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SEND Frequently Asked Questions

What do I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?    

Firstly, speak to your child’s class teacher to discuss their progress and/or any barriers to learning. If further support is needed, the teacher will liaise with the SENCo in school. You can also arrange a meeting with the SENCo to discuss the next steps.
How will school support my child?
Every child is different, so the level or types of support given will be dependent upon the individual child’s needs. As well as identifying children to access small group interventions and booster groups, the class teacher will adapt their own class practises to accommodate the child initially, before seeking advice and support from the SENCo and/or Head teacher.

If necessary, a Pupil Support Plan (PSP) will be drawn up by the class teacher and SENCo, to provide specific targets for your child to work on. These targets will be reviewed and monitored regularly to ensure progression is achievable for each child.
If a child requires significant support to access the mainstream curriculum, school may applying for extra funding for adaptations to the building, curriculum and staffing, as necessary.
How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
Again, as the needs of each child are so varied, support will be given as appropriate to the child’s needs.
This may come in the form of one of the following:

  • a Pupil Support Plan (PSP); 
  • a behaviour or 'Reward' chart, Action plan, Positive Handling Plan;
  • differentiation of work within class;
  • small group intervention or booster groups for Core subjects (English and Maths);
  • use of specific resources or adaptations to the equipment used;
  • support from teaching assistants within class;
  • extra, personalised support from staff (1:1).

How will I know how well my child is doing and how will you help me support my child’s learning?
Each year, we hold three Parent’s Evening for all families in school. You can arrange to meet with your child’s teacher to discuss their progress at these meetings. You can also arrange to meet with the SENCo on these evenings, if you wish to discuss your child’s needs and/or provision.
As well as this, teachers are always willing to meet parents/carers at other times throughout the year. We also have additional parent/carer meetings for children who have been identified as needing extra support in order to meet their end of year targets.
If your child has a PSP, you will be provided with a copy of it and are welcome to contribute to the setting of the targets on this document, if you would like to.
Children with a Statement of Special Education Needs or Education Health and Care Plan will also have a formal Annual Review, wherein all parties working with the child (including parents/carers) will be invited to attend and to discuss the child’s progress and on-going needs.
What specialist services and expertise are available or accessed by the school?
As well as the general expertise of school staff, our SENCo and pastoral staff are trained to work with children who have specific Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) difficulties; several members of staff are trained to use Makaton, a form of signing for communication used by some children in the school; some staff have significant experience of working with children with Autism, Downs Syndrome and Dyslexia, among other SEN.
We are also able to call upon a wide range of external services to gain advice and support for individuals or groups of children within school. These services include (and are not exclusive to):

  • A Speech and Language Therapist (Chatterbugs);
  • Educational Psychologist;
  • SENST and SENIT– Special Educational Needs Support/Inclusion Team (specialist teachers and behaviour support);
  • Occupational Therapist;
  • Cluster counselling (Play Therapy, general counselling);
  • Local Inclusion Leader (LIL) – behaviour support for our cluster of schools;
  • STARS – specialist Autism service;
  • Deaf and Hearing Impaired Team (DAHIT);
  • Physiotherapist;
  • School nurse;
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS);
  • Down Syndrome Training & Support Service.

What training are the staff supporting children with SEN having/had?
In addition to the aforementioned training, all staff in school have had general training and awareness-raising sessions in specific areas of SEN as part of their Continuous Professional Development (CPD). This can take place during staff training (INSET) days and in weekly staff meetings. All staff, including lunch time supervisors, have been trained in Team Teach – a positive handling course, in order to effectively, and safely, manage any difficult situations with children within school.
How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom?
All children are given the opportunities to partake in extra-curricular activities and trips. Every effort will be made to ensure that children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) are supported by whatever means necessary to join in and enjoy these activities.
How accessible is the school?
We have aimed to ensure that St. Matthew’s school building is accessible to all, regardless of ability. Ramps have been built in to provide easy access for wheelchair users to the main entrance and rear entrances of the building, along with dedicated disabled parking space in the staff car park.
The new Nature Trail area in the KS2 playground has a wheelchair-friendly path snaking through the woodland. A ramp leading to this path has been constructed, allowing further access for wheelchair users (or those who find steps uneasy to climb) to fully explore the KS2 playground.
Our school is partly built on two storeys, and has three staircases. Unfortunately, there is no space for a lift to be built in, so the upper floors would remain out of reach for a wheelchair user. If the need arose, classes could be re-ordered, so that pupils or staff with physical disabilities would not need to use the staircases.
How are the school resources allocated and matched to children’s SEN?
The school is funded on a national formula per pupil. All schools are expected to find the first £6,000 from within the school’s budget to support children and young people with SEN who are on the school’s Inclusion/SEN register. The school can apply for a ‘top-up’, based on strict criteria, if it is felt that a child’s needs are above that which can be provided through the £6,000. The school uses the funds to put appropriate support in place to meet the specific needs of a child. The look of this support will depend upon the child’s individual needs.
How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
Initially, each class teacher is responsible for providing in-class support for the pupils in their class. If further support is required, the teacher will liaise with the SENCo and Head teacher during Pupil Progress Meetings (where each child’s progress is tracked and monitored). The SENCo and/or Pastoral Team will be responsible (under the Head teacher’s guidance) for seeking external support for children, if required.