SEND stands for Special Educational Needs and Disability. All schools have a duty to be accessible and inclusive for the students within their community. It is our job to support parents in providing the best possible education for their children.
What do we do at REACH to support students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities?
Categories of SEND
SEND is split into 4 main categories:
- Cognition and Learning
- Social Emotional and Mental Health
- Communication and Interaction
- Sensory and/or physical difficulties
Outside Agencies that REACH School use
- Communication and Autism Team
- Speech and Language Therapist
- Pupil and School Support Services
- Educational Psychologist
- ADHD nurse
- Sensory Support Services (Visually Impaired and Hearing Impaired)
How do we identify if your child at REACH School has SEND?
- Information from their previous mainstream schools.
- All students take reading and spelling tests when they start REACH to assess their literacy needs.
- Classroom observations by the SENCo, Assistant SENCo and all staff.
- Assessments by outside agencies if needed.
- Diagnosis by a Paediatrician.
- Queries from parents regarding their child’s needs.
When a student has been identified as having SEND they are put on REACH School’s Provision Map which is used as a tracker to show what support and provision those students are getting.
Education Support Plans
Every Student identified as having SEND has an Education Support Plan with their strengths and difficulties listed and strategies that staff can use in order to support them. These are working documents that can be added to and adapted as needed.
If from the results of the reading tests a student has a reading age of 11 years or below, they will start a reading intervention with a member of staff either once or twice weekly. This will then be reviewed after 6 weeks to see if the intervention is still needed. Sometimes a student may have missed a significant amount of school and so just needs a quick literacy boost, other times a student may lack confidence and a 1-1 session can help boost that confidence. We try to personalise the intervention to the needs of the student.
ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
ADHD, as with Autism, has to be diagnosed by a paediatrician and they will offer advice and guidance on how best to support your child.
It may be that the paediatrician advises that your child takes medication and we would always try and encourage our students to take the paediatrician’s advice, even if it is on a trial basis. Medication really can make a significant difference to an ADHD student’s focus and concentration and ultimately getting the grades they deserve.
We will also put support strategies in place to ensure your child can access the curriculum. Teachers will plan lessons so that they are split into short chunks and do a variety of activities to keep the ADHD student’s focus.
If your child does not have a diagnosis and it seems that there are ADHD traits we can do a referral to the paediatrician.
If a student has a Special Educational Need we can apply for special provision for them for support in exams. We have to go through a rigorous system to ensure that the Exam Board are aware of the need of the student and the support the student receives is the correct support.
The support they receive has to be something that is their normal way of working in lessons such as:
- If they need someone to read for them in a lesson, then they can qualify for a reader in exams.
- If they struggle with focus or concentration because of a diagnosed condition such as ASD or ADHD we can give them timed rest breaks from exams.
If you feel your child needs support in exams please speak to Amanda or Alison and we will do all we can to ensure they get the support they need.
Many conditions need to be diagnosed by a medical or educational expert. Conditions such as ASD and ADHD need to be diagnosed by a paediatrician. At REACH we have very close links with the health services and paediatricians and will always do a referral if we think it is appropriate.
Other conditions such as Dyslexia need to be assessed by a qualified Dyslexia teacher. Again we will ensure we get the correct services involved in needed.
- If your child has an Autism diagnosis when starting at REACH we will contact the Communication and Autism Team (CAT Team) who come into school regularly to support our Autistic students. We will also put personalised support and strategies in place to ensure that the individual student can access the curriculum fully.
- If your child does not have a diagnosis, but we, or you, think that they might have autistic tendencies we can do a referral, with your consent, to the paediatric service. It has to be a paediatrician that diagnoses Autism. We will always support parents with such referrals.
Where can I seek help?
REACH School SENCO – Amanda Thomas
Assistant SENCO – Alison Miller
Birmingham City Council SEND Department – www.birmingham.gov.uk/localoffer
There are advice sheets on various Special Educational Needs available on REACH School’s website