Plume School is committed to providing all students with a supportive caring environment in which pupils can learn and develop to their full potential.
SEN Policy (2010)
Information about the School's Special Educational Provision based on the SEN Code of Practice DfeS November 2001
1. The objectives of the Special Needs policy
Plume School is committed to providing all students with a supportive caring environment in which pupils can learn and develop to their full potential. We believe that pupils are seen as individuals with differing interests, knowledge and skills who have the opportunity to experience success through access to a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum regardless of their ability or need. The school accepts the notion that meeting special needs is a whole school responsibility. This means that whilst the SEN Team takes a lead role in the identification and assessment of special educational needs and provides additional help and support for students across the school, appropriate provision for students with special needs is the responsibility of all staff.
At Plume School we operate a wide definition of what constitutes a "Special Educational Need". The legal definition of special needs is defined as students who experience significantly greater difficulty in learning than their peers. This difficulty can result from physical or sensory disabilities and problems or from social, emotional, environmental and behavioural factors. The difficulties therefore, in learning have various causes and origins and they can also be either specific or general in nature, short or long term or mild or severe. We also recognise that other groups of students have special needs that do not involve a difficulty in learning. These groups of students include the most able and those for whom English is their second language.
2. The Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO)
The person with responsibility for the day to day operation of the SEN Policy at Plume School is Mrs M.Cooper, supported by Mrs S Pike who is Assistant SENCO.
3. The arrangements for co-ordinating educational provision for pupils
with special educational needs
The responsible person is the Head Teacher Mr D Stephenson. The Deputy Head Teacher KS3, Mrs R Crang has oversight of the provision of education of pupils with special educational needs. The SENCO/Assistant SENCO has responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the school's SEN policy and co-ordination of the provision made for individual pupils with SEN, working closely with support/subject staff, parents, carers and other agencies as outlined in the Code of Practice.
4. The admission arrangements for pupils with SEN
The admissions criteria are applied equally to all students irrespective of any special educational need. The SENCO/Assistant SENCO play a significant role in the induction of all students with special educational needs, whether or not such pupils have a statement.
5. Specialisms and special provision
Plume school is fully inclusive and accepts pupils with a wide range of special educational needs. The SENCO/Assistant SENCO works with outside specialists to ensure that pupils with physical disabilities or impairments are fully integrated into all aspects of school life. The school has a specialist teacher for pupils with specific learning difficulties, an English teacher, and a strong team of teaching assistants to support the pupils with SEN. The school has a unit on both campuses (The Ocean Centre) to cater specifically with pupils with behaviour, social, emotional difficulties.
6. Special facilities
Plume School has facilities including lifts and ramps and is fully accessible for wheelchairs in all areas of the school. For students who are not in a wheelchair but have difficulty moving around the school, lift keys are provided and if necessary students are supported by teaching assistants. Both campuses have accessibility toilets. In the classroom a small number of students have the use of special stools and in the Food Technology department a lowered work surface and some specialized hand aids. The SEN department has a number of laptops and a writing slope for pupils with handwriting difficulties.
Information about the School's Policies for the Identification, Assessment and Provision for all Pupils with Special Educational Needs
7. Allocation of resources for pupils with SEN
The overall resources available for pupils with special educational needs are determined in part through the annual maintenance grant for the school and, for pupils with statements, via earmarked funding from the Local Education Authority. These resources fund a team of teachers and support assistants and are distributed amongst all pupils with special educational needs in such a way as to ensure the maximum benefit for all students. The assistants mainly work within the classroom supporting pupils according to their needs. The number of these support staff varies annually according to funding received from local and central government, and accordingly to the needs of the pupils concerned.
8. How pupils with special educational needs are identified and their needs
determined and reviewed
It is expected that supportive learning environments in the school will meet the needs of the majority of students. Through the processes of differentiation and good classroom management strategies, the individual needs of pupils should be met without requiring additional support arrangements. The procedures and practices outlined in the '2001 SEN Code of Practice' offers a model of assessment and support for those pupils with special educational needs who will require specific support arrangements. The school has adopted the new procedures and practices in the 'Code of Practice' that are outlined below.
The aim of the code is to identify early those pupils in need of specific help and to implement an appropriate level of support as promptly as possible. This should ensure that all students receive the help they need to enjoy success and achieve their full potential.
The school has responsibility for students who are on School Action and shared responsibility with Essex LEA for students who are on School Action Plus or have a SEN Statement. The needs of the vast majority of students with SEN will be met by the additional support provided at School Action level. School Action Plus and a SEN Statement involve more detailed assessment and a greater level of support for the student.
Only for those students whose progress continues to cause concern will there be a need to move to another level of support. The Code of Practice helps the school and parents/carers decide what extra provision is necessary to meet the student's needs.
The majority of students with SEN will have been identified by the Primary School. Information about these students is passed to the Special Needs Department when a pupil transfers to secondary school.
The Primary school will have made the initial identification and registration of a pupil's special educational needs, gathered basic information about the pupil, taken action to meet the pupil's needs within his. or her classroom work and monitored and reviewed his or her progress. However, if a student transfers to Plume School without a past history of SEN and staff or parents/carers express concern that there is a need to assess the student's needs the Supportive Education Department will collect information about the student from a wide range of available sources. This will include primary school records, KS2 results, base line test results such as the NFER Reading Test, subject test results and subject teacher assessments and information from the Student Support Managers and Learning Group Leaders’. The SENCO, and the Student Support Managers in the case of a student with emotional and behavioural difficulties, will then decide whether to place the student on 'School Action' (please see below), to seek further advice, or to continue with current educational arrangements with no special help. The parents/carers, teachers and other professionals will be informed of this decision and will have the right to appeal against it.
In making the decision to place a student on School Action, the SENCO will use the following criteria:
♦ The pupil is working at National Curriculum levels significantly below those designated for their Key Stage in
specified areas of the curriculum.
♦ The pupil has made little or no progress generally.
♦ The pupil begins to show signs of emotional/behavioural difficulties that are beyond the expected norms of
a student of that age.
The SENCO will then follow the procedure outlined below:
1. Identify the areas of greatest need and discuss support with appropriate school staff such as the Student Support Managers, Learning Group Leaders and
2. Meet with parents/carers, school staff and student to discuss the IEP (Individual Education Plan or Pastoral Support Plan) and support programme.
3. Inform all subject staff through an IEP of the student's needs in order to encourage differentiated teaching, set targets and suggest teaching strategies.
4. Place the student's name on the School's SEN register.
At this level of need students may be offered a range of support including:
♦ In-class support in key areas.
♦ The setting of targets with the pupil.
♦ Attendance at a lunchtime/after school activity to develop basic skills.
♦ In Years 7 – 9 literacy catch-up
♦ In Years 9 - 11 cross-curricular support in the SEN Option and the ASDAN award
♦ In Years 10- 11 alternative/vocational curriculum and a work related option
♦ Specialist equipment and materials.
♦ Homework Club weekly in Years 7 - 8
♦ Some individual or small group support where this is appropriate.
♦ School based emotional/behavioural support.
Monitoring the additional provision is the responsibility of the Supportive Education Needs Department and Achievement Leaders in the case of a student with emotional/behavioural difficulties. Parents/carers, having been involved in the decision to place a student on School Action will be kept informed of the progress being made, the effectiveness of the special help and further action. The student's progress will be reviewed and relayed to students and parents/carers on the following occasions:
♦ At Parents' Evenings.
♦ At two formal reviews per year with the student and parent/carers.
♦ In the annual school report.
Parents/carers may, however, request a meeting with the SENCO/Student Support Manager/Achievement Leader at any time. A review form will be completed prior to each review meeting by relevant staff/SEN staff and copies of the notes from the meeting sent to parents/carers, Learning Group Leaders, Student Support Managers.
At each review the possible outcomes are:
♦ For the student to continue on School Action if the progress has been satisfactory but it is considered
essential for further progress to be made and new targets may be set.
♦ The student no longer needs help - consistent progress has been made and the SENCO/Student Support
Managers, parents/carers and student decide that extra support is not required and the student can
revert to normal classroom teaching.
♦ The student moves to School Action Plus - if the extra help has not resulted in satisfactory progress the
SENCO/Student Support Managers may decide to move the student to a higher level of support such as
'School Action Plus' or consider a formal assessment (please see below for details).
SCHOOL ACTION PLUS
This involves a more detailed assessment of the student's special educational needs. Action to meet the student's needs would continue within his/her normal classroom work, but at an increased level. The SENCO will request information from other sources, including school support agencies and the Educational Psychologist. Monitoring the additional provision remains the responsibility of the SENCO/Student Support Manager. Parents/carers will be kept informed of the progress being made towards any targets that have been set. The review pattern would increase with the expectation that more regular, informal contacts would take place. The SENCO will call upon the expertise of external specialist support, in order to gain a clearer understanding of the student's needs. The student may be withdrawn from subjects to work on an individual education plan, concentrating on the development of basic skills.
At a review meeting the following outcomes would be possible:
♦ For the student to continue on School Action Plus - here some progress has been made but it is
considered necessary for the level of support to continue and new targets may be set.
♦ The SENCO will obtain advice from outside agencies on how best to support the student.
The external specialist, ith parental/carers consent, will meet with the student in order to assess
his/her needs. Parents/carers and the tudent may be asked to attend some meetings.
The information from the external specialist(s) will be used by the SENCO/Student Support
Manager in designing new strategies to meet the needs of the student.
♦ To revert to School Action - the SENCO/Student Support Manager and parents/carers decide
that the progress of the student will be maintained with a decreased level of support.
♦ The student moves to a formal/statutory assessment as progress has been unsatisfactory and
additional expertise is required. The school considers that the student's needs remain so
substantial that they cannot be met effectively within the school's resources. Responsibility
for the special educational needs of the student at this level is shared between the LEA and the school.
♦ The Educational Psychologist and SENCO will meet with the parents/carers and student to discuss
the assessment that will involve a detailed report, including test results and subject teacher reports,
written by the school and sent to the LEA.
♦ The views of other professionals such as the Speech Therapist or Physiotherapist and the parents/carers
and student are also conveyed to the LEA via a series of meetings and reports.
♦ The student's health and the involvement of Social Services, Pupil Referral Unit and Education Welfare
are considered as part of the formal assessment.
The School will liaise closely with parents/carers so that they have a clear understanding of the procedures adopted by the LEA during the assessment. The LEA also has a procedure for supporting parents/carers during this process.
Having considered all the evidence from the parents/carers, the student, the School and other agencies, the LEA must decide whether to give the student a statutory Statement. In issuing a Statement, the LEA concludes that the special educational provision necessary to meet the student's needs cannot reasonably be provided within the resources of the School. The LEA prescribes the actions the school must adopt in addressing the needs of the student and outlines this in the Statement.
A Statement of Special Educational Needs will be issued to students where the degree of severity or complexity of their needs indicates that this is appropriate.
Once the final Statement has been issued by the LEA the SENCO will adopt the following procedure:
♦ Call a meeting with parents to discuss the implications of the statement and complete the Statement
♦ If necessary, seek expert advice from external specialists. Usually, the LEA informs the school about the
specialist who will work with and advise the SENCO about the IEP.
♦ The IEP will be adapted accordingly and the SEN register altered in order to inform all staff about the
new Statement and the student's needs.
The statement includes:
♦ Details of the student's needs.
♦ The provision necessary to meet these needs including objectives, resources, strategies sand review
♦ Information on non-educational needs and provision for the student such as LEA transport provision
♦ A detailed and structured individual education plan.
♦ Specific long and short term objectives.
♦ Clearly stated educational outcomes with the criteria for success.
♦ The involvement of external specialists; in particular the Educational Psychologist.
REVIEW OF THE STATEMENT
A close working relationship with parents/carers and student is essential. Parents will be kept informed of the progress being made towards the targets that have been set. Regular review meetings will be held in addition to informal contacts. The LEA and school will inform parents of the arrangements for the Annual Review of the Statement. The annual review will gather information from all subject staff: support teachers and external specialists.
Outcomes of the Annual Review could include the following:
♦ Recommendation that the Statement cease - there has been sustained progress over a minimum period
of two terms. The SENCO and Educational Psychologist believe that progress will be maintained at a
lower level of support. The student would revert to School Action Plus.
♦ Maintain the Statement in its current form - progress is being made but it is felt that support levels should
♦ A revised Statement needs to be considered. At the Annual Review meeting those involved may
recommend to the LEA that a revised Statement is required to meet the changing needs of the student.
The parents/carers and student have the right to appeal against any decisions made but it is hoped that through continued dialogue all those responsible for the student's SEN will be fully informed and happy about any arrangements that are made to support the student.
9. Access to a balanced and broadly based curriculum
(including the National Curriculum)
Plume School offers a wide range of provision for students with special needs. The exact nature of the provision varies between year groups and is also based upon the range of needs required. The key element to this provision is flexibility; the ability to respond to urgent short term needs alongside longer term planning for meeting special needs across the school. The main elements in special needs provision are as follows:
♦ In-class support. This is our main method of supporting students and ensuring full access to the
curriculum. The main aim of support teaching is to provide all students with access to the curriculum
by working with mainstream teachers to ensure that classroom and homework tasks are matched to the
abilities and needs of our pupils. Our aim is that subject and SEN staff work together to establish what
the students can do and differentiate work to match that level within the classroom.
♦ SENCO and SEN staff advise and support subject teachers on how to respond to individual needs within
the class. It should be remembered that all students will spend most of their time in lessons without
additional support from SEN and therefore there is a recognised responsibility for all teachers to make
suitable provision for special needs students in their classes.
♦ Teaching of small groups. At times the SEN team will establish small teaching groups to develop students'
literacy and study skills. Sometimes workshops are set up to work on one particular topic such as spelling.
At KS3 identified students receive additional support with developing literacy skills through literacy
♦ Individual Tuition is occasionally provided on a limited basis to individual students on specific and agreed
areas of need.
♦ Advice to parents on how to help their children at home.
♦ Counselling. There is scope within the department to offer counselling to individual students following
referral and the agreement of parents.
10. How pupils with special educational needs engage in the activities of
the school together with pupils who do not have special educational needs.
All the students with special needs are fully integrated into all aspects of school life. There are no activities from which students with SEN are excluded due to their having special needs. All students share the same curriculum entitlement and whilst there is setting in some subjects, there are no separate special needs classes. Students with SEN are given additional support to ensure that they are able to participate in extracurricular activities and visits.
The SEN department has an office and classroom on both campuses that are used as a resource area, a teaching base, library, and a place to meet with parents. This is a well resourced area and provides a place for students who may need to study in a quiet area for specific reasons or who, for one reason or another, are not in a position to work within mainstream classes for short specified periods of time. Examples of this are school refusers being re integrated into school and pupils suffering from medical conditions that prevent them joining in some activities.
11. Evaluation of SEN practice
The governing body receives a written and verbal report from the SENCO at each yearly governors' meeting. The SENCO and line manager regularly to discuss SEN issues. The educational psychologist meets with the SENCO at the school ½ times a term and is in regular contact by phone.
12. Complaints procedure
A statement informing parents about how to raise complaints is contained in the school prospectus and other relevant documents. In the case of complaints concerning the provision made for pupils with special educational needs the formal process for making complaints about the curriculum will apply.
Information about the School's Staffing Policies and Partnership with outside agencies.
13. Any arrangements made by the governing body relating to in-service
training for staff in relation to special educational needs.
The in-service training needs of the staff at the school are addressed by the staff development co-ordinator within the context of the overall staff development policy for the school. The SENCO is involved with the initial training in school of new staff and NQT’s, on the ‘Code of Practice’ and SEN issues.
14. The use made of teachers and facilities from outside the school including
links with support services for special educational needs.
The school has established good contacts with a range of outside agencies designed to enhance the effectiveness of our provision for students with special needs. These contacts include the School Psychological Service, advisory teachers for SEN and teachers of the physically impaired who visit the school on a regular basis. Other agencies, for example the CFCS are involved as and when necessary.
15. The role played by the parents of pupils with special educational needs.
A firm principle on which special needs provision is based at Plume school is that the most effective support is provided for a child when the school and the child's parent(s) work together to help the child succeed. This principle is embedded in all the procedures relating to special needs. In Year 7 if pupils are considered to need additional help, parents are informed and offered the opportunity to speak to the child's support teacher or the SENCO. If a child is being considered for placement on the SEN register, the parents are informed, asked for their comments and invited to come into school to discuss how they and the school can work together to overcome problems and address the needs of their child. At School Action and School Action
Plus, parents are always invited into school to help formulate a plan of action for meeting their child's needs. The child is also encouraged to contribute his or her views and is involved in devising a plan for his or her future education. Students on School Action and School Action Plus, and those with statements are reviewed regularly and these reviews always encourage the active participation of parents and ways in which they can help their child at home.
At Plume we are convinced that partnership between home and school is the most effective way of meeting special needs and we will continue to try and involve parents as fully as we can. The SENCO is available to see parents in the week by appointment and she is available at parents’ consultation evening.
16. Transition arrangements
At Plume School great care is taken to ease the transition for year 6 into year 7 through our Primary Liaison, led by the Senior Teacher at MRC, the SENCO and the Behaviour Support Manager. Information on students is gathered from primary Schools and Plume staff make visits to the feeder schools. Taster days and parents evenings are held for year 6 students at Plume MRC. SEN files are read and the SEN pupils added to the SEN register.
Transition from Key stage 3 to 4 is managed by senior staff and the SENCO to advise and counsel all students and their parents of suitable options and courses. An options evening is held and subject staff are available. Taster lessons for new subjects are also offered.
In year 9 the Connexions service attend the Annual review meetings of students with statements and help with the transition plan at the review. All students are given career interviews and the SENCO, Connexions service and parents are involved in helping to plan for their future of students with SEN.
It is recognised that for many students, their special needs will continue at work or in further education. As a result the students with SEN are given advice on possible careers and opportunities for further study. Both pastoral staff and SEN staff supports these students during this important transition period. Students are given help with making enquiries, writing letters, filling in forms, making phone calls and may be escorted on visits to workplaces or colleges.
17. Links with health services, social services and educational welfare
services and any voluntary organisations, which work on behalf of children
with special educational needs.
The overall responsibility for maintaining and co-ordinating links with agencies such as the health service, social services, the educational welfare service, the educational psychological service and voluntary organisations which work on behalf of children with special educational needs, is undertaken by the SENCO.
To download an electronic copy of the SEN policy, please see the downloads section below.