Bishop Walsh Catholic School follows statutory guidance laid down in the Special Educational Needs (SEN) and Disability Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years.
- Communication and interaction
- Cognition and learning
- Social, mental and emotional health
- Sensory and/or physical
Communication and interaction
Children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) have difficulty in communicating with others. This may be because they have difficulty saying what they want to, understanding what is being said to them or they do not understand or use social rules of communication. The profile for every child with SLCN is different and their needs may change over time. They may have difficulty with one, some or all of the different aspects of speech, language or social communication at different times of their lives.
Children and young people with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, including Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism, are likely to have particular difficulties with social interaction. They may also experience difficulties with language, communication, social interaction and imagination, which can impact on how they relate to others.
Cognition and learning
Specific learning difficulties (SpLD), affect one or more specific aspects of learning. This encompasses a range of conditions such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia.
Support for learning difficulties may be required when children and young people learn at a slower pace than their peers, even with appropriate differentiation. Learning difficulties cover a wide range of needs, including moderate learning difficulties (MLD), severe learning difficulties (SLD), where children are likely to need support in all areas of the curriculum and associated difficulties with mobility and communication, through to profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD), where children are likely to have severe and complex learning difficulties as well as a physical disability or sensory impairment.
Social, emotional and mental health difficulties
Children and young people may experience a wide range of social and emotional difficulties which manifest themselves in many ways. These may include becoming withdrawn or isolated, as well as displaying challenging, disruptive or disturbing behaviour. These behaviours may reflect underlying mental health difficulties such as anxiety or depression, self-harming, substance misuse, eating disorders or physical symptoms that are medically unexplained. Other children and young people may have disorders such as attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder or attachment disorder.
Sensory and/or physical needs
Some children and young people require special educational provision because they have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of the educational facilities generally provided. These difficulties can be age related and may fluctuate over time. Many children and young people with vision impairment (VI), hearing impairment (HI) or a multi-sensory impairment (MSI) will require specialist support and/or equipment to access their learning. Children and young people with an MSI have a combination of vision and hearing difficulties, which makes it even more difficult for them to access the curriculum or study programme than for those with a single sensory impairment.
Some children and young people with a physical disability (PD) require additional ongoing support and equipment to access all the opportunities available to their peers.
At Bishop Walsh children are identified as having SEN through a variety of ways including the following:
- Liaison with the previous educational setting
- Tracking information – is the child performing below age expected levels?
- School based assessment
- Concerns raised by parents
- Concern raised by school staff
- Concern raised by pupil
- Liaison with external agencies
- Health diagnosis
|Area of Need||Provision||How do we know this has worked?|
|Communication and interaction||
|Cognition and learning||
|Social, emotional and mental health difficulties||
|Sensory and/or physical needs||
This support will vary depending on individual pupil need.
(NB: Children who are looked after and have SEN will have the extra support of Pupil Educational Plan (PEP) meetings and Child Looked After (CLA) reviews as well as PEP funding to support their needs.)
If you have a concern about your child the best person to talk to, initially, is their subject teacher or head of year.
The subject teacher is responsible for:
- Checking on the progress of your child and identifying, planning and delivering any additional help your child may need (this could be things like targeted work, additional support) and letting the SENCo know as necessary any concerns.
- Ensuring that the school’s SEND Policy is followed in their classroom and for all the pupils they teach with any SEND.
- Referring to Pupil Profiles to inform planning and differentiation as part of quality first teaching.
In our school we also have a special educational needs coordinator, known as the SENCo. The SENCo in our school is Mrs J Killworth she can be contacted through the school office.
Telephone: 0121 351 3215, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The SENCo is responsible for:
- Coordinating all the support for children with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) and developing the school’s SEND Policy to make sure all children get a consistent, high quality response to meeting their needs in school.
- Ensuring that you are:
- involved in supporting your child’s learning
- kept informed about the support your child is getting
- involved in reviewing their progress
- Liaising with all the other people who may be coming into school to help support your child’s learning for example; CAMHS, Communication and Autism, Educational Psychology and other external agencies.
- Updating the school’s SEND register (a system for ensuring all the SEND needs of pupils in this school are known) and making sure that there are excellent records of your child’s progress and needs.
- Providing specialist support for teachers and support staff in the school so they can help children with SEND in the school achieve the best progress possible.
If you are not happy that the concerns are being managed and that your child is still not making progress you should speak to the Principal. The Principal is responsible for:
- The day to day management of all aspects of the school, this includes the support for children with SEND.
- He will give responsibility to the SENCo and subject teachers but is still responsible for ensuring that your child’s needs are met.
- He must make sure that the Academy Committee is kept up to date about any issues in the school relating to SEND.
We pride ourselves on building positive relationships with parents. We are open and honest with parents and hope that they are able to be the same with us. However if, after speaking to the Principal, you are still not happy that your concerns are being managed and you would like to take the matter further please refer to guidelines in the school’s complaints procedure (see item 11).
The school has a training plan for all staff to improve the teaching and learning of children including those with SEND. This includes whole school training on SEND issues such as ASD and dyslexia.
Individual teachers and support staff attend training courses run by outside agencies that are relevant to the needs of specific children in their class e.g. from the Communication and Autism Team (C/AT) and Pupil and School Support (PSS).
Over the last 12 months all staff in school have received the following training:
- Child protection training
- Asthma training
- Epi-pen training
- Safe Guarding
- Health and Safety
- VLE / Moodle
- Teaching and learning, sharing good practice
- Book and marking scrutiny, sharing good practice
- ASD awareness and preferred learning styles
And also in school we have some staff trained in:
- SENCo qualification – our SENCo is fully qualified and accredited.
- Lead practitioners in ASD
- All Learning and Progress Mentors are trained at level 1 and 2 by the Autism Education Trust
- Qualified first aiders
- Health and safety site manager
- Duke of Edinburgh accredited centre
- Our SENCo and Assistant SENCo oversee all support and progress of any child requiring additional support across the school.
- The subject teacher will oversee, plan and work with each child with SEND in their class to ensure that progress is made.
- There may be a Learning and Progress Assistant working with your child either individually or as part of a group; if this is seen as necessary by the SENCo and or Assistant SENCo. The regularity of these sessions will be explained to parents when the support starts.
The SENCo, Assistant SENCo or Learning and Progress Assistant will meet with parents at least on a termly basis (this could be as part of parent’s evening) to discuss your child’s needs, support and progress.
– For further information the SENCo and Assistant SENCo are available to discuss support in more detail.
We use prior attainment data for each child to match the curriculum to their needs. Initially this happens between year 6 and year 7 but it is reviewed every year in our banding and setting process so that as a child intellectually develops their needs are matched to the curriculum; please see our More Able Philosophy on our school website under ‘Parent Policies’. Class sizes are tailored to reduce as the needs of the individual pupil become greater. Differentiation is about making sure the work children are presented with work that is as difficult as possible in order to stretch and challenge all pupils. From year 8 onwards we personalise the curriculum for certain pupils in order to match their needs by either withdrawing them from an option subject to focus on improving their English and maths. Or we enhance the curriculum by offering a more able pupil a wider range of choices at key stage 4 and 5.
We make every effort to ensure that pupils with SEN or disability are able to participate fully in all aspects of school life including extra-curricular activities. This can involve meeting with parents to plan appropriate support for activities and trips outside of the school environment as well as providing Learning and Progress Assistant (LPA) support for trips and residentials, including trips abroad.
- We offer an open door policy where you are welcome to make an appointment to meet with the Head of Year, Assistant SENCo or SENCo and discuss how your child is getting on. We can offer advice and practical ways that you can help your child at home.
- We believe that your child’s education should be a partnership between parents and teachers, therefore we aim to keep communication channels open and communicate regularly, especially if your child has complex needs.
- If your child is on the SEN register they will have individual targets put in to place to support their needs. These will be discussed and reviewed, with staff, parents and pupils, on a termly basis. Review meetings are pupil centred and provide an open opportunity for both pupils and parents to voice their views and opinions. The targets set are SMART (Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic, Time scaled) targets with the expectation that the child will achieve the target by the time it is reviewed. When the children’s targets are reviewed the impact of the interventions are recorded.
- As a school we measure children’s progress in learning against national expectations and age related expectations.
- The class teacher continually assesses each child and notes areas where they are improving and where further support is needed. As a school, we track children’s progress from entry through to year 13, using a variety of different methods.
- Our marking policy has a stamp that is used regularly which focuses teachers and pupils on how to improve.
- Pupils are regularly reviewed in banding and setting meetings throughout the year in order to match pupils’ needs to the curriculum. This is informed by data published for each student three times a year; two traffic light reports and a full report. Individual teachers and or head of departments can refer a pupil at any time to the Assistant Headteacher, Mr Hamill i/c Intervention for Learning, to initiate pupil movement to the appropriate group.
- At Bishop Walsh we value and celebrate each child being able to express their views on all aspects of school life. This is usually carried out through Pupil Voice and the School Council which has an open forum for any issues or viewpoints to be raised.
- Pupils who have individual targets put in place discuss and set their targets with the SENCo, Assistant SENCo and or Learning and Progress Assistant. This is also an open opportunity to discuss their views and give their feedback and opinion.
- Ideally, pupils will attend their review meetings if it is considered suitable for them to do so. Pupils’ views and opinions are obtained in a 1:1 meeting with an LPA they know and feel comfortable with before the meeting and parent view forms are sent home so that parents can also have time to consider and prepare their views and any questions in advance.
There is a clear stepped approach that parents should take when making a complaint. This is outlined in our school Complaints Policy, which can be found on our school website: www.bishopwalsh.net
The SENCo will work closely with any external agencies that we feel are relevant to individual children’s needs within our school including:
- A Lead Practitioner for ASD
- Educational Psychology Service
- Communication and Autism Team
- Pupil and School Support
- School Nurse
- Social care
- Health Professional
- Specialist support for visually or hearing impaired
- Local Organisations / Charities
The Birmingham Special Educational Needs & Disability Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/sendiass
SENDIASS has been established to provide information, advice and support to children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities, and to their parents and carers. SENDIASS staff work for the Local Authority, but are expected to offer impartial and confidential advice at ‘arms-length’ from other LA services.
Local Authorities have a duty under the SEND Code of Practice to arrange for parents of children with SEN or disabilities, and young people with SEN or disabilities for whom they are responsible, to be provided with information and advice about matters relating to their SEN or disabilities, including matters relating to health and social care.
The information, advice and support offered by SENDIASS will be impartial, confidential, accessible and free.
Information, advice and support is available with regard to the Assessment process for Education, Health and Care Plans, support available in nurseries, schools and colleges for those with SEN or disabilities, as well as social care and health issues that are related to education. Individual casework and support in preparing for and attending meetings can resolve many disagreements which may arise, but SENDIASS also offers advice and representation through Appeals and Complaints processes if appropriate. As the law now expects young people over the age of 16 to have the right to participate in decisions about the provision that is made for them, SENDIASS offers confidential and impartial information, advice and support to young people on their own, although in many cases parents and carers will still be involved.
SENDIASS has a telephone helpline (0121 303 5004) available between 8.45 -5.00 each day to offer initial advice and information, or to take referrals if more in-depth casework is required. SENDIASS can also be contacted by e-mail (email@example.com)
Our Place Community Hub http://ourplacecommunityhub.org
Our Place Sutton Coldfield has been formed as a result of the changes in funding for Extended Services from the Government and Council but also in response to the needs of our local community. The Hub can offer youth sessions, coffee mornings, parenting drop in sessions, counselling via Relate and support for local carers through their partner agencies: Carers UK and Mind.
Contact Our Place Community Hub:
We encourage all new children to visit the school prior to starting when they will meet staff, peers and be shown around the school. For children with SEND we would encourage further visits to assist with the acclimatisation of the new surroundings. We may also visit them in their current school.
- If transition is potentially going to be difficult we meet with the primary school SENCo, pupil and parents to gain as much information as possible and begin our relationship early, ensuring all information is shared and all relevant paperwork is passed on. We liaise closely with staff at feeder primary schools running a programme specifically tailored to aid transition for the more vulnerable pupils.
- We provide pupils with a visual booklet of the building and staff for them to take away and refer to over the summer holidays and personalise the experience of their transition visits to meet their needs.
- If your child has complex needs then review meetings will also be used as a transition meeting during which we will invite staff from both schools to attend.
We realise that transition to post 16 settings is a big step for pupils with SEND and procedures are in place to ensure this transition is successful.
- Planning for transition is started from Year 9 onwards so that pupils and parents have time to explore the different types of post 16 provision available for pupils with SEN. We encourage pupils to visit perspective colleges and LPAs are always happy to accompany pupils on these visits if required.
- Pupils have opportunities to meet regularly with the school’s careers adviser* who provides advice and guidance as to what post 16 options are available as well as information regarding grade requirements and course content. Parents are welcome to attend these meetings and, where necessary, pupils can also be accompanied by LPAs. The school’s careers adviser also attends annual reviews for those pupils who have a Statement of Educational Needs or an Education, Health and Care Plan.
- Pupils staying on at Bishop Walsh Sixth Form, or joining Bishop Walsh Sixth Form from another school, are given support in choosing the right course and have opportunities to make transition visits to the sixth form centre so they can familiarise themselves with their new surroundings. The SENCo works closely with the sixth form mentor to ensure appropriate support is in place for pupils as they start their courses – this can include providing a quiet place for pupils to work in during unstructured periods of the day or help with independent study skills.
- The SENCo works with the sixth form mentor to ensure pupils are supported in their plans as they prepare to leave Bishop Walsh Sixth Form. This can include advice on further education and courses or help with personal statements and student finance for those students applying to university.
*The school’s careers adviser is Sarah Forsythe. Sarah is a member of the Career Development Institute and works in school on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. She can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Further information can also be obtained by following the Careers link on the Bishop Walsh Catholic School homepage: bishopwalsh.net/careers/
Birmingham’ local offer can be found at www.mycareinbirmingham.org.uk/