Millfields Primary School
The School’s SEND Policy and Information for Parents
(Our School SEND Offer)
At Millfields we care greatly for every child in our care. It is our aim to enable a child with special educational needs or disability (SEND) to:
- have a positive self-image and to be confident in tackling new tasks
- make good progress
- experience success and receive praise and recognition
- have access to a broad and balanced curriculum
- have access to the school’s extra-curricular activities
At Millfields we recognise the vital contribution and effort that parents and carers, teachers, other professionals and, of course, the children make, so that good learning and progress can happen.
Our school SENCO is Mrs Kathryn Russell
The SEN Link Governor is Dave Roscoe
What is The Local Offer?
The Local Offer was first introduced in the Green Paper (March 2011) as a way to enable parents, children and young people with SEND to see more clearly what services are available in their area and how to access them.
It was seen as a way forward for directly involving children and young people with SEND in developing their own personalised ‘Education and Healthcare Plans’.
The local offer will cover:
- Special educational provision
- Support for children and families
- Health care
- Social care
- Preparing for adulthood
- Travel and transport
The offer covers provision from birth to 25 years in the above areas. Plans for each individual will be made with the children, parents/carers and relevant specialists in the above services.
All local authorities and schools are required to publish their local offers explaining what care and provision they can offer to young people.
In line with the Essex Local Offer we aim to make it clear how we as a school will support children and parents of children who have an additional need.
To find out more about the Essex Local Offer go to:
Telephone: 01279 404502.
For information on the Children and Families Bill 2013 go to:
Millfields Primary School Offer
Millfields Primary works closely with other schools in the local area, including the local mainstream secondary school – The Colne Community College - and all its feeder primary schools. Market Fields, the local school for supporting children with SEND also works closely within our cluster.
In consultation with these schools and with parent/carers and other agencies, we have devised 16 questions to help explain how we will provide education and support to families where children have SEND and other additional needs.
This is to enable parents/carers to make decisions to best support their child’s learning and growing independence.
1.Who manages SEND children at Millfields and how do they account for all SEND?
The Current SENCO at Millfields Primary is Kathryn Russell. She is an experienced SENCO who keeps her knowledge and working practice up to date by reading journals and papers and attending training, conferences and local cluster meetings on a regular basis.
Mrs Russell has a lot of both personal and professional experience of children and young people with SEN. She trained to be a SENCO pre-accreditation (2005) on a five day SENCO course. Mrs Russell is part of the school’s Senior Leadership Team and she gives feedback to the senior leaders and Governors regularly.
At Millfields we have regular staff meetings and regular Learning Support Assistant (LSA) meetings providing ‘in house’ training sessions to try to keep every member up to date with current practice and ideas in SEND.
Different members of staff have also received training related to different special needs. These courses have included:
- Working with young people with ASD – Level 1: whole school
- Maze – support for children with SEND
- The Thrive Approach
- The Zones of Regulation
- Social Stories
- Lego group work
- Narrative Therapy
- Phonics sessions
- ELKLAN speech
- NVQ Working with children
- Include Me In - Autism
- Speech and Language
- Physical and Neurological
- Play Therapy
- First Aid
- Team Teach - Positive Handling
- Effective Marking and Feedback
There is a high level of aspiration for all children at Millfields; all staff are updated and informed of new changes and regularly seek advice, support and training to keep up high level teaching for all.
Progress of all children is monitored closely through regular formal and informal assessment. Regular discussions between the SENCO and relevant class teachers and LSAs also take place. Parents have termly meetings with the SENCO and class teacher, but the school has an ‘open door policy’ where parents can ‘drop in’ or make an appointment to see staff on an ‘as needs’ basis.
Interventions- how do we measure impact?
Some interventions for children with SEND can be hard to measure; dialogue with the staff and parents concerned through the One Plan process is key to measuring progress. Teachers and parents (and the child if he/she is able) agree small steps towards a long term outcome that the child will be able to achieve and celebrate; these are recorded and implemented to be measured at a following progress review and then adjusted, added to or changed depending on well this outcome has worked.
Teachers and LSAs will also;
- Check against needs and outcomes, looking at what the aim of the intervention was and whether the children have achieved this.
- Discuss next steps and ideas with the parents and the SENCO at One Plan meetings and other times if requested.
- Match progress against reading and phonic stages; is there evidence of progress?
- Monitor and record whether children have achieved set outcomes in English or Maths; e.g. can they now do number bonds to 10?
- Measure reading ages using the Salford reading scale.
- Refer to Target tracker – our school progress and assessment tool to monitor the speed and level of a child’s progress.
The school also references Fisher Family Trust, the Essex summary and reports from Specialist Teachers and other consultants.
- What do I do if my child has a Special Educational need or I think they might have?
If a parent has any concerns regarding their child’s education or progress, they should, in the first instance, contact the class teacher.
The school has an ‘Open Door’ policy which means parents can come in from 8:40-8:50 a.m. for a brief chat. The parent/carer can ask the teacher for a longer appointment when they may be available if needed.
The class teacher works closely with the SENCO; progress of all children where there may be concerns is regularly discussed and monitored. If the parent/carer or class teacher feels it would be useful, the SENCO will also attend a meeting or can be referred to at any time.
As part of our ‘Open Door Policy’, the SENCO tries to be available for chats, Monday to Wednesday, without notice. On Thursdays and Fridays, when she is teaching, calls will be returned and meetings arranged as soon as possible.
- How does Millfields know when a child needs extra help?
Children’s progress for learning, behaviour and independence is closely monitored through formative and summative assessment.
If a class teacher feels a child is making limited progress, parents will be informed and strategies put in place to enable opportunities for catching up.
For the most part, High Quality Teaching with good differentiation is all that is necessary for a child to get ‘back on track’.
When this does not make the required impact, other strategies, such as small group or 1:1 interventions may be considered for a short term where assessment of impact will be measured.
We may also know when a child needs help when concerns are raised by parents/carers or the child.
Extra help may also be required when we notice a change in any aspects of the child’s behaviour.
Millfields will follow The Essex Provision Guidance Toolkit as an assessment and planning guidance and to measure the type of help a child needs.
- How will I know what type of help my child needs and how will Millfields provide it?
Millfields Primary School uses the Essex Provision Guidance Toolkit as a guidance to the type and level of support your child may need.
‘The Essex Provision Guidance provides an evidence-based reference for schools and other practitioners who need to check that they are doing all that could be expected to meet the needs of children with special and additional needs. It also provides clarity and consistency when deciding the level and type of support a child needs. The Provision Guidance draws on good practice in schools, and evidence-based, applied psychological theory and research. It is a practical resource and an evolving document, as the Local Authority (LA) is committed to continuous improvement in developing best practice in relation to meeting the needs of all pupils with special educational needs.’
It is expected that in almost all cases, a graduated response to a child’s needs is considered. The Stages are as follows (taken directly from the Essex Provision Toolkit):
High Quality Teaching:
This is the essential foundation of all teaching, assessment and intervention for all pupils.
- seeks to engage and support the learning of all children and young people;
- builds on pupils’ prior learning and responds appropriately to the ‘pupil voice’;
- builds from the skilful design of learning;
- is construed as children and young people progressing in their learning;
- involves a curriculum that is methodically constructed and renewed to deliver small and efficient steps of progression.
Additional School Intervention and Support (building on HQT)
An assessment and intervention process which is usually co-ordinated by the SENCO working alongside other school staff. Interventions at this stage will be additional to those provided through classroom support. To support this process, the school may wish to ask for support from other agencies to help them with assessment and intervention for pupils at this stage.
Parents and school staff will meet to make a One Plan which will focus on a child’s needs and outcomes to focus support and enable progress.
Generally characterised by the school requesting the involvement of relevant external services in more detailed assessment and development of intervention programmes for a pupil. This level of intervention is for pupils with more complex and/or enduring difficulties and whose progress is considered insufficient, despite carefully planned interventions at the previous levels.
If schools seek extra provision beyond their own resources, or an assessment for an Education, Health and Care Plan, there must be clear evidence that appropriate intervention as described in the Provision Guidance has been put in place and reviewed at the previous levels of the graduated approach.
From September 2014, all children and young people from age 0-25, who have significant special educational needs have needed to undergo an Education Health and Care (EHC) Assessment (unless their parents, carers or the young person opt out of the new system). This may lead to an EHC Plan being written.
The class teacher would discuss any concerns with the parent/carer and explain what sort of support at school and at home would be appropriate. The teacher would also discuss and feed back any concerns to the SENCO, who would also monitor progress.
At times, children may be referred (with parent’s consent)to outside agencies, such as an Educational Psychologist, School Doctor, Speech Therapist or the Social, Emotional and Behaviour Difficulties team. These agencies can offer assessments, possible diagnosis of a condition and specialist advice on interventions and support.
Current Interventions include;
- The Thrive Approach – to support social and emotional development
- The Zones of Regulation
- Early morning support groups for Maths and Literacy
- Phonics Booster session
- Lego groups
- Hand – writing/fine motor support
- Writing intervention – class teacher led to a small group
- Power of 2/ Plus1
- Numicon activities
- Toe by Toe
- Catch Up Literacy
- ELKLAN Speech Therapy
- Narrative Therapy
- 1:1 planning for children with ASD
Interventions in each class are provision mapped and costed by the SENCO and School Business Manager.
Interventions can vary in size and length; some are short 1:1 sessions which last about one term. Others may go on longer as a way of supporting children who may struggle on a daily basis to keep up with their peers. These are longer lasting small groups to build on self-esteem, friendship and independence as well as focussing on academic levels.
All interventions are regularly reviewed and children’s progress tracked. The parents/carers are invited to a termly One Plan review to discuss the child’s progress, targets and any other needs.
All parents are encouraged to contribute and be involved to their child’s education through discussions at formal and informal meetings, at One Plan reviews and when they need support and advice.
- What happens if/when my child is given a diagnosis of a condition?
If your child is given a diagnosis for a learning condition or disability, it is our job to listen carefully and support you. We would take advice and guidance from the relevant professionals and Essex toolkit and, if needed, incorporate all this into a One Plan with measurable and achievable outcomes. If needed, we would make an application for an Education and Healthcare Plan (EHCP).
- How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?
The school’s SEN budget is allocated each financial year (April). The money is used to fund additional support (deployment of staff) and resources dependant on each individual child’s needs.
Our SEN budget is part of the main school budget. It is the expectation of the school to use the Essex Toolkit and their professional discretion to allocate what is needed.
“Where a school has pupils who receive SEN Support but do not receive Pupil Top-Up Funding, the school should put funding in of UP TO £6,000. Obviously there are some more complex pupils on SEN Support and some less complex but it isn’t a requirement for schools to fund every one of those at the value of £6,000.” Candice Thompson – Commissioning Officer
Additional support may be provided when the school or parent/carer is concerned about the level of a child’s progress academically, physically, socially or emotionally.
The amount/level for support needed for a child is discussed with the class teacher, parent and SENCO. The SENCO has a detailed criterion to match the child’s levels to the amount of support required. An Educational Psychologist may be involved where extra advice is needed.
Resource funding will also include specialist equipment needed and the cost of training to support a child.
- How do I know if my child is making progress?
When children are considered to need ‘Additional Support’, parents will be invited into termly One Plan meetings, where progress can be discussed in detail.
Parents/carers are also welcome to attend the parents evenings held during the autumn and spring Terms. An annual progress report is sent out to all children in the summer term.
We have an ‘Open Door’ policy, so that parents/carers can drop in at the beginning of the school day to have a ‘quick chat’ or to make an appointment either with the class teacher or the SENCO to talk about any concerns. All members of staff at Millfields will try to make an appointment with a parent/carer as quickly as possible.
Parents/carers can also speak to members of staff by making appointments through the school office.
- How will the curriculum match my child’s needs?
Our school focuses on ‘High Quality Teaching’, which means teachers plan and provide well-differentiated teaching and learning within the classroom, where all children can access the learning and make good progress.
We use a ‘themed approach’ to learning with whole school themes to inspire and motivate the children. Key stages plan together to enable quality planning, teaching and support. All children are planned for so that they can be included to access all work at the level they are working at.
One to one and small group support is provided when it is appropriate so that children are given opportunities to make the best progress possible.
When a child has been identified as needing a higher level of support, they will be given a One Plan which is where needs and outcomes are discussed and recorded with parents and the relevant professionals.
If needed, Specialist Equipment may also be given to the pupil: writing slopes, seat cushions to aid concentration and posture, visual aids, pen/pencil grips, scissors, stress balls etc.
- How will the school help me to support my child’s learning?
The class teacher will know your child well. They will be able to suggest activities you can do at home to support your child.
The SENCO, Kath Russell would meet you to discuss further strategies or even seek outside agency advice if considered appropriate, such as from an Educational Psychologist, Speech Therapist, Family Support Advisor or a Specialist Teacher (a teacher trained to specialise in a specific difficulty such as Autism, Dyslexia, Speech and Language, Physical and Neurological Impairment, Social, Emotional and Mental Health).
We will always try to listen and provide as much support as possible.
- How will my child be involved in his/her education?
The new SEND code of conduct is very much 'centred around the child'. Children will be present for appropriate sections of an IEP/Annual review, so they have the opportunity to reflect on what they have achieved, celebrate this success and contribute to their future targets. The structure and content of these elements of a meeting will depend on the maturity of the child.
- What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?
Millfields Primary is a Thrive school which means:
“The Thrive Approach is a dynamic, developmental, trauma-sensitive approach to meeting the emotional and social needs of children and young people. It supports them in becoming more self-assured, capable and adaptable. It can also address any troubled, or troubling, behaviours providing a firm foundation for academic attainment. Schools using the approach have reported many benefits, including reduced exclusions, fewer disruptions in class and improved academic results.
An integrated approach
There are five building blocks that comprise the Thrive Approach.
- The theories behind Thrive including attachment theory, child development theory and some transactional analysis.
- Thrive-Online to support assessment, action-planning and monitoring.
- Relational skills.
- Targeted Thrive activities, which are arts and play based. ‘The neuroscience part underpins everything we do,’ says chief operations officer Paula Holbrook. ‘All Thrive practice is based on what robust studies and established neuroscience reveal about the structure and function of the brain and how it develops during childhood and adolescence. What we look at is what can go wrong and how to heal it.’
Whole-school and individual support
Licensed Thrive practitioners receive in-depth training that enables them to assess the needs of all children and young people, and to support them with tailored action plans. However, Thrive can be practised by any adult who has an open and positive relationship with children. As a result, many schools use it not only to support individuals who are in difficulty, but as a whole-school approach to promote the wellbeing of children throughout the school.”
(‘Special Children’ Issue243)
We have well trained staff who can identify and support children with a variety of emotional difficulties.
The School uses ‘The Zones of Regulation’ (by Leah Kuypers, MA Ed.) as a whole school approach – this is taught through whole class PSHE sessions as a way to help children to recognise their emotions and ways they may be able to support themselves. Some children will need additional support to access and develop these skills which can be recorded on a One Plan.
Through the ‘open door’ policy parents are able to come and speak to teachers before and after school for a quick chat or ask to make a longer appointment.
The SENCO is usually available on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings for a coffee and a quick chat. An appointment can be made if this is not possible.
We have twice weekly afternoon slots with our trained Thrive Practitioner who works with children on a 1:1 or small group basis on social skills, self-esteem and emotional issues.
The SENCO and other staff are readily available for pupils who wish to discuss issues and concerns.
We have weekly LEGO and Social activities for small groups of children in KS2 with a trained LSA.
Members of staff have had training in bereavement support to help children going through a loss.
A large number of staff have had training in how to safely and responsibly manage a child who is becoming physically violent, in a way that is positive, supportive and not demeaning to the child.
We are able to contact a number of outside agencies to support children with counselling (The Change Project, formerly RELATE) and other support, such as ‘Play Therapy’ when needed.
The school also has access to a Family Support Advisor who can provide support for families in the home setting.
- What if my child has medical needs?
If a child has medical needs the school office should be informed in the first instance.
Medical forms will be completed by the parent to allow medicine, such as insulin, to be administered on site by a trained member of staff. All relevant staff will be informed and in some cases trained to administer specialist medication in an emergency.
In some cases, parents will inform the SENCO of changes to their child’s medicines, e.g. an increase of dosage of medicine for treating ADHD.
The SENCO will make a note on the child’s records and inform the relevant staff.
Allergies and conditions are in a central register and the relevant staff are informed.
Staff are trained to use an Epipen for children who have this need in school.
All staff have basic first aid training; some staff have specialist paediatric first aid training.
- How will my child be included in school trips and other outside activities?
Trips are always planned with all children’s accessibility considered.
Risk assessments are carried out and procedures put in place to enable all children to participate.
In some cases however, it may be that such an intensive level of 1:1 support is deemed necessary for the safety of a child and others, that a parent/carer may be asked to accompany their child on the activity or trip.
- How accessible is the school environment?
We are happy to discuss individual access requirements with all parents.
The whole school is built on one level with no steps.
We have a toilet adapted for disabled users.
We have wide doors between all classrooms and into the school hall.
- What Specialist services are available or can be accessed via the school?
The list below includes some of the agencies regularly contacted for support by the school or through requests from parents:
- Educational Psychologist – we have one allocated to our school with 2 set days per school year. This means we can realistically provide assessment and advice for 2-3 pupils per school year. We can seek support/advice through telephone conversations. There is also a Parent Help line to speak to a qualified Educational Psychologist through The Educational Psychology Service on 01245 433293. This service helps parents discuss concerns about their child’s education or development in a discreet and confidential manner. The service is available for children up to the age of 19 years.
- School doctor – referrals can be made for a parent to discuss concerns and difficulties which may need further investigation. The school doctor can then make an on-going referral to other services.
- School nurse
- Specialist Teacher Team
- CAMHS – Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service
- Speech Therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Family Support Advisor (who can then refer onto other agencies)
- Child protection advisors
- Social services
- Charities to support specific needs, e.g. Autism Anglia
- Essex Parent Partnership – explain how schools and early year’s settings can support children and young people with special educational needs and by listening to your concerns and explaining what options are available.
- Essex Young Carers
- What support does the school give to support transition to/from a new/past school or nursery?
There are a number of strategies in place to support transition.
These include (for pupils joining us):
- Discussions between the previous and school/nursery and us prior to the pupil joining.
- The class teacher and SENCO to visit the child in a familiar, comfortable setting, at home or at old school or nursery.
- Visits to for the child to our school; meeting new teachers and friends.
- The SENCO and class teacher will meet with parents and other specialists to ensure a smooth start.
For pupils going to Secondary School (or leaving us before Year 6):
- Detailed conversations between the class teacher, Millfields’ SENCO and the new school SENCO.
- All paperwork passed on.
- An opportunity for parents to meet the new SENCO within our school (familiar environment), and, if appropriate, the child.
- Extra visits to the school for the child and parents.
- If I have further concerns or complaints, who can I go to?