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Special Needs

Whitehouse primary School has a named SENCO who has undertaken the new Government SENCO qualification and a named Governor responsible for SEN.

They ensure that the Whitehouse Special Educational Needs policy works within the guidelines and inclusion policies of the Code of Practice (2014), the Local Education Authority and other policies current within the school.

Here it is the belief that all children have an equal right to a full and rounded education which will enable them to achieve their full potential. We use our best endeavours to secure special educational provision for pupils for whom this is required, that is ‘additional to and different from’ that provided within the differentiated curriculum to better respond to the four areas of need identified in the new Code of Practice
(September 2014).
  • Communication and interaction
  • Cognition and learning
  • Social, mental and emotional health
  • Sensory/physical


What are special educational needs?

A child or young person has special educational needs if he or she has a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her. A learning difficulty or disability is a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age. Special educational provision means educational or training provision that is additional to, or different from, that made generally for others of the same age in a mainstream setting in England…. Health care provision or social care provision which educates or trains a child or young person is to be treated as special educational provision. 


Code of Practice 2014

We recognise that some children may feel disadvantaged working alongside high achieving children. They may be offered additional support, through small group or 1:1 activities, in order to boost their skills level and confidence.
The school recognises that the needs of high achieving children should also be catered for and recognised as a ‘special educational need’.
This SEN policy details how, at Whitehouse, we will do our best to ensure that the necessary provision is made for any pupil who has special educational needs and that those needs are known to all who are likely to work with them. We will ensure that teachers are able to identify and provide for those pupils with special educational needs, allowing them to join in all school activities together with pupils who do not have special educational needs.

Aims and objectives

The aims of this policy are:
  • to create an environment that meets the special educational needs of each child in order that they can achieve their learning potential and engage in activities alongside pupils who do not have SEN
  • to request, monitor and respond to parents/carers and pupils views in order to evidence high levels of confidence and partnership
  • to make clear the expectations of all partners in the process
  • to ensure a high level of staff expertise to meet pupil need, through well targeted continuing professional development
  • to ensure support for pupils with medical conditions full inclusion in all school activities by ensuring consultation with health and social care professionals
  • to identify the roles and responsibilities of all staff in providing for children’s special educational needs
  • through reasonable adjustments to enable all children to have full access to all elements of the school curriculum
  • to work in cooperation and productive partnerships with the Local Education Authority and other outside agencies, to ensure there is a multi-professional approach to meeting the needs of all vulnerable learners

Equal Opportunities and Inclusion

Through all subjects we ensure that the school meets the needs of all, taking account of gender, ethnicity, culture, religion, language, sexual orientation, age, ability, disability and social circumstances. It is important that in this school we meet the diverse needs of pupils to ensure inclusion for all and that all pupils are prepared for full participation in a multi-ethnic society. We also measure and assess the impact regularly through meetings with our SEN coordinator and individual teachers to ensure all children have equal access to succeeding in this subject.

Through appropriate curricular provision, we respect the fact that children:
  • have different educational and behavioural needs and aspirations
  • require different strategies for learning
  • acquire, assimilate and communicate information at different rates
  • need a range of different teaching approaches and experiences

Teachers respond to children’s needs by:
  • providing support for children who need help with communication, language and literacy
  • planning to develop children’s understanding through the use of all available senses and experiences
  • planning for children’s full participation in learning, and in physical and practical activities
  • helping children to manage and own their behaviour and to take part in learning effectively and safely
  • helping individuals to manage their emotions, particularly trauma or stress, and to take part in learning


Identification, Assessment and Provision

Provision for children with special educational needs is a matter for the whole school.
The governing body, the school’s head teacher, the SENCO and all other members of staff, particularly class teachers and teaching assistants, have important day–to–day responsibilities. All teachers are teachers of children with special educational needs.
The school will assess each child’s current levels of attainment on entry in order to ensure that they build on the patterns of learning and experience already established during the child’s pre- school years. If the child already has an identified special educational need, this information may be transferred from other partners in their Early Years setting and the class teacher and SENCO will use this information to:

  • Provide starting points for the development of an appropriate curriculum.
  • Identify and focus attention on action to support the child within the class.
  • Use the assessment processes to identify any learning difficulties.
  • Ensure ongoing observation and assessments provide regular feedback about the child’s achievements and experiences to form the basis for planning the next steps of the child’s learning.

The identification and assessment of the special educational needs of children whose first language is not English requires particular care. Where there is uncertainty about a particular child, a teacher will look carefully at all aspects of the child’s performance in different subjects to establish whether the problems are due to limitations in their command of English or arises from special educational needs.


The Role of The SENCO and what Provision Looks like at Whitehouse

The Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator’s [SENCO] responsibilities include:

  • Overseeing the day-to-day operation of the school’s SEN policy.
  • Co-ordinating provision for children with SEN.
  • Liaising with and advising fellow teachers.
  • Overseeing the records of all children with SEN.
  • Contributing to the in-service training of staff.
  • Liaising with local high schools so that support is provided for Y6 pupils as they prepare to transfer.
  • Liaising with external agencies including the LA’s support and educational psychology services, health and social services and voluntary bodies.
  • Co-ordinating and developing school based strategies for the identification and review of children with SEN.


Monitoring Children’s Progress

The school’s system for observing and assessing the progress of individual children will provide information about areas where a child is not progressing satisfactorily. Under these circumstances, teachers may need to consult the SENCO to consider what else might be done. This review might lead to the conclusion that the pupil requires help over and above that which is normally available within the particular class or subject.
The key test of the need for action is that current rates of progress are inadequate.

Adequate progress can be identified as that which:
  • Prevents the attainment gap between the child and his peers from widening.
  • Closes the attainment gap between the child and his peers.
  • Betters the child’s previous rate of progress.
  • Ensures access to the full curriculum.
  • Demonstrates an improvement in self-help, social or personal skills.
  • Demonstrates improvements in the child’s behaviour.
In order to help children with special educational needs, Whitehouse will adopt a graduated response. This may see us using specialist expertise if as a school we feel that our interventions are still not having an impact on the individual. The school will record the steps taken to meet the needs of individual children through the use of a review sheet/provision map or SEN support plan and the SENCO will have responsibility for ensuring that records are kept and available when needed. If we refer a child for statutory assessment/Education Health and Care Plan, we will provide the LA with a record of our work with the child to date.
When any concern is initially noticed it is the responsibility of the class teacher to take steps to address the issue. Parents may be consulted and specific intervention put in place and monitored for a period of up to 6 weeks. If no progress is noted after this time the child may be added to the school SEN register with parental permission.
The class teacher after discussion with the SENCO will then provide additional interventions that are additional to those provided as part of the school’s differentiated curriculum and the child will be given individual learning targets which will be applied within the classroom. These targets will be monitored by the class teacher and teaching assistants within the class and reviewed formally with the SENCO, parents and young person.


Reasons for a child being added to the SEN register may include the fact that he/she:
  • Makes little or no progress, even when teaching approaches are targeted particularly in a child’s identified area of weakness.
  • Shows signs of difficulty in developing literacy or mathematics skills which result in poor attainment in some curriculum areas.
  • Presents persistent emotional or behavioural difficulties which are not improved by the behaviour management techniques usually employed in the school.
  • Has sensory or physical problems, and continues to make little or no progress despite the provision of specialist equipment.
  • Has communication and / or interaction difficulties, and continues to make little or no progress


Partnership with parents

Partnership plays a key role in enabling children and young people with SEN to achieve their potential. Parents hold key information and have knowledge and experience to contribute to the shared view of a child’s needs. All parents of children with special educational needs will be treated as partners given support to play an active and valued role in their child’s education.

Children and young people with special educational needs often have a unique knowledge of their own needs and their views about what sort of help they would like. They will be encouraged to contribute to the assessment of their needs, the review and transition process.
The school website contains details of our policy for special educational needs, the special educational needs information report including the arrangements made for children in our school with special educational needs.
At all stages of the special needs process, the school keeps parents fully informed and involved. We take account of the wishes, feelings and knowledge of parents at all stages. We encourage parents to make an active contribution to their child’s education and have regular meetings each half term to share the progress of special needs children with their parents. We inform the parents of any outside intervention, and share the process of decision-making by providing clear information relating to the education of their child. Parents always have access to the SENCO through a school email address.


The Nature of Intervention

The SENCO and the child’s class teacher will decide on the action needed to help the child progress in the light of earlier assessments. This may include:
  • Different learning materials or specialist equipment.
  • Some group or individual support, which may involve small groups of children being withdrawn to work with TA support or other Wave 3 interventions.
  • Extra adult time to devise/administer the nature of the planned intervention and also to monitor its effectiveness.
  • Staff development and training to introduce more effective strategies. 
After initial discussions with the SENCO, the child’s class teacher will be responsible
for working with the child on a daily basis and ensuring delivery of any individualised programme in the classroom. Parents will continue to be consulted and kept informed of the action taken to help their child, and of the outcome of any action. 
Parent’s will be invited to meet regularly with the class teacher and SENCO and they will have specific time slots to discuss Individual Learning targets and progress with the SENCO on termly basis. The SENCO will support further assessment of the child where necessary, assisting in planning for their future needs in discussion with colleagues and parents.


The use of outside agencies

These services may become involved if a child continues to make little or no progress despite considerable input and adaptations. They will use the child’s records in order to establish which strategies have already been employed and which targets have previously been set.
The external specialist may act in an advisory capacity, or provide additional specialist assessment or be involved in teaching the child directly. The child’s Individual targets will set out strategies for supporting the child’s progress. These will be implemented, at least in part, in the normal classroom setting. The delivery of the interventions recorded in the provision maps continues to be the responsibility of the class teacher.
Outside agencies may become involved if the child:

  • Continues to make little or no progress in specific areas over a long period.
  • Continues working at National Curriculum levels substantially below that expected of children of a similar age.
  • Continues to have difficulty in developing literacy and mathematical skills.
  • Has emotional or behavioural difficulties which regularly and substantially interfere with the child’s own learning or that of the class group.
  • Has sensory or physical needs and requires additional specialist equipment or regular advice or visits by a specialist service.
  • Has ongoing communication or interaction difficulties that impede the development of social relationships and cause substantial barriers to learning.
  • Despite having received intervention, the child continues to fall behind the level of his peers.

School Request for Statutory Assessment or Education Health and Care Plans (from September 2014)


A request will be made by the school to the LA if the child has demonstrated significant cause for concern. The LA will be given information about the child’s progress over time, and will also receive documentation in relation to the child’s special educational needs and any other action taken to deal with those needs, including any resources or special arrangements put in place.

The evidence will include:
  • Previous individual education plans and targets for the pupil.
  • Records of regular reviews and their outcomes.
  • Records of the child’s health and medical history where appropriate.
  • National Curriculum attainment levels in literacy and numeracy.
  • Education and other assessments, for example from an advisory specialist support teacher or educational psychologist.
  • Views of the parents.
The parents of any child who is referred for statutory assessment will be kept fully informed of the progress of the referral. Children with a statement of special educational needs will be reviewed each half term in addition to the statutory annual assessment. When this coincides with transfer to high school, the SENCO from the high school will be informed of the outcome of the review.


Provision Maps

Strategies employed to enable the child to progress will be recorded within a school provision map which will include information about:

  • The short term targets set for the child.
  • The teaching strategies to be used.
  • The provision to be put in place.
  • The review date.
  • Mid-point review sheets are stored on the school system and updated regularly by teachers and teaching assistants
  • The child’s views will be sought and taken into account, as will those of the parents, whose support is vital if progress is to be achieved and maintained.

Access to the Curriculum

All children have an entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum, which is differentiated to enable children to understand the relevance and purpose of learning activities and experience levels of understanding and rates of progress that bring feelings of success and achievement.
Teachers use a range of strategies to meet children’s special educational needs.
Lessons have clear learning objectives and staff differentiate work appropriately, and use assessment to inform the next stage of learning. All staff have received training on ‘Teaching and Learning styles’ and brain friendly learning and this has led to members of staff planning lessons that incorporate the different learning styles that children have Individual education plans, which employ a small-steps approach, feature significantly in the provision that we make in the school. By breaking down the existing levels of attainment into finely graded steps and targets, we ensure that children experience success. All children on the special needs register have an Individual education plan with individual targets.
We support children in a manner that acknowledges their entitlement to share the same learning experiences that their peers enjoy. Wherever possible, we do not withdraw children from the classroom situation. There are times though when, to maximise learning, we ask the children to work in small groups, or in a one-to-one situation outside the classroom.


The role of the governing body

The governing body challenges the school and its members to secure necessary provision for any pupil identified as having special educational needs. They ask probing questions to ensure all teachers are aware of the importance of providing for these children and ensure that funds and resources are used effectively. The governing body has decided that children with special educational needs will be admitted to the school in line with the school’s agreed admissions policy. The Governing Body reviews this policy annually and considers any amendments in light of the annual review findings. The Head teacher reports the outcome of the review to the full governing body.


Monitoring and evaluation

The SENCO monitors the movement of children within the SEN system in school and provides staff and governors with regular summaries of the impact of the policy on the practice of the school. They are involved in supporting teachers and in drawing up
Individual Education Plans for children. The SENCO and the head teacher hold regular meetings to review the work of the school in this area. In addition the SENCO and the named governor with responsibility for special needs also hold regular meetings.

October 2015



SEN Disability Access Policy and Plan