With reference to Article 23 from the UN convention of the Rights of the Child: Children who have any kind of disability have the right to special care and support, as well as all the rights in the Convention, so that they can live full and independent lives.
What is the Local Offer?
The School Local Offer provides parents and carers with information about how schools and colleges will support children with Special Education Needs and Disabilities. This easy to understand information sets out what is normally available to help children as well as giving options available to support families who need additional help to care for their child.
How has Gainsborough developed its Local Offer?
In July 2014, a group of parents of children with SEND met with the Inclusion Manager and other school staff to discuss the School’s Local Offer and draw up an initial draft based on the previous SEND and Inclusion Policy. During the Autumn term, as the school has developed new staff structures and a revised curriculum, aspects of the Offer have been revised in collaboration with the Senior Leadership Group. The final draft of the Offer was then shared with and ratified by the Governors.
1. An overview of the school
Gainsborough is a larger than average primary school situated in the heart of Hackney Wick that serves a diverse cohort of children aged 3-11. We are a co-operative learning community where all achievements are celebrated and valued, and where staff facilitate and engage learning through creativity, innovation, effective communication technologies and by harnessing students’ talents and interests. Our children will leave us as responsible citizens of the world and as lifelong learners and thinkers. We welcome and value all children equally no matter what their special need or disability and are committed to providing equal access and opportunity. It is our aim that any pupil with a special educational need has that need addressed as quickly as possible, so that pupils with SEND are enabled to maximise their attainment and progress.
2. How does the school know if my child needs extra help?
Where there is concern about a child’s development that is affecting their progress in school, a teacher or parent can raise a cause for concern with the SENDCo or Inclusion Manager who will hold a parent meeting to explore the child’s needs in more detail. The child’s difficulties may be evidenced in their emotional, social or academic progress or in their ability to access mainstream educational provision and further assessment may need to be carried out to establish whether the child’s difficulties are significant.
Early Identification and Monitoring
We emphasise the importance of early identification of SEND and ongoing tracking of progress to ensure the most appropriate and effective provision for all children. The earlier action is taken, the more responsive the child is likely to be, and the more readily intervention can be made. Where children make progress against their targets, and it is felt no additional support is needed, we will notify you and remove them from the SEND record. If the child’s difficulties prove less responsive to provision made by the school, then an early start can be made in considering the additional support that may be needed from outside agencies.
Areas of Need
Many children will have inter-related needs, though for the school records, a primary SEND will be identified. In line with the revised Code of Practice, this may be either:
- General learning difficulties – moderate (MLD), severe (SLD) and profound (PLD)
- Specific learning difficulties (SLD) such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia or dysgraphia
- Speech, language and communication needs (SLCN)
- Social, emotional and mental health (SEMH, formerly BESD)
- Physical, visual and hearing difficulties (PD, VI and HI)
- Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
3. Who do I contact if I have questions or concerns about my child?
The class teacher is the initial point of contact for responding to parental concerns. If you have further concerns please contact one of the following members of staff:
Inclusion Manager/ SENDCo: Juliet Forsyth firstname.lastname@example.org
Family Liaison Officer: Carol Lewis email@example.com
4. How will I know how Gainsborough supports my child?
Each pupil accessing SEND support has a SEND support plan drawn up by the class teacher and SENDCo. These plans are discussed and shared with the parent/carer.
The SEND support plan provides information about your child’s strengths and interests and areas of need and sets out targets that your child is working towards over the coming term with suggestions of strategies for support . Support may involve extra group support in the classroom, different resources, behaviour management strategies or interventions outside the classroom.
- Interventions outside the classroom generally involve more specific areas of development, such as vocabulary knowledge, early number concepts or social skills and are delivered by teachers in your child’s year group or members of support staff.
- Every term, following a round of intervention, the Inclusion Manager meets with teachers and support staff individually to track the progress of children in their groups.
5. What specialist services and expertise are available or accessed by the school?
The school offers a wide variety of specialist support for pupils delivered by full time teaching staff and visiting specialists from Hackney Learning Trust, the NHS and local charities and organisations.
Learning and communication support within school
Every term, Raising Attainment Plans are developed by class teachers and the Inclusion Team to set out plans for additional learning intervention and to determine streamed groups for literacy and maths in years 1-6. When a pupil has been identified with learning difficulties their work will be differentiated by the class teacher to enable them to access the curriculum and make progress.
Members of support staff may be allocated to work with the pupil in a 1:1 or small focus group to target more specific areas. Appropriate specialist equipment may be given to the pupil e.g. writing slopes, concentration cushions or pen/pencil grips. Interventions are tailored according the needs of the children.
Pastoral support within school
We have a variety of pastoral support available for children with emotional and social difficulties, including:
- A Nurture group for a small group of children to support children to develop emotional literacy, social skills and attention and concentration.
- A Counselling service delivered by a qualified psychotherapist
- A Learning Mentor within each phase of the school.
Where it is felt that children may benefit from further support, we may decide to refer to outside agencies.
Outside agency support
Occasionally a pupil may need more expert support from outside of school. Where this is the case a referral will be made with your consent and forwarded to the most appropriate support agency. If appropriate a pupil will undergo a number of assessments and support is usually provided to the school and parents/carers. Agencies we have liaised with over the last year include:
- CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service)
- Chance UK
- Educational Psychology
- First Steps (CAMHS)
- Hackney Ark Paediatric service
- Occupational Therapy
- PRU (Pupil Referral Unit)
- Re-Engagement Unit
- School Doctor
- School Nurse
- Social Services
- Speech and Language Therapy
- Young Hackney
6. If my child has medical needs, how will they be supported?
If a pupil has a medical need then a Medical Care Plan is complied with support from the school nurse in consultation with parents/carers. These are discussed with all staff supporting the pupil.
Members of staff are trained in medical needs where necessary. Where necessary, and in agreement with parents or carers, medicines are administered in school with a signed medicine consent form is in place.
7. How will I be informed of my child’s progress?
At the termly parent review meetings with your child’s class teacher, you will find out about your child’s progress against their targets and in core curriculum areas. You may also be contacted directly by the SENDCO / Inclusion Manager about additional SEND assessments, such as dyslexia screenings or reading age tests. If your child accesses support from outside agencies, you will be informed directly of any additional assessment information they have carried out.
8. How are school staff supported to work with pupils with SEND?
A CPD program for teachers and support staff is developed in September in line with identified SEND needs across the school. This year, training has included:
- How to support children with speech and language difficulties
- How to support children on the autistic spectrum
- How to support children with behavioural, social and emotional needs
- How to support children in literacy and numeracy
9. How are the school’s resources allocated?
- The SEND budget is allocated each financial year. The money is used to provide additional support or resources dependant on an individual’s needs.
- The additional provision may be allocated after discussion with the class teacher at a provision map review or if a concern has been raised at another point during the term.
- Resources may include deployment of staff depending on individual circumstances.
10. How is the school accessible to pupils with SEND?
- We have 3 wheelchair adapted toilets and a fully wheelchair accessible building.
- In the toilets there are also facilities for changing young children.
11. How will my child be included in activities at school, after school clubs, and on school trips?
We aim to include all children in school activities and out of school trips. In some cases we might ask that parents join us on trips if possible. Children who require additional adult support are invited to join school clubs after prior discussion with the Inclusion Manager or SENDCo to ensure that appropriate support is in place.
12. How will the school prepare my child when joining the school or when transferring to a new school?
- The Inclusion Manager and SENDCo organise liaison meetings with staff at nurseries where children have been identified with SEN prior to admission where possible.
- If children join the school mid-year, we hold admission meetings with the Inclusion Manager or SENDCo present to find out about the nature of the child’s difficulties and to set up links with any outside agencies. We also endeavour to get in touch with children’s previous settings directly.
- We support transition for pupils to secondary school by organising meetings with the secondary SENDCOs to talk through provision that has been in place and out recommendations for future support.
13. My child needs help with transport to school. How can you help?
Where there are transport needs, we are able to make referrals through Hackney Learning Trust to the transport service. In some instances, we may also be able to help by setting up parent networks or walking bus arrangements.
14. How will you help me to support my child’s learning? What support and training is available to parents and carers?
Your child’s class teacher will be able to suggest some activities for you to do at home to support your child with learning. In addition, we regularly organize parent workshops and coffee mornings to discuss with you and share new ideas for support. Gainsborough also benefit from close links with our Children’s Centre on the same grounds, where regular adult language and literacy classes are held.
15. Further information for parents/carers, pupils and practitioners
If you wish to discuss your child’s educational needs please contact the school office to arrange a meeting with the class teacher, the Inclusion Manager / SENDCO.
The Department for Education (DfE) published a new special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) Code of Practice on 30 July 2014. It came into force from 1 September 2014, replacing the previous 2001 Code. The Code of Practice (2014) covers the 0-25 age range and includes guidance relating to children and young people with a disability as well as those with special educational needs (SEND).
To view our Gainsborough Local Offer Policy, please click here.
To view our SEND Information report, please click here.
To view Hackney Council’s local offer for send, please click here.