The Folkestone School for Girls Academy Trust is known as “the school” in this policy.
This policy has been written in accordance with the levelling up principle of The Folkestone School for Girls Single Equalities Scheme and takes account of the six equalities strands, gender, disability, ethnicity, sexuality, belief and age.
This policy is written in line with the requirements of:-
- Children and Families Act 2014;
- Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0-25 years 2015;
- SEN Code of Practice 2014;
- SI 2014 1530 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:- Accessibility, Admissions, Behaviour, Complaints, Disability, Equalities, Equal Opportunities Students, Single Equality Scheme and Safeguarding Policy. This policy has been developed with the governing body and parents of children with special educational needs and will be reviewed annually.
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:
(a) has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age; or
(b) 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 (2015, p 16)
Many children and young people who have SEN may 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’. This definition includes sensory impairments such as those affecting sight or hearing, and long-term health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, and cancer. Children and young people with such conditions do not necessarily have SEN, but there is a significant overlap between disabled children and young people and those with SEN. Where a disabled child or young person requires special educational provision they will also be covered by the SEN definition. SEN Code of Practice (2015, p 16)
The kinds of special educational need for which provision is made at the school
At the 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, visual impairment, hearing impairment, autism, Asperger’s syndrome, learning difficulties and emotional and social 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 students with an Education, Health and Care plan with the following kinds of special educational need: autism spectrum disorders, multi-sensory impairment, visual impairment, hearing impairment and social and emotional difficulties. Decisions on the admission of students with an Education, Health and Care Plan are made by the Local Authority.
Recommendations on the admission of students with an Education, Health and Care Plan are made by the Local Authority in consultation with the school. 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.
Information about the policy for identification and assessment of students with SEN
At The Folkestone School for Girls we monitor the progress of all students regularly throughout the year to review their academic progress. On entry into Year 7, we also use a range of assessments including Hodder Reading and Spelling assessments.
Where progress is not sufficient, even if special educational need has not been identified, we put in place extra support to enable the student to catch up. Examples of extra support include: Sounds Write, Talkabout for Teenagers, Drawing and Talking, small group support for handwriting, spelling and reading etc. (Please note a full list of the interventions we can offer is on our provision map)
Some students may continue to make inadequate progress, despite high-quality teaching targeted at their areas of weakness. For these students, and in consultation with parents, we will use a range of assessments to determine the cause of the learning difficulty. Additionally, we have access to external advisors, for example experts in Speech and Language Therapy, Educational Psychologists and the Specialist Teaching Service who are able to use further assessments should this be necessary. We also liaise with CYPMHS and other medical professionals in order to identify and support students with mental health issues.
The purpose of this more detailed assessment is to understand what additional resources and different approaches are required to enable the student to make better progress. These will be shared with parents, reviewed regularly, and refined / revised if necessary. At this point we will have identified that the student has a special educational need because the school is making special educational provision for the student which is additional and different to what is normally available.
If the student 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 student as having a special educational need. If the student 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 student are aware of the support to be provided and the teaching approaches to be used.
Information about the school’s policies for making provision for students with special educational needs whether or not they have EHC Plans, including
3a how the school evaluates the effectiveness of its provision for such students
Each review of the SEN support plan will be informed by the views of the student, parents and class/ subject teachers and the assessment information from teachers which will show whether adequate progress is being made.
Review of the SEN provision will be informed by the views of the student, parents and teachers & 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 students with or without a statement of special educational needs / Education, Health and Care Plan a graduated approach will be taken, which will enable an evaluation of the effectiveness of the special provision.
3b the school’s arrangements for assessing and reviewing the progress of students with special educational needs
Every student in the school has their progress tracked regularly throughout the year. In addition to this, students with special educational needs may have more frequent assessments of reading age, spelling age etc. The assessments we use at The Folkestone School for Girls are noted in Section 2 of this policy. Using these it will be possible to see if students are increasing their level of skills in key areas. If these assessments do not show adequate progress is being made the SEN support will be reviewed and adjusted. The SENCO meets with parents/carers regularly to review progress and agree future provision.
3c the school’s approach to teaching students with special educational needs
High quality teaching, differentiated for individual students, is the first step in responding to students who have or may have SEN. Additional intervention and support cannot compensate for a lack of good quality teaching. Schools should regularly & carefully review the quality of teaching for all students, including those at risk of underachievement. This includes reviewing & where necessary, improving, teachers’ understanding of strategies to identify and support vulnerable students and their knowledge of the SEN most frequently encountered SEN Code of Practice (2014, 6.37).
The quality of teaching at the school is judged to be ‘Outstanding’ based on our most recent Ofsted inspection. There is a robust Quality Assurance Programme in place to ensure that this standard of teaching is maintained. We follow the Mainstream Core Standards available from:
MCS guide: https://www.kelsi.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/117256/Special-educational-needs-mainstream-core-standards.pdf
MCS guide for parents: https://www.kelsi.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/117257/Special-educational-needs-mainstream-core-standards-guide-for-parents.pdf
This is advice developed by KCC to ensure that our teaching conforms to best practice. In meeting the Mainstream Core Standards the school employs some additional teaching approaches, as advised by internal and external assessments for example, precision teaching, mentoring, small group teaching, use of ICT software learning packages, Cognitive Behaviour Approaches, counselling etc. 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 students with special educational needs
At The Folkestone School for Girls we follow the advice in the Mainstream Core Standards on how to adapt the curriculum and the learning environment for students with special educational needs. We also incorporate the advice provided as a result of assessments, both internal and external, and the strategies described in statements of special educational needs / Education, Health and Care Plans. Where appropriate, for example with Visually Impaired students, individual risk assessments have been carried out in order to identify and address any relevant issues. In addition, we have a detailed Accessibility Policy in place.
3e additional support for learning that is available to students 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 students requiring SEN support. The amount of support required for each student 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 resource for students with high needs, and above that amount the Local Authority should provide High Needs Funding to the school. This requires evidence of additional support and intervention for a period of time before the application will be accepted.
3f how the school enables students with special educational needs to engage in activities of the school (including physical activities) together with children who do not have special educational needs
Wherever possible, clubs, trips and activities offered are also available to students with special educational needs either with or without a statement of special educational needs / Education, Health and Care Plan. Where it is necessary, the school will use the resources available to provide additional adult support to enable the safe participation of the student in the activity.
3g support that is available for improving the emotional and social development of students with special educational needs
We understand that an important feature of the school is to enable all students to develop emotional resilience and social skills, through direct teaching, for instance in tutorial, PSHE and in spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) in lessons. Additionally students are supported indirectly with every conversation adults have with students throughout the day.
For some students with the most need for help in this area we also can provide the following: access to mentoring, Cognitive Behaviour Approaches, counselling and Pastoral Support Programmes, support from SALT and Educational Psychologists. External referrals can also be made to agencies such as CXK, Early Help, CYPMHS or CHATTS counsellors.
The name and contact details of the SEN Coordinator (SENCO)
Information about the expertise and training of staff in relation to children & young people with special educational needs and how specialist expertise will be secured
All teachers and teaching assistants have had the following awareness training:
- Child Protection (Key members of staff are trained as Designated Child Protection Officers);
- Health and Safety.
Other areas of training for identified staff include:
- Dyslexia awareness;
- Visual Impairment Training;
- ASD Awareness;
- Attachment Training;
- Speech and Language difficulties;
- Mental Health, including specific training on anxiety and panic attacks;
- Selective Mutism;
- Cognitive Behaviour Strategies;
- Behaviour and Safety.
Where a training need is identified beyond this we will find a provider who is able to deliver it. Training providers we can approach include: Educational Psychologist, Speech and language therapist, Specialists Teaching and Learning Service etc. The cost of training is covered by the notional SEN funding. We currently have a Service Level Agreement in place with CHATTS to provide fourteen hours of counselling per week.
Information about how equipment and facilities to support children and young people with special educational needs will be secured
Where external advisors 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.
The arrangements for consulting parents of children with special educational needs about, and involving them in, their education
All parents of students at The Folkestone School for Girls are invited to discuss the progress of their children during parents’ evenings and receive regular reports. In addition we are happy to arrange meetings outside these times. As part of our normal teaching arrangements, all students 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 student has a special educational need. All such provision will be recorded, tracked and evaluated.
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 student will be identified as having special educational needs because special educational provision is being made and the parent will be invited to be part of the planning and review of this provision.
In addition to this, parents of students with an Education, Health and Care Plan will be invited to contribute to and attend an annual review, which, wherever possible will also include other agencies involved with the student. Information will be made accessible for parents.
The arrangements for consulting young people with special educational needs about, and involving them in, their education
When a student has been identified to have special educational needs, because special educational provision is being made for her, the student will be consulted about and involved in the arrangements made 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.
The arrangements made by the governing body relating to the treatment of complaints from parents of students with special educational needs concerning the provision made at the school
The normal arrangements for the treatment of complaints at the school are used for complaints about provision made for special educational needs. We encourage parents to discuss their concerns with the school to resolve the issue before making the complaint formal. Please refer to the complaints policy.
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 contracted. 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 a Statement of SEN, 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.
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 students with special educational needs and in supporting the families of such students
The governing body have engaged with the following bodies:-
- Free membership of LIFT for access to specialist teaching and learning service;
- The option of a Service Level Agreement with Educational Psychology service;
- Access to local authority’s Speech and Language Therapy Services for students with requirements for direct therapy or advice;
- Membership of professional networks for the SENCO e.g. SENCO forum, NASEN etc;
- Close contact with Local Social Services teams;
- Engagement with Kent Early Help Services.
The contact details of support services for the parents of students with special educational needs & disabilities + children and young people with SEND up to age 25 (Code of Practice 2015, 6.39)
Information, Advice and Support Kent (IASK) provides a free and confidential information, advice and support service for parents of a disabled child or child with special educational needs and to children and young people up to age 25 who have a special educational need or disability. Trained staff can provide impartial legally based information and support on educational matters relating to special educational needs and disabilities, including health and social care. The aim is to empower parents, children and young people to fully participate in discussions and make informed choices and decisions. Also to feel confident to express their views and wishes about education and future aspirations.
They can be contacted on:-
Helpline: 03000 413000
Office: 03000 412412
The school’s arrangements for supporting students with special educational needs in transferring between phases of education or in preparing for adulthood and independent living
At the school we work closely with the educational settings used by the students before they transfer to us in order to seek the information that will make the transfer as seamless as possible. The main primary schools are visited and information is gathered from the class teacher to support transition, prior to students joining the school in Year 7. All students are invited to attend a transition day.
We also contribute information to a students’ onward destination by providing information to the next setting, e.g. universities, further education colleges, apprenticeship providers etc. to ensure details of the support in place is communicated.
Children who are identified as anxious or vulnerable are invited to an additional transition day with parents, so information can be shared and students can meet key staff and familiarise with the surroundings, environment and expectations.
Information on where the local authority’s local offer is published.
The local authority’s local offer is published on:
Parents without internet access can make an appointment with the SENCO for support to gain the information they require.
CYPMHS - Children & Young People's Mental Health Service (NELFT NHS Foundation Trust)
EAL - English as an Additional Language
KCC - Kent County Council
LA - Local Authority
LIFT - Local Inclusion Forum Team
NASEN - National Association for Special Educational Needs
SEN - Special Educational Needs
SEND - Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
SENCO - Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator