SEND Information Report
At Gaskell, we pride ourselves on being a very happy, friendly and inclusive school where everyone is valued and respected.
The Well-Being and Inclusion of children are extremely important to us and as a result, one of our Teachers, Mrs Vicky Blakemore, is a Lead Practitioner for Well-Being and Inclusion. This means she has dedicated responsibility for the well-being and inclusion of all pupils. Her role involves supporting children, particularly those with SEND, by monitoring provision, speaking with parents, children, Class Teachers and Specialists and then scheduling an appropriate intervention, specialist support or funding as deemed appropriate.
We also have a full-time Well-Being Mentor whose main role is in supporting the emotional development and welfare of our children.
Frequently asked questions are answered below but if you need any further support, please contact Mrs Vicky Blakemore. She can be contacted via your child’s Class Teacher or the School Office on 01204 333666.
1) What should I do if I think my child has a Special Educational Need or Disability?
If you are worried that your child may have a Special Educational Need, the first person to talk to is your child’s Class Teacher. Your child’s teacher will listen to your concerns and discuss it, and how, these might be presented in school as well. The Class Teacher will then discuss your concerns with our SENCO, who may also ask to meet with you. From this point, together, we will come up with a plan of how best to support your child.
- If we have any concerns about your child, we will also contact you. This may be because of concerns we have about their academic progress or concerns about their ability to:-
- socialise and interact age-appropriately
- cope / behave age-appropriately
- keep themselves safe age-appropriately
- organise themselves age-appropriately and work with a degree of independence
- make and keep friends
We will also contact you if there are any changes in their well-being or general demeanour.
As part of our Special Needs Policy, we would designate a child as having special needs following a period of concern and a number of different tasks being carried out. The child would not be judged solely on the results of tests or on the number of months they are behind the age-related standard, but following discussions with you, the Class Teacher and the deployment of appropriate intervention and/or external Specialists, if necessary.
2) What kinds of need are provided for?
At Gaskell we use our best endeavours to meet all kinds of needs; it may be that your child just needs some extra support to achieve their potential, but it could be that your child has some additional emotional, behavioural or social interaction/communication needs.
We also provide for children who, as part of an Education Health and Care Plan, may have a dedicated adult assigned to them during the school day. In the academic year 2019 – 2020 five children with Education Health and Care Plans were provided for and one further application for an Education Health and Care Plan was successful.
3) What is our school’s ethos/approach to SEN and Disability?
Our main ethos around SEND is that all teachers are the teachers of all children. This means that we believe every member of staff in school has a responsibility for our SEND children.
Gaskell is committed to removing any barrier to learning or participation that can hinder or exclude individual children or groups of children.
All children with or without Special Educational Needs receive equality of entitlement to all activities, whether curricular or extra-curricular. Wherever necessary, special provision is put in place to ensure that this is met. This may be by providing a simpler activity but could be in the form of:-
- additional adult support
- use of visual timetables to provide routine and structure
- individualised timetables working on personal targets
- smaller group teaching
- simplified language
- broken down tasks
- additional intervention sessions which concentrate specifically on the area of need and could be delivered as 1:1 or in small groups
- support from Specialist services like Ladywood Outreach Service
- specialist equipment
- speech and language therapy and associated programmes
- well-being therapy
Due to the needs of our children, particularly with regard to the use of speech and acquisition of language, Gaskell deploys a Speech and Language Therapist half a day per week. The on-site therapist can then assess children within the school setting and then discuss more easily with the parents, the Class Teacher and the SENCO the assessment outcomes. Speech and Language Programmes can then be individualised for the child and assessed/reviewed on a regular basis. There is also the opportunity for on-site Speech and Language therapy if this is deemed appropriate. Almost twenty children benefited from this on-site Speech and Language Therapist service during the academic year 2019 – 2020. .
Gaskell also deploys a Local Authority Educational Psychologist for the maximum allowance possible. During the academic year 2019 – 2020, only two children were on the Educational Psychology Service’s caseload but this was mainly down to lock-down impacting what could be safely carried out.
4) How will I know how well my child is doing in school?
There are many opportunities for our parents to get involved in school life and to stay informed about how their child is doing in school.
Each term we hold Parent Evenings where you get the chance to meet one to one with your child’s Class Teacher. At the end of each term (after our end of term assessments) you will receive a short written report informing you of the standard your child is currently working at compared to National Expectations. You will also get a more detailed written report at the end of the school year.
If your child is on our SEND Register, you will also be invited to their Pupil Passport Review meetings (which take place at least twice a year) where you will be involved in setting targets for your child and get a chance to discuss your child’s needs and progress.
Whenever there is a need to refer your child to a Specialist agency, our SENCO will meet with you to complete an Early Help Assessment. This enables the Specialist agency to concentrate on your child’s main area of need and will involve creating an action plan which will then be reviewed with you at least every eight-ten weeks at Early Help Review Meetings.
In addition to this, there are many chances throughout the school year where parents are invited into the school and can talk to us; for example after a school performance, special assembly or at one of our special themed days.
Finally, we operate an ‘open door’ policy; all our Class Teachers and members of the Leadership Team are always available to discuss any issues or worries you might have. If you would like to speak to our SENCO (Mrs Kath Wright) you can arrange this through your child’s Class Teacher or by asking for an appointment at the School Office. It is really important to us that any concerns or worries you have are addressed quickly so please don’t hesitate to contact us.
5) What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?
The Well-Being and Inclusion of children are extremely important to us and as a result, one of our Assistant Head Teachers, Mrs Kath Wright, is a Lead Practitioner for Well-Being and Inclusion. This means she has dedicated responsibility for the well-being and inclusion of all pupils. Her role involves supporting children particularly those with SEND by monitoring provision, speaking with parents, children, Class Teachers and Specialists and then scheduling an appropriate intervention, specialist support or funding as deemed appropriate.
We also have a full-time Well-Being Mentor whose main role is in supporting the emotional development and welfare of our children. This may be to help a new child settle in or to support a vulnerable child during a difficult period and may be used to build self-confidence and esteem, develop self-awareness, helping your child to manage their feelings whilst improving motivation, empathy and social skills.
In Early Years each child is assigned a Key Worker who supports each of our youngest children. They work alongside the children as they settle into the routines of school life but they are also well equipped to identify additional needs at the earliest stage possible.
If your Early Years child is deemed in need of significant 1:1 support, an application can be made to the Local Authority for Early Years Inclusion Funding / Support.
Our well-structured PSHCE curriculum (which is taught intrinsically throughout our whole curriculum and wider school life), also enables children to develop self-awareness, learn about managing their feelings, motivation, empathy and social skills. This helps all children develop as individuals in our wider society.
Our residential experiences, trips and special visitors to school also provide opportunities for children to plan, work together and develop and maintain relationships in different settings and contexts.
Once a week one assembly focuses on supporting and developing children’s understanding of Mental Health age-appropriately. The SENCO (Mrs Kath Wright) and Well-Being Mentor are accredited Mental Health First Aiders and have undertaken the MHFA England Qualification in October 2018.
6) How will I be involved in discussions about, planning for, and involvement in, my child’s education?
At Gaskell, we believe that partnership with parents is key in enabling all children to achieve the very best that they possibly can. We treat all parents as partners and you are encouraged to play an active and valued role in your child’s education. We recognise that parents hold vital information and have knowledge and experience that will contribute greatly to the shared view of your child’s individual needs and the best ways of supporting them. Parents will be informed if their child is in need of SEND support and will be invited to their termly Pupil Passport Review meetings.
There will also be Early Help Review meetings held every eight – ten weeks when any additional intervention or Specialist agency is involved.
Where a child has an Education, Health & Care Plan (EHCP), Annual Reviews will also be carried out to which parents are encouraged to attend and at which their views are welcomed and encouraged.
7) How do Gaskell involve children and young people in their education and in the decision making process?
It is really important to us to make sure that our children feel listened to and valued at school. We have an active School Council and Pupil Forum who are often consulted about school issues. We also have a rigorous Quality Assurance Programme where children’s thoughts and opinions are regularly canvassed through Pupil Voice questionnaires and Pupil Conference interviews.
In addition, children are encouraged to be involved in their Early Help Review meetings, Pupil Passport Review meetings or EHCP Annual Review meetings (where appropriate). The SENCO (Mrs Kath Wright) also carries out SEND Pupil Conferencing twice a year, where children have the chance to answer questions about how they feel they are supported in school.
8) How will my child be supported in moving between phases of their education?
Our SENCO meets with the Early Years Leader and Key Stage Leaders to discuss children who may find moving between phases of education more challenging. Specific transition activities will be planned if deemed appropriate.
The SENCO also meets with representatives from all of our feeder High Schools during the Summer Term to update them on the SEND children that will be going to their schools in the Autumn. In addition Gaskell support and encourage children by facilitating additional transition sessions provided by Ladywood Outreach Service at their new High Schools.
9) Who, outside of school, can I turn to for advice and support?
The school works with many external agencies to seek advice and support to ensure the needs of all children are fully understood and met. These include:-
- Local Authority Early Years Foundation Stage Team
- Ladywood Outreach Service
- Health Visiting Service
- School Nursing Team
- Early Intervention Team
- Educational Psychologist
- Behaviour Support Service
- Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)
- Occupational Therapy
- NHS Physiotherapy
- Bolton Information and Advisory Service
- Bolton Mediation Service
- ACIS (Achievement, Cohesion and Integration Service)
- NHS Speech and Language Service
- Children’s Social Care
- Community Paediatrician
- Cluster and High School SENCOs
10) How skilled are the staff at Gaskell Community Primary School in meeting the needs of my child?
An ongoing programme of professional training is in place to ensure that the SENCO, Class Teachers and Support Staff all have the appropriate skills and knowledge in areas that will improve their teaching and support of all children. Recent training includes:-
- First Aid
- Epilepsy Management
- Diabetic training
- Moving & handling
- Elklan (Speech & Language)
- Autistic Spectrum Awareness
- Dyslexia Awareness
- Mental Health First Aid
- Our SENCO actively engages with other local schools and agencies to share best practice and keep abreast of local and national initiatives/policies to support children with SEND.
Our SENCO (Mrs Kath Wright) completed the National Award for SEN Coordination in 2018.
- The SENCO also meets at least termly with Ladywood Outreach Service to support, review, evaluate and develop the provision for children who have more complex needs.
11) How is the provision for children with SEND evaluated?
Pupil Progress meetings are held termly with Class Teachers to review the outcomes of all children including those with SEND. As part of a rigorous Quality Assurance Programme, the school also canvasses children’s thoughts and opinions through Pupil Voice questionnaires and Pupil Conference interviews. Lessons are observed regularly and learning walks are carried out to monitor the provision for SEND children in their classroom settings. The Early Help Review meetings also assess and evaluate the success of any Specialist’s involvement and then address the next steps.
12) Who, outside of school, can I turn to for advice and support?
At school, we are always happy to help and listen but sometimes you may want impartial advice from outside of school. This might be about services available in our Local Authority, about the transition to high school or any other issues or concerns that you may have.
Bolton Information and Advisory Service is a national organisation who have an excellent knowledge about services that are available in the local area as well as national laws and statutory guidance. They are always happy to provide support to our parents in any way they can. They are based at Lowndes St Nursery in Bolton and can be contacted on:
Telephone: 01204 848722 (between 8.30am – 5.00pm)
Website: https://cyp.iasnetwork.org.uk/service/bolton-information-and-advisory-service-send/ (Check this site for information and advice for SEND in Bolton)
13) Where can I find information about Local Authority provision for children and young people with SEN?
Bolton Council has published their Local Offer. This details all the services available within the area to support a family or child with SEND. This includes health, social and care information as well as education and is a great place to go for information. To access the local offer just use the web address below,
14) How should complaints regarding SEND provision be made and how will they be dealt with?
The school’s complaints procedure is outlined in our Complaints Policy which is on our website. The SEND Code of Practice outlines additional measures the Local Authority must set up for preventing and resolving disagreements. These will be explained to parents if required and are available through the Local Offer set out by the Local Authority. However if there are any issues arising around your child’s education please feel free to contact school via your child’s Class Teacher or the SENCO so that we can try to deal with any issue as quickly as possible.
15) How do I obtain a copy of the school’s SEND Policy?
A hard copy of the school SEND policy is always available from the School Office. It is also published on the school website.
Reviewed: July 2020
Next Review Date: September 2021