Support to families of children with SEND
Please find attached the information and advice that is available for families of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
Changes to assessments and data collections
A list of the data collections, assessments and services that have been cancelled or paused by the DfE as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak is available on the DfE website here.
Children’s Trust information
A structure chart for the Trust and the Trust’s current visits guidance are available at this link. The head of service and manager contact details shared in previous updates are available via the same link.
DfE guidance on remote education practice
The DfE has published guidance on remote education practice for schools during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This guidance is based on the current experiences and practices of teachers and school leaders with case studies and information about:
- supporting pupils’ wellbeing
- adapting teaching practice for remote education
- adapting the curriculum for remote education
- keeping pupils motivated and engaged
Birmingham Community Healthcare Foundation Trust
At this link you can find information on Birmingham Community Healthcare Foundation Trust’s current children’s services provision in light of Covid 19, including contact details and telephone advice line numbers.
Finally, thank you to all the schools who have shared VE messages on social media in advance of tomorrow’s commemorations. I hope you have a restful bank holiday weekend.
The Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations (2014) require each school to publish certain information regarding provision for students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). At The Edge Academy we hope parents/carers of current and prospective students find the following information helpful. We encourage all interested parties to contact the school for more information.
What kind of special educational needs are provided for?
The Edge Academy is an Alternative Provision setting primarily for Key Stage Three and Four students (years 7-11). The Edge is committed to being as inclusive as possible, with the needs of SEND learners being met within school wherever possible. Special Educational Needs fall within 4 categories of need:
- Communication and Interaction
- Cognition and learning
- Social, emotional and mental health difficulties
- Sensory and/or physical needs
A student may have needs that fall into one or more of the above categories.
What policies for SEND are available?
SEND Policy (2018) is currently available. Other school policies available that relate to SEND include Teaching and Learning, Behaviour, Medical Conditions, Safeguarding, Equal Opportunities and the school accessibility plan. This report is written in compliance with the SEND Code of Practice (2015) and section 69 (2) of the Children and Families Act (2014).
How does the school know if children need extra help? / What should I do if I think my child/young person may have special educational needs?
We receive information from students’ previous settings. The progress of all students is monitored regularly by subject teachers and the senior leadership team by data analysis and pupil progress meetings, so that when a pupil is not making expected progress in a particular area of learning the school can quickly identify the need for additional support. This will be discussed with parents/carers and the pupil concerned. If parents/carers have concerns about the progress or attainment of their child they should in the first instance make an appointment to speak to their child’s personal tutor to discuss their concerns, who will then liaise with our Special Needs Coordinator (SENCO) as appropriate.
How will school support my child?
The Edge aims to teach all students together in their groups where possible, with the subject teacher differentiating and supporting the student. Group sizes are no bigger than 8 students in a class. Additional adults are often present in the teaching rooms to support the learning and/ or additional needs. At times it may be necessary for a student with SEND to access intervention; either as part of a group or 1:1. For some students the school uses outside support agency resources and staff with parental agreement. The Edge provides a range of support and interventions which may be used when we identify a need for additional support. We will regularly monitor the progress of all students receiving additional support to ensure that the provision we have put in place is having the impact we are expecting.
What emotional, mental and social support is available for students with SEND?
Pastoral mentoring, counselling services, family support work and links with external agencies are all provided to ensure that social, emotional and mental health needs of our SEND students are met.
What adaptions may be made to the curriculum or the learning environment to support children with SEND?
Our teaching rooms are adapted to support children with SEN through offering a calm and routine environment and we provide any appropriate equipment as required; for example- transparent overlays to support students with dyslexic tendencies Most students access the National Curriculum at their broad age appropriate expectations and this is differentiated in our small teaching groups to enable this to be successful.
How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
Quality First Inclusive Practice is the high standard of differentiated quality teaching that we expect all staff to deliver at The Edge Academy. Parents are contacted when concerns arise, or additional support groups or individual intervention takes place; a discussion is held as to what provision the school will be making. If a student needs to be referred to an outside agency, parents will be asked for their permission and views which form part of referral process. All interventions are monitored for impact and outcomes are defined at the start of any intervention. The SENCO oversees all additional support and regularly shares updates with Governing Body.
How will my child’s progress be monitored?
How does school measure the effectiveness of provision? Every students’ progress is monitored carefully throughout their time at The Edge through data analysis and pupil progress meetings. In accordance with the SEND Code of Practice (2015), the process for responding to students identified as needing additional support, follows the four step cycle called the Graduated Response.
- Assess- The student will be assessed thoroughly to identify the key area of need and ‘next steps’ targets will be produced
- Plan- Provision needed to support the student to achieve their ‘next steps targets will be carefully planned to scaffold the students learning towards their goal. This may be in the form of: intervention; curriculum adaptations; resourcing and additional support. If the support is through intervention (individual or small group work over and above what is offered in class), this is delivered by skilled teachers/support staff.
- Do- The support planned is put in place and monitored over a period of time leading to review.
- Review- Following the additional support, it will be reviewed against the students’ targets in order to consider next steps. Where additional or specialist support is provided targets are set and regularly reviewed by the SENCO and people involved in the delivery of support.
How will school keep me informed of my child’s progress? / How will school help me to support my child’s learning?
Termly parent review days and reports give all parents and carers regular feedback on their child’s progress. If your child receives regular extra support you will receive additional feedback on their progress. When appropriate, parents and carers may be contacted mid-term to discuss the support that the school are providing and advice will also be given on how they can help their child at home. Pupil’s views will be obtained and they will be asked to join the meetings. We work in partnership with parents to support each young person’s wellbeing, learning needs, progress and aspirations. Teachers are available to meet with parents before or after school if needed. Parents can also contact the school for an appointment with the SENCO.
How will school involve other professionals? All external partners we work with are vetted in terms of safeguarding and when buying in additional services we monitor the impact of any intervention against cost, to ensure a value for money service. Professionals working with The Edge will include representatives from Communication and Autism Team, Pupil Support Services, Educational Psychologist, Counselling/Mentoring services, Malachi and The School Nurse.
What training have the staff had supporting children with SEND had?
The school has a development plan, identifying training needs for all staff to improve teaching and learning of all students including those with SEND. This may include whole staff training on SEND issues or to support identified groups of learners in school, such as ASD or SEMH. Whole staff training will be to disseminate knowledge, strategies and experience and to ensure consistency of the schools approach for children with an SEND. Individual teachers and support staff attend training courses run by outside agencies that are relevant to the needs of specific students in School. We regularly invest time and money in training our staff. All of our teachers hold qualified teacher status, or are currently working towards a teaching qualification. Training is given regularly to all staff on specific learning needs. The SENCO has recently completed the National SENCO Award.
How will school prepare and support my child to join the school?
We have an Induction programme in place for welcoming all learning into our setting. This includes baseline testing in Reading, Spelling, English and Mathematics so we can group and identify support for students accordingly. Pastoral and SEND mentoring is provided for students as and when needed.
How accessible is the school?
Where feasible, we make reasonable adjustments to improve the accessibility of our environment to meet individual needs. Our policy and practice adheres to The Equality Act 2010. The school has a lift, which can access most areas of the buildings. Where it is practicable to make reasonable adjustments to enable a prospective pupil to take up a place at the academy and to satisfy the current admissions criteria, the academy is committed to providing those reasonable adjustments. Please see our Accessibility Plan via the schools website for further information. We have a disabled toilet on each floor.
What should I do if I have a complaint regarding my child’s SEND?
We take our responsibilities seriously and work hard to ensure that each child’s special education needs and disabilities are met. However, should a parent have a complaint regarding this, then the school’s complaints procedure should be used, which can be found on the school website.
Named school contacts for SEND:
- SENCO: Miss Helen McClane
- SEND Governor: Caroline Lane
Details of our main linked external providers:
Communication and Autism Team: http://accesstoeducation.birmingham.gov.uk/index.php/CAT/welcome-to-the-communication-and-autism-team.html
Educational Psychologist: http://birminghameducationsupportservices.co.uk
To learn more about Birmingham’s local offer for SEND: https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/info/50034/birminghams_local_offer_send
Agencies that may be of help to parents:
SENDIASS: Contact Name – David Collier Email – SENDIASS@birmingham.gov.uk
Phone- 0121 303 5004
Address- 28 Oliver St, Nechells, Birmingham, B7 4NX
Forward Thinking Birmingham (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services): Phone- 0300 300 0099 Website: https://www.forwardthinkingbirmingham.org.uk