At St Mary’s, we recognise that many children will have, at some point during their school life, needs that are additional to the ‘norm’ and that on occasions these needs may be ‘special’, requiring specialist input/support. Our aims include the early identification of all children who need special consideration to support their physical, sensory, social, emotional, communication or cognitive development. We aim to ensure that these children are given appropriate support, allowing them full access to the National Curriculum and involve parents, children and others in developing a partnership of support with the school.
High quality teaching, differentiated for individual pupils, is the first step in responding to pupils who have or may have SEN. Teachers have a responsibility for maximizing achievement and opportunity of vulnerable learners. Every teacher in our Academy is a teacher of every child including those with SEN. All teachers are responsible and accountable for the progress and development of all the pupils in their class, including where pupils access support from teaching assistants or specialist staff. Staff are aware of their responsibilities towards all vulnerable learners and a positive and sensitive attitude is shown towards all pupils at all times.
The Principal has strategic responsibility for overseeing the provision for children with special/additional needs and keeping the governing body informed. The Principal works closely with the SEN Co-ordinator and Inclusions Leader, with whom regular meetings are scheduled. The Governing Body has an appointed governor who takes a particular interest in and monitors the school’s work on behalf of the children with special/additional needs.
The SEN Co-ordinator (SENCO) and Inclusions Leader is responsible for:
- The daily implementation of the school SEN Policy.
- Liaising with and advising teaching staff and teaching assistants on SEN issues.
- Co-ordinating the provision for children with SEN
- Overseeing the records of all children with SEN.
- Contributing and leading in-house training for all staff.
- Liaison with parents and external agencies.
The severity of the additional/special needs can vary from the relatively mild (in most cases), requiring a degree of non-specialised (often temporary) additional support from the class teacher and support staff to a complex and severe range of needs, requiring a great deal of specialised support from the teacher and support staff, perhaps with modification to the building or the requirement of specialised resources.
To help match provision to our children’s needs, St Mary’s follows a graduated approach as required by the SEN Code of Practice 2014.
Children with special or additional needs will have access to a balanced and broadly based National Curriculum with opportunities to join in all the activities in the school. As outlined in our Special Educational Needs Policy, we regard all children to have an equal entitlement to the fullest possible education.
We recognise that some children will achieve more than others academically and socially, but it is our policy to enable all to achieve their full potential and to build a positive attitude, based on a strong self-esteem and feeling of worth. By doing this we empower children to thrive.
Our Special Educational Needs Policy and information report may be accessed below and reflects the requirements of the 2014 SEN code of practice. It should be read in conjunction with the Academy’s Equality Policy, Information and targets.