Special Educational Needs

Many children will have SEN of some kind and at some stage during their education. A child may simply have more difficulties than most children, of their age, with schoolwork, communication, organisation or behaviour. Or they may have a recognised medical or emotional disorder or have a statement of needs. St Wilfrid’s School has a long and well, deserved reputation for providing a caring and supportive environment in which children of all abilities may, and do, flourish. Children make progress at different rates and have different ways in which they find it easier to learn.  Our experienced and dedicated members of staff take account of this in the way that they organise and teach their lessons. Small class sizes, a “whole – school” approach and a well, established SEN department ensures that every child receives the appropriate level of support. We have an enviable track record of ensuring that every child with SEN reaches their full potential, in school, and that they make a successful transition to adulthood and the world of further education, training or work.

1 Introduction

1.1 This school provides a broad and balanced curriculum for all children. The National Curriculum is our starting point for planning that meets the specific needs of individuals and groups of children. When planning, teachers set suitable learning challenges and respond to children’s diverse learning needs. A minority of children has particular learning and assessment requirements that could create barriers to learning.

1.2 These requirements are likely to arise as a consequence of a child having special educational needs. Teachers take account of these requirements and make provision, where necessary, to support individuals or groups of children and thus enable them to participate effectively in curriculum and assessment activities.

1.3 Children may have special educational needs either throughout, or at any time during, their school career. This policy ensures that curriculum planning and assessment for children with special educational needs takes account of the type and extent of the difficulty experienced by the child.

2 Aims and objectives

2.1 The aims of this policy are:

  • to create an environment that meets the special educational needs of each child;
  • to ensure that the special educational needs of children are identified, assessed and provided for;
  • to make clear the expectations of all partners in the process;
  • to identify the roles and responsibilities of staff in providing for children’s special educational needs;
  • to enable all children to have full access to all elements of the school curriculum;

3 Educational inclusion

3.1 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.

3.2 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 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.

4 Special educational needs

4.1 Children with special educational needs have learning difficulties that call for special provision to be made. All children may have special needs at some time in their lives.

4.2 The 1981, 1993 and 1996 Education Acts instructed schools to distinguish between the different stages of assessment for Special Educational Needs. These stages were identified in the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice, November 2001 (Ref DfES/581/2001) as:

4.3 School Action When a class teacher or the SENCO identifies a child with special educational needs, the class teacher will provide interventions that are additional to those provided as part of the school’s usual differentiated curriculum. This will be called School Action. The triggers for intervention through School Action will be concern, underpinned by evidence, about a child who despite receiving differentiated learning opportunities 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 ameliorated 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 despite the provision of a differentiated curriculum.

In some cases outside professionals from health or social services may already be involved with the child. Where these professionals have not already been working with the school staff, the SENCO may contact them if the parents agree. The SENCO will support the further assessment of the child, assisting in planning future support for them in discussion with colleagues and monitoring the action taken. The child’s class teacher will remain responsible for working with the child on a daily basis and for planning and delivering an individualised programme as presented on the Individual Education Plan, Parents will always be consulted and kept informed of the action taken to help the child, and of the outcome of this action.

4.4 Individual Education Plans

Strategies employed to enable the child to progress will be recorded within an Individual Education Plan (IEP). The IEP 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
  • when the plan is to be reviewed
  • outcomes (to be recorded when IEP is reviewed).

The IEP will only record that which is additional to, or different from, the differentiated curriculum and will focus upon three or four individual targets that match the child’s needs and have been discussed with the child and the parents.

The IEP will be reviewed at least twice a year and parents’ views on their child’s progress will be sought. Wherever possible, the child will also take part in the review process and be involved in setting the targets.


4.5 School Action Plus

A request for support from external services is likely to follow a decision taken by the SENCO and colleagues, in consultation with parents, at a review of the child’s IEP. At School Action Plus external support services, will usually see the child so that they can advise teachers on new IEPs with fresh targets and accompanying strategies, provide more specialist assessments to inform planning and the measurement of a pupil’s progress, give advice on the use of new or specialist strategies or materials, and in some cases provide support for particular activities.

The triggers for School Action Plus will be that, despite receiving individualised support under School Action, 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 mathematics skills
  • has emotional or behavioural difficulties which substantially and regularly interfere with the child’s own learning or that of the class group, despite having an individualised behaviour management programme
  • 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.


When school seeks the help of external support services, those services will need to see the child’s records in order to establish which strategies have already been employed and which targets have been set and achieved. The external specialist may act in an advisory capacity, or provide additional specialist assessment or be involved in teaching the child directly. The resulting IEP for the child will set out fresh 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 IEP continues to be the responsibility of the class teacher.

At the review in year 10, the aim will be to give clear recommendations as to the type of provision the child will require at the next stage. It will then be possible for the parents to visit and to consider appropriate options within the similar timescales as other parents. The SENCO of the receiving school/college should be invited to attend the final annual review of pupils with statements, to allow them to plan an appropriate IEP to start at the beginning of the new school year and enable the pupil and the parents to be reassured that an effective and supportive transfer will occur.


5 Allocation of resources

5.1 The SENCO is responsible in conjunction with the Headteacher for the operational management of the specified and agreed resourcing for special needs provision within the school, including the provision for children with statements of special educational needs.


6 Assessment

6.1 Early identification is vital. The class teacher will inform the parents at the earliest opportunity to alert them to concerns and enlist their active help and participation.

6.2 The class teacher and the SENCO will assess and monitor the children’s progress in line with existing school practices.

6.3 The SENCO works closely with parents and teachers to plan an appropriate programme of intervention and support.

6.4 The assessment of children reflects as far as possible their participation in the whole curriculum of the school. The class teacher and the SENCO can break down the assessment into smaller steps in order to aid progress and provide detailed and accurate indicators.

6.5 The school uses the recommended stages

6.6 The LEA seeks a range of advice before making a formal statement. The needs of the child are considered to be paramount in this.


7 Access to the curriculum

7.1 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;
  • experience levels of understanding and rates of progress that bring feelings of success and achievement.

7.2 Teachers use a range of strategies to meet children’s special educational needs. Lessons have clear learning objectives; we differentiate work appropriately, and we use assessment to inform the next stage of learning.

7.3 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.


8 Partnership with parents

8.1 At all stages of the special needs process, the school will keep 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.

8.2 We have regular meetings each term to share the progress of special needs children with their parents. We inform the parents of any outside intervention, and we share the process of decision-making by providing clear information relating to the education of children with special educational needs.

9 Monitoring and evaluation

9.1 The SENCO monitors the movement of children within the SEN system in school. The SENCO provides staff with regular summaries of the impact of the policy on the practice of the school.

9.2 The SENCO is involved in drawing up Individual Education Plans for children and in supporting class teachers. The SENCO and the headteacher hold regular meetings to review the work of the school in this area.


July 2011.