All children have their own needs that make them unique individuals and at St Margaret’s we embrace and celebrate these differences.
For some children they may need to be catered for in a way that is significantly different from the rest of the children due to behavioural, emotional, medical or academic reasons. Within school this need is referred to as a ‘special educational need’. Some children may begin their school lives with this need having been already identified. Some may have this need identified at school. Whenever this need is identified our aim is always to provide the best possible support to your child through a partnership between home and school.
In order for your child to reach their potential, it may require more personalised support in small groups, pairs or working one to one with an adult. There are three levels to this support that follow the guidance set out in the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice. Initially, when a concern is raised about a pupil a Nature of Concern is expressed where the concern is outlined and shared with parents or carers to gain their views. It is recorded what has already been implemented to support these needs within the whole class setting and what will then be implemented and closely monitored in school. The impact of this concern will be discussed at the termly Pupil Progress meetings. Following this Nature of Concern, if it is felt that further intervention is required the child will be placed on the school's Special Educational Needs register. At this level an Individual Learning Plan (LP) is drawn up setting clear, measurable and smart targets to be worked on where appropriate at a whole class or group level, with a small amount of one to one working. These targets are reviewed on a termly basis or more frequently if needed. Each child will achieve these targets at an individual rate.The LP also gives ideas of what you can do at home to support your child. Feedback of the progress made towards these targets is discussed with parents at every termly review point or more regularly if you should wish. The top tier of this personalised support is through an Educational Health and Care Plan, which provides a multi-professional assessment of the child’s needs and the provision that should be provided to address these areas. This is a legal document between the Local Authority and the parents which is reviewed annually, involving parents and professionals.
Whatever support is needed for your child it is essential that this is recognised as early as possible through honest and open discussion between home and school.
Included under the umbrella of these individual needs is also providing enrichment and extension for those children who have exceptional interests, talents or abilities in particular areas. This again is achieved through working with parents and providing support through an extended curriculum within the classroom or learning environment.
Here is a link to a useful leaflet, Understanding Support for Children & Young People with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities.
We are lucky at St Margaret’s to have the advantage of a Special Support Centre (SSC) which opened in 2005. This is now very much an integral part of our school, which provides enhanced resources and space for children with significant physical or medical needs, within a mainstream setting. Children who join our school through the Special Support Centre are assigned to a mainstream class and spend a significant majority of their day with their peers and this is one of the features that makes our school unique and fully inclusive.
For information on what services West Sussex County Council have to offer for SEND please click on the link to Authority Local Offer.