Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
At Acacias Community Primary School, we work hard to provide a caring, stimulating and inclusive environment where every child can reach their full potential.
We recognise that you know your child best and you may feel that they need some additional help or support for some or all of their time at school. The information included here is to inform you of the types of support available for your child at Acacias. It will help you to understand who can help and how this support can be accessed.
How does the school identify a Special Educational Need?
All pupils in school receive quality first teaching. This means that a range of teaching and learning styles are used and that appropriate learning objectives are set for all children with a curriculum matched to their needs. All classes are supported by teaching assistants and pupils are also frequently offered additional small group work or interventions where needed. Where necessary, reasonable adaptations are made to learning environments to support children in their education.
If a child continues to have difficulty, has a high level of difficulty when they join us or as they change during their school life, they may be considered to have a special educational need or disability (SEND). Progress is monitored closely to help inform any decisions around special educational needs, with concerns from parents/carers and school staff being used to initially identify a possible need. If you think your child may need additional support then you can speak with either your child’s class teacher, Paul Sanchez (SENDCo) or Rebecca Riley (Inclusion Manager).
Children with SEND have learning difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for them to learn than most children of the same age. They will need extra or different help. Schools and other external agencies can help most children overcome their difficulties quickly and easily. A few children will need extra help for some or all of their time in school.
What are the different stages of support?
The Special Educational Needs Code of Practice gives guidance to schools in meeting the needs of pupils. It sets out how help should be given in a step-by-step approach. You will be consulted at all stages of this graduated approach and staff will inform you of the additional work they do with your child, through the SEND meetings on a termly basis. Class teachers will assess your child to identify their strengths, needs and the extra help they require. If they need extra or different support than most children their age they may get extra support at:
This may involve:
- Extra help from a teaching assistant in class
- Small group or individual support out of class
- Alternative resources such as specific ICT programmes or visual prompts.
If your child continues to have difficulty even with this support, we may look at offering support through our Inclusion team in school or talk to you about asking for advice from people outside school such as a speech and language therapist, hearing impairment teacher, health professional or educational psychologist. Your child would continue to get a high level of extra support in school guided by the advice of these professionals.
Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC)
If your child’s needs are complex or severe we may suggest that we ask the Local Authority for a statutory assessment. This may result in your child having an ‘EHC’ which describes your child’s SEND and the special help they should receive. EHC’s usually involve the Local Authority recognising the extra resources needed to help your child, although the school continues to fund a significant proportion of this. Additional resources often include staff time, specialist support and/or equipment.
How might my child be supported?
We offer a wide range of interventions to support the different areas of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. The areas of need, as set out in the SEN Code of Practice, are: Cognition and Learning needs; Speech, Language and Communication needs; Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs; and Physical and/or Medical needs.
Before any intervention is started a pre-intervention assessment is carried out. This allows us to meet specific areas of need and to set clear targets of the intervention. Following the intervention a post-intervention assessment will be carried out, which will allow us to identify and evaluate the impact that the intervention has had.
We regularly inform parents/carers about the intervention and support that their child is receiving. You are also welcome to make an appointment to meet with either the class teacher, SENDCo or Inclusion Manager to discuss your child’s progress and any concerns you may have. Our specialist staff can also offer advice and practical ways that you can help your child at home.
Across the year we run a number of workshops on how to support children with Special Educational Needs at home (please look on our calendar for details of these). The Inclusion Team have also produced a number of leaflets designed to enable parents to support their children at home. We currently have the following leaflets available to download:
- How to help your child at home - Speech and Language Difficulties
- Activities to do at home to help children with Speech and Language Difficulties
- How to help your child at home - Specific Learning Difficulties/Dyslexia
- How to help your child at home - Autism Spectrum Condition
If any of the leaflets refer to resources you do not have, please speak to a member of our team and we will be able to help you and hopefully provide you with the resources needed. We are also running 'Lending Libraries' to support children with SpLD and those requiring additional maths support. For more information on these, please speak to a member of the Inclusion team.
The Inclusion Team
Our SENDCo is Paul Sanchez, our Deputy Headteacher. He is part of our dedicated Inclusion team which is led by our Inclusion Manager, Rebecca Riley, who has a strategic overview of the needs of our pupils with inclusion needs and the interventions that are in place to support these needs, and manages inclusion on a day-to-day basis to ensure the provision is in place to allow children to access their learning. Alongside the SENDCo and Inclusion Manager we have;
- Susan Whittaker -Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD) teacher,
- Sian Bradley-Byrne – Numbers Count teacher,
- Jill Wilson and Sanam Stanley – Interventions teachers,
- Chris Rowley – SEND teaching assistant.
The Inclusion team forms just part of the highly experienced team of staff who may be involved in supporting your child at Acacias. Support will also be given by your child’s teacher, who will always make sure that tasks set are appropriate and accessible for your child, Teaching Assistants (TAs), who support all pupils in class and Learning Support Assistants (LSAs), who help and support individual children with their learning.
We also, when necessary, seek support from external agencies. We have close links with: our link school nurse, who we can contact to advise on and assess any medical needs; Speech and Language Therapists, who can assess and support children with speech and language difficulties and refer them for support at clinic when needed; our Educational Psychologist. Our School Governor for SEND is currently Lynne Lowe.
Please ask at the school office if you wish to speak to any member of the Inclusion team.
How is the support, and the impact it has on learning, assessed?
Before any intervention is begun, a pre-intervention assessment is carried out, with there being different assessments for each intervention (including on-going assessment within the classroom, as part of Quality First Teaching). This allows us to identify the specific needs that need to be met through the intervention, and to set targets for the intervention and the individual pupil. At the end of the intervention, a post-intervention assessment is undertaken. This allows us to see the impact that the intervention has had on the pupils’ learning or ability to access their learning. It also allows us to plan for further intervention and support that may be required.
How are parents/carers involved in the support that their child receives
In order to ensure that intervention and support has the maximum impact, it is important that school and home work in partnership. We can offer advice and practical ways that you can help your child at home. We regularly offer workshops on supporting children across the curriculum, and our Inclusion team are available to give further support. Parents will be invited into school on a termly basis to review their child’s Individual Learning Plan (ILP) and to look at new targets for the coming term, and parents of children with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC) (or a Statement of Special Educational Needs) will be invited into school to participate in the annual review. ILPs, and the targets set, are also discussed and shared with the children.
If a parents has any concerns regarding the support being given, they can contact the SENDCo, Paul Sanchez, the Inclusion Manager, Rebecca Riley, or the Governor for SEND, Lynne Lowe.
Where can I find further information?
Please see our SEND policy and Inclusion policy (available here or at the school office) for more information on our SEND policies and practices. Our SEND Information Report can be downloaded here and details of our accessibility plan are here.
If you would like to view Manchester’s Local Offer please click here.
If you want advice from professionals outside school you may find the following contacts helpful:
Information, Advice and Support Service (IASS): 0161 209 8356
School Admissions: 0161 245 7166
Manchester Families Service Directory: http://manchester.fsd.org.uk
Manchester's Local Offer: www.manchester.gov.uk/sendlocaloffer
You may also find the following documents, produced by the Department for Education (DfE), useful: