Special Educational Needs and Disability
Definition of SEN
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:
Has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age; or
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 (2014, p 4)
Definition of disability
Many children and young people who have SEN may also 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’ SEN Code of Practice (2014, p5)
The kinds of special educational need for which provision is made at the school
At Rodmersham school we can make provision for every kind of frequently occurring special educational need without a statement of special educational needs / Education, Health and Care Plan, for instance dyslexia, dyspraxia, speech and language needs, autism, asperger’s syndrome, learning difficulties and behaviour 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 pupils with a statement of special educational need / Education, Health and Care plan with the following kinds of special educational need: list all current and recent past SEN needs of SSEN/EHCP. Decisions on the admission of pupils with a statement of special educational need / Education, Health and Care plan are made by the Local Authority.
The admission arrangements for pupils without a statement of special educational needs / 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 pupils with SEN
At Rodmersham School we monitor the progress of all pupils up to six times a year to review their academic progress. We also use a range of assessments with all the pupils at various points list of universal assessments including the Y1 phonics screening, speech link, language link, spelling age and reading age.
Where progress is not sufficient, even if special educational need has not been identified, we put in place extra support to enable the pupil to catch up.
Some pupils may continue to make inadequate progress, despite high-quality teaching targeted at their areas of weakness. For these pupils, and in consultation with parents, we will use a range assessment tools to determine the cause of the learning difficulty. At Rodmersham School we are experienced in using the following assessment tools; Lucid for Dyslexia, Lucid Memory, Language Link and Black Sheep. And we have access to external advisors who are able to support us in accessing a range of other diagnostic aids.
The purpose of this more detailed assessment is to understand what additional resources and different approaches are required to enable the pupil to make better progress. These will be shared with parents, put into a SEN support plan and reviewed regularly, and refined / revised if necessary. At this point we will have identified that the pupil has a special educational need because the school is making special educational provision for the pupil which is additional and different to what is normally available.
If the pupil 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 pupil as having a special educational need. If the pupil 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 pupil 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 pupils with special educational needs whether or not they have EHC Plans, including
How the school evaluates the effectiveness of its provision for such pupils
Each review of the SEN support plan will be informed by the views of the pupil, parents and class/subject teachers and 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 pupils with or without a statement of special educational needs / Education, Health and Care Plan there will be an annual review of the provision made for the child, which will enable an evaluation of the effectiveness of the special provision. The collation of all annual review evaluations of effectiveness will be reported to the governing body.
The school’s arrangements for assessing and reviewing the progress of pupils with special educational needs
Every pupil in the school has their progress tracked up to six times per year. In addition to this, pupils with special educational needs may have more frequent assessments of reading age, spelling age etc. Using these it will be possible to see if pupils are increasing their level of skills in key areas.
If these assessments do not show adequate progress is being made the SEN support plan will be reviewed and adjusted.
The school’s approach to teaching pupils with special educational needs
High quality teaching, differentiated for individual pupils, is the first step in responding to pupils who have or may have SEN. Additional intervention and support cannot compensate for a lack of good quality teaching. Schools should regularly and carefully review the quality of teaching for all pupils, including those at risk of underachievement. This includes reviewing and, where necessary, improving, teachers’ understanding of strategies to identify and support vulnerable pupils and their knowledge of the SEN most frequently encountered SEN Code of Practice (2014, 6.37)
In Rodmersham School the quality of teaching is judged to be good / outstanding.
We follow the Mainstream Core Standards advice developed by Kent County Council 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 e.g. one to one tutoring / precision teaching / mentoring, small group teaching, use of ICT software learning packages. These are delivered by additional staff employed through the funding provided to the school as ‘notional SEN funding’
How the school adapts the curriculum and learning environment for pupils with special educational needs
At Rodmersham School we follow the advice in the Mainstream Core Standards on how to adapt the curriculum and the learning environment for pupils 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.
As part of our requirement to keep the appropriateness of our curriculum and learning environment under review the Governors have recently made the following improvements as part of the school’s accessibility planning list the improvements that have been made to building, curriculum, training of staff and have identified that the following aspects of the school need to be improved: The building is not accessible for wheelchairs and this is to be considered.
Additional support for learning that is available to pupils 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 pupils requiring SEN support. The amount of support required for each pupil 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 pupils with high needs, and above that amount the Local Authority should provide top up to the school; this is called High Needs Funding.
How the school enables pupils with special educational needs to engage in activities of the school (including physical activities) together with children who do not have special educational needs
All clubs, trips and activities offered to pupils at Rodmersham are available to pupils 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 it to provide additional adult support to enable the safe participation of the pupil in the activity
Support that is available for improving the emotional and social development of pupils with special educational needs
At Rodmersham School we understand that an important feature of the school is to enable all pupils to develop emotional resilience and social skills, both through direct teaching for instance: In PSHE, through learning mentoring and a trained councellor.
Pupils in the early stages of emotional and social development because of their special educational needs will be supported to enable them to develop and mature appropriately. This will usually require additional and different resources, beyond that required by pupils who do not need this support.
The name and contact details of the SEN Co-ordinator
The SENCO at Rodmersham School is Nicola McMullon of SENCO, who is a qualified teacher and is undertaking the National Award for SEN Co-ordination
Mrs McMullon is available at firstname.lastname@example.org
Information about the expertise and training of staff in relation to children and young people with special educational needs and how specialist expertise will be secured
Some teachers and teaching assistants have had the following awareness training:
Speech and Language
Where a training need is identified beyond this we will find a provider who is able to deliver it. Training providers we can approach are local special schools, Educational Psychologist, Speech and language therapist, occupational therapists, physio therapist, dyslexia specialists etc. The cost of training is covered by the notional SEN funding.
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 pupils at Rodmersham School are invited to discuss the progress of their children on number of occasions a year and receive a written report number of times per year. In addition we are happy to arrange meetings outside these times. As part of our normal teaching arrangements, all pupils 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 pupil has a special educational need. All such provision will be recorded, tracked and evaluated on a Provision Map which will be shared with parents three times per year.
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 pupil will be identified as having special educational needs because special educational provision is being made and the parent will be invited to all planning and reviews of this provision. Parents will be actively supported to contribute to assessment, planning and review.
In addition to this, parents of pupils with a statement of SEN / 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 pupil. 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 pupil has been identified to have special educational needs because special educational provision is being made for him or her, the pupil will be consulted about and involved in the arrangements made for them 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 pupils with special educational needs concerning the provision made at the school
The normal arrangements for the treatment of complaints at name of school are used for complaints about provision made for special educational needs. We encourage parents to discuss their concerns with the Head teacher to resolve the issue before making the complaint formal to the Chair of the governing body.
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 pupils with special educational needs and in supporting the families of such pupils
The governing body have engaged with the following bodies:-
Free membership of LIFT for access to specialist teaching and learning service
A Service Level Agreement with Educational Psychology service for x days per year
Link to Disabled Children’s Service for support to families for some pupils with high needs
Access to local authority’s service level agreement with Speech and Language Therapy Services / Occupational Therapy Services / Physiotherapy Services for pupil with requirement for direct therapy or advice
Ability to make ad hoc requests for advice from Communication and Assistive Technology Team, etc
Membership of professional networks for SENCO eg NAS, SENCO forum, NASEN etc
The contact details of support services for the parents of pupils with special educational needs, including those for arrangements made in accordance with clause 32 (Parent Partnership Services)
Kent Parent Partnership Service (KPPS) provides free, impartial, confidential, advice, support and options around educational issues for parents who have children with special educational needs or disabilities (0-19). They empower parents to play an active and informed role in their child’s education. They can be contacted on
HELPLINE: 03000 41 3000,
Office: 0300 333 6474 and
Minicom: 0300 333 6484
The school’s arrangements for supporting pupils with special educational needs in transferring between phases of education or in preparing for adulthood and independent living
At Rodmersham School we work closely with the educational settings used by the pupils before they transfer to us in order to seek the information that will make the transfer is a seamless as possible. We will meet with the relevant pastoral teams or SENCo at in the secondary schools. We also take parents to meet with the Head of House in circumstances where they have particular worries.
We also contribute information to a pupils’ onward destination by providing information to the next setting.
Information on where the local authority’s local offer is published.
The local authority’s local offer is published and parents without internet access should make an appointment with the SENCO for support to gain the information they require.