What is the purpose of the Local Offer?
The Local Offer has two key purposes:
- To provide clear, comprehensive and accessible information about the provision available
- To make provision more responsive to local needs and aspirations by directly involving children and young people with SEN, parents/carers and service providers in its development and review.
How does the school know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child has Special Educational Needs (SEN)?
At St Margaret Mary School children are identified as having SEN through a variety of ways including:
- Liaison with previous school/ Nursery
- Child performing below age-related expectations
- Concerns raised by parents/ carer
- Concerns raised by teacher eg behavior or self-esteem is affecting performance
- Liaison with external agencies eg Family Centre, Social Care
- Health diagnosis through a GP, Pediatrician or Health Visitor
You can raise concerns by talking to us – firstly contact your child’s class teacher/keyworker. You could also contact the SENCo or the Head teacher. If appropriate, contact your GP surgery.
We pride ourselves on building positive relationships with parents. We are open and honest with parents and hope that they are able to do the same with us.
How will school staff support my child?
- Our SENCo oversees all support and progress of any child requiring additional support across the school.
- The class teacher will oversee, plan and direct the work with each child with SEN in their class to ensure that progress is made in every area.
- There may be a Teaching Assistant (TA) working with your child either individually or as part of a group; if this is seen as necessary by the class teacher or SENCo. The regularity of these sessions will be explained to parents when the support starts.
- The class teacher will meet with parents at least twice a year (this could be as part of Parents Evening) to discuss your child’s needs, support and progress.
- For further information the SENCo is available to discuss support in more detail.
- The SENCo reports to the Governors every term to inform them about the progress of children with SEN; this report does not refer to individual children and confidentiality is maintained at all times.
- Mrs K Gill is the Governor responsible for SEN and meets regularly with the SENCo, reporting back to the Governors to keep everyone informed.
- The Governors agree priorities for spending within the school budget with the overall aim that all children with SEN receive the support they need in order to make progress.
How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
- All work within class is pitched at appropriate levels so that all children are able to access it according to their specific needs. Typically this might mean that in a lesson there would be at least three different levels of work set for the class. However, on occasions this can be individually differentiated.
- The benefit of this type of differentiation is that all children can access a lesson and learn at their level.
How will I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?
- We offer an ‘open door’ policy where you are welcome at any time to make an appointment to meet with either the class teacher or SENCo and discuss how your child is getting on. We can offer advice and practical ways that you can help your child at home.
- We believe that your child’s education should be a partnership between parents and teachers, therefore we aim to keep communication channels open and communicate regularly, especially if your child has complex needs.
- If necessary we will operate a home/school link book which your child will bring home regularly so that comments from parents and teacher can be shared and responded to when needed.
- If your child is on the SEN register they will have an Intervention Plan/ Group Intervention Plan which will have individual/group targets. This is discussed and reviewed on a termly basis. Copies of these are given if applicable. The targets set are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-scaled) targets with the expectation that the child WILL achieve the target by the time it is reviewed.
- If your child has complex SEN they may have a Statement/Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) which means that review meetings or family meetings will take place.
- As a school we measure children’s progress in learning against National expectations and age-related expectations.
- As a school, we track children’s progress from entry at Nursery through to Y6, using a variety of different methods.
- Children who are not making expected progress are picked up through Pupil Progress Meetings between the class teacher, the Head teacher and the SENCo. In this meeting a discussion takes place concerning why individual children are experiencing difficulty and what further support can be given to aid their progression.
- When the child’s Individual/Group Intervention Plan is reviewed comments are made against each target to show what progress the child has made. If the child has not met the target, the reasons for this will be discussed, then the target may be adapted into smaller steps or a different approach may be tried to ensure the child does make progress.
- There are many opportunities for regular contact about things that have happened in school including Parents Evenings, Review Meetings, Home/School books/diaries.
- The school website gives details of class topic plans each term and there are also sections about what your child should know on the curriculum page. This will help you to understand what your child is learning and how you can support them outside of school.
- Parents/carers are involved in planning their child’s SEN through Statement review/Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) meetings, Team Around the Child (TAC) meetings and Early Help assessment meetings. If your child has complex SEN you may get advice directly from a specialist teacher.
- Family Learning events are organised by the school and may cover areas such as Phonics, Maths, Family Learning, Healthy Eating, Parenting Advice. The school also holds ‘Open’ events during the year when you can visit classrooms to see the children at work.
What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing?
- We are an inclusive school; we welcome and celebrate diversity. All staff believe that children having high self-esteem is crucial to a child’s wellbeing. We have a caring, understanding team looking after our children.
- The class teacher has overall responsibility for the pastoral, medical and social care of every child in their class, therefore this would be the parents’ first point of contact. If further support is required the class teacher liaises with the SENCo/ Home School Link Worker for further advice and support. This may involve working alongside outside agencies such as Social Care, Health Services, Inclusion Support, Family Support organisations and local authority Specialist Teachers.
- The school has a policy regarding the administration and managing of medicines on the school site. Please contact the school office.
- Parents need to contact the school office if medication is recommended by health professionals to be taken during the school day.
- On a day to day basis the Administrative staff generally oversee the administration of any medicines.
- As a staff we have regular training and updates of conditions and medication affecting individual children so that all staff are able manage medical situations.
- As a school we have a very positive approach to all types of behaviour with a clear reward system that is followed by all staff and pupils.
- If a child has behavioural difficulties an individual Behaviour Management Plan may be written alongside the child and parents to identify the specific issues, put relevant support in place and set targets. As a result of the support we give, the rate of exclusions is very low at this school.
- After any behaviour incident we expect the child to reflect on their behaviour with an adult, often completing a reflection form. This helps to identify why the incident happened and what the child needs to do differently next time to change and improve their behaviour. For further information please see the school Behaviour Policy
- Attendance of every child is monitored on a daily basis by the Administrative Team. Lateness and absence are recorded and reported upon to the Head teacher. In the case of illness, parents are expected to inform the school each day before 9am. If we do not know the whereabouts of a child, a home visit will be undertaken. Support is given through an incentive scheme where good attendance is actively encouraged throughout the school. We have had many successes where families were struggling with lateness but are now able to get their children into school on time. For more information please see the school Attendance Policy.
- We value and celebrate each child being able to express their views on all aspects of school life. This is usually carried out through the School Council.
- Children who have Intervention Plans are informed of their targets by their class teacher/Teaching Assistant.
- We also actively seek the viewpoints of the children and conduct interviews with pupils on different aspects of the curriculum and school life.
- There is a worry box beside the Home School Link Worker’s room which is regularly checked and acted upon.
- If your child has a statement or EHCP their views will be sought via a questionnaire before any review meetings.
What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?
What training have staff completed to support children and young pupil with SEND?
- Our SENCo is a fully qualified teacher with the National Award for SEN Coordination accreditation and experience in managing Special Educational Needs.
- As a school we work closely with any external agencies that we feel are relevant to individual children’s needs within our school including:
- Behaviour/Inclusion Support/ Pupil Referral Unit
- Health including GP, Practice Nurse, School Nurse, Clinical Psychologist, Paediatrician, Speech & Language Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and Health Visitor
- Social Care including Locality Team, Social Workers, Educational Psychologist, Counselling services and therapists
- Others eg Police Community Support Officers, Safety Net, East Cumbria Family Support, Barnardo’s, NSPCC, CADAS (Drugs and Alcohol) and Kids Safe
- At any time in the school we may have staff working who are trained in the following areas including
- Speech and language programmes
- INPP (The Institute for Neuro-Physiological Psychology) movement programme
- Smart Moves
- Hearing Impairment
- All staff have had training in anaphylactic shock first aid.
- All children are included in all parts of the school curriculum and we aim for all children to be included on school trips. We will provide the necessary support to ensure that this is successful.
- A risk assessment is carried out prior to any off site activity to ensure everyone’s health and safety will not be compromised. In the unlikely event that it is considered unsafe for a child to take part in an activity, then alternative activities which will cover the same curriculum areas will be provided in school.
How accessible is the school environment?
The school site is wheelchair accessible for all areas with a disabled toilet large enough to accommodate changing. The school is all on one level with ramps at specified fire exits.
How will the school prepare and support my child when joining the school and transferring to a new school?
- We encourage all new children to visit the school prior to starting when they will be shown around the school. For children with SEND we would encourage further visits to assist them with acclimatisation of the new surroundings. We would also visit them in their current school or home, if appropriate.
- We write social stories with children if transition is potentially going to be difficult as well as making photo books of visits.
- When children are preparing to leave us for a new school, typically to go to secondary education, we arrange additional visits.
- We liaise closely with staff when receiving and transferring children to different schools ensuring all relevant paperwork is passed on and all needs are discussed and understood.
- If your child has complex needs then a Statement/EHCP review will be used as a transition meeting during which we will invite staff from both schools to attend.
How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?
- We ensure that all children who have SEND will have their needs met to the best of the school’s ability with the funds available.
- We have a team of TAs (teaching assistants) who are funded from the school budget and deliver programmes designed to meet groups of children’s needs.
- The budget is allocated on a needs basis.
How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
- The class teacher alongside the SENCo will discuss the child’s needs and what support would be appropriate.
- Children will require different types of support in order to bridge the gap to achieve age expected levels.
- This could involve discussions with parents, as appropriate.
- We can judge if the support has had an impact by reviewing targets on individual/group intervention plans and ensuring they are being met, by monitoring progress against national age expected levels and observing that the gap is narrowing, through verbal feedback from the parent and pupil and the fact that children may move off the SEN register when they have made sufficient progress in an identified area.
Who can I contact for further information?
- First point of contact would be your child’s class teacher to share your concerns.
- You could also arrange to meet Mrs P Fontana, our SENCo.
- Look at the SEN policy on our website as well as the other policies referred to above
- Contact Parent Partnership
- Contact IPSEA (Independent Parental Special Education Advice) www.ipsea.org.uk
- If you are considering whether your child should join the school, contact the School Office to make an appointment to meet the Head teacher, Mr C Wilkins.