Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
SENCO - Heather Lowthian (Sept 2020)
We believe that all our children are entitled to have equal access to all the experiences provided by our school, all our children are entitled to experience our broad and balanced curriculum, and all our children should be given the opportunity to develop to their full potential. To achieve this, a need for extra support may arise because of social, health, development or educational factors or because a child may be exceptionally gifted. Therefore we have developed the following aims:
Our school is ideally suited to children with Special Educational Needs of whatever kind.
As a small school, we know all our children as individuals and this offers great benefits. Individual needs will be accommodated for as they arise.
Bolton Primary School
SEND Information Report
Bolton Primary School, like all schools in Cumbria, is committed to meeting the needs of all pupils including those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
Our expectation is that children and young people with SEND will receive an
education that enables them to make progress so that they:
We will use our best endeavours to make sure that a pupil with SEND gets the support they need – this means doing everything we can to meet the pupils special educational needs.
About this Information Report
This report answers some of the most frequently asked questions about the school and special educational needs. The format and information in this report has been developed through:
We will review and update this information report regularly to reflect changes and feedback. The date for the next annual review of this report is Summer 2024.
If you need any more information please see our SEND Policy or contact Mrs Elstone our Headteacher or Miss Lowthian our SENDCo.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What kinds of Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) does the school cater for?
Bolton Primary School is a mainstream primary school and welcomes children and young people with SEND in one or more of the following areas:
Communication and interaction
e.g. speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Asperger’s Syndrome
Cognition and learning
e.g. Specific learning difficulties (SpLD), moderate learning difficulties (MLD), severe learning difficulties (SLD) global developmental delay, dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia, profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD)
Social, emotional and mental health difficulties (SEMH)
e.g. attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), depression, eating disorders, attachment disorder
Sensory and/or physical needs
e.g. vision impairment (VI), hearing impairment (HI) or a multi-sensory impairment (MSI) or Cerebral Palsy (CP) epilepsy.
Where pupils have medical needs and special educational needs, we will plan and deliver education provision in a co-ordinated way with their healthcare plan (if they have one). We will also follow the statutory guidance on supporting pupils at school with medical conditions.
2. What are the school's policies for the identification and assessment of pupils with special educational needs (SEN)?
All of our teachers teach children with SEN. All of our staff recognise the importance of identifying SEN early and making effective provision quickly. The identification and assessment of SEN is built into the school’s approach to monitoring the progress of all pupils.
We assess each pupil’s skills and levels of attainment when they first come to the school (base-line assessment in reception). This builds on the information from the child’s previous early years’ experience. When a child comes from another school, we look carefully at the previous school’s assessment data/comments and monitor the child’s progress carefully until our first assessment point (termly). This ensures that we discover any areas of difficulty early on. Where children already have their SEN diagnosed or identified we will work closely with the family and other involved professionals to make sure we know as much as possible about the child before they start at the school.
Teachers assess pupils’ progress both informally and through termly assessments. This helps us to see any pupils whose progress:
Where assessments show that a child is not making adequate progress, our first response is to make sure there is high quality teaching in place. Class teachers do their best to adapt their teaching to meet the needs of all children. The whole staff meet termly for a ‘Pupil Progress Staff Meeting’ where the progress of all children is discussed. If a child is not making sufficient progress they will be identified and appropriate support will be arranged.
If their progress continues to be slower than expected the teacher will work with the family and the SENDCo to discuss the child’s needs and identify if they need additional support from the local authority. There can be many reasons why a child doesn’t make the progress expected of them – perhaps there has been a significant change in family circumstances such as a new baby, a move of home, or the death of a relative. Or perhaps because they have a special educational need.
When considering if a child needs SEN support the school takes into account:
Further information is set out in our SEND Policy.
3. What are the school’s policies for making provision for pupils with special educational needs (SEN), whether or not pupils have Education Health and Care Plans?
Most of our pupils with SEN have their needs met as part of high quality teaching. This may include: teachers adapting what they do, having different approaches to meet different learning styles, classroom/equipment adaptations such as writing slopes and changes to the school’s behavior plan. If further support is needed, the child may be given some teaching/support in small groups or 1:1.
If a pupil is identified as having special educational needs, their teacher and SENDCo will consider everything we know about the pupil to determine the support that they need and whether it can be provided by adapting the school’s core offer (what is normally provided) or whether something different or additional is required.
Where provision for SEND is needed, we work with pupils and their families to plan what to do. This usually includes writing a plan of action using one of the SEND planning tools we have available to use. The tools we use are summarised below
School Intervention: Intervention support may be provided if a pupil needs a boost to keep up in a subject or to make progress with a specific skill they are struggling with. This support is usually delivered in small groups or one-to-one. Bolton Primary School also provides emotional literacy support which is delivered by two E.L.S.A. – trained practitioners. Parents/carers are informed if their children are offered E.L.S.A support (it is not compulsory). The aim of intervention is to provide support as soon as a need is identified, so it is less likely that pupils will need n individual support plan. Children can receive intervention without being on the SEND register. Most children in the school will receive this support at some point. Pupils may or may not have a School Support Plan.
School Support Plan: This is a document that is used to make an action plan listing the goals and provision to help meet the SEND. Parents/carers are usually met in-person before their child is put on a Support Plan for the first time. All children on the SEN register have an School Support Plan and some children not on the SEND register have a support plan if school thinks it will be helpful. Plans are reviewed termly by the class teacher and the pupil (or sooner if targets are achieved quickly). The Support Plans are sent home via email/hard-copy and followed up with a phone call from the SENDCo. Parents/carers/carers are offered a meeting in school if they wish to discuss the plan further.
Early Help: An early help assessment involves completing a form with the child and parents/carers/carers of the child with SEND to seek further support and guidance from external professionals in order to help the child meet their needs.
Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP): Where the school has done everything it can to identify, assess and meet the needs of the child with SEND and they are still not making the expected progress, the school or parents/carers may consider requesting an Education, Health and Care assessment. The process for requesting an EHCP assessment in Westmorland and Furness can be found on the Council’s Local Offer website: https://fid.westmorlandandfurness.gov.uk/kb5/westmorlandandfurness/directory/localoffer.page?localofferchannel=0
Education Health and Care Plans are issued by the Local Authority where necessary and are used by the school to plan SEND provision for children with severe and complex needs. The EHCP includes:
The EHCP includes a detailed annual support plan/action plan. This plan sets out the goals for the pupil for the next year, and the activities that everyone supporting the child will put in place to support them.
a) How does the school evaluate the effectiveness of its provision for SEN?
The quality of teaching is the most important factor in ensuring all pupils make progress. We regularly review the quality of teaching in the school through good informal communication, monitoring observations, subject reviews with book scrutinies, data meetings and governor visits.
We test the effectiveness of our SEN provision by checking pupil progress and to see if the agreed goals and outcomes for a pupil are being met. Where professionals from health or social services are involved with the child we will ask for their help to inform and review progress, to make sure that all those supporting the family are working together effectively.
The teachers work with the SENDCo, the parents/carers and the child to make sure any SEND support is adapted or replaced by another approach if it is not being effective.
The SENDCo and the head teacher report regularly to Governors on the quality of SEND provision and the progress towards outcomes being made by pupils with SEND. Governors also consider the attainment data for pupils with SEND and compare it with the progress of other pupils and the progress of pupils in other schools (using the ‘SEND in a Nutshell’ and ‘SEND Review’ documents). This helps to ensure that the approaches used to meeting SEND are based on the best possible evidence and are having the required impact on progress.
b) What are the school’s arrangements for assessing and reviewing the progress of pupils with SEND?
Every pupil in the school has their progress reviewed continuously by the class teacher, and also in more formal termly tests which provide standardised scores. A staff data meeting is held every term. At the data meeting, the school’s tracking (which shows the academic attainment of all pupils in reading, writing, maths and science) is reviewed by all teaching staff. The social and emotional needs of pupils are discussed along with any other needs/observations. The required support is then timetabled on the school’s ‘Intervention timetable’. Any support timetabled is detailed on the pupil’s Support Plan (if they have one) and shared with the pupil and parent/carer. If the pupil does not have a plan, the support is shared with parents/carers by phone/email or in-person. We provide a termly progress report (which gives an effort and attainment grade) in the Autumn and Summer terms and a longer annual report to parents/carers on each child’s progress in the Spring term. Parent’s evenings are held twice a year – usually October and February.
Children with an EHCP are entitled to an additional Annual Review meeting where all parties involved with the child meet and discuss the progress that has been made.
Annual reviews are usually led by the SENDCo alongside the teacher who has good knowledge and understanding of the pupil’s needs and attainment. Reviews normally last around an hour, although this can vary depending on the progress made and if the child’s needs have changed or the review involves a range of different professionals. We always aim to allow sufficient time to plan effectively.
Annual reviews involve the pupil, the family and other professionals where this is appropriate. They are used to:
A record of the outcomes, action and support agreed through the discussion is then shared with all the appropriate school staff and the pupil’s parents/carers.
When the school has an Ofsted inspection the Inspectors take a particular interest in the progress of pupils with SEND. The school’s most recent OFSTED inspection can be found on our website.
c) What is the school’s approach to teaching pupils with SEND?
All pupils, including those with SEND, have access to a broad and balanced curriculum. Teachers plan lessons carefully and think about the wide range of different needs in their class and use the information from assessments and progress reviews to set targets which are deliberately ambitious to encourage pupils to aim high. Teachers plan their lessons with the SEND of pupils in mind, which means that all pupils with SEND and disabilities will be able to study the full national curriculum along with their peers.
Teaching staff always aim to match the work given to pupils with their ability. School staff such as Teaching Assistants and other more specialist staff, may be directed to work with pupils, in pairs or small groups and sometimes individually.
The type of SEND support provided is based on reliable evidence of what works. We are careful to avoid the over reliance on individual support for pupils as evidence shows that in many cases this prevents them becoming independent learners.
The SENDCo ensures that staff have sufficient skills and knowledge to deliver the interventions that pupils need.
d) How does the school adapt the curriculum and learning environment for pupils with SEND?
We are committed to meeting the needs of all pupils including those with SEND. We make all reasonable adaptations to the curriculum and the learning environment to make sure that pupils with SEND are not at a substantial disadvantage compared with their peers.
Teachers will be supported by the SENDCo to assess, plan and adapt the curriculum to meet the needs of pupils with SEND. This may also involve working with outside partners. For example, we might need to:
In considering what adaptations we need to make, the SENDCo will work with the school governors to ensure that the school meets its responsibilities under the Equality Act (2010) with regard to reasonable adjustments and access arrangements. A link to the Equality Act 2010 can be found here: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/contents
e) What additional support for learning is available to pupils with SEND?
The school organises the additional support for learning into 3 different levels which is known as the graduated approach.
Universal: describes quality inclusive teaching which takes into account the learning needs of all the children in the classroom. This includes adapting lessons to suit the abilities within the class and creating an inclusive learning environment.
Targeted: describes specific, additional and time-limited interventions provided for some children who need help to accelerate their progress to enable them to work at or above age-related expectations.
Specialist: describes targeted provision for a minority of children where it is necessary to provide highly tailored intervention to accelerate progress or enable children to achieve their potential. This may include specialist interventions.
We provide additional support for pupils with SEND to be able to access exams, when needed.
We are able to support the administration of medication.
f) What extra-curricular activities are available for pupils with SEND?
The school regularly offers extra-curricular activities both at lunch time and after school. Activities have included: tennis, football, netball, dance, eco-club, singing and fencing.
Activities on offer are detailed on the weekly school newsletter.
We try to make sure that all pupils with SEND can engage in these activities alongside pupils who do not have SEND. Where it is agreed that taking part in these activities will contribute significantly to meeting the agreed outcomes for a pupil with SEND the school will normally be able to pay for any training, resources or equipment that may be needed.
The school also provides opportunities for pupils to go on school trips and we organise annual residential trips for children in years 5 and 6. We will involve parents/carers of pupils with SEND in the planning of school trips and residential visits to assess the benefits and risks and identify how the needs of individual pupils can be met.
g) What support is available for improving the emotional and social development of pupils with SEND?
The culture and structures within the school aim to encourage the emotional and social development for all pupils, including those with SEND.
We work hard to create a culture within the school that values all pupils, allows them to feel a sense of belonging and makes it possible to talk about problems in a non-stigmatising way. We have clear policies on safe-guarding, behaviour and bullying that set out the responsibilities of everyone in the school.
For children with more complex problems, additional in-school interventions may include:
4. Who is the SEND Co-Ordinator and how do I contact them?
Our Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENCO) is Miss Heather Lowthian. Miss Lowthian works closely with the governing body and all teachers and teaching staff. She teaches every child in the school herself (so understands their needs). Miss Lowthian writes a SEND report for governors and completes a SEND review annually. She meets with the SEND governor to discuss strengths and areas of need. Miss Lowthian also meets with our local Educational Psychologist (Mr. Alan Hill) every term to seek advice and strategies for children if needed.
If you have concerns about your child you should speak to your child’s teacher before you speak to the SENDCo.
The SENCO is responsible for:
You can request a meeting with the SENDCo by email or phone.
5. What expertise and training do the school staff have in relation to SEND and how will specialist expertise be secured?
The school supports its staff to access a wide range of information on appropriate interventions for pupils with different types of need, and to access associated training to ensure they have the necessary knowledge and expertise.
The responsibility for ensuring staff have the appropriate training and expertise to meet the needs of pupils with SEN training is shared between the Head teacher/SENDCo and the Governing body. We closely monitor the training and development needs of our staff through annual appraisal.
Staff can access training via the National College, National on-line safety (we are an accredited school), training and materials provided through services offered to mainstream schools by Cumbria LA and other providers, organisation memberships and through the cluster group of schools that Bolton is a part of.
Additional SEND training and expertise will be sought when the needs of individual children require it, for example when there is a need to prepare for a child coming to the school. This can include:
6. What equipment and facilities are available to support pupils with SEND?
Physical Accessibility - Bolton Primary School has a fairly flat site at pavement level with a playground that is mostly all at the same level. The school field has a track around it that is suitable for wheelchairs. The doorways are wide enough for wheelchair or walker use and there are not any corridors. The inside of the building is step free. The school does not have a disabled toilet at present but if the need should arise, we would have one installed.
Learning Accessibility – All pupils at Bolton Primary School have access to the Lexia reading programme, class DoJo (for behaviour feedback and communication), Google Classroom (for homework) and iPads and laptops with appropriate software/APPS. School is able to loan iPads to families over the weekend if required.
The school will consider purchasing other equipment if there is an agreed identified need.
7. What are the arrangements for consulting and involving parents/carers of children with SEND in their child’s education?
All parents/carers are encouraged to contribute to their child’s education through:
If your child is on an Education, Health and Care Plan, we will discuss their progress with you every term and have a formal review with you about your child annually. Further information about reviews can be found in question 3b above.
Specific support to help you support your child at home will include;
If we think your child needs significant amounts of extra support we will always discuss this with you and, where appropriate, a meeting with the parents/carers and the people supporting your child can be arranged.
Where required we will arrange interpreters to enable parents/carers to fully participate in formal meetings.
8. What are the arrangements for consulting and involving pupils with SEND in their education?
Engaging all pupils as active participants in their own education and in making a positive contribution to their school and local community is a priority for the school. All children are consulted about their learning through written and verbal feedback on a daily basis. All children are expected to be key participants in the assessment and feedback process. All children have targets and know what they are working towards. These targets are reviewed and updated regularly. Children with SEND may have targets to work on to help them with a specific issue.
Where pupils have SEND, we will take extra care to involve them and make sure their voice is heard. Their involvement will be tailored to each child and take into account their preferred methods of communication. This may include:
We ensure that pupils with SEND are included and represented in the groups and activities that we have set up to listen to the views of pupils and involve them in decision-making. These groups include the School Council.
The views of the individual child and young person sit at the heart of the SEND assessment and planning process. We will make sure that assessments include the wishes and feelings of the child, their aspirations, the outcomes they wish to seek and the support they need to achieve them. This may include the use of questionnaires, storyboards or symbols etc.
All pupils with SEND will have specific goals and outcomes and they will be part of the discussion to agree and review these. Where a personal budget is being used for those with an EHCP, the school will support the child’s involvement in decisions about their support.
9. What are the arrangements for parents/carers raising concerns and making a complaint about the SEND provision at the school?
We are committed to providing excellent services to all our children and their parents/carers and we believe the best way to do this is to listen to your views. We encourage parents/carers to contact us about their concerns and not to wait for the next formal opportunity to meet. So if you have something to tell us, whether good or bad, please contact the class teacher or SENDCo.
If you have a complaint about SEND provision, please tell us promptly by contacting the following people in this order;
The SEND governor will then refer to the complaints procedure to try and address the issue.
Further information about our complaints procedure can be found on our website.
We realise that parents/carers can sometimes find schools a bit scary and may need someone to help them approach us if things aren’t going well. If you need support to raise a concern or make a complaint, you may want to contact our Chair of Governors, Dr. Bronwen Maxwell.
As a matter of last resort parents/carers can also make a formal complaint to Ofsted: guidance for parents/carers can be found here http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/schools/for-parents/carers-and-carers/how-complain, or by phone on 0300 123 4666.
Further information on local support for families of pupils with SEND can be found in the Local Offer. See question 13 below.
10. How does the school involve others in meeting the needs of pupils with SEND and in supporting the families of such pupils?
Where a pupil continues to make less than expected progress, despite evidence-based support and interventions that are matched to the pupil’s area of need, we seek advice and support from specialists from outside agencies such as:
We always involve parents/carers in any decision to involve specialists.
The class teacher/SENDCo is the person who usually coordinates the contact and works with these outside agencies. We mainly use other agencies outside of the school to:
11. What local support is there for the parents/carers of pupils with SEND?
Information about local support is located here:
12. What are the school’s arrangements for supporting pupils with SEND when they join the school, and supporting them to move to secondary school?
All children and young people with SEND and their families may be particularly anxious about changing classes or “moving on” from school to school. We work with families and our partner organisations to make sure changes are planned and well managed.
Transition guide table:
Additional arrangements for children with SEND (examples)
In to nursery / Reception
When moving to another school
When moving groups/ forms/ classes in school
Primary to secondary transition
13. Where can I find more information about SEND services in Cumbria and the local area (the Local Offer)?
All Local authorities must publish a Local Offer, setting out in one place information about provision they expect to be available across education, health and social care for children and young people in their area who have SEN or are disabled.
The Local Offer has two key purposes:
The school cooperates with the Local Authority to:
To find out more about the range of services on offer locally go to:
Westmorland and Furness Local Offer: https://fid.westmorlandandfurness.gov.uk/kb5/westmorlandandfurness/directory/localoffer.page?localofferchannel=0
Date written: 03.05.2023.
Date of next review: Summer 2024
Emotional Literacy Support
Two of our teaching assistants trained during the summer (2022) and are now Emotional Literacy Support Assistants. Which means that we can offer small group support on themes like managing emotions, relationships, self-esteem and confidence. We also offer lego-therapy as part of this work. We believe that addressing social and emotional needs are a key to school success and are keen to support the whole child.