Welcome to the SEND section of the Birley Primary Academy website. My name is Katie Widdowson and I am the SENCO at Birley. In this part of the website, you will find school specific information on special educational needs, resources and up to date newsletters as well as links to advice.

What is SEN?

As children go through school they may, at points, need extra support, interventions and resources. This does not necessarily mean they have a special educational need and most children will need this at some point in their education. If a child is needing a little extra support, this will be recorded on the class provision map.

At Birley – and in line with the SEN code of practice (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/send-code-of-practice-0-to-25) – a child will be put on the school’s SEN register if;

  • Progress is significantly slower than that of their peers starting from the same baseline
  • fails to match or better the child’s previous rate of progress
  • fails to close the attainment gap between the child and their peers
  • widens the attainment gap

This will be done in consultation and agreement with parents. Senior leadership, myself and class teachers monitor all children’s progress closely throughout the year. Through this process we are able to identify pupils who are making less than expected progress.

The graduated approach

SEN support should arise from a four-part cycle, known as the graduated approach. Through which decisions and actions are revisited, refined and revised, leading to a growing understanding of the children’s needs and what supports the pupil in making good progress. The four stages of the cycle are:

• Assess

• Plan

• Do

• Review

The graduated approach starts at whole-school level. Teachers are continually assessing, planning, implementing and reviewing their approach to teaching all children. However, where a potential special educational need has been identified, this process becomes increasingly personalised. In this spiral of support, the graduated approach draws on more personalised approaches, more frequent review and more specialist expertise in order to tailor interventions to meet the particular needs of the child. The SEND Code of Practice makes it clear that class teachers are directly responsible and accountable for all children in their class, even when pupils are receiving support from a teaching assistant or other specialist staff, within or outside the classroom. The responsibility and accountability for the progress and development of pupils with SEN lies with the class teacher, not with the SENCO.

What should I expect if my child is placed on the SEN register?

If your child is placed on the SEN register you should expect that your child will be placed on an SEN support plan. A support plan will highlight areas of need, the types of support in place, targets for the children to work towards and a review of the progress. This will follow the graduated approach as mentioned above. These will be monitored and reviewed by class teachers 3 times a year, parents will be invited to review these each term with class teacher.

For some children the complexity of their needs will require a My Plan. This is a document that captures a full picture of the child’s needs, history, background, information around home life and any other relevant information. It is beneficial for a My Plan to be written when there is a range of professionals involved, the child is presenting with complex needs, previous support and interventions have not been effective. My Plan’s will be reviewed with parents 3 times a year with myself (SENCO), class teachers and any other professionals appropriate.

A small number of pupils will have such complex needs that the children may have or need an Education Health and Care plan (EHCP). This is something that would be applied through via the Sheffield SEN team and in consultation with a range of professionals and parents.

What should I do if I have any concerns regarding my child?

If you have any concerns regarding your child at any point during their education the first port of call is your child’s class teacher.

You are also able to speak to the SENCO and can either email or contact the school directly. Termly newsletters are also sent with school level information regarding SEN, contacts for external support and a focus on areas of need. I also offer half termly drop in’s (dates on newsletters) for ANY parent’s regardless of if your child has SEN or not.

For any further information regarding SEN support at Birley Primary please contact your child’s class teacher or myself. More information can also be found on the school’s SEN policy or Information Report.