At Saint Joseph’s Catholic Academy we strive to ensure that all children achieve their full potential.
At St Joseph's we are very proud of the hard work which goes into our SEND provision. It is an area which all of our staff put in so much effort and hard work and it was lovely to see this recognised recently by a parental survey but don't just take our word for it please read what has been said about us and how our ethos and culture of inclusivity supports all.
In order to do this many steps are taken to support our pupils through their learning journey. Quality first teaching is vital; however for some children there are occasions when further additional support may be needed and they may then be identified as a pupil with a ‘special educational need.’
Since September 2014 the 'New SEND Code of Practice: 0-25 years' states that all local authorities should publish their local offer which provides information on what services children, young people and their families can expect from the local authority. This ensures parents know what is available to support the needs of their child/children.
At St Joseph's we are committed to ensuring disability equality, which is reflected in our missions statement, 'We value all in the name of Jesus the Christ'. We aim to continue to develop inclusion and diversity for all, which supports everyone regardless of the Special Educational Need and Disability, to participate fully in school life.
We will make reasonable adjustments to make sure that the school environment is as accessible as possible for all and to remove barriers. St Joseph's is committed to removing these barriers not just in the environment but in teaching and learning so that all children will be supported to achieve their potential.
If you have any questions regarding special educational needs or, if you are worried or concerned about your child’s learning, please do not hesitate to contact the class teacher or our SEND co-ordinator, Mrs C McHugh.
What is SEND?
There are legal definitions of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). The SEND Code of Practice is guidance on the laws which affect SEND. This extract from the SEND Code of Practice explains what Special Educational Needs (SEN) means.
A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her.
A child or young person of compulsory school age is said to have SEN if they:
- Have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age.
- Have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions.
A child under compulsory school age has SEN if they fall within the definitions above or would do if special educational provision was not made for them.
Many children and young people who have SEN may have a disability under the Equality Act 2010 – that is ‘…a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term and substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities’. This definition provides a relatively low threshold and includes more children than many realise: ‘long-term’ is defined as ‘a year or more’ and ‘substantial’ is defined as ‘more than minor or trivial’. This definition includes sensory impairments such as those affecting sight or hearing, and long-term health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, and cancer. Children and young people with such conditions do not necessarily have SEN, but there is a significant overlap between disabled children and young people and those with SEN. Where a disabled child or young person requires special educational provision they will also be covered by the SEN definition.
The four areas of need
Children with SEND may need extra help or support, or special provision made for them to allow them to have the same opportunities as others of the same age. If a child has SEND their needs will fall into one or more of the following four areas listed in the SEND Code of Practice:
Communication and interaction
6.28 Children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) have difficulty in communicating with others. This may be because they have difficulty saying what they want to, understanding what is being said to them or they do not understand or use social rules of communication. The profile for every child with SLCN is different and their needs may change over time. They may have difficulty with one, some or all of the different aspects of speech, language or social communication at different times of their lives.
6.29 Children and young people with ASD, including Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism, are likely to have particular difficulties with social interaction. They may also experience difficulties with language, communication and imagination, which can impact on how they relate to others.
Cognition and learning
6.30 Support for learning difficulties may be required when children and young people learn at a slower pace than their peers, even with appropriate differentiation. Learning difficulties cover a wide range of needs, including moderate learning difficulties (MLD), severe learning difficulties (SLD), where children are likely to need support in all areas of the curriculum and associated difficulties with mobility and communication, through to profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD), where children are likely to have severe and complex learning difficulties as well as a physical disability or sensory impairment.
6.31 Specific learning difficulties (SpLD), affect one or more specific aspects of learning. This encompasses a range of conditions such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia.
Social, emotional and mental health difficulties
6.32 Children and young people may experience a wide range of social and emotional difficulties which manifest themselves in many ways. These may include becoming withdrawn or isolated, as well as displaying challenging, disruptive or disturbing behaviour. These behaviours may reflect underlying mental health difficulties such as anxiety or depression, self-harming, substance misuse, eating disorders or physical symptoms that are medically unexplained. Other children and young people may have disorders such as attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder or attachment disorder.
6.33 Schools and colleges should have clear processes to support children and young people, including how they will manage the effect of any disruptive behaviour so it does not adversely affect other pupils. The Department for Education publishes guidance on managing pupils’ mental health and behaviour difficulties in schools – see the References section under Chapter 6 for a link.
Sensory and/or physical needs
6.34 Some children and young people require special educational provision because they have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of the educational facilities generally provided. These difficulties can be age related and may fluctuate over time. Many children and young people with vision impairment (VI), hearing impairment (HI) or a multi-sensory impairment (MSI) will require specialist support and/or equipment to access their learning, or habilitation support. Children and young people with an MSI have a combination of vision and hearing difficulties. Information on how to provide services for deafblind children and young people is available through the Social Care for Deafblind Children and Adults guidance published by the Department of Health (see the References section under Chapter 6 for a link).
6.35 Some children and young people with a physical disability (PD) require additional ongoing support and equipment to access all the opportunities available to their peers.