Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

In 2021 3.7% of children at schools in England had an ‘Educational Health Care Plan’ – known as a ECHP.  In addition to this 12% of children in primary schools and academies receive some sort of SEN support.  Approximately half of children with an ECHP are in mainstream schools and this page explains what both Croydon and The Pegasus Academy Trust are able to offer families whose children have special needs.

What do we mean by SEND?

At different times in their school life, a child or young person may have a special educational need and disability (often referred to as SEND).  SEND describes the needs of children or young people who have a disability or greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others the same age. This calls for special educational provision to be made for him/her.

SEND can cover a broad range of needs which include speech, language and communication needs, behavioural, emotional and social difficulties, specific learning difficulties, moderate learning difficulties, profound and multiple learning difficulties, multi-sensory impairment, visual and hearing impairment, physical development and Autistic Spectrum Disorders.

How/when might your child be identified with SEND? How will we know if your child needs extra help?

A child with SEND may experience difficulties with:

  • Writing, reading, maths or understanding information or instructions;
  • Making friends, relating to their peers or empathising with others;
  • Organising themselves;
  • Personal care and hygiene;
  • Understanding and adhering to school expectations;
  • Expressing their thoughts or feelings;
  • Understanding what others are saying and processing information;
  • Sensory needs

We know when pupils need help if:

  • Concerns are raised by parents/carers, teachers or the child;
  • Limited progress is being made after additional input has been provided;
  • There is a change in the child’s behaviour or progress;

Who should I contact to discuss the needs of my child?

Class Teacher

She/he is responsible for:

  • Ensuring high quality, wave one (inclusive, high quality first teaching for all) and wave two (additional interventions to allow children to work at age related expectations or above) teaching and provision is provided which is differentiated and responds to the strengths and needs of all pupils;
  • Checking on the progress of your child and identifying, planning and delivery of any additional support required to support progress within everyday teaching;
  • Meeting with parents/cares to complete and initial concerns sheet which is then shared with the inclusion manager;
  • Discussing ways in which you as parents/carers can support at home;
  • Producing Individual Support Plans to produce focused and prioritised next steps in order to support your child to make progress;
  • Delivering the school’s SEND and Inclusion policy (available on the school’s website).

If you have concerns about your child, you should speak to your class teacher initially. You may then be directed to the School Inclusion Manager if concerns continue and additional support in the classroom has not impacted on progress.

Inclusion Managers

Our inclusion managers are:

  • Hannah Townsend – Atwood Primary;
  • Heather Allen – Beulah Infant and Nursery;
  • Suelaka Ebrahim – Cypress Primary;
  • Steph Larkman and Emma Chang – Whitehorse Manor Infant School and Whitehorse Manor Junior School;
  • Michelle Weston – Ecclesbourne Primary School.

She/he is responsible for:

Coordinating provision for children with SEND and developing the school’s SEND policy.

Ensuring that parents are:

  • Involved in discussions to identify key strengths and areas of difficulty;
  • Involved in planning provision to overcome barriers to learning;
  • Regularly included in reviewing how well their child is doing;
  • Consulted about planning successful movement (transition) to a new class or school;
  • Co-ordinating applications for addtional funding and subsequent reviews;
  • Involved in updating annual reviews if their child has an Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP);
  • Liaising and engaging with a range of agencies outside of school who can offer advice; and support to help pupils overcome any difficulties;
  • Providing specialist advice and facilitating training to ensure that all staff are skilled; and confident about meeting a range of needs.

The Headteacher or Head of School

She/He is responsible for:

  • The day to day management of all aspects of the school, including the provision made for pupils with SEND.

The SEND Governor

She/He is responsible for:

  • Supporting the school to evaluate and develop quality and impact of provision for pupils with SEND across the school.

How will my child's school in the Pegasus Academy Trust support them?

Ongoing assessment takes place within class and each pupil’s learning will be planned, differentiated and personalised by the class teacher.  Children who are not making sufficient progress are identified during this process.  After further assessments of their needs, and discussion with relevant staff and parents/carers, additional support may be put in place for your child.

This support will then be documented by the school on an Individual Support Plan (ISP)/ ‘Pupil Passport’ on which targets are created in consultation with the class teacher, Inclusion Manager and parents.  These are achievable, SMART targets which aim to support the child to make progress and identify their next steps.  The class teacher will involve the parents and children as much as possible in this process so as to ensure that pupils’ voices are heard and strengths are taken in to consideration as well as their difficulties.  Schools within the Trust recognise how important it is to include the views of children and parents/carers to further identify what is going well and how each individual can be supported.  If it is not appropriate to include children in their reviews, we will use other ways to share their successes and plan for future support.  ISPs/Pupil passports will be reviewed and updated at least termly and parents/carers will be invited to take part in these reviews.

If a pupil has needs related to specific areas of their education, such as spelling, handwriting, numeracy and literacy, then the pupil will be placed in a small focus or intervention group: the length of time of the intervention will vary according to need.  These interventions could be class based or a variation on quality first teaching.  The interventions will be regularly reviewed by all involved to ascertain the effectiveness of the provision and to inform future planning.  Staff members who deliver interventions will meet regularly with the Inclusion Manager so that their effectiveness can be evaluated and next steps identified.

Children who present with features of emotionally-based school avoidance (EBSA) are supported in a way that best suits the child and family’s specific needs on a bespoke basis.

Professional meetings are held regularly and outcomes are formally recorded.  This is a meeting where the class teacher meets with the Inclusion Manager to discuss the progress of the pupils with additional needs in their class, and to highlight any further children who may be experiencing difficulties. This shared discussion supports staff in carefully planning next steps for each child and, if not involved already, can lead to further referrals or advice from outside agencies such as:

  • Speech and Language Therapy,
  • Occupational Therapy,
  • Educational Psychology,
  • Behaviour Support,
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health or …
  • A Paediatrician.

A referral for support from an outside agency will only be made with your consent.

If your child demonstrates increasingly concerning behaviour or significant difficulties with the learning set for them and application to the localaity SEND Forum will be made.  They may allocate resources to help your child which may aid their progress or they may decide to progress to an Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP) request.  Further details about this process will be explained by the Inclusion Manager and information published in the Local Authority’s Local Offer.

The following link will take you to Croydon’s Local Offer of Special Needs: https://localoffer.croydon.gov.uk/kb5/croydon/directory/home.page

Some pupils may already have an EHCP and therefore, additional group support or teaching assistant support may already be allocated to them. The level of support given will relate to the complexity and severity of the need.

How will teaching be adapted to meet my child's needs?

All children receive high quality teaching, differentiated to their individual needs. Teachers within the Trust are highly skilled and supported to adapt teaching to meet the needs of each class.  Daily planning and assessment ensure that work can be differentiated in a variety of ways to make learning accessible for all and ensure that all pupils can experience success and challenge in their learning.  For children with additional needs, this could mean that they are given a slightly different task or given different strategies/equipment to complete the task.  Some children may require support or guidance from the class teacher or a teaching assistant as part of a small group, paired work or on an individual basis.

Alongside planned differentiation in the classroom, some children with SEND need something additional to or different from that which is provided for the majority of children. Alongside Individual Support Plan interventions, the following range of interventions are in place in schools across the Trust to help overcome a range of difficulties. These include:

Curriculum and teaching methods (including grouping and interventions)

In addition to planned differentiation in the classroom interventions can be used to help overcome a range of difficulties.  Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • ‘Love to communicate/ Let’s get  talking’.  Speech and language  interventions.  PAT commission a private speech and language therapist and speech and language assistant on a weekly basis to support children’s speech and language skills in each of our schools.  Children will be screened and may receieve direct or indirect therapy and are reviewed termly;
  • Chatterbox.  Children younger than 5 years old may be included in ‘Chatterbox’ sessions run by speech and language therapists across the borough;
  • Phonics.  Small group or 1:1 additional ‘keep up and catch up’ phonics to support reading and writing following the ‘Little Wandle’ letters and sounds scheme;
  • Handwriting and fine motor development.  Development of fine motor skills through regular handwriting practice and fine motor activities;
  • High frequency word (HFW) precision teaching.  Daily one to one HFW reading/ spelling;
  • Writing intervention.  Teacher intervention delivered in small groups to support and extend children’s writing;
  • 1:1 Reading intervention.  One to one reading and writing intervention.  Daily reading and questioning with a class TA;
  • Reading practice sessions.  Small group reading practice sessions following ‘Little Wandle’ letters and sounds;
  • Numeracy intervention.  Teacher intervention, delivered in small groups, to support and extend children’s numeracy skills and understanding;
  • Learning mentor/ELSA/Drawing and talking/Family support worker.  Trained adult supporting individuals/groups socially emotionally and behaviourally – including bullying.  Staff may run lunch time clubs , support the wider family and signpost to external support;
  • EAL support.  Activities focussed on developing children’s understanding of the Englsih language including grammar, reading and writing;
  • Lunchtime club.  Access to a club at lunch times to develop play skills in a more structured environment;
  • ICT based intervention programmes.  Lexia – reading intervention programme; ‘Mathletics’ – quick recall of number facts; ‘Timetables Rock Stars– Quick recall of multiplication facts;  ‘Bug club’ – Reading based programme for KS1.

What arrangements are made to enable my child to benefit and take advantage of the full school curriculum?

All schools within Pegasus have an accessibility plan in place to ensure that pupils with SEN and Disabilities can take part in all aspects of school life. Access arrangements differ between schools but currently include:

  • Wheelchair access on ground floor levels;
  • Disabled toilet facilities (with hoists at BRIG);
  • Disabled parking space allocated at the front of the school;
  • Hearing impaired systems installed in classrooms;
  • Full access with lifts at WHJUN and BRIG

Schools have an accessibility plans which are updated annually.

Depending on the specific needs of your child, a more personalised access plan or individual health care plan will be drawn up in consultation with you. This will be reviewed and updated on a regular basis. Staff receive Epipen training delivered by the School Nursing Service. Where necessary, and in agreement with parents/carers, medicines are administered in school, but only where a signed Health Care Plan is in place to ensure the safety of both child and staff member.  A number of our staff have basic or paediatric first aid training, including specialism in first aid at work. Our policy supporting children with medical needs is relevant in these cases and can also be found on our website.

Croydon Council’s accessibility strategy can also be downloaded here. 

How skilled are staff in meeting the needs of my child?

Provision for pupils with SEND is included in our regular monitoring of quality teaching across the schools in the Trust which is undertaken alongside the MACS with responsibility for SEND.  This helps to identify priorities for our ongoing programme of CPD to support whole school inclusive practice and to support new and less experienced staff.

Our Inclusion Managers actively engage in a range of opportunities to share best practice and keep abreast of current local and national initiatives and policies to support pupils with SEND.  Our schools also seek advice and guidance from local and special schools and other relevant agencies to help school staff meet the needs of each child.

We have staff with specialised expertise and qualifications including:

  • Teaching Assistants with specialist training for supporting pupils with Autism;
  • Emotional Literacy Support assistants with enhanced knowledge and skills to support children to manage feelings and make positive relationships;
  • Teaching Assistants with specialist training in delivering Drawing and Talking;
  • Level 2 diploma in Understanding Children and Young People’s mental health;

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the schools in the Trust?

All schools with the Pegasus Academy Trust are located within the London Borough of Croydon and link with specialist services in the education department. All Pegasus schools are now part of Croydon’s Locality SEND Support network, which improves support for children living in Croydon who have special educational needs and/or disabilities. Schools have access to funding to provide earlier and better targeted help and support to children with SEND. The initiative enables special needs staff to work closely with partner schools to quickly get the necessary support and help for students who are beginning to demonstrate that they have additional needs which can’t be met through the school’s own SEND resources.

At times, it may also be necessary to consult with outside agencies to receive their more specialised expertise. The school works with a number of external agencies to seek advice and support to ensure that the needs of all children are fully understood and met.

The agencies used by the school include:

  • CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust).  Christopher Wren House,113, High Street, Croydon, CR0 1QG, Tel: 020 3228 0000 Website slam.nhs.uk) This service offers advice, assessment and treatment for children who have a serious mental health disorder or psychological difficulties. It can also offer support for their families.
  • Educational Psychologist. Our school works alongside trained professionals from the Octavo Partnership, allowing the Inclusion Manager, the teachers, the support staff, the parents and the children to assess children’s needs, set appropriate learning targets, give advice to staff about the best ways to help children meet the targets, support referrals to other services and applications for statutory assessment.
  • Croydon Children’s Occupational Therapy Service provides therapy, advice, equipment and adaptations for children who have disabilities or difficulties with everyday tasks. The service is based at the Crystal Centre but also work in a variety of settings including schools, nurseries, Croydon University Hospital and the child’s home.
  • Speech and Language Therapy (croydonhealthservices.nhs.uk) main office at Sanderstead – 020 8714 2594: We receive support from the Local Authority’s Speech and Language Therapy service.  They make assessments of individual children referred to them by the school.  They work with us to set targets, review progress, engage with parents, work with some children in a clinic outside school and support small group work in school;
  • Love to Communicate.  We receive support from this private speech and language therapy service.  They make assessments of individual children referred to them by our schools.  They work with us to set targets, review progress, engage with parents, work with some children in a clinic outside school and support small group work in school;
  • Let’s get talking.  Another private speech and language therapy service as above;
  • Virtual School for Children who are Looked After (virtualschool@croydon.gov.uk): This service oversees and monitors provision for children who are in care of the Local Authority;
  • Off the record/Croydon drop in.  There are a range of services through this network including counselling, refugee services, young carers services, the Mental Health Support Team (MHST) and youth violence support;
  • Woodside bereavement counselling: A local charity providing bereavement counselling to families in the Croydon area. They provide bereavement support to adults, young people and children.
  • SENDIAS-SEN information and advice: SENDIAS provides independent information, advice and guidance for parents/carers of children and young people with SEND. They also provide mediation services.
  • Early Help Team: This team works with children, young people and families to identify their needs and will assist practitioners and managers to identify and understand the different levels of need and to consider the most appropriate response at the earliest opportunity.

How will the school help my child to move to a new class/year group or to a different school?

Children and young people with SEN can become particularly anxious about starting school or moving on to a new class or school. Our schools will seek to reduce any anxieties and ensure consistency of support by:

When joining the school in our Reception/Nursery class:

  • Early Years staff and the Inclusion Manager will contact pre-school settings to gather information about the level of needs of your child.  They will also make home visits to discuss your child with you. If the pupil has more significant needs and has support from other agencies, this may include more formal transition meetings where the needs and nature of provision are fully documented.

When moving between classes/phases:

  • Discussions will be held between the previous teacher and new class teacher to share all relevant information about pupils;
  • All pupils attend a transition session where they spend some time with their new class teacher and support staff;
  • For pupils on the autistic spectrum or with emotional/behavioural needs, a transition programme is carried out, which involves a greater number of visits to the classroom and teacher, a special book which includes photos of the staff who will be working with the pupil, the classroom and other significant places. This book is produced in consultation with the parents/carers and is sent home for the summer holiday.

When moving to another school:

  • Where possible, additional visits are arranged for pupils who need extra time in their new school;
  • Records will be passed on as soon as possible and contact will be made with the new school SENCO to pass relevant information on;
  • Where possible, secondary school staff visit pupils prior to them joining their new school;
  • Where a pupil may have more specialised needs, a separate meeting may be arranged with our Inclusion Manager, the secondary school SENCO and parents/carers;
  • Your involvement in the process will be crucial in supporting a successful move

How does the school involve children and parents in decisions about provision and support?

On an individual level, our schools values the views of both parents and children in both identifying key strengths and areas of need as well as planning and reviewing provision.

We will ensure that parents and pupils (as appropriate) are included in regular review meetings to discuss progress and plan provision. Where this is not possible or where more regular updates are required we will agree with you the best way to share information.

At whole school level the school are also keen to support parents with pupils with SEND and take their views on how we can continue to develop a positive experience for SEND pupils at our school.

Activities include:

  • Workshops and advice clinics to develop parent knowledge and skills in various areas of SEN;
  • Availability of the Inclusion Manager to discuss any issues or concerns;

How do our schools support SEND children with remote learning (if required)

During the National lockdown and partial school opening from March 2020, a number of strategies were put in place to support SEND children who were learning at home. These included:

  • Differentiated resource packs delivered to homes to give children access to resources which were specific to their needs;
  • Visual support resources such as timetables and social stories for those children who needed additional support in these areas;
  • Printed learning packs for those without devices or the internet in the initial lockdown;
  • Chromebooks, where available, for those children who did not have access to a device at home;
  • Personalised learning packs differentiated to an appropriate level;
  • Weekly phone calls for those children who receive emotional literacy support in school;
  • Weekly phone calls for EHCP children who were unable to access school;
  • Weekly phone calls from the class teacher or TA for all children who were learning remotely;
  • Remote meetings for parents with the school speech and language therapist to support with strategies at home;

First published on 31st May, 2017 and modified 21st February, 2023

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