for all pupils, including those at risk of underachievement.  This includes reviewing and, where necessary, improving teachers’ understanding of strategies to identify and support vulnerable pupils and their knowledge of the SEN most frequently encountered SEN Code of Practice (2014, 6.37)

We follow the Mainstream Core Standards advice as developed by Kent County Council to ensure that our teaching conforms to best practice. Website link: http://www.kelsi.org.uk/special-education-needs/special-educational-needs/the-mainstream-core-standards
In meeting the Mainstream Core Standards the school employs some additional teaching approaches, as advised by internal and external assessments e.g. one to one tutoring / precision teaching / mentoring, small group teaching, use of ICT software learning packages.  These are delivered by additional staff employed through the funding provided to the school as ‘notional SEN funding’

3d How the school adapts the curriculum and learning environment for pupils with special educational needs

At Aylesford School we follow the advice in the Mainstream Core Standards on how to adapt the curriculum and the learning environment for pupils with special educational needs.  We also incorporate the advice provided as a result of assessments, both internal and external, and the strategies described in Education, Health and Care Plans.

As part of our requirement to keep the appropriateness of our curriculum and learning environment under review, the Governors have recently made the following improvements as part of the school’s accessibility planning:
Please refer to the Accessibility Plan
3e Additional support for learning that is available to pupils with special educational needs

As part of our budget we receive ‘notional SEN funding’.  This funding is used to ensure that the quality of teaching is good in the school and that there are sufficient resources to deploy additional and different teaching for pupils requiring SEN support.  The amount of support required for each pupil to make good progress will be different in each case and a full list of the interventions we can offer is on our provision map.  In very few cases a very high level of resource is required.  The funding arrangements require schools to provide up to £6000 per year of resources for pupils with high needs, and above that amount the Local Authority should provide top up to the school. If a student requires above £6000 of additional support, then an application for High Needs Funding (HNF) is made to Kent County Council.

3f How the school enables pupils with special educational needs to engage in activities of the school (including physical activities) together with children who do not have special educational needs

All clubs, trips and activities offered to pupils at Aylesford School are available to pupils with special educational needs either with or without an Education, Health and Care Plan.  Where it is necessary, the school will use the resources available to it to provide additional adult support to enable the safe participation of the pupil in the activity.  Risk Assessments are undertaken prior to all trips to ensure the safety of all those attending. In addition we also enter into events and competitions designed especially for students with special educational needs and physical disabilities. 

3g Support that is available for improving the emotional and social development of pupils with special educational needs

At Aylesford School we understand that an important feature of the school is to enable all pupils to develop emotional resilience and social skills, both through direct teaching for instance PSHEE through our mentor time programme, community interventions, The Bridge Provision and indirectly with every conversation adults have with pupils throughout the day. 

For some pupils with the most need for help in this area we also can provide the following:
mentor time with member of senior leadership team, external referral to CAHMs, time-out space for pupil to use when upset or agitated, Student Support Managers, , referrals to Early Help Notifications, , CAST Mentoring, Circle Time, Social Use of Language Programme, check-in mentoring with a TA, Drawing and Talking Therapy, Psychotherapy, The Bridge Provision and referral to Slideaway for bereavement counselling.

Pupils in the early stages of emotional and social development because of their special educational needs will be supported to enable them to develop and mature appropriately.  This will usually require additional and different resources, beyond that required by pupils who do not need this support.

4 The name and contact details of the SEN Co-ordinator

The SENCO at Aylesford School is Olwen Jones, who is a qualified teacher and is currently undergoing the National Award for SEN Co-ordination and also holds the following qualifications BA Honours with QTS.
Olwen Jones is available on 01622 717341 , olwen.jones@aylesford.kent.sch.uk The Assistant SENCO for the school is Sandra Simpson and she is available on 01622 717341 or sandra.simpson@aylesford.kent.sch.uk.

5 Information about the expertise and training of staff in relation to children and young people with special educational needs and how specialist expertise will be secured

All teachers and teaching assistants have had the following awareness training:

Cognition and Learning, Physical Disabilities including Visual Impairment training, epilepsy awareness. Communication and Interaction difficulties including workshops on Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism. De-escalation training, specific work on Attachment issues have been delivered to support some of our learners who have Social, Emotional and Mental Health difficulties. All new staff and newly qualified teachers are expected to follow a programme which covers the four aspects of SEND.

In addition the following staff have received the following enhanced and specialist training:

M. Sammut: Visual Impairment training, Making Memories, Modification, ‘Finding Your Voice’, continuing 1:1 support from STS
S. Simpson: Making Memories, Language for Learning, BA Honours Childhood Studies, Soundswrite, Social Stories.
N. Sampayo: Dyslexia, Social Stories, Helping children bounce back from divorce and separation, Drawing and Talking , SULP, ASD
G. Hiscock: BDA Level 3 Dyslexia, Identifying and Supporting Pupils with Dyslexia in the Classroom, Differentiation The Learning Experience, Clicker 7, Supporting Mental Health for Children and Young People, Sounds-Write, SLCN, ADHD, Autistic Spectrum, Accelerated Reading
L Baker: Specialist Dyslexic Teacher

Where a training need is identified beyond this we will find a provider who is able to deliver it.  Training providers we can approach are listed through the Local Inclusion Forum Team with termly meetings. The cost of training is covered by the notional SEN funding.

6 Information about how equipment and facilities to support children and young people with special educational needs will be secured

Where external advisers recommend the use of equipment or facilities which the school does not have, we will purchase it using the notional SEN funding, or seek it by loan.  For highly specialist communication equipment the school will seek the advice of the KCC Communication and Assistive Technology team.

7 The arrangements for consulting parents of children with special educational needs about, and involving them in, their education

All parents of pupils at Aylesford School are invited to discuss the progress of their children on a number of occasions a year and receive a written report.  In addition we are happy to arrange meetings outside these times. As part of our normal teaching arrangements, all pupils will access some additional teaching to help them catch-up if the progress monitoring indicates that this is necessary; this will not imply that the pupil has a special educational need.  All such provision will be recorded, tracked and evaluated on a Provision Map.

If following this normal provision improvements in progress are not seen, we will contact parents to discuss the use of internal or external assessments which will help us to address these needs better.  From this point onwards the pupil will be identified as having special educational needs because special educational provision is being made and the parent will be invited to all planning and reviews of this provision.  Parents will be actively supported to contribute to assessment, planning and review. These meetings are conducted three times a year.

In addition to this, parents of pupils with an Education, Health and Care Plan will be invited to contribute to and attend an annual review and two further in year reviews, which, wherever possible will also include other agencies involved with the pupil. Information will be made accessible for parents.

8 The arrangements for consulting young people with special educational needs about, and involving them in, their education

When a pupil has been identified to have special educational needs because special educational provision is being made for him or her, the pupil will be consulted about and involved in the arrangements made for them as part of person-centred planning.  Parents are likely to play a more significant role in the childhood years with the young person taking more responsibility and acting with greater independence in later years.

9 The arrangements made by the governing body relating to the treatment of complaints from parents of pupils with special educational needs concerning the provision made at the school

The normal arrangements for the treatment of complaints at Aylesford School are used for complaints about provision made for special educational needs.  We encourage parents to discuss their concerns with the class or subject teacher, the child’s mentor, the Assistant Head for the appropriate year, the Assistant SENCO, the SENCO or the Headteacher to resolve the issue before making the complaint formal to the Chair of the governing body.

If the complaint is not resolved after it has been considered by the governing body, then a disagreement resolution service or mediation service can be contacted.  If it remains unresolved after this, the complainant can appeal to the First–tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability), if the case refers to disability discrimination, or to the Secretary of State for all other cases.

There are some circumstances, usually for children who have decision made about their Education, Health Care Plans where there is a statutory right for parents to appeal against a decision of the Local Authority. Complaints which fall within this category cannot be investigated by the school.

10 How the governing body involves other bodies, including health and social services bodies, local authority support services and voluntary organisations, in meeting the needs of pupils with special educational needs and in supporting the families of such pupils

The governing body have engaged with the following bodies:-
• Free membership of LIFT for access to specialist teaching and learning service
• Link to Disabled Children’s Service for support to families for some pupils with high needs
• Access to local authority’s service level agreement with Speech and Language Therapy Services / Occupational Therapy Services / Physiotherapy Services for pupil with requirement for direct therapy or advice
• Ability to make ad hoc requests for advice from Communication and Assistive Technology Team.
• Membership of professional networks for SENCO e.g. NAS, SENCO forum, NASEN etc.

11 The contact details of support services for the parents of pupils with special educational needs, including those for arrangements made in accordance with clause 32 (Parent Partnership Services)

Information, Advice and Support Kent (IASK)provides free, impartial, confidential, advice, support and options around educational issues for parents who have children with special educational needs or disabilities (0-19).  They empower parents to play an active and informed role in their child’s education.  They can be contacted on:

Helpline: 03000 41 3000. Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm.
Email: iask@kent.gov.uk
Address: Shepway Centre, Oxford Road, Maidstone, ME15 8AW
Telephone: 03000 412 412
Facebook: IASK on Facebook
Fax: 01622 671198

12 The school’s arrangements for supporting pupils with special educational needs in transferring between phases of education or in preparing for adulthood and independent living

At Aylesford School we work closely with the educational settings used by the pupils before they transfer to us in order to seek the information that will make the transfer as seamless as possible.  As part of a comprehensive transition process, every child is visited in their primary school by a member of the Leadership Team and the SENCO is met. The school is proactive in being invited to review meetings of students coming to us. Some students will follow a detailed induction programme which may include several additional visits, timetables prior to starting and visual aids/maps of the school.

We also contribute information to a pupils’ onward destination by providing information to the next setting. We have established close links with the local colleges and have set up relevant support meetings.

13 Information on where the local authority’s local offer is published.

The local authority’s local offer is published on: http://www.kent.gov.uk/education-and-children/special-educational-needs and parents without internet access should make an appointment with the SENCO for support to gain the information they require.


14 International Baccalaureate Sixth Form Admission

Students with an Education, Health and Care Plan will not be discriminated against in admission into the sixth form and access to the IBCP programme. They will be supported through their sixth form study in accordance to their needs in line with their plan. Teachers will be provided support and training to meet individual needs for students choosing to study in the school post 16. The need for greater independent study and responsibility during 6th form study and for managing their own time and work may require extra support and advice for these students which will be provided on an individual basis.