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Special Needs and Disabilities and Acessibility Plan

The school's Special Educational Needs Coordinator is Mr Martin Hawrylak.

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Annual Information Report 2015-16


Every parent wants their child to be happy and do well at school but sometimes some children find learning more difficult than other children. There can be a number of reasons for this and it is estimated that about 1 in 5 children have some form of Special Educational Needs (SEN).


In a class of 30 children, this means about 6 children on average will have some form of special needs. If you believe your child has special needs, you are not alone as there is very likely to be a number of children in your child’s class.


At Stisted Primary Academy, our aim is to give every child the best possible education so that all children make the best possible progress. This does not mean our primary aim is to get every child to the same standard but to do our very best to make sure every child makes really good progress relative to their starting points and specific needs. This means 'good' progress is not the same for every child.


For children with Special Educational Needs and disabilities, as with all children, this means identifying their needs and providing the right type of teaching, and the right time at the right level.



How many children have Special Educational Needs at our School?


In September 2016, 11% of pupils at our school have some form of recognised special education needs. This is lower than the national rate of 19%.


Whilst the proportion of pupils with SEN is not significantly significant relative to the national rate, the proportion of pupils with statements of educational needs is well above the national rate. A significant number of our pupils on roll have much more severe needs than those usually found in mainstream schools. Currently 6.5% of pupils have a statement of need/Education Health Care Plan compared with the national rate of 1.3 This is because the school has a strong local reputation for inclusion and supporting children with special needs and additional needs especially those with cognitive learning abilities.


We currently have no children with SEN who are also classified as a Looked After Child or Child in Care.



What is Special Educational Needs (SEN)?


A pupil has Special Educational Needs where they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for some form of special educational needs provision. This means ‘extra help’ or teaching that is different from or additional to that normally available to pupils of the same age. It is important to understand that every child is different and the degree of special needs varies from child to child from mild to severe and complex.


Just because a child is not achieving as well as other children, this does not mean they have Special Educational Needs. There could be lots of reasons why a child might not be doing as well as other children such as environmental factors, home life and contextual factors such as family break ups, bereavement, friendship issues etc. Sometimes, these factors are temporary and can be rectified.


It is therefore very important that we rule out these factors before identifying if a child has special needs. This is why we will want to talk to you about your child to establish if there are any underlying issues that we are not aware of.



How do we know if a child has Special Educational Needs?


Children with Special Educational Needs are usually identified in their school or pre-school setting. In some cases, Special Educational Needs are identified by Health Care professionals.


There is no one single test, assessment or procedure to identify if a child has Special Needs. This is because there are many different causes and types of Special Needs. Identifying Special Needs is professional judgement based on a range of observable evidence including specific assessments and screening results.


Identifying specifically why a child might be taking longer to learn things compared with children of a similar age is not always obvious. This is particularly the case with younger children as we do not know if a particular child has a specific learning difficulty, or if they have missed out on important experiences at a young age, or if they have a physical barrier such as poor eyesight.


In some cases, children soon catch up with their peers and no further action, monitoring or help is required. If their learning delay is the result of a learning difficulty it is very important that this is recognised and provision is put in place as quickly as possible.



What is special educational provision?


This is the extra help or support we can give a child with special educational needs. It can range from modifying a classroom task so that it is more accessible through to specific specialist input. Very often however, it will involve providing a very practical based type of learning.


The type of provision will vary from child to child and we will tailor it for each individual child. This will involve devising an Individual Education Plan (IEP).


What Special Needs Provision do we offer?


At anytime and according to need, a combination of any of the following strategies may be in place:     


·         Lesson modification- this involves the teacher setting different tasks and learning objectives

       relative to the rest of the class to suit the needs of a particular child.


·         Modification of resources so that children with SEN can access and take part in day to day

       lessons e.g. using enlarged print for worksheets or using visual symbols to accompany verbal or

       written instructions.


·         The use of specialist equipment such as touch screen technology, specialist seating, specialist

       scissors or pencils.


·         Individual or group support from a Learning Support Assistant for part or whole of a lesson.


·         Adjustments or minor modifications to the classroom environment so that a child can take part in

       day to day lessons.


·         Specific intervention programmes such as Smart Thinking, Power of 2, Toe by Toe, Catch Up.



·         Access to a sensory gym trial for children who need to develop sensory integration.


·         Access to school based Speech and Language provision.


·         Access to our enhanced provision programme and Montessori curriculum.


·         Specialist lunchtime adult play leaders to support children with Special Needs with games and




What is an Individual Education Plan?


An Individual Education Plan or IEP identifies next step learning targets or objectives for your child and how these learning goals will be achieved.


Are there any specific types of Special Educational Needs?


Special Educational Needs is grouped under four broad areas:


o  Communication and interaction

o  Cognition and learning

o  Social, mental and emotional health

o  Sensory and / or physical


A child’s special needs can fall into just one of these categories or more than one. If a child’s learning difficulty falls into just one category, it is usually more easily identifiable. For example, a child with a hearing impairment will be classified under sensory/physical.


However, it is not unusual for a child to have learning difficulties that fall into more than one category.


For example, a child may have been diagnosed with dyslexia which would be classified under cognition and learning and also have a diagnosis for Autistic Spectrum Disorder which is classified under sensory/physical. It is not uncommon for children with Special Educational Needs to have a number of barriers that makes learning more difficult for them. This is referred to as co-morbidity.


We will generally be able to identify which one or more of the above categories a child’s special needs may come under but we are not able to give formal diagnoses of conditions such as dyslexia, Attention Deficit Disorder, Global Learning Delay, dyscalculia, autism etc. These can only be diagnosed by medical practitioners or an Educational Psychologist.


However, we may be able to pick up signs or indicators of certain conditions. This helps us to plan the right type of teaching for a child and advise parents who they may need to seek an appointment with for further specialist advice.


It is important that these labels do not become an excuse for underachievement. Instead, they help us signpost the right type of help for each child. A child who is finding learning difficult because they have a diagnosis of autism will require different support and help than a child with dyslexia.


In some cases we will not know why a child might be having difficulties in learning. This may require us to advise parents to seek a referral for a paediatric assessment if it is causing significant difficulties at school.


If the difficulties are less severe, the school will plan for different or extra support.


This support may mean that one day they will  ‘catch up’ with their peers and reach age related expectations. For some children it will mean that the extra help will prevent them falling too far behind.


We always try to identify special needs as early as possible so that we can do something about it. This is why we always talk to parents sooner rather than later so that there are no surprises further down the line.


Sometimes parents find it difficult to come to terms with the fact their child has or may have Special Educational Needs whilst others, who may have suspected things are not quite right, are pleased that we have noticed and are doing something about it.



Who is responsible for the Special Educational Needs provision in school?


Your child’s class teacher is primarily responsible and accountable for coordinating a child’s special educational provision and drawing up an Individual Education Plan (IEP). This is done in consultation with the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) who is responsible for making sure all children with Special Educational Needs are getting the right sort of help.


At this school, the SENCo is Martin Hawrylak.


We also have a Special Educational Needs Assistant who deals with the administrative side of special needs education. This involves making appointments, liaising with parents and school staff and ensuring that parents receive appropriate paperwork.


The SENCo assistant is Liesl Stock.



What sorts of things form part of extra help for a child with Special Educational Needs?


Every child’s needs are different and some provision can just be a light touch whilst children with more severe or complex needs need more intensive support.


The majority of children with special needs can be catered for with a school based programme. For children whose needs are more severe, additional resources beyond that which the school can provide they may need additional support from the Local Authority.



What is a Statement of Educational Need/Education Health Care Plan?


Where a child has a learning difficulty or disability that is so severe that the normal resources within a school are insufficient, the parent or school may apply for a statutory assessment from the Local Authority. This means your child’s needs will be formally assessed and if deemed sufficiently complex or severe, the Local Authority will issue a Statement of Need or an Education.


From September 2014, Statements of Educational Need will be replaced with Education Health Care Plans (EHCP).


If you child currently has a statement, this will be transferred to an Education Health Care Plan at some point in the near future. The statement will remain valid until they are all phased out and replaced with EHCPs.


An Education Health Care Plan is a legal document which will have similar statutory power to a Statement of Special Educational needs, but which will also describe a child or young person’s health and care needs where these are significant.


Not every child who has SEN will have a statement or Education Health Care Plan. Only about 2-3% of children are likely to have one of these.


If your child has a statement or an Education Health Care Plan, this means their needs are such that additional resources beyond which the school can provide is required. If this educational provision needs to take place in a school setting, additional funding is then allocated to the school by the Local Authority.




How does a child get a Statement or Education Health Care Plan?


Only the Local Authority can issue Education Health Care Plan after assessing a child’s needs. Parents or the school can request for a statutory assessment to take place. In many cases, the school makes a referral based after discussions with a child’s parents based on the evidence teachers and staff have collated.


It is really important that if a parent seeks a statutory assessment that they speak with the school and seek advice as the school will be involved in gathering evidence.


Further details can be found using the following link :



What expertise can our school offer in terms of working and supporting children and young people with Special Educational Needs?


All teachers and Learning Support Assistants have some knowledge, understanding and expertise relating to Special Educational Needs. This is updated throughout the year during designated staff INSET days.


We also have access to Educational Psychologist advice, Speech and Language therapist advice, Occupational Therapist advice, Physiotherapist’s advice, advice from Child and Adolescent mental health service, SENco update meetings and specific training, School nurse and specialist teachers.


Sometimes we invite specialist teachers to offer training in specific areas. On other occasions training is given by school staff.


The Education Act 1993 placed a duty on the Secretary of State to issue a Code of Practice and the power to revise it from time to time.


The purpose of the Code of Practice is to give practical guidance on the discharge of functions under Part IV of the Education Act 1996 to LEAs, governing bodies of maintained schools and educational settings in receipt of government funding including the health services and social services.


Schools are required to have regard to this Code and Stisted Primary Academy considers the practical guidance contained within the Code in light of the school’s particular context and changing circumstances.


The current Code of Practice was effective from 1 September 2014.


This means that whenever a school decides how to exercise its functions relating to children with special educational needs, and whenever the health and social services provide help, all bodies involved must consider what this Code says.


It is then up to the school how to organise its SEN provision in the light of the guidance in this Code of Practice.



How are children with SEN supported?


We believe that good schools cater for all children regardless of their needs. Our vision statement expresses our desire to provide the best all round education for all children regardless of their personalities and talents within a caring Christian context.


Staff training and awareness of difficulties SEN pupils experience is crucial in ensuring SEN children are not placed at a disadvantage.


There is an on-going commitment from the senior leadership to help staff and children understand the needs of children with SEN and create an inclusive and understanding ethos.


Whole school assemblies are often used to help children understand about different disabilities. Our Personal Development curriculum is also designed with this in mind so that children with SEN are not treated less favourably than other pupils.


However, there are also laws that protect children with SEN including the Equality Act which requires organisations to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate children with Special Needs.


We recognise that SEN children are vulnerable to the risk of abuse and that children with SEN may not always be able to communicate as effectively as children without SEN.



The school takes this into account when working with pupils with SEN and is particularly vigilant in the safeguarding of these potentially vulnerable pupils.


We are committed to the protection and safety of all our children. Child Protection is the responsibility of everyone who works in the school. The Headteacher is the named Child Protection Coordinator or Designated Person.


All members of staff receive regular and updated training in child protection procedures. All adults who are in regular contact with children are checked with the Disclosure and Barring Service formally known as the Criminal Records Bureau.



How are children with special needs included in learning and the life of the school?


We always consider the kinds of options and the variety of activities available within the class or school setting to enable children to access the curriculum and be part of the life of the school.


This means:


·       setting suitable learning challenges that are appropriate to the age and development of

         the child;


·       responding to pupils’ diverse needs and understanding the next steps in their learning;


·       overcoming potential barriers to learning such as modifying tasks or equipment and

         making reasonable adjustments.



No child with SEN is excluded from engaging with activities available to children within the school that do not have SEN. For example, the school plans and makes adjustment for children with SEN to take part in residential activities. Adjustments are made for children to take part in Sports Day’s.



All after school clubs are available for children with SEN and many of these children choose to take part.




How does the school cater for children’s emotional needs that maybe a barrier to their learning?


In some cases, pastoral support might be the most appropriate provision for a child. Pastoral support is designed to promote the personal well-being of a child and help them to improve their social, emotional and behavioural skills.


Where this is the case, this may be part of an IEP. Often children with emotional needs requiring pastoral support are offered the choice of an adult within the school to act as a confident or mentor.


How does the school cater for children’s behavioural needs that may be a barrier to their learning?


The school’s behaviour policy is based on a graduated response. It is an approach that aims to promote conditions for positive behaviour rather than to react to poor behaviour once it has occurred. However, there are some children who may need Behaviour Management Plans as part of their Individual Education Plan.


How do we involve young people and their parents in making decisions about the child’s education?


We have adopted the One Planning child centred approach to planning provision for children with SEN. This involves gathering information from the child and parents as well as other professionals.


Children with lower levels of SEN and their parents are consulted in regards to their Individual Education Plans.


Children with higher levels of need requiring a Statement of Need or Education Health Care Plan are involved in gathering evidence for annual reviews. This is completed in an age and need appropriate way.


Children are also invited to attend their annual review and contribute where appropriate.


How do we know if our provision for SEN is effective?


Each child is different and has different needs. For some SEN children, the additional support they receive will enable them to close the attainment gap with their peers and some cases enable them to reach national expectations. For other children particularly those with cognitive learning difficulties, learning steps will be much smaller and may take longer to achieve. It is therefore not possible to define with any precision what ‘good’ progress for children with SEN is.


Our aspiration is always to be ambitious and support our SEN children with very best provision possible. This mean consistently delivering tuition that is at the right level, at the right time in the right way.


The school has introduced the concept of rolling IEPs for children with SEN. This helps us monitor very closely and over a short time period if SEN provision is effective. This gives us the opportunity to intervene if a particular strategy or objective needs changing.


If SEN children are not achieving their personal targets, this can mean one of two things. We need to change the way we are approaching provision in order for the child to achieve that outcome or that we may need to break down the target into smaller more manageable learning steps.


Annual One Planning Reviews are also an opportunity for different professionals including parents and the young person to be consulted and evaluate what has worked well and what could be better.


We also send out annual questionnaires as well an opportunity for parents and children to respond the child’s annual report.


These are analysed by the school and provide useful information and future plans and any changes they may be required.


How do we make sure learning is accessible to pupils with SEN or a disability?


Firstly, the curriculum and teaching approach needs to be right. It needs to be at the right level, at the right time using the right approach.


Staff awareness and training has been a contributory in ensuring our SEN children receive a different approach where it is appropriate. This means adapting lessons so SEN can access the curriculum and providing a different curriculum where it is necessary.


A Montessori curriculum and classroom has been designed to give greater access to children who learn through a practical sensorial approach. Chairs are ergonomically designed for comfort. Children are also given access to working on the floor using work mats.


Children work on an individual programme designed with their specific needs in mind.


We have employed a Learning Support Assistant to specialise in Speech and Language provision. This enables children whose needs are not significant enough to gain Speech and Language Therapy through health provision to have school based access to meet their needs.



Secondly, the physical environment can either inhibit or enhance provision for children with SEN. We recognise this and are committed to improving access where it has been identified as being a barrier to children with SEN or a disability.


The school is designed to be all on one level with little need for steps. Corridors and doors have been designed to give excellent access for wheel chair users.


Neutral soft pastel tones have been used throughout the school to avoid multi-sensory overload particularly for children diagnosed with autism.


The school is carpeted throughout except for the hall. Carpet has been installed to reduce sound levels within classrooms and corridors enabling children with hearing impairment to access speech more easily.



The school’s future plans are to build an additional teaching space area that will give more exclusive access for pupils with SEN to work with visiting specialist teachers such as speech and language therapists.


Further plans include remodelling the Early Years Foundation Stage to enable greater outdoor access especially as the door to the outside is narrow.


Under our statutory duties, we have devised an Accessibility Plan. This plan has been designed to improve accessibility to the curriculum and learning for our children with SEN and disabilities.


The 2015-18 Accessibility Plan can be accessed on the school’s website under the Further Information tab.



How does the school help SEN children with transition to the next phase of their education?


Although we do not recommend specific secondary schools, we can assist parents with questions they can ask or things to look out for.


The school can arrange for a child’s specialist teacher to attend visits to secondary schools with parents in addition to one of the school’s Learning Support Assistants who may know a child well.


The school works in liaison with local secondary schools for children in Year 6 who will be transferring to the next phase of their education.


This can involve arranging additional transition days and work in the primary setting to prepare children for their new school.


How does the school handle complaints from parents of children with SEN?


The school has a complaints policy that caters for all types of complaints including those from parents with children with SEN. A copy of this can be accessed from the school website.


What are the arrangements for admission of disabled pupils and children with SEN?


Arrangements for admission comply with the most recent School Admissions Code. Priority is given to children with Statements of Educational Need. In these circumstances, the Published Admission Number can be exceeded. For children with lower levels of SEN, the school’s latest Admission Policy will apply. A copy can be obtained on the school website.


Where can I go for further information?


This page is designed to give parents a broad overview of what Stisted Primary Academy can offer children with Special Education Needs. This is known as our School Offer.


Each Local Authority has devised a Local Offer. The Local Offer identifies what opportunities are available to support children with SEN within Essex. Further information regarding the Local Offer can be accessed by using the following link :


What is an Accessibility Plan?


An Accessibility Plan is plan designed to increase access to the curriculum for children with learning difficulties and disabilities.


The SEN and Disability Act 2001 extended the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) to cover education. Since September 2002, the Governing Body has had three key duties towards disabled pupils, under Part 4 of the DDA: 


1. Not to treat disabled pupils less favourably for a reason related to their  



2. To make reasonable adjustments for disabled pupils, so that they are not  


         at a substantial disadvantage;


        3. To plan to increase access to education for disabled pupils.


This plan sets out the proposals of the Governing Body of the school to increase access to education for disabled pupils in the three areas required by the planning duties in the DDA:


 - increasing the extent to which disabled pupils can participate in the school curriculum;


 - improving the environment of the school to increase the extent to which disabled pupils can take

   advantage of education and associated services; 




 - improving the delivery to disabled pupils of information, which is provided in writing for pupils who

   are not disabled.


It is a requirement that the school’s Accessibility Plan is Resourced, implemented, reviewed and revised as necessary and reported on annually. Attached is a set of action plans showing how the school will address the priorities identified in the plan. 


The priorities for the Accessibility Plan for our school have been identified by :


  • SEN Governor
  • The Headteacher/ SENCo in consultation with teaching and support staff



3-year period covered by the plan: 2015-18


Outcomes of previous Accessibility Plans


The school is designed to be all on one level with little need for steps. Corridors and doors have been designed to give excellent access for wheel chair users.


Neutral soft pastel tones have been used throughout the school to avoid multi-sensory overload particularly for children diagnosed with autism.


The school is carpeted throughout except for the hall. Carpet has been installed to reduce sound levels within classrooms and corridors enabling children with hearing impairment to access speech more easily.


A Montessori curriculum and classroom has been designed to give greater access to children who learn through a practical sensorial approach. Chairs are ergonomically designed for comfort. Children are also given access to working on the floor using work mats. A trained Montessori practitioner has been employed giving children with SEN an alternative approach to learning including provision for sensorial development and practical life skills.


The school has employed a Learning Support Assistant to specialise in Speech and Language provision. This enables children whose needs are not significant enough to gain Speech and Language Therapy through health provision to have school based access to meet their needs.


Staff training has been a key focus in raising staff awareness of difficulties SEN pupils experience. This has been crucial in ensuring SEN children are not placed at a disadvantage.


There is an on-going commitment from the senior leadership to help staff and children understand the needs of children with SEN and create an inclusive and understanding ethos.


Whole school assemblies are often used to help children understand about different disabilities. Our Personal Development curriculum is also designed with this in mind so that children with SEN are not treated less favourably than other pupils.





1.    Planning Templates 1-3 Starting points

1A: The purpose and direction of the school’s plan: vision and values


To improve accessibility and provision for SEND pupils, the following areas have been identified that can help the school achieve this :


  1. Environment.
  2. Provision and quality of teaching and curriculum especially in light of the unequal distribution of children with severe and complex needs across the school.
  3. Staff training and awareness.

1B: Information from pupil data and school audit


The school has introduced an enhanced provision facility in 2013 and speech and language provision in 2014. This has significantly improved the quality of provision with greater focus on matching the right type of provision to the child in the most appropriate learning environment. This has brought its own challenges in ensuring the whole curriculum is cohesive and that pupils receive a broad and balanced curriculum whilst maintaining very high levels of provision in the basic skills.


The majority of our pupils with SEN are pupils with severe and complex needs. Many of whom have cognitive learning disabilities. Making comparisons with national benchmarks in attainment and progress is not the most appropriate methodology for evaluating impact. Individual pupil analysis demonstrates that provision for these pupils in terms of outcomes is effective.


Impact of provision on pupil data can be seen in the document : Data Analysis Summer Report 2015

1C: Views of those consulted during the development of the plan


Children : Children like the Montessori curriculum and methodology of learning. They like the calm quite environment the school promotes. They like opportunities to play with their friends


Teachers : Current IEPs are very detailed but time consuming. Often new needs emerge that are catered for and therefore not reflected in the IEP review as these occur every 4-6 months. Montessori provision has significantly enhanced provision and the challenge now is to ensure a coherent curriculum where it remains broad and balanced where skills and understanding are transferred across settings.


Parents : Questionnaires and discussions with parents at annual reviews has not resulted in any key issues although concern has been expressed at the high number of children with SEN and the impact this will have on non SEN given the unequal distribution of high needs pupils. Parents like to be kept up to date and have access to key staff at the school.




2. The main priorities in the school’s plan

2A: Accelerate progress of pupils with SEN by introducing rolling IEPs to replace current model used for IEPs

2B: Improving the physical environment of the school to increase the extent to which disabled pupils can take advantage of education and associated services namely an additional teaching space and remodelling the Early Years Classroom

2C:  Ensuring the curriculum is cohesive, coherent and balanced for pupils accessing specialist provision in light of their high needs and that this learning is applied across settings and not context dependent.


3: Making it happen

3A: Management, coordination and implementation


The above priorities will be incorporated into the overall 3 year school development plan.



   It is anticipated that all priorities (except for the EYFS classroom) will run concurrently with priority 2A being fully implemented, reviewed and evaluated by the end of July 2016.This involves the introduction of rolling IEPs.

   Funding, tenders and contractors have been secured for the additional teaching space to be in place by July 2016. This is the first part of priority 2A.



   It is anticipated that the curriculum for children with SEN will be reviewed to ensure it is sufficiently broad, balanced and coherent taking into account the majority of SEN pupils have severe needs.



  It is anticipated the Early Years Classroom will be remodelled to give pupils with SEND greater physical access to the learning environment