Charters School aims to embrace the needs of all students; we are committed to ensuring equality of education and opportunity for all our pupils. We have a whole school approach to Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and aim to develop a culture of inclusion and diversity in which all are able to participate fully in the life of the school. The SEND policy provides full details of the way that the school identifies, supports and monitors the needs of pupils with special educational needs.
By SEND we mean a learning difficulty or a disability that prevents, hinders or inhibits a student from accessing our facilities and resources, limits progress or opportunities and constitutes a significant difficulty. Sensory and physical impairments, specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia and dyspraxia, conditions like diabetes, epilepsy, AD(H)D and some complex behavioural, emotional or social difficulties, including syndromes such as Tourette's Syndrome, and Autistic Spectrum Condition and mental health disorders are among the disabilities that might be classed as SEND if they have significant impact on the student’s ability to make progress and take a full part in school life.
Pupils with special educational needs are categorised, using the 2001 Special Educational Needs: Code of Practice, according to the degree of support they require. We follow the principles outlined in the Local Authority SEN guidance, the Education Acts of 1988 and 1996, the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001, The Disability Equality Act 2006 and the Revised Special Needs Code of Practice. Students are supported according to the Code of Practice.
The School’s regular Academic Monitoring system to ensure that student needs are reviewed and students can be identified effectively when a specific need arises. There are four teams which cater for different students’ needs:
- Behavioural and Emotional
- Resource, Visual Impairment, Hearing Impairment and Physical disability
- Subject Based Learning
- Non Subject Based Learning e.g. autistic spectrum disorders
Some children have needs or disabilities that affect their ability to learn. For example:
- Behavioural/social (eg difficulty making friends)
- Reading and writing (eg dyslexia)
- Understanding things
- Concentrating (eg Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
- Physical needs or impairments.
Identifying and assessing special educational needs is a complex process, which must take into account a variety of interactive factors. Liaison with feeder schools, screening procedures and consultation with staff, students and parents ensure that a variety of needs are identified. The school continues to monitor all children so that any who are identified as having additional needs are assessed and provision made for them as early as possible in order for them to be able to achieve their potential targets.
It is important to note that a child whose difficulty in learning is due to the fact that their home language is different from the language in which they are being taught is not regarded as having a learning difficulty. However, it is likely that the pupil will need help and support from the SEN department and relevant external agencies to help them progress in school.
The Education Act 1996 requires that the admission of pupils with statements be administered separately. For all other pupils, ordinary admissions procedures apply, including the right of appeal. Application for admission to the Resource Centre is via the Education Authority, a prerequisite being a Statement for significant physical disabilities as the prime special need. No pupil will be refused admission on the basis of special educational needs, as long as all other procedural criteria are met and the request is not incompatible with the ‘provision of efficient education for other children’ (SENs and Disability Act 2001)
The school actively promotes equality for disabled students, staff and parents. The Learning Support Centre, which supports disabled students so that they are fully integrated into school life, has ensured that this issue has been high on our list of priorities. All teaching areas and subjects are accessible to all students including those in wheelchairs.
The success of the SEN staff is dependent on close liaison between the teaching staff and the whole school’s determination that the pupil be a fully included member from the outset. Effective support will enable the pupil to develop the skills necessary to become an independent learner, competent, confident and valued within the school and the wider community.
All policies and procedures relating to SEN are regularly evaluated and updated.