Montrose School

Achieving, Caring, Aspiring

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Wigston Lane, Leicester, Leicestershire

0116 2832328

office@montrose.leicester.sch.uk

Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities and Inclusion

 

At Montrose School, we are committed to offering an inclusive curriculum to ensure the best possible progress for all of our pupils whatever their needs or abilities.  Our educational aims for children with special educational needs and/or disabilities, are the same as those for all children in the school.

What are special educational needs?

A child has special educational needs (SEN) if he or she has learning difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for him or her to learn than most other children of about the same age.

Many children will have special educational needs of some kind during their education. Schools and other organisations can help most children overcome the barriers their difficulties present quickly and easily. A few children will need extra help for some or all of their time in school.

So special educational needs could mean that a child has:

  • learning difficulties – in acquiring basic skills in school

  • emotional and behavioural difficulties – making friends or relating to adults or behaving properly in school

  • specific learning difficulty – with reading, writing, number work or understanding information

  • sensory or physical needs - such as hearing or visual impairment, which might affect them in school

  • communication problems – in expressing themselves or understanding what others are saying

  • medical or health conditions – which may slow down a child’s progress and/or involves treatment that affects his or her education. 

Children make progress at different rates and have different ways in which they learn best. Teachers take account of this in the way they organise their lessons and teach. Children making slower progress or having particular difficulties in one area may be given extra help or different lessons to help them succeed.

You should not assume, just because your child is making slower progress than you expected or the teachers are providing different support, help or activities in class, that your child has special educational needs (www3.hants.gov.uk).

If your child has more difficulties than most children their age, with aspects of their learning, communication or behaviour, then they are likely to benefit from additional support in school which will enable them to access the curriculum at their level.  Within school, this means that they will be identified on the school’s ‘meeting individual needs’ register so that provision to meet their needs can be planned for.

Sometimes parents/carers are concerned about their child being added to this register; please do not be.  It is simply a record of which children require additional support and allows the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator to ensure that resources are allocated appropriately and to enable support to be sought for your child from additional outside agencies, such as a Child & Family Support Officer, Speech & Language Therapist or Educational Psychologist.  As children progress, they may be taken off of the register at a point when their needs no longer require additional support.

Children are not seen as having a learning difficulty because they speak a different language at home to that used at school.

What is a disability?

A person has a disability if he or she has a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal, day to day activities.

Children with a disability have special educational needs if they have any difficulty in accessing education and if they need any special educational provision to be made for them, that is anything that is additional to or different from what is normally available in school.

 Please use the links below for further information

 

What kinds of special educational needs and / or disabilities do we provide for? 

Montrose School is a mainstream school with experience of supporting pupils with a range of differing needs including:

  • Communication and Interaction (such as autism spectrum disorder)
  • Cognition and Learning (such as dyslexia, developmental coordination disorder, dyscalculia, moderate learning difficulties and global development delay)
  •  Social, emotional and mental health (such as ADHD, ADD, attachment disorders, emotional difficulties, mental health difficulties)

  • Physical and sensory (such as hearing and/or vision impaired)

All of the teachers in our school are teachers of children with special educational needs.  Subsequently Montrose School adopts a 'whole school approach' involving all staff adhering to a model of quality first teaching. 

The staff of the school are committed to identifying and providing for the needs of all children in an inclusive environment.  Inclusion is regarded as crucial to the policy, in line with that of the Local Authority.  This means that all children with SEND are taught together with their peers for the majority of the time, being withdrawn for short periods only when specialist provision cannot be incorporated in any other way due to practical considerations for the child and the class as a whole. 

Please note we do not have a special unit for SEND.

How does school identify and assess the needs of pupils with special educational needs and / or disabilities?

Children with SEND are identified by one of three assessment routes all of which are part of the graduated response to assessing, identifying and providing for pupils’ special educational needs:

1.  The progress of every child is monitored at regular pupil progress meetings against nationally set criteria. Where children are identified as not making progress, in spite of quality first teaching, they are discussed with the SENCo and a plan of action is agreed with the teacher.  

2.  Class teachers are continually aware of children’s learning.  If they observe that a child is making less than expected progress, given their age and individual circumstances, they will seek to identify a cause.  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 

3. Parents sometimes ask us to look more closely at their child’s learning.  We take all parental requests seriously and strive to investigate them all.  Frequently, the concern can be addressed by quality first teaching or some parental support.  Otherwise, a graduated response is implemented by school.

If a child fails to make expected progress, the next stage would be to move to the use of school intervention and/or outside agency involvement for the identification, assessment and recording of children’s learning difficulties.  This will result in the child being placed on the school’s Meeting Individual Needs register at SEN Support (SENS).

The SENCo and/or outside agency may need to undertake a range of standardised tests with the child.  These assessments will help the school in deciding what support to put in place for the child.  Targets will then be discussed and set for the child and communicated with parents. 

 Although the school can identify special educational needs, and make provision to meet those needs, we do not offer diagnoses.  Parents are advised to contact their GP if they think their child may have an underlying medical condition or disability.

If you have concerns about your child you should contact the class teacher or the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) - Mrs Cross.

 

What are the different stages of support?

A child’s special educational needs and/or disabilities will be met at one of the following stages:

Initial Concern/Monitoring

An informal stage where class teachers identify a concern about a pupil’s progress, gather available information about the pupil, discuss strategies for providing appropriate learning tasks for the pupil with the SENCo and seek to discuss concerns with the pupil’s parents/carers.

SEN Support / Early Years Support

This is the first formal stage.  The triggers for intervention through SEN Support / Early Years Support could be the teacher’s or others’ 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 numeracy 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 by 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.

Provision is mainly classroom based, managed by the Class Teacher, where:

  • Provision is planned for the pupil, in consultation with the pupil’s class teacher and/or SENCo.
  • The class teacher and SENCo review progress and decide on future provision.
  • The majority of support is provided in class by the Class Teacher and Teaching Assistants, but there may be some low-level involvement from the school’s SEN team.

Education, Health and Care Plan

If, despite significant support and intervention at SEN Support, the school has evidence that a pupil is making insufficient progress, or if the SENCo believes the nature of the pupil’s difficulties requires it, we may seek further advice and support from external professionals and request a statutory assessment of the pupil’s difficulties.  

The criteria for applying for statutory assessment are set by the Local Authority.  The triggers for Statutory Assessment could be that, despite having received an individualised programme and/or concentrated support under SEN Support, 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 developing literacy and numeracy skills
  • has emotional and 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

Provision is still mainly classroom based, with additional advice/input from the SENCo and support from members of the school’s SEN Team, where the school will:

  • seek the involvement of external agencies to support the production of an IEP (Individual Education Plan) for the pupil or to provide a course of support which is carried out in school in a small group situation or a 1:1 basis.
  • continue to work closely with parents.
  • continue to keep the pupil’s progress under regular review.

Reviews are carried out as before and decisions made with the parents as to whether to continue the child at SEN Support if some progress is being made which shows the child is improving significantly, or to be put forward a request for the consideration of the initiation of statutory assessment if everything that has been tried so far does not seem to be making sufficient difference to the child’s situation and development.

Request for the consideration of the initiation of statutory assessment

The school will use reports from all of the professionals involved with the child to complete the request for statutory assessment form.  All of these reports are then submitted to the Local Authority’s SEN Panel where it will be decided whether a statutory assessment will be granted.

Parents’/carers’ views and feelings are sought throughout this process.

If a statutory assessment is granted, then the Local Authority’s SEN Panel will request detailed reports from all of the professionals involved about the child’s development, progress and the difficulties being experienced, with details of what has been provided to support the child up to this stage.

If the SEN Panel are in agreement, an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC) will be drawn up, which will detail the child’s specific special educational needs and required provision.  The EHC plan will also detail any additional funding which is being provided to the school and how this must be used as well as detailing the school placement for the child.

The SEN Panel may make a recommendation as part of the process as to the best placement of the child in light of their special educational needs.

It must be pointed out to parents that not all requests for EHC plans are successful and that this will be up to the Local Authority SEN Panel.

Where the EHC plan is not issued, the school will continue to provide support for that child at SEN Support and decisions will be made about gathering evidence for a further request to be made if this is deemed appropriate/necessary.

Whilst the LA makes its decision about whether a statutory assessment is necessary, and whilst any subsequent assessment is being made, the child continues to be supported at the SEN Support level.

Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC)

The production of an EHC is organised by Leicester City council’s Special Needs Teaching Service, in close liaison with the school, external agencies involved with the pupil and the pupil’s parents/carers.

The provision set out in an EHC plan will be closely monitored by the SENCo and reviewed annually.  Parents/carers will be invited to contribute to the review and attend the review meeting.

What is our approach to teaching pupils with SEND?

How will my child be helped to access the curriculum?

Who might be involved in supporting my child and how is professional expertise secured?

How will I know how my child is doing?

We recognise the value of parents/carers knowledge of their children and will seek to use that information in planning support for pupils.  You are encouraged to be fully involved with your child’s educational provision, so that a collaborative problem solving approach can be implemented.

Class Teachers and/or SENCo will meet with you to discuss your child’s progress and targets at parents' evenings and you will receive detailed school reports.  Your child's progress is continually monitored by his/her class teacher and progress reviewed formally every half-term where a National Curriculum level will be given in reading, writing, numeracy and science.  If your child is in Year 2 and above, but is not yet at National Curriculum levels, a more sensitive assessment tool is used which shows their level in more detail and will also show smaller but significant steps of progress.  The levels are called 'P' levels.  At the end of each Key Stage (i.e. at the end of Y2 and Y6) all children are required to be formally assessed using Standard Assessment Tests (SATS).  This is something the government requires all schools to do and are the results that are published nationally.  Children who are unable to access the tests due to their special educational needs will not need to sit them.

Children with an Education, Health and Care Plan will have targets set, provision planned and an annual review or 6 monthly review for children under 5 years of age.

Throughout all stages of support, as parents/carers, you are kept informed.  The SENCo will contact you to discuss referrals to outside agencies, such as the Speech & Language Therapy, Educational Psychology etc. and your permission is always sought before any referral is made.

Please discuss any concerns that you may have about your child’s progress initially with the Class Teacher, although you can also make an appointment to meet with the SENCo directly.

The Parent Partnership Service (website) is a useful place to visit for further information.  Parents of any pupil identified with SEN may contact the Parent Partnership Service for independent support and advice.

Parents are always welcomed into the school and are a highly valued group of people.

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?

Specialist services play an important part in helping the school identify, assess and make provision for pupils with special education needs.  The school receives regular visits from the nominated Local Authority Education Welfare Officer and concerns about attendance or punctuality are followed up very quickly.

The Educational Psychologist has a set amount of time which they can give to the school and they work with the SENCo to prioritise the children to be seen for observations and assessments each term to the best way forward in supporting these children.  The school has links with specialist NHS services e.g. Community Paediatrician, Speech and Language Therapy service, Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

In addition the school may seek advice from the council’s specialist advisory services including the:

  •  Learning, Communication and Interaction Team
  •  Social, Emotional and Mental Health Team
  •  Hearing Impairment Team
  •  Visual Impairment Team
  •  Early Years Support Team

Our Family Support Officer is available to support where needed.  Our 'Healthy Together' School Nurse makes regular visits to school.

All of these agencies offer meeting times with parents to explain their involvement with the children.

How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?

As Montrose is an inclusive school, we make every effort to include all children in all activities wherever possible/practical.  At times this may involve liaising with you about your child's specific needs.  Every trip is risk assessed and inclusion considered on an individual basis allowing for additional support /changes to the trip to be made.

How accessible is the school environment?

The school complies with the Disability Discrimination Act by ensuring equal access to both the school's buildings and curriculum.  At present there is wheelchair access to all buildings and two disabled toilets.  Corridors are kept clear to allow for free movement.  The curricular provision also takes account of children's individual needs.

  • The school is accessible to children with physical disability.

  • We ensure that equipment used is accessible to all children regardless of their needs.

  • The school has nappy changing facilities and a shower.

  • Enrichment activities are extended to all pupils irrelevant of their needs.

What support is there for my child's overall well-being?

The welfare of all our pupils is taken very seriously.  The support for this is as follows:

  • The SENCo will oversee involvement of support and outside agencies where required to ensure a child’s well-being.

  • The school council ensures that pupil’s voices /opinions are heard.  Pupil voices form part of school’s monitoring process.

  • Teaching assistants and the Deputy Head Teacher are available on the playground first thing in the morning for pupils and parents to voice any concerns.  These concerns are then followed up immediately or passed on to a member of the school’s management team.

  • A ‘worry box’ is sited in school and children are encouraged to post any worries they might not want to talk to an adult about. These are then followed up.

  • Staff are aware of the importance of pupil’s well-being and concerns are recorded and followed up by the senior leadership team who work in conjunction with the school’s family support worker.

  • The school works closely with families and can provide support with issues such as behaviour management, debt, housing issues, domestic violence.

  • The school offers a programme of  extra-curricular activities both after school and during lunch time.

  • The school delivers a programme of weekly PSHE lessons.  Children are taught about emotional well-being, relationships and making positive healthy choices.

  • Access to daily breakfast club on site, ensuring a healthy start to the day.

  • Access to after school club on site, ensuring safe child care for when parents are working.

How will the school prepare and support my child when they transfer to Montrose, within Montrose or to a new school?

In the Nursery, Reception and Year 1 classes parent meetings are held to ensure smooth transitions.  Transition afternoons are held for the children and themed days where children free-flow into the next year group.  This allows children to become familiar with new settings, environments and staff.  Records are sought and passed on so that teachers are fully aware of your child's individual needs.  Children that have a particular need e.g. ASD, have special transfer books made to help with their transition. 

In Year 6 the transfer to secondary school is made easier by taster mornings, transition days and meetings with their teacher and SENCo at Montrose and their new teacher and SENCo.  

Children transferring mid-term will have pre-visits with parents and if relevant their 1:1 TA.  The new staff will be encouraged to visit Montrose to see the child within a familiar setting and with familiar adults and vice versa.  Time is often given for class teachers to discuss specific needs with others.

What do I do if I have a complaint about SEND?

Please discuss any problems or concerns with your child’s teacher.  Most problems can be resolved in this way.  You may also raise concerns with the SENCo, followed by the head teacher.  If necessary parents may contact the governors and, if still dissatisfied, may take their concerns to the Local Authority.

 

Useful Downloads

Guide to the 0 -25 SEND Code of Practice 

Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0-25 years 

Special Educational Needs and /or Disabilities Policy

Special Educational Needs Information Report

 

For more information on what the local offer is visit: www.localofferleicester.org.uk 

Click here to read our local offer

 

The 'Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service' (SENDIASS) formally know as 'Parent Partnership' is available to all parents of pupils with special educational needs.  Parents of any pupil identified with SEND may contact them for information, independent support and advice. 

You many find Voluntary Action Leicestershire also has some useful information.

 

Relationships with Parents/Carers

 

We recognise the value of parents/carers knowledge of their children and will seek to use that information in planning support for pupils.  You are encouraged to be fully involved with your child’s educational provision, so that a collaborative problem solving approach can be implemented.

Class Teachers and/or SENCo will meet with you to discuss your child’s progress and targets.

Throughout all stages of support, as parents/carers, you are kept informed.  The SENCo will contact you to discuss referrals to outside agencies, such as the Speech & Language Therapy, Educational Psychology etc. and your permission is always sought before any referral is made.

Please discuss any concerns that you may have about your child’s needs initially with the Class Teacher, although you can also make an appointment to meet with the SENCo directly.

 

Parents are always welcomed into the school and are a highly valued group of people.