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Special educational needs - placement in mainstream schools
Most children and young people with special educational needs and or disabilities (SEND) are successfully included in mainstream schools. All mainstream schools have a special educational needs coordinator who can, with class teachers, discuss children's needs with parents. High quality universal provision in classrooms allows pupils with SEND to achieve well alongside their peers and many schools make effective use of provision maps and inclusion passports to plan this. Additional interventions can also be used to help pupils to make accelerated progress in particular areas of their learning. Schools can get support from outside agencies to help them develop better provision. Schools will regularly update parents of pupils with SEND about how the support they offer is working.
Inclusion Quality Mark
Many North Yorkshire schools have used our Inclusion Quality Mark (IQM) to evaluate how successfully they include all learners, including those with SEND. The IQM allows schools to show how they are benefiting different groups of learners, and how their outcomes are improving as a result of their work. A full list of North Yorkshire schools currently holding the IQM will be available from June 2012.
Special educational needs coordinator (SENCo)
All mainstream schools are required to have a SENCo. They, along with a pupil's class teacher, should be able to discuss pupils' needs with parents. These discussions should focus on the provision the school is developing to meet a pupil's needs, and what expectations the school has for a pupil's progress.
Securing high quality provision within mainstream lessons is the most important factor in helping pupils with SEND to make good progress alongside their peers. Many schools have developed whole school provision maps which list a wide range of approaches to be used by classroom teachers and other staff to help overcome some of the barriers to learning faced by some pupils. Schools should discuss these plans with parents if a pupil's progress is less than expected, or it is thought that a pupil might have SEND.
Schools carefully monitor the progress of all pupils to ensure that that their overall progress is at least in line with expectations. This information should be shared regularly with parents. All pupils with SEND should make at least expected progress, in line with their peers. The school should be able to explain to parents where their child is in their learning, and what targets the school is aiming to achieve with a pupil. This information may include national curriculum levels, the results of other assessments the school may be carrying out and other specific learning targets which they may have identified as important for a pupil, for example to address gaps in learning. Schools always seek parents' and pupils' views on the appropriateness of these targets.
Individual provision maps
Where the school feels that some additional or different provision is needed to support a pupil with SEND to make at least expected progress, they should be discussing this carefully with parents and recording this information in a document that is available for parents. This should include a record of both the provision the school is planning and the targets. Many schools record this information in a document called an individual provision map. The school may have its own name for this document, but it should clearly indicate the range of classroom approaches and additional interventions that are planned.
Schools use a range of interventions to support pupils with SEND to make accelerated progress. An intervention is a structured learning programme, delivered for are defined period of time, usually in addition to normal classroom teaching. Interventions address particular aspects of learning and are often delivered by well trained teaching assistants, sometimes outside of the classroom. Interventions must always relate to and support on-going learning in the classroom. Interventions should be monitored closely to make sure they are helping pupils with SEND to make accelerated progress, which is better progress than they have been making without the intervention.
Support from other agencies
The Local Authority offers a range of specialist support and outreach, including a pattern of enhanced mainstream schools (EMS) across the county which provide support to pupils who have special educational needs. Please follow this link to find out more.
Communication with parents
Schools are required to communicate regularly with parents, usually once a term. However, for pupils with SEND it is often desirable that there is more frequent communication. It is vital that parents and school work together to ensure that the pupil with SEND obtains the best provision to enable them to enjoy school and to achieve well.
It is usual, particularly in the early stages of SEND being identified, for a school to update parents every half term on how their child is progressing and whether the support is working. In particular schools should provide parents of children with SEND clear information about the impact of any interventions.
Many schools make effective use of inclusion passports to summarise the support they have been giving to a pupil over a period of time, and the impact of that support. Inclusion passports also include information about any other agencies which may have been working with a pupil. Inclusion passports are 'owned' by parents and pupils, and can be shared with a new school or a new class teacher to help them plan appropriate provision. Many pupils develop their own versions of this passport to explain what school is like for them, their strengths and interests, and to explain how different types of provision can help them to do better at school. Inclusion passports are a powerful tool to help ensure that good provision is maintained for pupils with SEND.
SEND - placement in mainstream schools - frequently asked questions