Special Education Needs
SEN Information Report
What is SEN?
The Special Educational Needs Code of Practice 2014 states that a child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for them. A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty if they:
- Have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age; or
- Have a disability which prevents or hinders then from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions.
High quality teaching that is differentiated and personalised will meet the individual needs of the majority of children and young people. Some children and young people need educational provision that is additional to or different from this. This is special educational provision under Section 21 of the Children and Families Act 2014. We use their best endeavours to ensure that such provision is made for those who need it.
Special educational provision is underpinned by high quality teaching and is compromised by anything less.
1 The kinds of special educational need for which provision is made at Tolworth Girls' School & Sixth Form:
Tolworth Girls' School & Sixth Form is a non-selective girls' academy, with a mixed sex intake at Sixth Form.
The staff and Governing Body of TGS & Sixth Form recognise that every student is entitled to a broad and balanced curriculum through which they can progress according to their ability, talents and interests where all students achieve their best, become confident individuals living fulfilling lives, and make a successful transition into adulthood, whether into employment, further or higher education or training.
At Tolworth Girls' School & Sixth Form we can make provision for frequently occurring special educational need without a statement of special educational needs / Education, Health and Care Plan, for instance dyslexia, dyspraxia, speech and language needs, autism, learning difficulties and behaviour difficulties. There are other kinds of special educational need which do not occur as frequently and with which the school is less familiar, but we can access training and advice so that these kinds of needs can be met. Students with SEN will have been identified in primary school and their needs passed on to the SENCO. All students will complete a variety of assessments which are carried out on entry to TGS and any areas that may have additonal needs will be identified, teaching staff may aslo refer a students to the SENCO for further assessments around learning and if parents are concerned they are encouraged to speak to the SENCO.
The school also currently meets the needs of students with a statement of special educational need / Education, Health and Care plan with the following kinds of special educational need:
- Speech, Language and Communication Difficulties including Autism
- Cognition and Learning difficulties including those with Moderate Learning Difficulties (MLD) and Specific Learning
- Difficulties (SPLD) including dyslexia and dyspraxia
- Social, Emotional and mental health difficulties including student who have become withdrawn and isolated, suffer from anxiety and those with attachment disorder
- Sensory and Physical needs
Within each of these four categories are a range of special educational needs which will be addressed by SEN/EHCP or SEN plans as appropriate for individual students.
Decisions on the admission of students with a statement of special educational need / Education, Health and Care plan are made by the Local Authority.
The admission arrangements for students without a statement of special educational needs / Education, Health and Care Plan do not discriminate against or disadvantage disabled children or those with special educational needs and will follow the usual school admissions procedures.
Reviewed September 2020
At Tolworth Girls' School & Sixth Form we work closely with the educational settings used by the students before they transfer to us in order to seek the information that will make the transfer as seamless as possible. The SENCOs at both the primary school and Tolworth Girls' School may meet to discuss the needs of the student. Parents and student may be present during this meeting. There is an SEN transfer day where SENCOs from primary schools and secondary schools meet to share information on students with special educational needs or those who may require support in the future. Files are also transferred to the secondary school during this time.
At every key transition stage such as year 7, 9 and 11 students are invited to an interview with a member of staff in order to support their decision making. SEN student in year 9 may meet with the SENCO in order to discuss a GSCE subject package that best meets the needs fo the student. In year 11 SEN students will be supported with decision making regarding further educational placements.
We also contribute information to a students' onward destination by providing information to the next setting. When the next educational provider of the student is known, the file of that student will be sent to that establishment. SEN students are offered additional support from the SENCO and Career's Advisor in making decisions regarding future career progress and/or educational placements. Parents are invited to meetings in order to be part of the decision making process.
At Tolworth Girls' School & Sixth Form we follow the advice in The National Curriculum Framework on how to adapt the curriculum and the learning environment for students with special educational needs. We also incorporate the advice provided as a result of assessments, both internal and external, and the strategies described in statements of special educational needs / Education, Health and Care Plans.
"All students should have access to a broad and balanced curriculum. The National Curriculum Inclusion Statement states that teachers should set high expectations for every student, whatever their prior attainment. Teachers should use appropriate assessment to set targets which are deliberately ambitious. Potential areas of difficulty should be identified and addressed at the outset. Lessons should be planned to address potential areas of difficulty and to remove barriers to student achievement. In many cases, such planning will mean that students with SEN and disabilities will be able to study the full national curriculum". - (Code of Practice 6.11)
Identifying SEN in schools
As part of our requirement to keep the appropriateness of our curriculum and learning environment under review the Governors have recently made the following improvements
- Improved access arrangements for students, improved communication regarding Specific needs of students, access to specialist ICT /IT provision if needed.
- Further training for whole school staff will be provided to update them of the revised
- SEN guidance and their responsibilities within this framework
- Further whole staff training regarding specific SEN needs will be reviewed at the start of the year and action as appropriate to this audit.
Regular monitoring and review will focus on the extent to which planned outcomes have been achieved. The views of the student, parents and subject teachers will be taken into account. The assessment information from teachers will show whether adequate progress is being made.
The SEN Code of Practice (2014) describes adequate progress as:
- Is similar to that of children of the same age who had the same starting point
- Matches or improves on the students' previous rate of progress
- Which allows the attainment gap to close between the student and children of the same age
For students with or without a statement of special educational needs / Education, Health and Care Plan there will be an annual review of the provision made for the child, which will enable an evaluation of the effectiveness of the special provision to be made. The collation of all annual review evaluations of effectiveness will be reported to the governing body.
Every student in the school has their progress tracked termly. In addition to this, students with special educational needs may as appropriate have more frequent and detailed assessments to inform targets and to measure small steps of progress.
If these assessments do not show adequate progress is being made the support plan and planned outcomes will be reviewed and adjusted.
"Special educational provision is underpinned by high quality teaching and is compromised by anything less." - (SEN CoP, 2014)
"High quality teaching, differentiated for individual students, is the first step in responding to students who have or may have SEN. Additional intervention and support cannot compensate for a lack of good quality teaching. Schools should regularly and carefully review the quality of teaching for all students, including those at risk of underachievement. This includes reviewing, and where necessary improving, teachers' understanding of strategies to identify and support vulnerable students and their knowledge of the SEN most frequently encountered." - (CoP 6.34)
We work to ensure that our approach to teaching and learning is of high quality and personalised to meet the individual needs of the majority of children/young people. Some children/young people need educational provision that is additional to or different from this. This is special educational provision.
In meeting the requirements of The National Curriculum Framework the school employs some additional teaching approaches, as advised by internal and external assessments e.g. one to one tutoring / precision teaching / mentoring, small group teaching, use of ICT software learning packages as appropriate for the individual. These are often delivered by additional staff under the close direction of teachers employed through the funding provided to the school. This is known as 'notional SEN funding'. The subject teacher will remain responsible for working with the student on a daily basis.
All members of TGS and Sixth form community, including students, have a responsibility for the pastoral and social care towards each other. Tutors have the overview for the pastoral care of their tutor group and are the first point of contact for parents/carers and students. The school has a clear system that allows staff to work together, to share and identify any concerns regarding the wellbeing of individual students, including SEN students, that affects their learning .Individual students, may after discussion, be offered support from within the school or outside agencies to support their wellbeing as appropriate.
We have a duty to make arrangements to support students with medical conditions. Individual healthcare plans will normally specify the type and level of support required to meet the medical needs of such students. Where children and young people also have special educational needs, their provision will be planned and delivered in a co-ordinated way with the healthcare plan. We will have regard to the statutory guidance supporting students at school with medical conditions.
Medical support within TGS follows the procedure for all students as outlined in the school's medical conditions policy. This policy will be available on the school's website in the parent's section under school policies. This will include full details of the agreed practice regarding the administration of medicines to all students, including SEN students. Key principles from the policy;
- Wherever possible students will be encouraged to carry their own medicines and relevant devices so to allow access for appropriate self-medication.
- Parents/carers are responsible for making sure that any medication that students needs to take within school is up to date and brought into school by the student
- This school will ensure that specific training and updates will be given to all staff members who agree to administer medication to students if necessary
- All school staff in this school has been informed through training that they are required, under common law duty of care, to act like any reasonably prudent parent in an emergency situation.
- All staff are aware that there is no legal or contractual duty for any member of staff to administer medication or supervise a student taking medication unless they have been specifically contracted to do so or unless the situation is an emergency and falls under their regular duty of care arrangements.
TGS works closely with students and parents to support their learning and successful engagement in the school community. At times students may exhibit challenging behaviours that disrupt their own learning or the learning of others. TGS has a number of strategies to support students experiencing behaviour difficulties as appropriate to individual student and circumstances
These could include;
- Tutor, Head of Year or Head of School report
- Individual or group mentoring via Student Support Worker or outside agency
- Access to small group workshops, such as anger management, exam anxiety sessions
- Peer mentoring
- Targeted Youth Work referral or appropriate agencies such as FASS
- Motivational Questioning
- Modified timetable - short term measure
- Alternative provision/curriculum as agreed.
For more information, please see the TGS Student Behaviour Policy and exclusions.
Satisfactory attendance to school to engage in learning is seen at TGS to be 95% or above. Quality first teaching and excellent pastoral care are the basis of promoting excellent attendance to school. A range of staff including tutors, subject teachers, Heads of Year and Attendance Officer monitor students attendance and will contact parents as appropriate to discuss reasons for absence and strategies to support improved attendance to school. These actions will be appropriate to the individual student and will reflect the TGS attendance policy.
Students with SEN needs whose attendance or behaviour is of concern will be monitored in the same manner as the whole school and whole school policy applies. Meetings with parents/carers of SEN students will always review attendance and strategies and support that will promote access and engagement to learning. Attendance meetings held with parent/carers of SEN students in response to poor attendance.
Poor attendance or considerable behaviour difficulties of a student with a statement of special educational needs/ EHC plan may trigger an emergency statement/EHC plan review as agreed with SENCO and parent/carer.
Schools receive funding for SEN students. This funding is used to support and enhance high quality of teaching in the school. It helps to ensure there are sufficient resources for students requiring special educational provision. The support offered is matched to needs of individual students with SEN and evidenced based. The amount of support required for each student to make good progress will be different in each case. In very few cases a very high level of resource is required. In this case the school will request 'top up' from the Local Authority where the child or young person lives.
The Headteacher has the final say in the use of the personal budget within the school.
All clubs, trips and activities offered to students at Tolworth Girls' School are available to students with special educational needs. For some students 'reasonable adjustments' may need to be made. This is always done in partnership with families and carers.
Tolworth Girls School and Sixth Form provide a range of extra curricular activities that all students, including SEN students, can access. These activities will change on a termly basis but have included previously:
- Science, Fashion and Beauty Club
- Chess and Board Game Club
- Rotary debating club
- Subject based activities
- Gospel Club
- Keyboard Club
- Year 7 Forensic Science Club
- Homework Club every day
As part of the curriculum offer students may undertake trips or residential activities outside of the school environment. All trips are needed to undertake a risk assessment which would then identify any concerns regarding accessibility for students with SEN needs. As per the individual trip and SEN student an individual risk assessment may be undertaken in consultation with parent/carer and student.
All parents of students at Tolworth Girls' School & Sixth Form are invited to discuss the progress of their children at any time and as standard three times a year and receive a written report once per year. In addition we are happy to arrange meetings outside these times. As part of our normal teaching arrangements, all students will access some additional teaching to help them catch-up if the progress monitoring indicates that this is necessary; this will not imply that the student has a special educational need.
If following this normal provision improvements in progress are not seen, we will contact parents to discuss this and what we will be doing to help us to address these needs better. From this point onwards the student will be identified as having special educational needs because special educational provision is being made and the parent will be invited to all planning and reviews of this provision. Parents will be actively supported to contribute to assessment, planning and review.
In addition to this, parents of students with a statement of SEN / Education, Health and Care Plan will be invited to contribute to and attend an annual review, which, wherever possible will also include other agencies involved with the student. Information will be made accessible for parents.
The arrangements for consulting young people with special educational needs about, and involving them in, their education
When a student has been identified as having special educational needs because special educational provision is being made for him or her, the student will be consulted about and involved in the arrangements made for them as part of person-centred planning.
Person-centred approaches focus the effort and attention on the students' situation so that positive changes can happen. It ensures that the student is the centre of the planning with family members and sometimes friends being partners in planning. The plan then reflects what is important to the student, their capacities and the support they require. This means that actions are about life, reflect what is possible and not just what services are available.
The same arrangements for the treatment of complaints at Tolworth Girls' School & Sixth Form are used for complaints about provision made for special educational needs and disabilities. We encourage parents to discuss their concerns with their child's form tutor, Head of Year, SENCO or Headteacher as appropriate to resolve the issue before making the complaint formal to the Chair of the GB. (See the Complaints Procedure for Parents Policy on the school website).
The governing body have engaged with the following:
- A Service Level Agreement with Educational Psychology service for 29 sessions per year
- Premium level membership to SPARK (the School Performance Alliance Richmond and Kingston)
- Specialist Services from RBK 'Achieving for Children' to support students engage in learning.
- Additional provision from FASS services
- Educational Welfare Officer - Service level agreement with LA to support and promote student attendance
- Access to local authority SLA with Speech and Language Therapy Services / Occupational Therapy Services / Physiotherapy Services for student with requirement for direct specialist intervention or advice
- Provision of additional Speech and Language Services
- Membership of professional networks for SENCO e.g. NASEN, SENCO forum, etc
- Access to School Nurse.
At Tolworth Girls' School & Sixth Form we understand that an important feature of the school is to enable all students to develop emotional resilience and social skills, both through direct teaching for instance e.g. PIP, SEAL, tutor time and indirectly with every conversation adults have with students throughout the day.
For some students with the most need for help in this area we also can provide as appropriate form the following list e.g.
- access to Student Support Worker mentoring
- external referral to FASS or FACT,
- time-out space for student to use when upset or agitated etc
- reduced/alternative timetable where necessary
Students with emotional and social needs because of their special educational needs will be supported to enable them to develop and mature appropriately.
We are interested in hearing parents/carers and students' views
Students are invited to attend meetings with parents to discuss their views on their needs and to explain what they feel works for them to support their learning. Where a student feels they cannot speak in a meeting they are given the opportunity to share their views with a representative at that meeting or can write down what they would like to share.
The school works hard to prevent bullying and every student is encouraged to talk to a member of staff should they feel they or a friend are a victim of bullying. School actively promotes students working together with tolerance, understanding and respect for all other members of the school community. Students are encouraged through a number of avenues within the school to develop resilience and understand their responsibility to promote and contribute to a safe and healthy environment for all. Concerns regarding bullying are reported to a member of staff and are treated seriously and responded to as appropriate to each individual concern. There is capacity within the school to facilitate restorative justice meetings to support relationships to move forward in a healthy and safe manner.
All teachers and teaching assistants have had the training listed below. School is committed to provide training for staff that will support their working with students with SEN. Each year CPD and professional expertise will be reviewed and appropriate training put in place, for example previous academic year, as appropriate, staff received training on:
- Dyslexia Training
- Speech, Language and Communication Training ie identifying language difficulties
- Effective use of Teaching Assistants Training
- Self Harm Training
- Friendship Issues and Bullying training
- Young Carers Training
- Numeracy Training
- Effective use of questioning training
- Restorative Justice
Where a training need is identified beyond this we will find a provider who is able to deliver it. Training providers we can approach are, Educational Psychologist, Speech and language therapist, occupational therapists, physiotherapist, dyslexia specialists, Teaching and Learning Advisors etc.
How equipment and facilities to support children and young people with special educational needs will be secured
Specialist equipment will be considered on an individual basis
Please use this link to see the Local Authority's local offer. Parents without internet access should make an appointment with the SENCO for support to gain the information they require.
The information published will be updated annually and any changes to the information occurring during the year will be updated as soon as possible. The information will meet the requirements in the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014.
The SENCO at Tolworth Girls' School & Sixth Form is Robyn Munro, who is a qualified teacher and has been accredited the National Award for SENCO.
Robyn Munro is available on 020 8739 1386 or Robyn.Munro@tolworthgirlsschool.co.uk
EnhanceAble, a local voluntary sector organisation, delivers the Parent Partnership Service and provides free, impartial, confidential, advice, support and options around educational issues for parent/carers who have children with special educational needs or disabilities (0-19/25).
The Parent Partnership Service aims to ensure that parents and carers are empowered and can play an informed role in planning provision to meet their child's special educational needs. The Parent Partnership Service aims to build partnerships between parents and carers, the Local authority and schools. The service also encourages parents and carers to be involved in the development of local SEN policy and practice.
HELPLINE: 020 8547 6200