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Special Educational Needs and Disability Information

 

The principles of the Bridge Partnership:

Ashbrook and Holmwood Schools are federated. This means that there is a single Governing Body and in our case, one Executive Head Teacher – Mrs Claire Sharples.

 

Whilst both schools have their own budget, the Governing Body can make budgetary decisions on behalf of both schools.  The federation is known as The Bridge Partnership.

 

Ashbrook and Holmwood Schools are members of the Denbigh Liaison Group within the West Flank of Milton Keynes.  We work in collaboration with our partner Infant, Junior and Secondary Schools to ensure our philosophy and approach to meeting the needs of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disability is similar.

 

We are committed to the principles of inclusion and strive for our provision to meet the needs of children and young people within a mainstream setting wherever possible and appropriate.

 

As members of the Denbigh Liaison Group, our commitment extends to working in partnership with Milton Keynes Local Authority to ensure that all pupils, regardless of their specific needs, make the best possible progress in school.

 

Who we are and what we do:

 

Ashbrook School: Jacqui Wheeler-Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo)

I am responsible for the co-ordination of Additional Educational Needs throughout the school. This includes children with Special Educational Needs and/or a Disability. It is my job to ensure that we follow the Code of Practice (2015), which provides guidance about how we should offer a clear and structured approach to supporting children with identified Special Educational Needs and or Disability.

 

I am involved in the strategic development of the school’s Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Policy and inclusive provision.   In addition, I am responsible for the day-to day operation of the school’s SEND Policy and co-ordination of the provision for pupils with SEN and/or a Disability.

 

A key part of my role is to work closely with external agencies such as Educational Psychologists, Specialist Teachers, Speech and Language Therapists. This is always done in partnership with parents.

 

 

Holmwood School: Angela Brenan –Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo)

I am responsible for the co-ordination of children with Special Educational Needs and/or a Disability.  It is my job to ensure that we follow the Code of Practice (2015), which provides guidance about how we should offer a clear and structured approach to supporting children with identified Special Educational Needs/Disablity.

 

I am involved in the strategic development of the school’s Special Educational Needs  and Disability(SEND) Policy and inclusive provision.   In addition, I am responsible for the day-to day operation of the school’s SEND Policy and co-ordination of the provision for pupils with SEN and/or a Disability.

 

A key part of my role is to work closely with external agencies such as Educational Psychologists, Specialist Teachers, Speech and Language Therapists. This is always done in partnership with parents.

 

The Bridge Partnership appreciates that effective communication is key for collaborative practice within our schools, with our parents and external agencies.  We are aware of the numerous acronyms that are frequently used and can lead to confusion for everyone involved.

 

Below is a glossary of the most frequently used terms in the area of Special Educational Needs/Disability as an attempt to eliminate any confusion which might get in the way of clear communication.

 

Acronymn

Terminology

AAC

Augmentative and Alternative Communication

ADD

Attention Deficit Disorder

ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

ASD

Autistic Spectrum Disorder

BESD

Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties

BSL

British Sign Language

CAFCASS

Children and Family Court Advisory Service

CAMHS

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service

CLA

Children Looked After

CYFP

Children and Young Families Practice

CoP

Code of Practice

CP

Cerebral Palsy

DCD

Developmental Co-ordination Difficulties

DDA

Disability Discrimination Act

DfE

Department for Education

DLA

Disability Living Allowance

DS

Down Syndrome

DVD

Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia

EAL

English as an Additional Language

EHCP

Education, Health and Care Plan

EP

Educational Psychologist

FSM

Free School Meals

G&T

Gifted and Talented

HI

Hearing Impairment

IEP

Individual Education Plan

LA

Local Authority

MLD

Moderate Learning Difficulties

MSI

Multi-Sensory Impairment

OCD

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

OT

Occupational Therapist

PD

Physical Difficulties/Disabilities

PECS

Picture Exchange Communication System

PMD

Physical and medical Difficulties

PMLD

Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties

PRU

Pupil Referral Unit

PSP

Personal Support Plan

PT

Physiotherapist

SLT

Speech and Language Therapist

SENCo

Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator

SEND

Special Educational Needs and Disability

SENDIST

Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal

SLCN

Speech Language and Communication Needs

SLD

Severe Learning Difficulties

SpLD

Specific Learning Difficulties

TAC

Team around the Child

TAF

Team around the Family

TA

Teaching Assistant

TS

Tourette Syndrome

VI

Visual Impairment

 

Current Updates:

 

What are Pupil Premium/Pupil Premium Plus and who receives it?

 

Pupil Premium was introduced in April 2011 and is allocated to pupils who are one of the following: Pupils Looked After, pupils who are currently eligible for Free School Meals, pupils who are within a Service family, those pupils who have received Free School Meals in the last six years.

 

Since April 2014, Pupil Premium Plus has come into effect, whereby children adopted from care, or those children who have left care under Special Guardianship order since 2005, also now receive funds.

 

From April 2014, the allocated money for Pupil Premium Pupils is as follows: Children Looked After receive £1900 a year, children within a Service family £300 a year and all other eligible Pupil Premium children £1300 a year.

 

From April 2014, the allocated money for children adopted from Care or who have left care under Special Guardianship order (since 2005) is £1900.

 

Why has it been introduced?

 

The Government believes that the Pupil Premium, which is additional to main school funding, is the best way to address the current underlying inequalities between children eligible for this funding and their peers.

 

In addition, children adopted from Care (previously Children Looked After) will have experienced grief and loss in their lives; many will also have had traumatic experiences. Their needs do not change overnight and they do not stop being vulnerable just because they are in a loving home. Experiences in early life can have a lasting impact which can affect children many years after adoption. Schools have a vital role to play in helping these children emotionally, socially and educationally. Pupil Premium Plus funding for these children, enables schools to provide specific support to raise attainment and address wider needs.

 

Who decides on how the money is spent?

 

The Pupil Premium/Pupil Premium Plus is paid directly to schools, who decide how to use the funding so that provision matches the needs of the individual children.

 

The Senior Leaders in consultation with Executive Head Teacher and when appropriate in collaboration with the SENCo, decide how the Pupil Premium funding should be spent.

 

How are schools accountable for the spending of Pupil Premium/Pupil Premium Plus?

 

We are held accountable for decisions made through: 

 

The Ofsted Inspection Framework, under which inspectors focus on the attainment of pupil groups, including those eligible to receive Pupil Premium.

 

The Bridge Partnership Governing Body also monitors Pupil Premium funding and impact.  Performance tables show the attainment of those eligible for Pupil Premium funding in comparison with their peers.

 

For more information about Pupil Premium/Pupil Premium Plus, please see the Pupil Premium section on our website or contact Heather Co– Ashbrook: Hayley Waters – Holmwood.

 

Children and Families Act 2014

Part 3 of the Act relates to support for children/young people with special educational needs and/or disability, and their families.  It refers to help children and parents can get from health care, social and education services.  The Act recognises that children with special educational needs can find it harder to learn than other children of the same age and they may need extra help. This support can now go from birth to 25 years of age.

 

Under the Act, councils must make sure that education, health and social services all work together. In addition, children and families should know what help they can get. This is called the “Local Offer”.

 

The Act is clear that there should be a simpler way to assess children`s needs with regard to their education, health and/or social care and that children and their parents should have more say about the help they get.

 

Following the assessment process, the council decides whether special help is needed. If this is the case, then one plan is made to meet the child`s education, health and social care needs. This plan is called and Education and Health Care Plan or EHC Plan for short.  As well as saying what help the child needs, the EHC Plan also indicates what should be achieved with the level of support given. The views of the child/parents are taken into account and the EHC Plan is checked with parents before it is finished off.

 

What is the Local Offer?

The Local Offer was first introduced in the Green Paper (March 2011) “ as a local offer of all services available to support disabled children and children with SEN and their families. This easy to understand information will set out what is normally available in schools to help children with lower-level SEN as well as the options to support families who need additional help to care for their child.”

 

What will it do?

With regard to Education, the Milton Keynes Council intends its Local Offer to let parents/carers and young people know how schools will support them and the provision that is available across local settings.

See Milton Keynes Council website.

 

To help us ensure that the SEND Information presented on our school websites reflected possible concerns, queries or interests, a series of questions was devised in consultation parents/carers and other agencies.  The responses are intended to provide information to parents and carers so that they feel confident about how their child’s needs are met within school or to enable them to make informed decisions about the type of provision that would support their child’s needs.

 

The Bridge Partnership’s response to the questions is as follows:

 

How do Ashbrook/Holmwood Schools know if children need extra help?

We know a child needs help when:

  • Concerns are raised by parents/carers, teaching staff, pre-school, previous school(s).
  • There is a lack of progress
  • There is a change in the child’s behaviour which impacts on learning

 

What should I do if I think my child has Special Educational Needs?

If you have any concerns regarding your child’s progress or well-being, then please drop in to see your child’s Class Teacher. They are generally available at the end of the school day.

 

The next step may be a further meeting with the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo). This is Jacqui Wheeler at Ashbrook School and Angela Brenan at Holmwood School.

 

How will the schools in the Bridge Partnership (Ashbrook and Holmwood) support my child?

You will be kept informed about your child’s progress and their support in the following ways:

 

  • The Class Teacher will have overall responsibility for the planning and teaching of the curriculum for all children, which is monitored by Senior Leaders throughout the school.

 

  • Should your child require additional support they may be included in an Intervention Group. This may be run by a Teacher or Teaching Assistant.  The Interventions are planned in consultation with the SENCo.  All interventions for a class are recorded on a Class Provision Map. The impact of interventions are measured and discussed at half termly Pupil Progress Meetings.             

               

  • As well as being included in an Intervention Group, as part of the provision to meet children’s identified needs, some children may also have specific or personalised targets. Currently, these are recorded on an Individual Education Plan, or SEND Support Plan.

 

The Individual Education Plans (IEP) are reviewed up to 6 times a year. You will be invited in to school to discuss your child’s IEP and you will be given a copy. Currently, we are in the process of phasing out IEP`s and introducing SEND Support Plans.

 

SEND Support Plans are planned/reviewed termly and agreed in partnership with parents. Your child will also be invited to his/her SEND Support Plan meeting. If necessary, an interim meeting can be held between SEND Support Plan Reviews.

 

We are introducing SEND Support Plans in response to changes in the SEND Code of Practice (2015) and our commitment to collaborative working and a person-centred approach. (See also Children and Families Act 2014).

 

The SEND Support plan provides a more holistic view of the provision for children. It includes high quality classroom strategies, targeted interventions that your child may be involved in and any personalised provision/specific targets.

 

If you would like to know more, please contact the SENCo and/or have a look at the SEND Policy on the school website.

 

  • If your child’s Class Teacher is concerned about your child’s progress and/or well-being but they do not at this stage require an IEP or SEND Support Plan, then you will be invited in to school to discuss strategies that will be put in place to support him/her. The impact of these will be reviewed in partnership with parents and targets will be recorded.
  • Occasionally, a child or family may need more specialist support from an outside agency. If the advice of a Specialist Teacher is required, parents’ consent will be required for the needs of their child to be discussed. This may trigger the involvement of the relevant Specialist Teacher.

 

For other external agencies such as Educational Psychologists, Speech and Language Therapists, parents’ consent will initially be required and a consultation appointment will be arranged.

 

The involvement of external agencies and the co-ordination of meetings is part of the role of the SENCo.

  • If your child has an Education and Health Care Plan, then parents are invited to, SEND Support Plan Reviews (which link with the EHC Plan short term targets),EHC Plan Meetings/Annual Reviews, Transition Reviews, as required. This process is co-ordinated by the SENCo.
  • The Governors of The Bridge Partnership are responsible for entrusting a named person to monitor Safeguarding and Child Protection procedures.

 

The Governors ensure that Ashbrook and Holmwood Schools are as inclusive as possible and treat all children and staff in an equitable way.

 

They also monitor and review the Accessibility Plan and all other statutory policies defined by the DfE (Department for Education).

 

 How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?

  • All children are entitled to quality first teaching, adapted to children’s individual needs to enable them to access the curriculum.
  • Teachers and/or Teaching Assistants may be allocated to work with your child 1:1, or in a small group to target more specific needs.
  • If appropriate, specialist equipment may be provided for your child. This may be a “sit and move” cushion, pencil grip or spring loaded scissors.

 

 How will I know how my child is doing? 

  • Your child’s Class Teacher is available at the end of the day if you want to have an informal chat.  If you want to have a more detailed conversation, please make an appointment in consultation with the SENCo.
  • You will be kept informed of your child’s progress through Parent Consultations and your child’s Annual School Report.
  • If your child has an Individual Education Plan this will be reviewed up to 6 times a year. The targets/interventions will be shared with you.
  • SEND Support Plans are planned/reviewed termly and agreed in partnership with parents. Your child will also be invited to his/her SEND Support Plan meeting. If necessary, an interim meeting can be held between SEND Support Plan Reviews.

 

  • If we are concerned about your child’s progress or well-being, then we will invite you in to school for a chat so that together we can put in place strategies that will support your child at school/home. This is often referred to as early intervention.

 

How will you support me to help my child?

  • The Class Teacher may suggest ways of supporting your child’s learning at home.
  • Jacqui Wheeler (Ashbrook)/Angela Brenan (Holmwood) may meet with you to suggest ways in which you can support your child at home. In addition, they will signpost you to other professionals for further advice/support.
  • Parent/carer workshops are organised throughout the year, which share ideas about how together we can support your child at school/home.
  • If external agencies are involved with your child, then a report is usually provided with recommendations that can be used at home as well as in school.

 

 What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?

    (pastoral, medical, social/emotional, behaviour and attendance)

 

We offer a variety of support for all children. This may include:

  • Opportunities for children to talk with members of staff.
  • Some children may have “meet and greet” support in the morning to help them settle in to the school routine or be given 1:1 time with a familiar Teaching Assistant during the day.
  • Some children will have access to small group Kaleidoscope sessions to promote confidence and self-esteem.
  • Some children will have access to Individual Play as Therapy sessions.
  • Some children will be included in intervention groups to promote social skills.
  • Play-time support such as a Play Buddy or Teaching Assistant/Mid-day Supervisor to promote games/activities and positive friendships.

 

Children with medical needs

At Ashbrook and Holmwood Schools we have a designated Welfare Assistant to administer medicines and support children with specific medical needs e.g. diabetes.

We also have access to the School Nurse Team and Community Specialist Nurses as required.

 

Details of a child’s medical needs/dietary requirements/allergies are kept on record. These are shared with the Welfare Assistant, Teachers, Teaching Assistants, Mid-day Supervisors and other Support Staff (e.g. Office Manager, Admin Assistant).

 

Some children require individual Care Plans. These are put together by Health Professionals in collaboration with parents, the Welfare Assistant and when necessary the SENCo. A copy is kept in School. The Care Plans are shared with the relevant staff.

 

All staff have annual Epi-pen training from the School Nurse Team.  Relevant staff are also trained for other medical needs as appropriate e.g. diabetes.

 

Medicines are stored and administered in school in accordance with the school’s First Aid Policy.

 

We work in partnership with parents/carers and Health Professionals to ensure up to date and accurate provision is in place to meet the medical needs of our children.

 

Adaptations have been made to meet DDA requirements to ensure accessibility for all children.

 

What specialist services are available at the Bridge Partnership: Ashbrook and      Holmwood or can be accessed by the schools?

  • Educational Psychologists
  • Speech and Language Therapists
  • Specialist Teachers of Communication and Interaction, Cognition and Learning, Sensory Impairment, Social Mental and Emotional Health
  • CAMHS- child and adolescent mental health service
  • School Nurse
  • Children and  Young Family Practices
  • Social Services
  • SEND Local Authority Case Work Officers
  • Physiotherapists
  • Occupational Therapists

 

 What training has been provided for the staff supporting children with SEND?

  • All staff can access regular training related to Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.
  • The SENCo has completed the National award of SENCO Standards or an alternative equivalent.

 

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

 Activities and school trips are available to all.

  • Risk assessments are carried out and procedures put in place to enable all children to participate at the school’s discretion. This is done in consultation with parents/carers.
  • If a Health and Safety risk assessment suggests that an intensive level of 1-1 support is required, a parent or carer may also be asked to accompany their child during the activity in addition to the usual staff.
 

How accessible is the school environment?

At the Bridge Partnership, we are happy to discuss individual access requirements and make reasonable adjustments to meet these needs.

We have an up to date Accessibility Plan and we are actively planning further improvements to make the schools more accessible.

Facilities at present include:-

  • Ramps to make the building accessible to all.
  • Children’s disabled toilet.
  • Signs displayed at different levels to ensure they are visible for wheel chair users.

 

How will my child be prepared and supported during the transition to and from  Ashbrook/Holmwood School?

At the Bridge Partnership, we understand that moving school or provision can be quite a challenging time for some children. We put in place a number of strategies to make the transition as smooth as possible. These include:

  • Meetings with Pre-School Settings
  • Liaison with individual Children’s Support Service Professionals for pre-schoolers moving to school.
  • Visits by the SENCo and Early Years Co-ordinator to our main feeder Pre-Schools e.g. Helping Hands, Great Holm Pre-School.
  • Additional visits for individual families of pupils with Additional Educational Needs as well as the school’s usual induction procedures.
  • Additional visits for children with Additional Educational Needs as well as the school’s usual induction procedures.
  • Meetings with our main receiving Junior School - Year 3 team and SENCo, to plan for pupils transferring at the beginning of the next academic year.
  • A comprehensive and established Transition Programme with our main receiving Junior School.  Our Transition Programme includes tours of the new school, induction morning or afternoon sessions, transition books, meetings with the receiving SENCo and staff visits. In addition, there is a programme for parents, which includes an introductory meeting at the Junior School, tours and individual meetings as required.
  • Arrangements with any other local Junior Schools to support the smooth transition for individual children.
  • Liaison with the receiving school if a child moves from Ashbrook or Holmwood at any point before the end of Year 2.
  • We are also firmly committed to aiding children’s transition between classes within the school. Transition booklets may be produced for some pupils to help reduce anxiety.

 

 How are school resources allocated and matched to children’s SEND?

  • The SEN Budget is allocated each financial year to support Additional Educational Needs throughout the school. The money is used to provide additional resources or support, dependent on need. Support for individual children is decided following discussion with relevant parties.
  • Specialist advice/support may be sought from the Local Authority Specialist Teams to support individual children as appropriate e.g. Educational Psychologist, Specialist Teacher.  We have access to the Schools’ Speech and Language Therapy Service. In addition we can access other health professionals such as the Occupational Therapy Service.
  • If necessary, advice/support may be bought in from other external agencies.

        

  How is the decision made about how much support a child will receive?

  • When children with identified Additional Educational Needs first start school, additional support is allocated according to the information provided by the previous setting and external agencies already involved.
  • Children with an Education and Health Care Plan are allocated appropriate resources as specified in the document.
  • The Class Teacher carefully monitors progress. This is reviewed, in consultation with the Head teacher/ Senior Leaders and SENCo at half-termly Pupil Progress meetings.  If further concerns are identified due to a child’s lack of progress or well-being, the Class Teacher and SENCo, review the provision /level of support and make the necessary changes.  This may include applying to the Local Authority for Additional Support Funding (top up funding). A further step may be to make a request to the Local Authority for an assessment for an Education and Health Care Plan.
  • The support allocated for each child is shared with all relevant parties as appropriate.

 

How will I be involved in discussions and planning for my child?

All parents are encouraged to contribute to their child’s education and work in partnership with the school. This may be through:

  • Discussion with the child’s Class Teacher.
  • SEND Support Plan Meetings/Review
  • EHC Plan Meetings/Reviews
  • Parent Consultations.
  • Meeting with the SENCo or other professionals.
  • Open door policy

 

 Who can I contact for further information?

If you wish to discuss your child’s education further or are unhappy with something regarding your child’s schooling please contact:-

  • Mrs Angela Brenan at Holmwood School and Mrs Jacqui Wheeler at Ashbrook School
  • Mrs. Claire Sharples – Executive Head Teacher
  • Mr Nick Jeffrey- Chair of Governors – The Bridge Partnership
  • Teri Hoyles SEND Governor – The Bridge Partnership

 

We hope these responses have answered any queries you may have, but please do not hesitate to contact the school if you have further questions.

 

 

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