What does SEND support look like at Armitage?
At Armitage, we will always do our best to support all of our children and families. This includes those who have a Special Educational Need. This may include difficulties with cognition and learning, communication and language, social, emotional and mental health or sensory impairment and physical disability. There are a number of ways we work as a team to offer SEND support to our children. We run our support in waves, using a graduated approach to assess the needs of each child, plan the necessary next steps and review them regularly.
Wave 1 (Quality First Teaching)
The first wave or universal class teacher input includes excellent targeted classroom teaching (Quality First Teaching). For your child this would mean:
• That the teacher has the highest possible expectations for your child and all pupils in their class.
• That all teaching is built on what your child already knows, can do and can understand.
• That different ways of teaching are in place, so that your child is fully involved in learning in class. This may involve things like using more practical learning and concrete resources.
• That specific strategies (which may be suggested by the SENCo) are in place to support your child to learn.
• Your child’s teacher will have carefully checked on your child’s progress and will have decided that your child has a gap or gaps in their understanding/learning and needs some extra support to help them make the best possible progress. They will then ensure they receive pre or post teaching to help them “catch up” or place them in an intervention group where they will receive additional lessons in the area they are struggling. These interventions could be delivered by the teacher or a teaching assistant and run inside or outside of the classroom.
Wave 2 (School Action and School Action Plus)
If your child continues to make less than expected progress or perhaps has a further difficulty that is impacting on their ability to learn, the class teacher and SENCO work together to find a way forward.
For your child this would mean:
• The class teacher filling an SEN referral form. This will highlight all of the strategies implemented and tried through quality first teaching. The SENCo will then meet with the class teacher, observe the child in class and usually arrange to meet with you to gain a deeper understanding of the family situation/history and share concerns. At this point, the SENCo may suggest opening an Early Help Assessment to support you.
• Further interventions and assessments will be carried by school based practitioners. These assessments could include – a first language assessment; a boxhall assessment (SEMH), wellcomm (SALT), Neurodiversity profiler, (SPlD). The interventions could include; fine motor skills groups, communication and language groups, wellcomm, facilitated play groups, mindfulness, precision teaching or other literacy and numeracy interventions.
• With your verbal consent, we may seek advice and support from outside agencies including our School Nurse or Speech and Language Therapist. They will usually meet with you before carrying out any direct work or assessment of your child. In these cases, the practitioner will write a report with recommendations. These will be shared with you and we will carry out the activites/recommendations suggested during the school day – it’s also very helpful to your child if you try your best to practise the skills/suggestions at home too!
• The class teacher and SENCO may write your child an individual education plan (IEP). This will break down your child’s area of need into 3 specific, measurable, achievable and realistic targets (SMART) with a plan for how they will help your child achieve these and a time frame is set. (This is usually around about the length of a term) These targets will be shared with you and reviewed and amended regularly.
• If your child continues to make less than expected progress at this stage, despite the additional targeted support, we may enter Wave 3 support and seek the advice of our Educational Psychologist or seek support from further outside agencies. These may include ;
• Manchester Sensory Support (Lancasterian Outreach)
• Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHs)
• Speech and Language Clinic Service
• Occupational Therapy Service
• Grange Outreach Support
• GP/Health visitor
• Talbot House
• Rodney House Outreach
• IAS (Independent Advisory Service, formally the Parent Partnership Service)
Wave 3 (EHC Statutory Assessment)
This type of support is available for children whose learning needs are severe, complex and lifelong, meaning they will be have significant impact on their school life. This is usually provided via an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). This means your child will have been identified by professionals as needing a particularly high level of individual or small-group teaching. This type of support is available for children with specific barriers to learning that cannot be overcome through Quality First Teaching and intervention groups.
Your child will also need specialist support in school from a professional outside the school.
For your child this would mean:
• The school (or you) can request that Local Authority Services carry out a statutory assessment of your child’s needs. This is a legal process which sets out the amount of support that will be provided for your child.
• After the request has been made to the ‘Panel of Professionals’ (with a lot of information about your child, including evidence of the graduated approach and IEPS ) they will decide whether they think your child’s needs (as described in the paperwork provided), seem complex enough to need a statutory assessment. If this is the case, they will ask you and all professionals involved with your child to write a report outlining your child’s needs. If they do not think your child needs this, they will ask the school to continue with the current support.
• After the reports have all been sent in, the Panel of Professionals will decide if your child’s needs are severe, complex and lifelong. If this is the case, they will write an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP). If this is not the case, they will ask the school to continue with the current level of support and also set up a meeting in school to ensure a plan is in place to ensure your child makes as much progress as possible.
• The EHC Plan will outline the number of hours of individual/small group support your child will receive from the LA and how the support should be used, and what strategies must be put in place. It will also have long- and short-term goals for your child.
• In some cases, the funding allocated through the EHC will be used to employ an adult. The additional adult may be used to: support your child with whole class learning or run individual programs/ small groups that include your child.
• The EHCP will be reviewed annually. At Armitage, we deploy a person centred approach to the review process. The SENCO will invite you and other key family members, the class teacher, TA support and any other key stake holders in your child’s life eg. paediatrician, speech and language therapist, school nurse. At the review meeting, we will discuss the progress your child has made towards the targets on the EHCP and set new ones. These amendments will be typed up by the SENCo and then sent back to the Local Authority. When your child reaches Year 5, a member of the statutory assessment team will also be invited to attend the review. This will help you think about secondary provision for your child.
We understand that having a child with SEND can be worrying, upsetting and difficult to understand or come to terms with. Remember, we are here to support your child and you. Mrs Clark and Mrs English (SENCos) will be more than happy to meet with you at any stage of the process. If you have any concerns, worries or would even just like a little bit of time to process with a cup of tea and a biscuit, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and arrange a suitable meeting time.