Frequently Asked Questions
Please click the headings below for more information on each particular topic…
How do I know if my child has special needs or requires extra help?
The first point of contact if you have concerns regarding Special Educational Needs is the SEND Coordinator.
Working together, the school will explore your concerns about your child and make any additional assessments that may be needed.
The school’s assessment cycle means that teachers regularly review students’ progress; this is reported to you in the form of half termly written updates.
Teachers talk to students about how they feel they are getting on and also carry out general classroom observations. This is carried out initially by the subject teachers, but the SEND Coordinator, Curriculum Area Leaders, Year Team and Senior Leadership Team also have an overview of students’ attainment and progress.
Any students who are not making expected progress are identified and we will contact you investigate the best ways to help your child.
The four areas of special needs identified by the government are:
– Communication and interaction
– Cognition and learning
– Social, mental and emotional health
– Sensory and/or physical
We will be looking to see if students show difficulties in any of these areas. If we think that there may be a problem we will contact you.
How does the school know if my child has had extra help before?
The SEND Coordinator and Year 7 team liaise with our partner primary schools and known previous schools so that your child’s needs are known about before they start with us. Any records kept at the primary school are transferred to high school when the child moves to Year 7.
If your child joins us later than Year 7, files are forwarded from the school last attended and you will have a meeting with the Year Team who will invite the SEND Coordinator if there are special needs known about in advance. If this information is not known in advance, a meeting with the SEND Coordinator will be set up as soon as possible.
If your child has an EHCP (Statement), then the SEND Coordinator will have attended the Year 6 Annual Review and you will have already met them but please parents are encouraged to contact the school to discuss any concerns if you feel that special needs have not been identified previously. All concerns raised will be treated seriously and professionally.
How will the school help my SEND child?
All teachers are responsible for meeting the needs of the young people they work with. Any students requiring a little extra support in a given area, or an intervention programme to fill some gaps are recorded on the school’s ‘Provision Map’.
Students who have more significant needs that form an ongoing block to their learning are identified as ‘School Support’ and an Additional Needs Plan or Individual Education Plan is drawn up to specifically meet those needs.
The level of support or intervention will vary according to the needs of the child. Staff are identified at the planning stage to deliver provision according to the needs of the child, the strengths of the staff and deployment arrangements within school.
Annual reviews are held for children with Statements of Special Educational Needs and those with the new Education, Health and Care Plans in accordance with the SEN Code Of Practice 2014.
There is a designated member of the Senior Leadership Team (Miss Karen Colligan) and a linked SEN governor who meet regularly with the SEND Coordinator to gain an overview of SEN across the school and to help ensure that all the statutory duties are being fulfilled.
All teaching staff have Planning, Preparation and Assessment time (PPA) in order to deliver the learning for the whole class. The SEND Coordinator maintains an overview, monitoring the impact of interventions to ensure that they are appropriate and making a difference.
What extra help could my child get?
See SEND support above.
How will I know how my child is getting on at school?
Interim reports showing target levels and progress together with attitude to learning will be communicated to you each half term. You can discuss these with the Head of Year.
There is also an opportunity each year to discuss your child’s progress with subject teachers (and SEND Coordinator as appropriate) at each Year group’s Parents’ Evening.
Year 7 parents also have an extra meeting in the first term to make sure the new students are happy and settled.
Students with an EHC Plan will also have an Annual Review meeting with the SEND Coordinator, to which parents / carers are invited.
Students on School Support with SEND Support Plans will also have reviews to which you will be invited.
However, arrangements can be made as and when necessary through a range of ways eg email, telephone conversations, etc. to arrange additional meetings if you are worried about anything.
The link between home and school is very important to us, so please never feel shy or worried about contacting us. If something is worrying you, we want to know about it, so that together we can put your mind at rest.
If you are considering sending your child to our school and wish to discuss any concerns about your child before they begin school, please contact Angela Sheridan, our SENDCO.
Once your child is enrolled you can ring up to make an appointment to see the SENDCo to discuss your concerns, she will then follow up on these and let you know the outcome.
Your child’s form teacher, pastoral manager and head of year will also be only too pleased to chat to you.
How can I help my SEND child to get on at school?
The best way is to talk to your child each day about their day in school and look at their planner to see what homework needs to be done.
The planner will also tell you about ingredients needed for food technology and when to bring PE kit.
There is also space for you to write to the teachers, if you need to. You may wish to write to a specific teacher about a homework task that your child found especially hard, so the teacher will be aware of a possible problem.
What does the SENDCo do?
The SENDo is a qualified teacher with an extra qualification in Special Needs as is required by the DFE.
The key jobs include the carrying out, or arranging for the carrying out, of the following tasks—
(i) identifying the students special educational needs,
(ii) co-ordinating provision for the student which meets those needs.
(iii) monitoring any special educational provision made for the student,
(iv) securing outside services for the pupil where necessary,
(v) ensuring that SEND student records are maintained and kept up to date,
(vi) liaising with and providing information to parents of SEND students.
(vii) ensuring that, when the student transfers to another school or college, their SEND sent on there.
(viii) promoting the student’s inclusion in the school community and access to the school’s curriculum, facilities and extra-curricular activities;
(c) selecting, supervising and training ETAs who work with pupils with special educational needs;
(d) advising teachers at the school about differentiated teaching methods appropriate for individual pupils with special educational needs;
(e) contributing to in-service training for teachers at the school .
(f) helping to prepare and review the information required to be published by the local authority, and the special educational needs policy.
What training have your staff had for SEND?
In accordance with Section 6 of the SEN Code of Practice (2014) our SENDCO is a qualified teacher working at our school and has statutory accreditation.
All staff have access to appropriate training and Continuous Professional Development opportunities. Relevant training is given to staff by specialist support services as appropriate.
Will my child get treated the same as everyone else?
We are an inclusive school who value all students and celebrate diversity in all its forms.
All students are included in all parts of the school curriculum and we aim for all students to be included on educational visits. We provide additional support as reasonable and necessary to ensure that educational visits are successful. We always risk assess potential visits to ensure the health & safety of all pupils and staff.
School will liaise closely with parents/carers should the need arise.
How easy to access are your buildings and grounds?
Please refer to the school’s Accessibility Plan or contact the school office if you cannot find the information you require.
How do you help student transition?
- A) Junior to secondary school?
The SENDCo and Year 7 team liaise with the feeder primary schools and known previous schools so that your child’s needs are known about before they start with us.
The special needs files follow the student to their next named school.
If your child joins us later than Year 7, files are forwarded from the school last attended and you will have a meeting with the Year Team who will invite the SENDCo, if the special needs are known about in advance. If not known about in advance, then a meeting with the SENDCo will be set up as soon as possible.
If your child has an EHCP ( statement), then the SENDCo will have attended the Year 6 Annual Review and you will have met then.
But please feel free to make an appointment to discuss your concerns if you feel special needs have not been identified previously. All concerns raised will be treated seriously and professionally.
- B) Secondary school to college/apprenticeship
The SENDCo arranges a meeting each summer term with SENDCos from the colleges to discuss the needs of students on School Support and for the individual students to meet and chat to them as well. SEND files are sent to the college at which the student accepted a place.
If the student has an EHCP then the college SENDCo is invited to the Year 11 Annual Review-along with yourselves- as they will be continuing on a statement/EHCP as from September 2014. (Statements prior to this date were discontinued when a student went to college).
How much extra money is linked to extra student need?
The Headteacher & Bursar manage the budget, and the Headteacher manages resources.
If a student has an EHCP and specialist equipment or a high level of staffing support is required to support a pupil, our school will fund this as additional SEN support up to £6000 per annum for each individual pupil.
If the cost is higher and the provision of these facilities is likely to be prolonged, the school will apply to the Local Authority for High Needs Block Funding as part of the Statement / EHCP process.
Who decides how much extra money is allocated to a student?
Every child’s needs are individual and therefore the type, frequency and level of support will also depend on a child’s individual needs.
This decision about the level of support needed may be made between pupil, parents and school staff and will often involve outside agencies.
If a pupil needs an Education, Health and Care plan the level of funding and support will be decided by the Local Authority SEN panel.
How do you involve parents/carers of SEND students?
We have an inclusive approach to school life. All parents and carers are an important part of the school community and are welcomed to take an active part in the life of the school.
It is important that parents/carers and school staff work together to benefit the child. We have annual parents’/carers’ evenings and for children with a Statement of SEN or an EHC plan there is also an Annual Review meeting.
We operate a texting communication system, so that we can keep parents/carers informed, as well as the usual letters. We keep our website updated with letters, events and curriculum information.
Parents/carers are always welcome to contact school.
If I want to complain how do I do it?
We hope that we try to address your worries and are available to see you as you feel the need.
However, in the unlikely event you will need it, the school’s complaints policy is available via the school website at www.nhtschool.co.uk.
If I just want to talk to someone about my worries about my child, how do I do it?
If you need to talk to someone, please contact in the first instance your child’s form teacher then the Head of Year or Pastoral Manager or the SENDCo.