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What the local authority expects education settings to offer

The Local Authority expects head teachers, governors and proprietors to carry out the legal duties in the SEN and Disability Code of Practice 2014:

Schools must:

·         meet their Equality Act duties for pupils with disabilities;

·         use their ‘best endeavours’ to meet pupils’ SEN – this means doing everything they can to meet children and young people’s SEN;

·         inform parents when pupils receive support for special educational needs and involve them in reviews of progress;

·         admit a young person, where the school is named in a statement or an EHC plan;

·         co-operate with the local authority in developing the local offer; and

·         Have regard to the new 0-25 SEND Code of Practice. 

·         produce and publish online a School SEN Information Report (post 16 settings do not need to produce this report however it would be regarded as good practice);

·         Appoint a suitably qualified or experienced member of staff as SENCO (National Award). In post 16 settings they should have a named person responsible for SEN;

·         Make arrangements to support pupils with medical condition and schools must have regard to statutory guidance supporting pupils at school with medical conditions. 


·         should cooperate with the local authority

·         should have a member or a sub-committee with specific oversight of the school’s arrangements for SEN and disability

·         must publish information about the arrangements for the admission of disabled children

·         should ensure the SENCO is a qualified teacher  who is on the  senior leadership team or has a direct link to the leadership team

·         should determine and monitor the key responsibilities of the SENCO

·         must include an information SEN report on the school website

·         must inform parents and young people if the CYP is receiving special educational provision and is on the SEN register

·         must use their ‘best endeavours’ to ensure that special educational provision is made for a pupil

·         must admit a CYP to their school where they are named in the EHC plan

·         Must ensure that arrangements are in place to support pupils at school with medical conditions.

The head teacher:

·         Should take overall responsibility for implementing the SEND reforms 

·         Ensure that the SENCO is able to influence strategic decisions about SEN.

·         Ensure the wider school community understands the implications of the reforms for whole school improvement (from governors to classroom teachers and teaching assistants).

·         Put in place arrangements to ensure parents are regularly engaged in discussions about the progress of their child (at least three times a year).

·         Ensure a process is in place for involving parents and young people in reviewing provision and planning for those currently on school action/plus and any newly identified pupils with SEN.

·         Develop relationship with post 16 providers and explore how they will support pupils with SEN with their transition to post 16 education.

SENCOs should:

·         Oversee the day-to-day operation of school’s SEN policy;

·         coordinate provision for children with SEN;

·         liaise with designated teacher where a Looked after Child has SEN; 

·         advise on graduated approach to SEN Support;

·         advise on use of delegated budget/ other resources;

·         liaise with parents of children with SEN;

·         link with other education settings and outside agencies;

·         liaise with potential next providers of education;

·         work with head and governors on Equality Act; and

·         Ensure that SEN records are up to date.

In Post 16 settings the named person with an oversight of SEN provision should have a role similar to that of a SENCO.

The class / subject teacher should:

·         Focus on outcomes for the pupil: Be clear about the outcome wanted from any SEN support. 

·         Be responsible for meeting special educational needs: Use the SENCO strategically to support the quality of teaching, evaluate the quality of support and contribute to school improvement.

·         Have high aspirations for every pupil: Set clear progress targets for pupils and be clear about how the full range of resources are going to help reach them. 

·         Involve parents and pupils in planning and reviewing progress: Seek their views and provide regular updates on progress. 

Please note:

·         where the word school is used this also includes other educational settings

·         the word pupil is used for children and young people

Education settings should follow the graduated approach to meet the needs of children and young people receiving SEN support and with top up funding, statements or EHC plans.

This approach should already be embedded in whole school practice. Pupil progress meetings follow this cycle.

Assess – this starts with a whole school approach to identify lack of progress, despite high quality teaching. Additional individualised assessment tools may be used by teachers to clarify strengths and needs.  Professionals may be involved and contribute to this assessment. Schools may consider involving specialists at any point for advice. School should always involve specialists where a pupil makes little or no progress over a sustained period or where they continue to work at levels substantially below those of their peers despite well delivered appropriate support.

Plan – at this point parents must be formally notified that their child has SEN. The teacher and SENCO agree, in participation with parent and pupils the adjustments (this means modification of quality first teaching to take into account the findings of the assessments), interventions (these are to be provided by staff with sufficient skills and knowledge) and the support to be put in place. Expected outcomes and a date for review will also need to be agreed.

Do – this is where everything agree at the planning stage is implemented. Teachers should work with SEN pupils on a daily basis and they retain responsibility. The SENCO can support with further assessment and advice.

Review – this should take place on the agreed date. Parents and pupil views inform this. Reviews should take place at least three times a year, and where possible be aligned with normal whole school parent meetings. Parent and pupils (where appropriate) should be included in the review. All reviews should be recorded and copies given to parents. The teacher is the key driver in the review process with the support of the SENCO.

Teachers need to be at the heart of SEN provision for all children and young people with SEN.

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