What are special educational needs?

A child or young person has special educational needs if he or she has a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her. A learning difficulty or disability is a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age. Special educational provision means educational or training provision that is additional to, or different from, that made generally for others of the same age in a mainstream setting in England…. Health care provision or social care provision which educates or trains a child or young person is to be treated as special educational provision. Code of Practice 2014

How does Manifold Academy know if children need extra help?

We know when pupils need help if:

  • Concerns are raised by parents/carers, teachers or the pupil's previous teacher
  • Concerns are raised by the pupil’s previous school
  • Through observations and accurate assessments over a period of time
  • Tracking of attainment outcomes and baseline data indicate a lack of progress
  • A pupil asks for help and by talking regularly with a child during lessons and through self-assessment
  • Pupil observation indicates that they have additional needs in one of the four areas:
    1. Communication and interaction
    2. Cognition and learning
    3. Social, mental and emotional health
    4. Sensory/physical

What should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?

  • If you have concerns then please discuss these with your child’s teacher. This may result in a referral to the school Principal/SENCo. Her contact details are available via the school office. She will arrange a meeting with you and perhaps your child (depending on their age and communication skills) to discuss next steps and targets.
  • All parents will be listened to. Your views and aspirations for your child will be central to any assessment undertaken.

How will I know how Manifold Academy supports my child?

  • We are an inclusive school and may offer a range of provisions to support children with additional needs. This is combined with the provision and teaching provided to the whole class. At Manifold C of E Academy class sizes are usually smaller than in other schools.
  • We embrace the fact that every child is different and, therefore, the educational needs of every child are different – this is certainly the case for children with Special Educational Needs.
  • All pupils will be provided with high quality teaching to suit the diverse needs of all learners.
  • Pupils with a disability will be provided with “reasonable adjustments” in order to increase their access to the taught curriculum. The quality of teaching is monitored through a number of processes, which include:
    1. Classroom observation by the Principal/ SENCo and external verifiers, e.g. those organised by the Multi-Academy Trust.
    2. Ongoing assessment of progress made by pupil in specific intervention groups 3. Work sampling on a termly basis.
    3. Scrutiny of planning.
    4. Teacher meetings with the Principal/SENCo
    5. Pupil and parent feedback when reviewing target attainments
    6. Whole school pupil progress tracking
    7. Attendance and behaviour records
  • All pupils have individual curriculum targets set in line with national outcomes. These are discussed with parents at events such as Parents Evenings. Pupils’ attainments to meet these targets are tracked using the whole school tracking system. For many children, targets will be connected to learning and often linked to literacy and numeracy. For other children, targets maybe linked to social interaction, communicating with children and adults, emotional difficulties, overcoming physical issues (for example problems to do with fine motor control) … the list is endless! The most important point to remember is that: targets depend on the needs of the child. Each pupil’s education programme will be planned by the class teacher. It will be differentiated accordingly to suit the pupil’s individual needs. This may include additional general support by the teacher or teaching assistant in class.
  • If a pupil has needs related to more specific areas of their education, such as spelling, handwriting, numeracy & literacy skills etc; then the pupil will be placed in a small focus group. This will be run by the teacher or teaching assistant. The length of time of the intervention will vary according to need but will generally be for a term. The interventions will be regularly reviewed by all involved to ascertain the effectiveness of the provision and to inform future planning.
  • Pupils who are failing to make expected levels of progress are identified quickly and are discussed in termly meetings that are undertaken between the class teacher and the Principal/SENCo. Pupil Progress Meetings are held each term. This shared discussion may highlight any potential problems in order for further support to be planned.
  • Where it is decided that action is required to support increased rates of progress, this will follow an Assess, Plan, Do and Review model
  • An individual assessment of the pupil will be undertaken in order to make an accurate assessment of their needs. Parents will always be invited to this early discussion to support the identification of action to improve outcomes and dependent upon the level of need; parents may be invited to discuss their child’s progress half termly.
  • Additional action to increase the rate of progress will be then identified and recorded which may include a review of the impact of the differentiated teaching being provided to the child and, if required, provision to the teacher of additional strategies to further support the success of the pupil. If the review of the action taken indicates that “additional to and different from” support will be required, then the views of all involved including the parents and the pupil will be obtained and appropriate evidence-based interventions identified, recorded and implemented by the class teacher with advice from the Principal/ SENCo.
  • Parents will be informed if the school considers their child may require SEN support and their partnership sought in order to improve attainments.
  • SEN support will be recorded on a plan that will identify a clear set of expected outcomes, which will include relevant academic and developmental targets. Progress towards these outcomes will be tracked and reviewed termly with the parents and the pupil.
  • If progress rates are still judged to be inadequate despite the delivery of high quality interventions, advice will be sought from external agencies regarding strategies to best meet the specific needs of a pupil. This will only be undertaken after parent permission has been obtained and may include referral to:
    1. Special Educational Needs Support teachers (Entrust/Capita)
    2. Behaviour Support Service (Entrust/Capita)
    3. Dyslexia Centres
    4. Autism Outreach Team
    5. Hearing Impairment team
    6. Visual Impairment team
    7. Speech and Language Therapists
    8. Occupational Therapists
    9. Educational Psychology Service
    10. Educational Welfare Officers
    11. Physical Disability Support Service
    12. Social Services
    13. School Nurse
    14. CAMHS (Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service)
    15. Young Minds
    16. Local Support Teams
  • For a small percentage of pupils, with significant and complex needs and the special educational provision required to meet these cannot reasonably be provided from within the school’s own resources, a request will be made to the local authority to conduct an assessment of education, health and care needs. This may results in an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan being provided.
  • For pupils who despite relevant and purposeful action taken to meet their special needs, fail to make expected levels of progress, the school or parents may consider requesting an Education, Health and Care assessment that will be undertaken by the Local Authority.

How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?

  • When a pupil has been identified with special needs, their work will be differentiated by the class teacher to enable them to access the curriculum more easily.
  • Teachers plan using pupils’ achievement levels, differentiating work to better match ability to work provided for all pupils in the classroom. When a pupil has been identified as having special needs, their work will be further differentiated by the class teacher to remove barriers to learning and enable them to access the curriculum more easily. In addition, they will be provided with additional support that may include specialised equipment or resources, ICT and/or additional adult help.
  • Teachers are aware of the children’s preferred learning style and ensure that lessons aim to tailor to all styles, which aims to reduce the barriers to learning.
  • In each classroom, learning stations have been established to help support children to become independent in choosing resources and equipment to help their learning e.g. word mats, talking tins, alphabet strips, number lines, visual aids, and if appropriate specialist equipment may be given to the pupil e.g. writing slopes, concentration cushions, pen/pencils grips or easy to use scissors.
  • Homework or additional work will be differentiated where appropriate to meet individual needs.
  • Teaching Assistants (TAs) may be allocated to work with the pupil in a 1-1 or small focus group to target more specific needs.
  • If a child has been identified as having a special need, they will be given an Individual Education Plan (IEP). Targets will be set according to their area of need. These will be monitored by the class teacher weekly and by the SENCO three times per year.
  • IEPs will be discussed with parents at Parents’ Evenings and a copy given to them.
  • Teachers are made aware of all children’s needs and are helped to adapt their provision. This will help to support children with their motivation and confidence scaffolding their learning and their being able to access the entire curriculum.

How will I know how my child is doing?

  • When a child is identified as requiring SEN support, parents will be invited into school to discuss the outcomes of any planned support.
  • Attainments towards the identified outcomes will be shared with parents termly with the SENCO and during Parent’s Evenings. Parents may also find the home-school diary a useful tool to use to communicate with school staff.
  • Parents are encouraged to arrange an appointment to discuss their child’s progress with the class/subject teacher, the Principal/ SENCo. Please contact the school office to arrange such a meeting. Class teachers or the Principal/SENCo may ring parents to discuss any issues arising.
  • An annual school report is sent home to parents, which indicates a child’s learning progress.

How will you help me to support my child’s learning?

  • The class teacher or Principal/SENCo may suggest additional ways of supporting your child’s learning. Homework will also have guidance attached where applicable.
  • Manifold C of E Academy will support your child by ensuring an open door policy, where parents can discuss any issues or concerns.
  • EYFS - Parents are kept up to date on their child’s progress and if the team feel the child requires additional support then interventions are discussed and put into place either delivered by the teacher or TA.

What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?

  • The school offers a wide variety of pastoral support for pupils. These include:
  • A Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PHSE) curriculum that aims to provide pupils with the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to enhance their emotional and social knowledge and well-being.
  • The pupil’s voice is heard through School Council.
  • Small group evidence-led interventions to support pupil’s wellbeing are delivered to targeted pupils and groups which aim to support improved interaction skills, emotional resilience and wellbeing.
  • A weekly celebration assembly takes place and also a celebration display in every classroom is used to recognise not only academic achievements but also outside achievements
  • Within the EYFS there is an open door policy, so that parents can speak to a relevant adult if they have any concerns. The learning is based on child-led interests
  • The school monitors the health of children in partnership with the school nurse.
  • The school monitors attendance in partnership with Educational Welfare Officer.
  • There are many after school clubs available for all pupils

What support will there be for my child's medical need?

  • Pupils with medical needs will be provided with a detailed Health Care Plan, compiled by the school nurse in partnership with parents and if appropriate, the pupil themselves. Staff who administer medicines complete training and are signed off by the school nurse as competent. All medicine administration procedures adhere to the LA policy and DfE guidelines included within Supporting pupils at school with medical conditions (DfE) 2014
  • Staff would receive epi-pen training delivered by the school nurse as appropriate. .
  • All staff have basic first aid training.

What training do the staff undertake to support the pupils with SEND?

  • The school has regular visits from outside agencies that provide advice to staff support the success and progress of individual pupils
  • Staff are provided with regular updates about new strategies and recommendations to use within the classroom and the Principal/ SENCo is available to support teachers when planning for children with additional needs
  • The Governor with specific responsibility for SEN has many years’ experience in the field of SEN. Training on differentiation has been provided to TAs who support children.
  • Individual TAs have been trained in Better Reading Partnership and worked alongside staff from the Dyslexia Centre.
  • Dyslexia Friendly Status (Level One) was achieved June 2012. We plan to reaccredit and then work towards to full status.
  • Teachers’ skills were updated by using the online IDP for behaviour and emotional difficulties at a staff meeting.

How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?

  • Risk assessments are carried out and procedures are put in place to enable all children to participate in all school activities.
  • Information meetings are held prior to some trips, where further information/advice maybe required
  • Parental consent letters are sent to provide information regarding the trip and to highlight information that is identified on the risk assessment
  • Staff ratio is considered when going on a trip; smaller group settings, dependant on the age/ groups and individual needs

How accessible is the school environment?

The following adaptations have been made to the school environment:

  • A ramp has been fitted in addition to steps into school to ensure the site is accessible to all. One toilet has been adapted to ensure accessibility for visitors with a disability
  • Medicines are stored safely in a locked cabinet.
  • A child friendly lift has been installed to enable access to the first floor for pupils or visitors who cannot manage stairs.
  • The visual environment is being developed to ensure it is dyslexia friendly
  • If a child has a hearing/ visual impairment the school would take advice from the specialists and adapt the environment where appropriate.

How will Manifold Church of England Academy prepare and support my child when joining or transferring to a new school?

A number of strategies are in place to enable effective pupil’s transition. These include:

  • On entry
    • A planned programme of “stay and play sessions are provided in the summer term for pupils starting in September.
    • Parent/carers are invited to a meeting at the school and are provided with a range of information to support them in enabling their child to settle into the school routine.
    • For children with SEND where required the class teachers arrange visits to the previous settings to discuss learning and to meet the children in their familiar setting.
    • The Principal/SENCo meets with all new parents of pupils who are known to have SEND to allow concerns to be raised and solutions to any perceived challenges to be located prior to entry.
    • If pupils are transferring from another school, the previous school records will be requested immediately and a meeting will be set up with parents to identify and reduce any concerns.
  • Transition to the next phase/school
    • In conjunction with others schools, we hold a “move up day where all pupils meet their new teacher and new environment and transition meetings are held between class teachers to pass on key information about all children
    • The transition programme in place for pupils in key stage 2 provides a number of opportunities for pupils and parents to meet staff in the new school. These opportunities are further enhanced for pupils with SEN whereby visit days are arranged for those pupils who require more support with transition
  • Parents will be encouraged to consider options for the next phase of education and the school will involve outside agencies, as appropriate, to ensure information is comprehensive but accessible.
  • Parents will be enabled to consider options for the next phase of education and may like to take advantage of the support offered by the independent Staffordshire School Choice.
  • Accompanied visits to other providers may be arranged as appropriate.
  • For pupils transferring to local schools, the SENCos of both schools will meet to discuss the needs of pupils with SEN in order to ensure a smooth transition.
  • The records of pupils who leave the school mid phase will be transferred within five working days of the parents notifying their child
  • has been enrolled at another school.

How are the resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?

The school receives funding to respond to the needs of pupils with SEND from a number of sources:

  • A proportion of the funds allocated per pupil to the school to provide for their education;
  • The Notional SEN budget:
  • The Pupil Premium funding for pupils who meet certain criteria.
  • In addition, for those pupils with the most complex needs, the school may be allocated Additional Educational Needs funding. This funding is then used to provide the equipment and facilities to support pupils with special educational needs and disabilities through:
    • In-class support from teaching assistants
    • Small group support from teaching assistants e.g. literacy and numeracy support
    • Exceptionally, specialist support from teachers e.g. 1:1 tuition
    • Provision of specialist resources e.g. assessment software or that to practice skills when advised by professionals
    • Training relating to SEND for staff

How is the decision made about how much support my child will receive?

  • A graduated approach is taken involving the Principal/ SENCo, class teacher, parent and child. The process we follow is to Assess / Plan / Do / Review
  • For pupils with SEN but without an Education Health and Care plan, the decision regarding the support required is dependent upon the child’s needs as determined by assessment and tracking of progress, and will be discussed with the Principal/SENCo, class teacher and parent.
  • For pupils with a statement of educational needs/Education, Health or Care plan, this decision will be reached by the Staffordshire County Council decision-making body when the plan is being produced or after recommendations made by the annual review.

How will I be involved in discussions about and planning for my child’s education?

This may be through:

  • Discussions with the class teacher, or Principal / SENCo
  • During parents evenings
  • Celebration assemblies
  • Parent Teacher Association membership
  • Parent Forum meetings

Who can I contact for further information or if I have any concerns?

If you wish to discuss your child’s educational needs or are unhappy about something regarding your child’s schooling please contact the following:

  • Your child’s class teacher
  • The Principal / SENCo
  • For complaints please contact the Principal initially then if not satisfied you can have further discussions with the School Governor with responsibility for SEN.

External support services for parents of pupils with SEN include

If you have a general or specific enquiry for the Family SEND Partnership, and would like to speak to one of their team, or you are a parent wanting to request information and support then please send an This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 01785 356921 during office hours.

We hope we have answered any queries you may have, but do not hesitate to contact the Academy if you have further questions