Class and subject teachers, supported by the special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO), should make regular assessments of progress for all pupils. These assessments help to identify pupils making less than expected progress given their age and individual circumstances.
Where progress continues to be less than expected for a child or young person the class or subject teacher, working with the SENCO, should assess whether the child has special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and whether a formal support plan needs to be developed.
If it is identified that a pupil has SEND, extra support and different strategies to support progress may be put into place. Intervention is usually detailed through an Individual Support Plan (ISP) or Individual Education Plan (IEP) and is called SEN Support.
SEN Support aims to ensure a child or young person can meet their individual targets and outcomes and make progress.
What should I expect if my child is receiving SEN Support?
Every mainstream education setting has a legal obligation to provide adequate SEND support to any pupil who needs it. This includes early years and post 16 providers. A child or young person does not need to have a formal diagnosis in order to receive SEND Support.
Southend Council has agreed school’s guidance which outlines the expectations and examples of provision and arrangements for professionals. The guidance document is called "Southend SEND: Review and Self Evaluation".
If a pupil is identified as needing extra help a planning meeting should be held. Support for SEN pupils is coordinated by the setting SENCo who will arrange a planning meeting.
The planning meeting should involve the child or young person, their family and often include input from the class teacher or other appropriate members of staff. External agencies or professionals working with you and your child may also be asked to attend to provide advice on your child’s needs or to provide recommendations on the type of support they need.
Intervention agreed is usually detailed through an Individual Support Plan (ISP) or Individual Education Plan (IEP). Everyone at the planning meeting will agree how they will work together to provide, monitor and evaluate this support.
Schools may use their delegated funding to provide additional support over and above that which is usually provided to all pupils.
Settings need to ensure that the voice of the child/young person and parent/carer is heard and recorded in any support plans.
Reviewing SEN Support
Schools and settings should develop a graduated approach in identifying those pupils who need additional support. (6.45 – 6.56 of the SEND Code of Practice January 2015).
A graduated approach is a cycle of assessment, planning and reviewing of actions to identify the best way of securing adequate progress for pupils. It is often referred to as the assess, plan, do and review cycle.
This diagram shows how the cycle of assessment should work.
Where a pupil requires SEN support, settings are expected to talk to parents regularly and meet with them three times a year to review their child’s progress. The pupil progress meetings can be in line with other parent meetings but should review progress towards the child’s outcomes as set out in their ISP/IEP or equivalent
Reviews are important to consider the impact of support. If it is agreed that sufficient progress has been made by the child or young person, SEN support should continue through ongoing cycles of assessments through the graduated approach.
If progress is not being made, the next step will be to adapt and change the support in place through the graduated approach and further assessment and support cycles will continue.
The majority of children and young people with SEN have their needs met at SEN Support. However where the child or young person has not made expected progress the school, parents / carers or the young person* can consider requesting a more formal assessment in order to determine if special educational provision is required; this is called an Education, Health and Care needs assessment. You can read more about it here: Education, Health and Care Needs Assessments
What if my school does not put SEN support in place for my child’s needs?
Schools have a duty to identify SEN. They must use best endeavours to make sure a child with SEN gets the support they need.
If you think your child has SEN, you should talk to your child’s early education setting, school, college, or other provider. Explain what your child is finding difficult and ask what support might be put in place to help them. They will discuss any concerns you have and work with you to agree what will happen next.
It is sometimes helpful to write a list of things you wish to discuss ahead of the meeting and share them with the SENCo so that when you meet there is clarity about the presenting issues.
It is also sometimes helpful to have someone support you at a meeting if you do not feel confident. This could be a friend, relative or an advocate.
If you feel that meeting and talking with the school has not resulted in an agreement on the support your child needs there are other organisations you can consider contacting for advice and support:
- SENDIASS Southend is a confidential and impartial information, advice and support service on issues related to Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)
- Southend SEND Independent Forum (SSIF) is the official Parent Carer Forum for SEND families in Southend, comprised of parents whose children have a range of needs.
- IPSEA is a national charity offering free and independent legally based information, advice and support for parents/carers of children and young people with all kinds of SEND.
For more information and frequently asked questions (FAQs) about SEN Support please visit the FAQs and myth busting page on the SENDIASS Southend website.
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