Parent guide to SEND at St Francis
Understanding the SEND Process at St. Francis CofE Primary School – A Parent's Guide
Quality First Teaching and Intervention
If a child encounters challenges in their learning, our class teachers step in to provide additional support in the form of scaffolding and interventions within the classroom environment. This support can take various forms, such as targeted questioning, small group activities, adapted tasks, movement breaks or one-on-one assistance to help the child overcome specific difficulties. In some cases, we may request your support at home to help your child practice and develop their skills. This initial phase typically lasts around half a term (approximately 6 weeks) to allow the child ample time for practice and skill development. At the end of this period, we assess the impact of the additional support and decide on the next steps. Depending on the outcome, we may continue with the same approach or explore different strategies to provide further assistance.
If a child continues to face challenges in a particular area, the teacher may determine that they require additional support through a scheduled intervention. These interventions are planned across different phases to maximize the efficient use of additional adult support. Our Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator (SENDCO) oversees these plans and timetables to monitor the types of interventions needed across the school and identify any recurring patterns or needs. This level of intervention can range from 6 weeks to 6 months, depending on the child's progress.
Individual Pupil Profile (IPP)
When initial interventions do not yield the desired results and the learning gap continues to widen, we will engage in discussions with parents/carers about a Special Educational Needs IPP. This is a formal plan of support that breaks down improvement targets into smaller, manageable steps. We hold termly meetings involving the SENDCO, teacher, parents, and, where appropriate, the child, to review progress and set new targets.
Again, interventions are planned and delivered for a specified period and reviewed afterward. The goal for most children is to make this support short-term, allowing them to close the learning gaps and access their education without additional help. However, in some cases, this stage may last for 1-2 years if it proves beneficial, or longer if it enables your child to make consistent progress despite remaining below the expected level of attainment.
Outside Agency Support
If school-based interventions do not produce the desired results in a child's progress, we may consider involving external agencies for more specialised support. The SENDCO will contact parents to discuss the potential involvement of outside agencies and seek permission to make referrals for their assistance. The timeframe for when the child will be seen by the external professional depends on the severity of the need and the professional's availability; schools are given set hours by the Local Authority. The SENDCO conducts termly Multi-Agency Team meetings to assess the current needs of the school and children who require additional support. In these meetings, it is determined who will receive observations and assessments from outside agencies, and once the dates are confirmed, this information is communicated to parents. Following the external professional's visit, they will provide recommendations, typically within 1-2 weeks. Not all agencies provide written reports, and feedback may be verbal in some instances. The SENDCO and class teacher will then use this advice to plan further interventions, which will be carried out over a set period with progress assessed at the end. During termly IPP meetings, we will review whether additional support is still necessary.
Birmingham currently employs a graduated approach to SEN support consisting of 3 waves:
- Wave 1 for quality first teaching
- Wave 2 for targeted support
- Wave 3 for specialist support, including support from outside agencies
School Support Provision Plan (SSPP)
If a child continues to face significant difficulties in their learning, the SENDCO will discuss the possibility of developing a SSPP with parents/carers. Together, they will complete the necessary paperwork, including evidence and gathering parent and pupil perspectives. The SENDCO will then convene a Team Around the Child (TAC) meeting, involving all relevant external agencies, to contribute to the document. During this meeting, funding requirements will also be discussed. Following this, further interventions to support the child's needs will be planned and delivered over a specified period, with progress assessed at the end. We will then review whether additional support is still required.
Education Health Care Plan (EHCP)
In cases of continuing significant difficulty, the SENDCO will discuss the potential development of an EHCP with parents and explore the possibility of an alternative setting to better meet the child's needs. A TAC meeting will be held to complete the necessary paperwork, incorporating evidence and gathering the views of parents/carers and pupils. Reports from external agencies are essential during this stage. The EHCP application will outline whether the school can address the child's needs and whether additional funding is necessary to facilitate this. It may be determined that, at this point, the child's needs are better met in a different educational setting.
Initial communication regarding any additional support will come from the class teacher. If a child requires an intervention, parents will receive a letter from the school detailing the intervention. During this stage, all communication should be directed through the class teachers. If we believe that a child requires additional support from external agencies, the SENDCO will contact parents/carers.
We strive to acknowledge email communications within 2 working days and provide a response within 5 working days.
The SENDCO is actively involved in various networks where best practices are shared, training is provided, and mutual support is offered. In addition to the Local Consortia Network, we are part of a Devolved Local Partnership Project Group with two primary aims: improving children's learning behaviors to facilitate greater progress and providing support for speech and language acquisition. As part of this initiative, we have accessed Beacon Behaviour Support, allowing our staff to access training modules related to best practices and interventions.
Monitoring and Review
Our SEND provision is overseen by a dedicated SEND governor who meets with the SENDCO on a termly basis. These meetings cover topics such as the action plan, the impact of interventions, external agency support, and any challenges that may arise. The appointed governor receives training regarding the role of the SEND governor and has access to regular updates and training opportunities. Additionally, SEND updates are included in the Headteacher's termly reports to the governors and are a standing item on the Governor's Pupils Sub-committee agenda. The School Improvement Partner also meets with the SENDCO throughout the year to track progress and share national updates and learning.