At Muscliff Primary, we know that early identification of SEN, timely and effective intervention and constant review and evaluation are key to positive outcomes for our children. In order to ensure a rigorous, effective, consistent and child-centred approach to supporting our children with SEND we follow a process which is recommended by the Department for Education and is applied across Bournemouth.
ASSESS - PLAN - DO - REVIEW
'6.44 Where a pupil is identified as having SEN, schools should take action to remove barriers to learning and put effective special educational provision in place. This SEN support should take the form of a four-part cycle through which earlier decisions and actions are revisited, refined and revised with a growing understanding of the pupil’s needs and of what supports the pupil in making good progress and securing good outcomes. This is known as the graduated approach. It draws on more detailed approaches, more frequent review and more specialist expertise in successive cycles in order to match interventions to the SEN of children and young people.' p100, Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0-25 years (2014)
What does this process 'look like'?
A child has a need identified by school/parents/both.
A meeting will be arranged between the child (if appropriate), parents/carers, class teacher and SENCo, if required. The purpose of this meeting is to clarify the issues and further explore any barriers to learning the child may be experiencing. We will look at the outcomes desired and agree an approach and support strategies to move the child forward towards these outcomes. Any intervention will be discussed and agreed. At this point we will also share information about the Local Offer to signpost any services which may be relevant, accessible and of help at that point in time. A review date will be agreed.
Interventions and support strategies agreed by both home and school will be put in place. This would usually be for a period of around 6-8 weeks in order to establish an impact (although this would depend on the individual child and their needs).
After a period of intervention there will be a review meeting which enables everyone to discuss progress made by the child and any other issues which may have arisen. In most cases the interventions/support will have had the desired effect and can be withdrawn or an agreement made to maintain them. If further support/provision or amendments need to be made than a new plan is put in place with everyone's investment and agreement.
Following two of these cycles, if the child's needs remain unmet or they are not making the expected progress towards the desired outcomes, then the school can refer to external agencies for further assessment/advice. This would only be actioned with the agreement of parents/carers and child (where appropriate).
The external professional referred to (speech and language therapist/learning support specialist/emotional health team/educational psychologist/behaviour support team/community paediatrician etc…) will need to spend some time with a child and/or their family in order to further investigate any needs and ascertain what support/provision may be required. This is likely to take the form of an appointment, often at school but sometimes in clinics (depending on the service). The external professionals liaise with both the family and the school to organise any appointments, as appropriate.
Following any assessment there will be a meeting arranged for all involved with the child to attend. This is called a 'Team Around the Child (TAC)' meeting. This enables all professionals, the child (if appropriate) and their family to come together and discuss the outcomes of any assessments and plan next steps. We would look again at the desired outcomes for the child and talk about their aspirations. A record is made of their known needs and how these are being met, plus a plan of action to tackle any unmet needs. Interventions and provision required to meet the child's needs are decided upon and recorded. A review date is agreed.
Implementation of agreed actions (usually a 6-8 week period).
A review meeting is held to look at progress made and consider the outcomes for that child. Most children will be having their needs well met at this level and the cycle can continue, in order to monitor this until it is agreed that this level of support is no longer required, or cease. For some children, however, there will still be unmet needs despite high levels of support. It may be that additional services need to be accessed in order to gain a wider 'picture' of the child's needs, or the child may have wide-ranging and complex needs which require expertise from a range of sources. Further referrals may be agreed upon at this point and the cycle continues as the child's needs are further unpicked and advice is given and acted upon.
Review part 2
After at least two cycles of this second 'assess, plan, do, review cycle' it may be appropriate to consider the evidence and views of the child, their parents/carers, the school and other professionals, in order to decide whether the child has needs which remain unmet. Consideration may need to be given to making a request for an Education, Health & Care Plan (EHCP). This meeting will include a discussion of the child's needs and actions implemented to date. We would discuss the criteria for an EHCP and decide if the child would be eligible. The views of everyone would be noted and we would make a decision as to whether to request an EHCP. There would be an initial discussion of personal budgets with the parents/carers and child (if appropriate) via a leaflet.
If a request for an EHCP was the agreed outcome then all information would be collated and a request would be made.
When a child has a Statement or an EHCP there is a statutory Annual Review process.