Here, at Saviour, we believe that quality first teaching will enable our pupils to make good progress and reach their potential. However, there are sometimes barriers to learning which prevent some children from making as much progress as we would hope and this is when additional support or advice may be required.
What do I do if my child is struggling or not making as much progress as they should be?
If this is the case, your child’s class teacher will already be aware and your child may be receiving some additional support in the classroom; have access to resources to support them in their learning or be part of a ‘catch up’ or intervention group. Please contact your child’s class teacher if you have any concerns and they will advise you on the best course of action.
Does this mean that my child has special educational needs?
Not always. Some children struggle with some aspects of their learning and may require extra support. If your child makes good progress with the ‘catch up’ programme and class support they may not need any further action.
However, if your child’s progress is still slow or if there is evidence of a specific need, he/she may need an individualised plan. This will be discussed with you, and your child will be set specific targets to help him/her improve. This is called SEN Support.
What is the definition of special educational needs?
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 or disability 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
How is SEN identified?
Class teachers, supported by the senior leadership team, will make regular assessments of progress for all pupils. These assessments seek to identify pupils making less than expected progress given their age and individual circumstances. This can be characterised by progress which:
- 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 the child and their peers
- widens the attainment gap
It can include progress in areas other than attainment – for instance where a pupil needs to make additional progress with wider development or social needs in order to make a successful transition to adult life.
For some children, SEN can be identified at an early age. However, for other children and young people, difficulties become evident only as they develop. We aim to be alert to emerging difficulties and respond early.
Slow progress and low attainment do not necessarily mean that a child has SEN and should not automatically lead to a pupil being recorded as having SEN. However, they may be an indicator of a range of learning difficulties or disabilities. Equally, it should not be assumed that attainment in line with chronological age means that there is no learning difficulty or disability.
Who do I speak to about my concerns?
Your first point of contact is your child’s class teacher who knows your child well. Your child’s teacher will discuss concerns with the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO ) – Mrs Faryniarz
What are the areas defined in the SEND Code of Practice?
Communication and interaction
Children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) have difficulty in communicating with others. This may be because they have difficulty saying what they want to, understanding what is being said to them or they do not understand or use social rules of communication. The profile for every child with SLCN is different and their needs may change over time. They may have difficulty with one, some or all of the different aspects of speech, language or social communication at different times of their lives.
Children and young people with ASD, including Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism, are likely to have particular difficulties with social interaction. They may also experience difficulties with language, communication and imagination, which can impact on how they relate to others.
Cognition and learning
Support for learning difficulties may be required when children and young people learn at a slower pace than their peers, even with appropriate differentiation. Learning difficulties cover a wide range of needs, including moderate learning difficulties (MLD), severe learning difficulties (SLD), where children are likely to need support in all areas of the curriculum and associated difficulties with mobility and communication, through to profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD), where children are likely to have severe and complex learning difficulties as well as a physical disability or sensory impairment.
Specific learning difficulties (SpLD), affect one or more specific aspects of learning. This encompasses a range of conditions such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia.
Social, emotional and mental health difficulties
Children and young people may experience a wide range of social and emotional difficulties which manifest themselves in many ways. These may include becoming withdrawn or isolated, as well as displaying challenging, disruptive or disturbing behaviour. These behaviours may reflect underlying mental health difficulties such as anxiety or depression, self-harming, substance misuse, eating disorders or physical symptoms that are medically unexplained. Other children and young people may have disorders such as attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder or attachment disorder.
Sensory and/or physical needs
Some children and young people require special educational provision because they have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of the educational facilities generally provided. These difficulties can be age related and may fluctuate over time. Many children and young people with vision impairment (VI), hearing impairment (HI) or a multi-sensory impairment (MSI) will require specialist support and/or equipment to access their learning, or habitual support. Children and young people with an MSI have a combination of vision and hearing difficulties.
Some children and young people with a physical disability (PD) require additional ongoing support and equipment to access all the opportunities available to their peers.
What happens if my child is identified as having SEN?
Some children enter school already having been identified as having SEN, others are identified during their time at school. If your child has been identified as having a special educational need, your child’s class teacher and the SENCO will work with you to set targets for your child and additional support and/or resources provided to aid their learning will be discussed with you. It is important that your child’s views are part of this process and your role in supporting your child is vital.
There are four main stages of this process – Assess, Plan, Do, Review. This is a partnership between home and school and if appropriate other agencies involved with your child. The individualised plan will be reviewed on a termly basis and you will be invited to a meeting to review your child’s progress and set new targets.
What happens if SEN Support is not adequate to meet the needs of my child?
For the majority of children, SEN support will meet their needs and support them in making progress thus closing the attainment gap. For some, further advice or support may be required and an Education, Health and Care needs assessment may be required in order for the local authority to decide whether it is necessary for them to make provision in accordance with an EHC plan.
The purpose of an EHC plan is to make special educational provision to meet the special educational needs of the child or young person, to secure the best possible outcomes for them across education, health and social care and, as they get older, prepare them for adulthood
In considering whether an EHC plan is necessary, the local authority will consider whether there is evidence that despite the school having taken relevant and purposeful action to identify, assess and meet the special educational needs of the child, the child has not made expected progress.
How can I find out more?
The SEND Code of Practice published in July 2014 is available on the DFE website.
Manchester City Council also publish all the services they offer to children / young people with SEN. You can view this on the following website:
Who can help?
We have a highly experienced team of staﬀ who may be involved in supporting your child at Saviour.
Your child’s teacher, who will always make sure that tasks set are appropriate and accessible for your child. They are available to you at the start of each day and by appointment after school.
Teaching Assistants, who support groups and individual children with their learning as well as whole classes when necessary.
The SENCo (Mrs Faryniarz) who co- ordinates the provision of SEN in school.
One of the School Governors (Mary Whitby) who works with the SENCo in leading SEN in school.
Sometimes school may commission Specialist Support to work with identified children with a particular focus e.g. Speech and language therapists or Occupational therapists.
To ensure our staﬀ have the skills and knowledge to support children with SEN—there is a programme of ongoing training both in school and elsewhere.
Consulting with outside parties.
As part of our support for all children in school, we have regular opportunities to consult with support services and health agencies through a multi-agency approach which sometimes includes completing the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) to support the family as well as the pupil.
We will discuss the needs of the individual/family in school and plan together the best use of advice and support from other agencies. Professionals who might attend this meeting include:
Our School Nurse who works closely with us and can advise and assess any medical needs. If a care plan is required, this would be done in conjunction with the parent/nurse and reviewed annually as a minimum.
Our Speech and Language therapist may give advice or complete an assessment for children.
Our Educational Psychologist may give advice or complete an assessment for children.
Behaviour Support Professionals who may give advice if required.
Outreach support from specialist schools
At Saviour, we value the support and feedback from all our stakeholders, we have an active school council and conduct pupil voice activities throughout the year.
If you want advice from professionals outside school, you may find the following numbers helpful:
Parent Partnership: 0161 245 7300
SEN families support group: 0161 755 3482
School admissions: 0161 234 7188
School Nurse Service: 0161 215 2012
Manchester Families Service Directory: