Special Education Needs Policy

School Special Education Needs PolicyThis 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 and require particular action by the school. 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. Such children may need additional or different help from that given to other children of the same age.

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.

Aims and Objectives

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
  • To ensure that parents are able to play their part in supporting their child’s education
  • To ensure that our children have a voice in this process

Educational Inclusion

In our school we aim to offer excellence and choice to all our children, whetever their ability or needs. We have high expectations of all our children. We aim to achieve this through the removal of barriers to learning and participation. We want all our children to feel that they are a valued part of our school community. 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 learning 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

Special Educational Needs

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. Children have difficulty if:

  • they have significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age
  • they have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of the educational facilities that are provided for children of the same age
  • they are under school age and fall within the definitions above

Many of the children who join our school have already attended an early education setting. In many cases children join us with their needs already assessed. All our children are assessed when they join our school, so that we can build upon their prior learning learning. We use this information to provide starting points for the development of an appropriate curriculum for all our children.

If our assessments show that a child may have a learning difficulty, we use a range of strategies that make full use of all available classroom and school resources. This level of support is called School Action. The child’s class teacher will offer interventions that are different from or additional to those provided as part of the school’s usual working practices. The class teacher will keep parents informed and draw upon them for additional information. The Headteacher, if not already involved if the teacher and parents feel that the child would benefit from further support. The Headteacher will then take the lead in further assessments of the child’s needs.

We will record the strategies used to support the child within an Individual Education Plan (IEP). The IEP will show the short-term target set for the child and the teaching strategies to be used. It will also indicate the planned outcomes and the date for the plan to be reviewed. In most cases, this review will take place once a term.

If the IEP review identifies that support is needed from outside services, we will consult parents prior to any support being actioned. In most cases, children will be seen in school by external support services. This may lead to additional or different strategies to those at School Action. This enhanced level of support is called School Action Plus. External support services will provide information for the child’s new IEP. The new strategies within the IEP will, wherever possible, be implemented in the child’s normal classroom setting.

If the child continues to demonstrate significant cause for concern, a request for statutory assessment will be made to the LEA. A range of written evidence about the child will support the request.

In our school, the Headteacher: manages the day-to-day operation of the policy; co-ordinates the provision for and manages the responses to children’s special needs; supports and advises colleagues; oversees the records of all children with special educational needs; acts as the link with parents; acts as link with external agencies and other support agencies; monitors and evaluates the special educational needs provision and reports to the governing body; manages a range of resources, human and material, to enable appropriate provision for children with special educational needs; contributes to the professional development of all staff.

Allocation of resources

The Headteacher is responsible 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.


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

The class teacher assesses and monitors the children’s progress in line with existing school practices. This is an ongoing process.

The Headteacher works closely with parents and teachers to plan an appropriate programme of support. The assessment of children reflects as far as possible their participation in the whole curriculum of the school.

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 activites
  • 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; we differentiate work appropriately, and we use assessment to inform the next stage of learning.

Individual Education Plans are not considered necessary at this stage given our extremely small class numbers.

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, we ask children to work in small groups, o in a one-to-one situation outside the classroom.

Partnership with Parents

The school works closely with parents in the support of those children with special educational needs. We encourage an active partnership through an ongoing dialogue with parents. 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.

Pupil Participation

In our school we encourage children to take responsibility and to make decisions. This is part of the culture of the school and relates to children of all ages. The work in the Foundation Stage recognises the importance of children developing social as well as educational skills.

Monitoring and Evaluation

The Headteacher monitors the movement of children within the SEN system in school and provides staff with regular summaries of the impact of the policy on the practice of the school. The Headteachers and staff review this policy annually and consider any amendments in the light of the annual review findings.

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