What should I do if I think my child has special educational needs?
Initially speak with your child’s tutor, head of house or classroom teachers and explain your concerns. You may choose to go on to meet with the SENCO, Mrs Bradley or the assistant SENCO, Mrs Bates, who will contact you to discuss your concerns and can help to explore a range of strategies to support your child.
How will the academy respond to my concern?
We will listen to your concerns and investigate and discuss the situation. If the SENCO feels that the issues are more pastoral, or curricular, then it is likely that referrals will be made to relevant staff. Your concerns will be looked into over an agreed length of time, with the sharing of information between the academy and home. A follow-up meeting may then be organised to review the progress made and discuss the next steps to take.
How will the academy decide if my child needs extra support?
The decision will be made by the SENCO after gathering information from class teachers and in-school tracking systems and may involve your child having an assessment, intervention programme or a consultation by an outside agency. You and your child will be involved in deciding the next steps; in setting individualised targets and in monitoring impact.
What will Kirkby College do to support my child?
If we decide that your child has SEND issues then we will start a cycle of Assess> Plan > Do> Review where we will identify, through assessment of need, and agree upon specific, time measured SEND targets for your child to work towards. These will be recorded on an Education Support Plan (ESP) which will be reviewed regularly and will be impact driven.
Additional support may be organised by a tutor, head of house, regular class teacher or other members of staff – there may be in-school intervention sessions led by a trained Learning Support Assistant (LSA) where appropriate. This may involve your child participating in small group work sessions or could involve using specific resources/strategies to enable full access to the regular school curriculum. The ESP will be reviewed at least three times a year during a Structured Conversation/Review Meeting which may take place as a face to face meeting, over the phone or via email or letter.
Who will support my child at Kirkby College?
Your child will be supported by:
- Class teachers
- Teaching assistants
- HLTAs (Higher Level Teaching Assistants)
- Head of house
- Support staff – including first aiders
- Peer mentors
- Outside agencies
What training and experience do staff have for the additional support my child’s needs?
The SENCO and learning support staff have attended a variety of training courses to suit their role at the academy, including training in Autistic Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, Executive Functioning, Emotional Literacy and Dyslexia, amongst others.
They also have well-established relationships with a team of outside agency professionals who provide specialist support, advice and guidance. LSAs have had training in the delivery of different interventions, including reading and numeracy support.
Who else might be involved in supporting my child?
Where appropriate, outside agencies will be asked to support your child and the staff who work with them. These include:
- Educational psychologist
- Schools and families specialist services
- School Nurse – Healthy Family team
- Small Steps
- Community paediatrics
- Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
What support will there be for my child’s emotional and social well-being?
The emotional and social well-being of your child is of great importance to us at Kirkby College. If there are any difficulties with this, the first ‘port of call’ should be a tutor, closely followed by support from our pastoral team who can, where appropriate, put additional intervention in place to help your young person with their emotional and social development.
We work closely with outside agencies to support students with emotional and behavioural needs if this is necessary. We do not usually administer medication to students at the academy, although parents/carers of students with long-term medical issues/disabilities are invited to discuss the planned administration of long-term prescribed medication with the SENCO.
How will my child be able to contribute his/her views and be involved in the process?
Your child will be expected to contribute to the cycle of ‘Assess > Plan > Do > Review’ and their views will be taken in to account at all review meetings. It is essential that their voice is heard and that the process is personalised and reflects their true desires and needs as much as possible. We may gather their views in a variety of ways, depending on age, ability and need. For example they could participate actively during the meetings; engage in discussions with teachers or another adult who works with them in class; discuss their preferences with parents or share their thoughts and feelings through written accounts or social stories.
How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
Students of all abilities and needs can access the full curriculum and be supported and challenged by their teachers. It is the teachers’ role to differentiate, which means to amend or edit the work to make it suitable for learners of all abilities. Teachers support learners with a range of learning needs and deliver quality first teaching. An LSA may be present in your child’s lessons – your child may access some support and intervention from the LSA, but this should be led by the teacher and will not usually be on a 1:1 basis.
Some students have the personal use of laptops to aid their learning. Classroom layout, including seating arrangements, displays and groupings of students is likely to be used to support every student with their individual needs. Quality Assurance of differentiation occurs through lesson observations, work sampling and student voice. If your child needs support over and above that which the teacher is able to provide in class, additional individual or group intervention work will be offered – this could be with a teacher, a LSA or an outside agent.
If you think your child requires additional support, the SENCO can advise you on who to contact or the next steps which need to be taken.