Most pupils with SEN go to a local mainstream school. Barnet’s Accessibility Strategy sets out the local authority plan to increase access to education for pupils with disabilities in the schools for which it is responsible. Schools should take account of the local authority strategy when drawing up their own school accessibility plans. The strategy is also relevant to academies, free schools and other education settings not maintained by the local authority as they also have a statutory duty to draw up and publish a school accessibility plan. Very occasionally, a mainstream setting may not be the right place for a pupil with SEN. The Government provide the Edubase directory to search schools and publish a list of approved, independent special institutions. You can also see a list of Barnet's specialist provision here.
A Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) is a qualified teacher who arranges additional support for children and young people with special educational needs (SEN). Their role within settings is to:
- put the settings SEN policy into effect on a daily basis
- help staff to support children with SEN
- work with parents to help their child
- work with local authority support services
- work with other professionals e.g. health services
All mainstream schools and maintained nursery schools must have a SENCO. Smaller primaries might share a SENCO between them. Other early years providers must meet the SEN of their children. To do this they might find someone who can take on the SENCO job or share the SENCO job between a group.
Identification and Assessment of SEN
Early identification of special educational needs is an important part of ensuring that the best provision is made for all children and young people. Where a child or young person continues to make less than expected progress, despite high quality differentiated targeted teaching targeted, it is important to understand whether there is an underlying difficulty which is acting as a barrier to learning.
Our Barnet SENCOs and BELS worked together to develop the SENCO toolkit to support settings with the early identification and assesment of SEN. Take a look at the toolkit in the links below and this will give you an idea of what to expect from your child's setting.
- Section 1: Introduction
- Section 2: Identification of Needs
- Section 2: Identification of Needs (Secondary)
- Section 3: Assessment
- Section 4: SEN Support
- Section 5: Setting Outcomes
- Section 6: Useful Links
Ordinarily Available Guidance
You can also take a look at our 'ordinarily available' guidance document - this describes the provision that should be ordinarily available in state funded education settings in Barnet.
The SEND Code of Practice defines a 'Graduated Approach' as:
“a model of action and intervention in early education settings, schools and colleges to help children and young people who have special educational needs. The approach recognises that there is a continuum of special educational needs and that, where necessary, increasing specialist expertise should be brought to bear on the difficulties that a child or young person may be experiencing.”
The graduated response helps the early years setting or school to learn more about the pupil and what helps them to make good progress. A graduated response has four parts, as follows:
Assess: the school assesses the pupil's needs. They will listen to the views of the pupil and their parents/carers. They will also ask for advice from other specialist support services if needed.
Plan: the teacher and SENCO plan how to support the pupil. They will consider what outcomes they want to achieve. They will involve the pupil and their parents/carers and agree a review date.
Do: The SENCO will help the class teacher to support the pupil. They will think about the pupil's strengths and weaknesses and how best to help them. The teacher will also work with the teaching assistants or specialist staff involved.
Review: It's decided how effective the support has been. The school will adapt the support in light of the pupil's progress. The views of the pupil and their parents/carers are an important part of the review process.
Schools should meet with parents/carers of pupils at SEN support very regularly and if a pupil is not making good progress, the school should involve a specialist, involving parents/carers in that decision. Find out more about SEN Support and the Graduated Approach here or within the SEND Code of Practice.
SEN information report
All mainstream schools must publish information about how they support pupils with SEN. This is called the SEN information report and should be published on the school's website.
It details what is ordinarily available in mainstream schools and settings in Barnet to support pupils with SEN. The information must include information about the arrangements for the admission of disabled pupils, the steps taken to prevent disabled pupils from being treated less favourably than other pupils, the facilities provided to assist access for disabled pupils and the schools’ accessibility plans. The school-specific information should relate to the schools’ arrangements for providing a graduated response to children’s SEN. It should elaborate on the information provided at a local authority wide level within this Local Offer.