The new Children and Families Act has changed the law, giving children, young people and their parents greater control and choice in decisions and ensuring that needs are properly met.
The intention of Swindon’s local offer is to improve choice and transparency for families. All schools and academies in Swindon are expected to identify and support pupils with special educational needs to make the best possible progress. Schools are supported to be as inclusive as possible and wherever possible, the needs of pupils with a Special Educational Need are met in a mainstream setting, where families want this to happen
Lorna Dickson - SENCO
Aims and Objectives
The aims of our inclusion policy and practice in EOTAS are:
What kinds of special educational needs does the school provide for?
EOTAS (Swindon) comprises four Centres. Each has a focused provision for targeting groups of pupils who have temporarily or permanently left their mainstream schools, through health, emotional or behaviour problems. Our aim at EOTAS is to provide individual pupils with the individual quality education that helps them to progress in a safe and healthy environment.
Students on the Special Education Needs register at EOTAS will have needs that cut across the following four broad areas of need as documented below. Their area of SEN may also change over time.
As stated in the Code of Practice for SEND 2015, the four broad areas of SEN are:
1. Communication and Interaction
2. Cognition and Learning
3. Social, mental and emotional health
4. Sensory and /or physical
The pupils at Stratton Education Centre and Riverside are all of SEN support and need, and fall into the category of social, emotional and mental health.
How does the service know if children/ young people need extra help and what should I do if I think my child/young person may have special educational needs?
On entry into the provisions, there is liaison between various schools to ensure that we have as much information as possible in order to support the all aspects of pupils needs. All pupils are assessed using the BKSB (Basic Key Skills Builder) assessment programme, which assesses levels, strengths and weaknesses in both English and Mathematics. It will also identify specific gaps in learning and allow the SEN department to identify pupils who would benefit from extra support, and then create a tailored package of intervention.
If you are concerned that your child has specific needs further assessments can be used, using specialists if required. If a teacher or parent/ carer thinks there is a further need which has not been identified they can speak to the SENCo, Lorna Dickson who will gather further information and act accordingly.
How will the curriculum be matched to my child/ young person’s needs?
EOTAS will provide a safe, stimulating learning environment and each pupil will be valued as an individual. We will provide a broad balanced curriculum which enables the students to progress academically and socially according to their potential. No pupils will be discriminated against in studying any subject area within the service’s curriculum on the grounds of their SEN. Pupils are taught in small teaching groups with at least one teacher and one teaching assistant and are ensured of the highest quality teaching with learning opportunities being maximised.
How will school staff and the SEN department support my child/ young person?
All EOTAS staff are committed to working together for the benefit of all pupils. We have an inclusive ethos and pride ourselves on providing a positive, caring approach where the achievements and successes of all pupils are celebrated whenever possible. EOTAS believes that in order to support pupils appropriately it is a necessity to forge and maintain positive relationships with parents/carers. Staff are in constant contact with home on a regular basis to pass on information or simply talk about the pupil’s day.
How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?
The initial support is based on information provided by previous schools and organisations and on the baseline assessments pupils undertake when they arrive at the centres. Further testing will be carried out by the staff if required; staff may also identify further needs which are often discussed with the key staff in the first instance which may lead to discussion at whole centre level. Interventions may be implemented following this discussion. Termly monitoring will highlight progress levels. Although pupils are taught in small teaching groups and have Teaching Assistants support in each lesson, there is also additional withdrawal, 1:1, differentiated tasks and alternative curriculum are on offer where deemed necessary.
What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the centre?
The tutor is usually the pupil’s most consistent point of contact. All staff are experienced in dealing with pupils with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties and can respond to most routine concerns or enquiries. EOTAS has developed strong links with support services and agencies and are aware of referral procedures should these be advised. We have access to a wide range of external agencies. The partnership working includes: Educational Psychologists, Tahms ( Targeted Mental Health Service) , Cahms (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services), Youth Engagement Workers, Iprovit, School Nurse, Autistic Spectrum Condition outreach, Social services, Community Paediatricians, Speech and Language therapists, SENDIASS (Special Educational Needs and Disability Information Advice and Support Service) etc.
How do you involve other agencies in meeting the needs of children/young people with SEND and in supporting families?
There are regular meetings held that review students individually, in the form of Team Around the Child and Child in Need, where issues can be discussed. Outside agencies are invited to attend and contribute where this is relevant. The SENCo, Lorna Dickson has regular meetings with our Educational Psychologist who may also make recommendations that a pupil would benefit from the support offered by outside agencies. All staff are familiar with the range of local agencies and the support they offer and consultations and referrals are made if required. There are frequent multi-agency meetings both in and out of school. Family support is offered through the Early Help Record process.
What training have the staff supporting children/young people with SEND had?
EOTAS regards SEND as a whole school issue. As such, staff are continuously seeking to develop their knowledge and are trained regularly in all aspects of SEND via internal or external specialists. The aim of staff training is to enable all staff to view the full range of learning needs and be able to cope with them confidently. Our SENCo, Lorna Dickson is involved in regular development of her understanding of SEN issues.
The SENCO Lorna Dickson is responsible for the following at Riverside and Stratton Education Centre:
What other support is available?
You can find out more about the local offer of support which is available for young people and those who have SEN on Swindon Borough Council website. The Local offer sets out provision which is available for children and young people with SEN and disabilities, aged 0 to 25, including education, health and social care services.