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Getting the right support

Everyone deserves a fair start in life and Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council is committed to giving every child and young person aged 0 to 25 the opportunity to reach their full potential. Education plays a critical role in achieving this.

All families need extra help from time to time. For children and young people who have a Special Educational Needs or Disability (SEND), different levels of support are required at different times. Children and young people with the most complex needs, as well as their parents and carers, may need access to ongoing support and advice.

We aim to provide a range of support so that children and young people with SEND can be educated and enjoy social opportunities alongside their peers in their local community, wherever possible. As a result, we are working with families, schools, health and other agencies to provide and develop services that enable children and young people to have to provision which is appropriate to their special educational need and/or disability.

These pages set out what you can expect to be available for children and young people who have Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) in Rotherham across education, health and social care services. There is a lot of help available and we aim to enable you to get the right support and advice for your son or daughter and family when you need it most.

It is important to remember and acknowledge from the beginning that it is not just the practitioners and specialist services that can help you and your family. For many people, it is the help and informal support of their family and friends, and the support of their community, that is most valued and makes a significant difference.

Services that everybody can use (the universal services) such as children’s centres, schools, leisure centres and your doctor’s surgery can provide really valuable support. Practitioners can also work together to provide joined up services. There is also a range of services that can provide very specialist support at times when it is most needed.

It is a combination of informal and formal support that can provide your family with the help you need most and your child with the best opportunity to realise their potential.


Education

Whilst for most children, young people and parents, education and learning is a positive and enjoyable experience and opens up opportunities for life; some parents may have anxieties about it, particularly if their son or daughter has a Special Educational Need and/or Disability (SEND). For a child or young person with SEND, deciding whether a mainstream or a special school will be the best setting is very important and there are a number of people who can help you make the right decision.

All children and young people living in Rotherham, regardless of whether they have SEND, have the right to the highest standard of education and the widest variety of opportunities to develop academic, personal and social skills. To make the most of the educational opportunities available and to maximise their progress some children and young people may need additional help or support.

All schools and colleges in Rotherham have the same duties towards special educational needs and disabilities and are expected to provide support for children and young people who have additional needs.

These duties come from the Children and Families Act 2014 and the national SEND Code of Practice, which you can read here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/send-code-of-practice-0-to-25

The majority of children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) will have their educational needs met in their local area and attend mainstream schools. All schools have a Special Educational Needs  Coordinator (SENCO) and post-16 providers such as Dearne Valley College, Rotherham College and Thomas Rotherham College have a named person responsible for SEND. These staff members will have specialist training and are responsible, along with the Head Teacher or Principal, for ensuring that children and young people’s needs are met.


Local Authority expectations

The Local Authority expectations of all mainstream education settings, including nurseries, early year’s providers, schools and colleges is to:

  • Focus on the quality of teaching for all children and develop different approaches to meet the needs of individual children and young people
  • Follow the graduated response to need, to meet the needs of children and young people
  • Identify children and young people with special educational needs quickly and accurately so that support can be put in place
  • Inform parents when pupils receive support for special educational needs and involve them in reviews of progress
  • Meet their Equality Act duties for children and young people with disabilities
  • Meet the needs and objectives identified in a Statement or Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) for children and young people with additional needs
  • Have a regularly reviewed special educational needs and disabilities policy, which is available to all parents of children and young people with additional special educational needs
  • Produce and publish online an SEN information report (post 16 settings do not need to do this, but it would be considered to be best practice)
  • Work in partnership with children, young people and their parents
  • Delegate resources fairly, efficiently and in response to identified need
  • Set out the support and provision they provide for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities
  • Appoint a suitably qualified or experienced teacher as Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO). In post 16 settings they must have a named person responsible for SEND.
  • Co-operate with the Local Authority regarding the Local Offer.

Governors

  • Should co-operate with the local authority
  • Consider to have a member or a sub-committee with specific oversight of the school’s arrangements for SEND (this is identified as being good practice)
  • Must publish information about the arrangements for the admission of disabled children
  • Should ensure the SENCO is a qualified teacher who is either on the  Senior Leadership Team or has a direct link to the leadership team
  • Should determine and monitor the key responsibilities of the SENCO
  • Must include an SEN information report on the school website
  • Must inform parents and young people if the child or young person is receiving special educational provision and is on the SEN register
  • Must use their ‘best endeavours’ to ensure that special educational provision is made for a pupil
  • Must admit a child or young person to their school where they are named in the Education Health Care Plan (EHCP)
  • Must ensure that arrangements are in place to support pupils at school with medical conditions.

The Head Teacher:

  • Should take overall responsibility for implementing the SEND reforms 
  • Ensure that the SENCO is able to influence strategic decisions about SEND
  • Ensure the wider school community understands the implications of the reforms for whole school improvement (from governors to classroom teachers and teaching assistants)
  • Put in place arrangements to ensure parents are regularly engaged in discussions about the progress of their child (at least three times a year)
  • Ensure a process is in place for involving parents and young people in reviewing provision and planning for those currently at SEN Support and any newly identified pupils with SEND
  • Develop relationship with post-16 providers and explore how they will support pupils with SEND with their transition to post-16 education.

SENCOs should:

  • Oversee the day-to-day operation of school’s SEND policy
  • Co-ordinate provision for children with SEND
  • Liaise with designated teacher where a Looked After Child has SEND
  • Advise on graduated approach to SEND Support
  • Liaise with parents of children with SEND
  • Link with other education settings and outside agencies
  • Liaise with potential next providers of education
  • Ensure that SEND records are up to date
  • Monitor and track the progress of SEND children/young people.

In Post 16 settings the named person with an oversight of SEN provision should have a role similar to that of a SENCO.


The class / subject teacher should:

  • Focus on outcomes for the pupil: Be clear about the outcome wanted from any SEND support
  • Be responsible for meeting special educational needs: Use the SENCO strategically to support the quality of teaching, evaluate the quality of support and contribute to school improvement
  • Have high aspirations for every pupil in their care: Set clear progress targets for pupils and be clear about how the full range of resources is going to help reach them – using quality first teaching to ensure a differentiated approach to learning, for all pupils
  • Involve parents and pupils in planning and reviewing progress: Seek their views and provide regular updates on progress.

Support staff should:

  • Support the inclusion of all pupils, ensuring they have equal access to opportunities to learn and develop
  • Have an in-depth knowledge of all the children with SEND needs in class, including barriers to learning and targets set.

Further information and support

Education settings should follow the graduated response to need, in order to meet the needs of children and young people receiving SEND support or have an Education Health and Care Plan.

The following documents provide Information for Education settings regarding the graduated response to need:

View Education Settings documents

Identifying SEND

View the Identifying SEND document

View the Graduated Response to Need document

SEND system flow charts (co-produced by the Department for Education and Special Needs Jungle)

Special Needs Jungle has worked with the Department for Education in devising a series of easy-to-understand flow charts that detail how the new special educational needs and disability system should proceed.

Below are four flow charts detailing the process for SEN Support; how to seek an assessment for an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP); how an EHCP assessment should proceed; and what to do if your child is refused an assessment, a plan, or if you have a complaint.

Visit the Special Needs Jungle website here: https://www.specialneedsjungle.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/SNJ-SEND-FLOW-charts-front-back.pdf

Information for parents and carers regarding the Education, Health and Care Plan process

View the Special Education Needs Assessment and Planning document

View the Annual Review Process