All children and young people have rights. Most references to rights are about what is received to children from others, particularly from their parents and the government and its agencies. Children and young people with special educational needs have a unique knowledge of their own needs and circumstances and their own views about what sort of help they would like to help them make the most of their education. They should, where possible, participate in all the decision-making processes in education including the setting of learning targets and contributing to IEPs, discussions about the choice of schools, contributing to the assessment of their needs and to the annual review and transition processes They should feel confident that they will be listened to and that their views are valued.
Most schools now have written policies and parts of their mission statements specifically made for the inclusion and equality of SEN children. They must be in written form and should also be posted on the website for access to all who require it.
There should also be policies which show the rights and responsibilities of those within the environment. The policies may be a number of separate ones or combined in one policy covering all the relevant areas. The policies should show how the school relates to the main policies affecting the special educational needs. These include:-
* Disability and access
* Gifted and talented pupils
* Race and cultural diversity
* Special educational needs
* Inclusion and equality of opportunity
* Safeguarding and bullying
“Special Needs” is such a massive topic that has different areas to make it complete.
Children with special needs may have mild learning disabilities or profound impairment; food allergies or terminal illness; developmental delays that catch up quickly, occasional panic attacks or serious psychiatric problems. The designation is useful for getting needed services, setting appropriate goals, and gaining understanding for a child and stressed family. Children with special needs are children with a variety of different disabilities, health and mental health conditions that require special intervention, services, or support. Parenting a child with special needs can be particularly challenging. Fortunately, children with special needs and their families may be eligible for services to address their unique needs, many of which are free. Children have special educational needs if they have a learning difficulty which calls for special educational provision to be made for them.
Children have a learning difficulty if they: a) have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age b) have a disability which prevents them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for children of the same age in schools within the area of the local education authority c) are under compulsory school age and fall within the definition at (a) or (b) above or would so do if special educational provision was not made for them. The overall aim is that children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities will have improved health, independence and wellbeing so that they will enjoy childhood, achieve their potential and make a positive contribution in their lives by having timely access to local support and local schools which meet their needs. Special educational provision means:
a) for children of two or over, educational provision which is additional to, or otherwise different from, the educational provision made generally for children of their age in schools maintained by the local education authority, other than special schools, in the area. b) for children under two, educational provision of any kind. Some children may be able to catch up with their peers with extra help in the form of short term targeted interventions or a differentiated curriculum, but may not have a special educational need. It is when this support does not help a pupil to progress that he or she will need to be assessed further and support planned, in liaison with parents, carers and other professionals. The child should have a voice in this process. There is a graduated approach to identifying and providing support to meet these needs. The law says the child has special needs if their learning difficulties are caused by
About 1 in 5 children have learning difficulties at the same time in their school life. Most of these children end up going to a mainstream school. Children with statement after attend mainstream school.
Early education settings, except specialist SEN provision, will need to identify a member of staff to act as the special educational needs coordinator (SENCO). In the case of accredited childminders who are part of an approved network, the SENCO role may be shared between individual childminders and the coordinator of the network. The SENCO should have responsibility for:
● ensuring liaison with parents and other professionals in respect of children with special educational needs
● advising and supporting other practitioners in the setting
● ensuring that appropriate Individual Education Plans are in place
● ensuring that relevant background information about individual children with special educational needs is collected, recorded and updated.
The SENCO should take the lead in further assessment of the child’s particular strengths and weaknesses; in planning future support for the child in discussion with colleagues and in monitoring and reviewing the action taken. The SENCO should also make sure that appropriate records are kept including a record of children at school Action A and School Action Plus and those with statements. They usually responsible for the child should remain responsible for working with the child on a daily basis and for planning and delivering an individualised programme. Parents should always be consulted and kept informed of the action taken to help the child, and of the outcome of this action.
A statement of special education needs is a legal document, it describes all the needs of the child. Also the special help they require. It takes into account the advice from a speech therapist, gp, nurses, teacher councillors etc…. The law says that all state schools must do their best, provide full proper education and give the best possible learning for them including inclusion. The law has dealt with special education needs 1993 Education Act which replaces the 1981 Act. The 1993 Act states and issues the “code of practice”. This was issues by the secretary state and is still being used today.
Code of practice gives guidance and how to identify and access special educational needs. In 1978 the warnock committee looked at the needs of the child and not at the handicap. In 1982 the education Act encouraged the integration of the needs and the handicap, This resulted in the statementing process. The Code of Practice suggests 5 stages of action:
1. the class teachers, assistant identify the child SEN needs and takes initial action
2. the school SEN coordinator takes the lead responsibility
3. the school is supported by outside specialist
4. the lEA decides whether a statutory assessment is necessary
5. the LEA considers whether a statement is considered.
SEN SPECIAL NEEDS
CODE OF PRACTICE
IMPACT OF SEN ON SIBLING AND FAMILY
SUPPORT FOR DISABILITY
When a child is identified with a need they are places on a SEN register withing the schools. Teachers, TA offer support through differentiation. They also support through planning IEPs in place with a specific subject and cross curricular TARGETS. Targets need to be realistic short term, measurables, smart, achievable, time-bound. When targets are set Smart language has to be used. example of a smart language which can be measurable :
and words that are not considered as smart:
Targets set in the IEP should be “SMART”, which stands for: S specific, so that it is clear what the child should be working towards Measurable, so that it is clear when the target has been achieved
Class and subject teachers and TA support IEPs implementation. SENCO is responsible for planning, monitoring, and reviewing the SEN provision and the student progress. Termly reviews of the progress are advisable those on going minireviews are also very important. 1st step for children who have some special needs – SCHOOL ACTION A
• School action: the school is able to meet the pupil’s needs with in house interventions, staff and resources. Students can move off the school action A IEPs if sufficient progress is achieved.
• School action plus: the school is able to meet the pupil’s needs with in house resources but has support from outside agencies, for example, the local authority’s educational psychologist.
It is a school responsibility to get support from external agencies. The students is placed on a SEN registor for school action plus. A new IEP is divised in conjunction with the external agencies. Class teachers and TA support the new IEP or implement it in the class or on a one to one basis. SENCO takes the lead monitoring reviewing, coordinating. If there is the progress made the pupil goes back into school action A. If there is progress in school action A then they will be taken off the SEN registor. However if after 2 school action plus reviews, progress is not statutory or has gone worse, the school negotiates with the parent, request the involvement of the LEA, asking them to make an assessment. The assessment statutory: parents and school, the LEA to undertake a statutory on a child identifying with SEN.
The LEA can take up to 6 weeks to consider whether to approve the application. Then the LEA will take 10 weeks to undertake an essay for the SEN child. Lea will request reports, evaluation, assessments from head teachers, teacher, nurses, gp, SENCO, parents and cares. Following the outcome of statutory assessment, the LEA takes 2 weeks to notify to the parents of their intentions whether they will issues a SA or suggest appropriate. The statement of SEN is issued by the LEA only when the mainstream school are unable to meet the needs of a child with it existing resources and equipment. Parents then receive a draft statement, then 8 weeks are given to be finalized. A statement is a legal document, procedures are put into place to monitor, review, evaluate the child’s progress in a school that is fit for the child or purpose. They also support with transport need, dietary needs, aid needs. The statement LEA is then reviewed annually at which point it can be amended or seized according to the child progress. Statement of special educational needs: the pupil’s needs are severe or complex enough to require additional funding and resources to supplement the school’s support. Referrals for statutory assessment can be made by the child’s school or setting, a parent, or an agency such as health is The Language of Disability
Using the correct terminology when discussing the term DISABILITY is important, as use of bad language re-enforces stereotypes and influences people’s attitude. Perhaps the best use of language is “deaf and dumb”. These words are extremely negative and makes acrossition between deaf and stupidity or having lack of inteligence. It also unlikely that the person is totally deaf. In the context of seacking most deaf people have some degree of speech, although this may be limited because of their inability to learn to say words which they can not hear. So they are not dumb. Eg:
victim of …….person who has….
crippled by …..person who has….
invalid ….person with…..
deaf and dumb..person with hearing visual or speech
mongoloid….person with down syndrome
Disability is an impairment that has a long term and substantial effect on a child’s ability may amount to a disability. This may include sensory impairments, such as those affecting sight or hearing, or hidden impairments such as dyslexia, autism, speech and language impairments, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The Disability Discrimination Act 2005 builds on the 1995 Act by requiring all schools to produce a Disability Equality Scheme (DES). The DES must set out ways that schools promote equality of opportunity and promote positive attitudes towards pupils, staﬀ and others with disabilities. In addition there must also be an Access Plan. This plan must identify how discriminatory barriers are removed. For example:
● an improvement to the physical environment, such as ramps, room layout, lighting
● providing information in diﬀerent ways for children with a disability, such as audio, pictorial, larger print.
Children or young people with medical needs such as diabetes or epilepsy would also be considered to have impairment and therefore be disabled if he or she: a) relies on medical treatment or aid in order to able to be able to carry out normal day to day activities (except needing to wear glasses or contact lenses). b) has a progressive condition (such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy or infection) or
c) has a severe disfigurement which affects normal day to day activities.
Disability Discrimination Act 1995
Protects the rights of all those with disabilities. It also places a duty on schools (and other organisations) to eliminate barriers to ensure that individuals can gain equal access to services.
Disability Discrimination Act 2005
Places a duty for schools to produce a Disability Equality Scheme (DES) and an Access Plan. Schools must encourage participation in all aspects of school life and eliminate harassment and unlawful discrimination. The rights of children and young people with special educational needs and disability are set out in the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. This includes the right to have their needs met without having to wait for a diagnosis. Equally a diagnosis alone does not mean that a child is covered by the act. It is the effect on a child’s ability to carry out day to day activities that has to be considered. Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001
Makes it unlawful for education providers to discriminate against pupils with a special educational need or a disability. The Special Educational Needs and Disability Act (2001)11 strengthened the right of children and young people with special educational needs to equality of access to education, and in particular, to a mainstream school. A statutory duty on local authorities and schools:
• not to treat disabled pupils less favourably for a reason related to their disability.
• to make reasonable adjustments for disabled pupils, so that they are not at a substantial disadvantage to those who are not disabled.
• to plan strategically and make progress in improving accessibility for disabled pupils over time, by:
– increasing access to the curriculum
– making improvements to the physical environment of the school to increase access to education and associated services
– making written information accessible in a range of different ways for disabled pupils, where it is provided in writing for non-disabled pupils.
This brings together nine equality laws
The Special Educational Needs Code of Practice 2001
This outlines the statutory guidance for policy and the procedures and responsibilities towards children with special educational needs. It includes the levels of support which should be provided to children, depending upon their individual need. Local authorities and schools are required to develop accessibility strategies and plans to demonstrate this. Children and young people with special educational needs and disability also have a right to have their disability equality positively promoted. Local authorities, schools and educational settings have a duty to ‘take a more proactive approach to promoting disability equality and eliminating discrimination. With this came the requirement to publish disability equality schemes and measure their impact, engage disabled stakeholders, and audit the needs of disabled children and adults within the community.Children with disabilities have poorer outcomes across a range of indicators. These include lower educational attainment, poorer health, more difficult transitions to adulthood and poorer employment outcomes. Families of disabled children are less likely to have one or both parents in work, and are more likely to suffer family break up. Siblings of disabled children may be more likely to suffer from emotional and behavioural problems.
6. The school must appoint a SEN coordinator to run a special needs policy
7. By observing, reporting, target, work being set, the SEN coordinator must keep records and reports of all the children with needs
8. SEN co ordinator has taken lead responsibility to draw up plans for individual children they have to be reviewed each term
9. From sept 1994 all schools were obliged to publish their special need policy. For all the above to work the following conditions within the school environment must exist.
10. A strong management of head and staff that are committed to speial needs.
11. They need to have good commnication and all “need to know basis” information is showed.
12. A whole school approach with everyone following same procedures
13. Inservice training, SEN is esstenial (current legisalation, current issues, everything updated)
14. Provision of adaquates, children persecfic resources to support the childs needs, specific to their ability
15. High profile educational needs, teachers should be an important part of their school life
However, school must be careful not to discriminate against pupils with SEN or disability. There is a difference between SEN and disability. Not all children with disability will have a special educational need or visa versa. SEN is a relative term and the need is somewhat dependant on the learning environment. The effectiveness of teaching and the task to be done.
Early intervention has lasting benefits, providing a sound foundation for future learning and development. It enables some children to catch up with their class mates and for those who need support on a continuing basis it means that help is available as early as possible, reducing the risk of long-term under achievement. However, there are a number of factors that get in the way, including poor co-ordination between education, health and social care leading to gaps in support, shortfalls in the availability of childcare for disabled children, difﬁculties in refocusing funding to support earlier intervention: Improving support for children with special needs from birth. Children develop and learn from the moment they are born. The ﬁrst few years are a crucial developmental phase, which do much to shape a child’s life chances. The role of parents in supporting their child’s learning in the early years, more than any other phase, is absolutely critical.
Parents of children with SEN and disabilities have more difﬁculty than others in ﬁnding suitable childcare. Key points include: 16. promoting a co-ordinated approach to early education and childcare 17. improving information on the availability of suitable childcare locally through Children’s Information Services and Childcare Link, and through 18. helping families to meet the additional costs
Inclusion is about much more than the type of school that children attend. It is about the quality of their experience; how they are helped to learn, achieve and participate fully in the life of the school. But we know that the reality does not always match this. Schools and early years settings still vary enormously in their experience in working with children with SEN, and in the specialist expertise and resources available to them from other schools, local authority education and social services, health, and voluntary organisations. Schools should have the conﬁdence to innovate and with the skills and specialist support they need to meet the needs of all pupils successfully. How do school complete this with the help of local authority, parents, teacher and other specialist is by many ways:
• special schools providing education for children with the most severe and complex needs and sharing their specialist skills and knowledge to support inclusion in mainstream schools
• schools working together to support the inclusion of all children from their local community, backed up by good quality specialist advice from the local authority and health services, working in multi-disciplinary teams
• parents with conﬁdence, that, in choosing a local mainstream school, their child will receive a good education and be a valued member of the school community.
• help schools to develop effective inclusive practice through an Inclusion Programme bringing together education, health, social care and the voluntary sector
• provide practical tools and materials for schools and local authorities to improve access for disabled pupils
• clarify the future role for special schools, giving a strong focus to high standards and partnership working with mainstream schools and encouragement to participation in full
• take steps to improve the quality of education for children with more severe behavioural, emotional and social difﬁculties • work with the SEN to improve planning
• develop practical guidance on reducing reliance on high cost placements in residential special schools
• set minimum standards for SEN advisory and support services, to achieve greater consistency in quality, availability and cost effectiveness.
Widening opportunities in mainstream education is very important when removing barriers. Difﬁculties in learning often comes from an unsuitable environment or inappropriate grouping of pupils, inﬂexible teaching styles, or inaccessible curriculum materials – as much as from individual children’s physical, sensory or cognitive impairments. Children’s emotional and mental health needs may also have a signiﬁcant impact on their ability to make the most of the opportunities in school. Schools are committed to removing the barriers to learning that many children encounter in school.
The National Curriculum contains a statutory statement, Inclusion – providing effective learning opportunities for all pupils. All OFSTED inspections reports implementing this requirement. Schools need to become more effective at responding to the needs of individual pupils through an Inclusion Development Programme. The programme will support partnership projects involving education, health and social care, voluntary organisations, higher education institutions, special and mainstream schools, and early years settings to develop. The aim is to develop evidence base about what works and build about how to implement good practice most effectively. Focusing initially on:
• autistic spectrum disorder (ASD)
• behavioural, emotional and social difﬁculties (BESD)
• speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) and dyslexia • moderate learning difﬁculties (MLD).
The Inclusion Development Programme will support schools and early years settings through:
• teaching and learning resources for teachers and early years practitioners
• training materials for, and advice on, effective deployment of learning support assistants
• guidance on effective classroom strategies
• models of good practice for working in multi-disciplinary teams
• information about where to go for more specialist advice and support
Another great way when trying to remove barriers is sharing expertise between special and mainstream schools. Breaking down the divide between mainstream and special schools to create a uniﬁed system where all schools and their pupils are included within the wider community of schools. Educating children with the most severe and complex needs can be harder. However having strengthened parents that choose a mainstream place for their child, at the same time we recognise that some children have such severe and complex needs that they require more specialist provision than is currently available in most mainstream schools. Providing transport for children with SEN helps cutting back to cost, which enables children to be included and not at a disadvantage. Improving specialist advice and support for schools, parents, children and staff. Schools need access to specialist SEN advice and support to help them identify and meet children’s needs and to provide back-up when children’s needs suddenly change or crises occur. Raising expectations and achievement
Schools provides education that brings out the best in every child, that builds on their strengths, enables them to develop a love of learning and helps them to grow into conﬁdent and independent. You can see great progress in the achievement of pupils in primary and secondary schools in recent years. But we need to do much more to help all children, including those with SEN to achieve as well as they can, not least if we are to reach the challenging national targets expected of all schools. All teachers should have the skills and conﬁdence – and access to specialist advice where and when necessary – to help children with SEN to reach their potential improved data giving parents and teachers a clearer picture of how well children working below age-related expectations are progressing young people able to follow courses which build on their interests and aptitudes and lead to recognised qualiﬁcations young people with SEN actively involved in decisions about their education and options to have real opportunities for progression, training and work. Schools will:
put children with SEN at the heart of personalised learning, helping schools to vary the pace and approach to learning to meet individual children’s needs deliver practical teaching and learning resources to raise the achievement of children with SEN strengthen the focus in Key Stage 3 on young people with SEN who are falling behind their peers Personalising learning for children with SEN embraces every aspect of school life including teaching and learning strategies, ICT, curriculum choice, organisation and timetabling, assessment arrangements and relationships with the local community. Supporting improvements in the quality of special school will help:
• promote leadership and management training for special school head teachers and managers
• increase access to diversity programmes in the special school sector to improve the curriculum
• develop tools to help local authorities to identify potentially failing special schools
Its very important that schools Improve training and professional development opportunitie. Every teacher should expect to teach children with SEN and must ensure that they are equipped with the skills to do so effectively. This will require action at three levels of skills. Delivering improvements in partnership
Schools are more consistency between local authorities in their strategic management of SEN, particularly in their use of statements, the level of delegated funding to schools.
• schools regularly reviewing the effectiveness of their SEN , with LEAs providing support and challenge where concerns are raised
parents with greater conﬁdence that their child’s SEN will be met in school, whether or not they have a statement
• greater integration of education, health and social care to meet the needs of children and families in line with the proposals set out
Schools will promote more consistent practice through a team of expert, working closely with the Department for Education, who will provide support and challenge on key SEN issues including the use of statements, management of SEN resources, identifying and sharing good practice and tackling underperformance.The networking and collaboration facilitated by the SEN will support this work. They will make SEN Regional Partnerships directly accountable to the Department for Education and Skills for their work on the implementation of this strategy. Ensure that schools make inclusion an integral part of self-evaluation. Role of teaching assistants who work with children with SEN
Teaching assistants who work with children with SEN and disabilities, often referred to as Learning Support Assistants (LSAs), play a valuable role, providing one-to-one support to children with SEN as well as wider support in the classroom. However, research suggests that individual support from an LSA can in some cases lead to less involvement by the teacher, leaving the LSA to deliver most of the curriculum. It is important that teachers and LSAs play complementary roles, avoiding over-dependence on the LSA and depriving the child of teacher attention. Similarly, whilst making due allowance for special needs, it is important that children do not rely excessively on the LSA or solely on one-to-one help. If they are supported to learn within peer groups, they will be better able to develop social and collaborative skills enabling them to move towards increasingly independent learning. Many schools have a mission statement which sets out the commitment of the school which focuses on inclusion and equality of opportunity. They are easily avaliable on their websites or can be asked for. There must also be written policies, designed to reﬂect the rights and responsibilities of those within the school environment. Policies should also provide guidance for staﬀ and visitors to the school on ways to ensure inclusive practice. Schools have to conduct policies for many thing which leads to having many many policies. There may be a number of separate policies or they may be combined. Policies must include ways that schools work in relation to:
● race/cultural diversity
● equality of opportunity/inclusive practice
● gi ed and talented pupils
● special educational needs
● disability and access.
Policies are developed in response to legislation, codes of practice and statutory frameworks. The diﬀ erent ways in which schools promote the rights and equality of opportunity for children and young people must be included in the policies. There is now a greater focus on the outcomes that is, the diﬀ erence that legislation has made to individuals and groups within the school. Schools must monitor the strengths and any weaknesses in policy as they do with each indiviual student and staff. During school inspections, Ofsted also make judgements about the school’s inclusiveness. Legislation is frequently amended and changed in response to outcomes, so it is important that staff are familiar with up-to-date policies and procedures within your own setting. This help protect not only the pupils but staff and head of the school. The development of legislation, policies and practice should be
seen as a cycle. The cycle goes like this:
The cycle of development of legislation, policies and practice and back to the beginning to Legislation
Pupils , parnts, careers, should all be involoved in identifying short term targets and reviewing the outcome. As a TA one may be part of the support arrangement and planning of their IEPs. TA and teachers offer support through diffrentiation. This is very important when a class has a SEN child. Making sure to adapt teaching techniqics and learning to meet the indiviual needs. An IEP or Individual Education Plan is a plan or programme designed for children with SEN to help them to get the most out of their education. An IEP builds on the curriculum that a child with learning difficulties or disabilities is following and sets out the strategies being used to meet that child’s specific needs. An IEP is a teaching and learning plan and should set out targets and actions for the child that are different from or additional to those that are in place for the rest of the class. The IEP is not a legal document, which means that the LEA does not have to produce a plan or make sure that a child receives any support that is outlined in the plan.
The purpose of an IEP is to inform the teacher and others working with the child of specific targets for the child and how these will be reached. The IEP allows schools and staff to plan for progression, monitor the effectiveness of teaching, monitor the provision for additional support needs within the school, collaborate with parents and other members of staff and help the child become more involved in their own learning and work towards specific targets. An IEP should contain “targets”, “provisions” and “outcomes”. It should note 3 or 4 short-term targets set for or by the child, the teaching strategies to be used to achieve those targets, the provision that will be put in place, say when the plan is to be reviewed and identify outcomes which show the child’s progress against his/her previous targets. Information that may be contained in an IEP may include:
The IEP is a working document and should be reviewed regularly (usually two or three times a year) to ensure that it continues to meet the child’s needs. When reviewing IEPs teachers need to consider both the parents’ and the child’s views, the progress made by the pupil, the effectiveness of the IEP, any specific issues that impact on the child’s progress and any changes to targets or strategies. After considering the child’s current progress, new targets should be set to be achieved by the next IEP review. What the agreed targets are
What help should be given
How the help is to be given
Who will give the help
How often the help will be given
How it will be decided if the help has been successful (you may see the phrase ‘success criteria’)
How it will be decided if the help is no longer needed
When the help is to be reviewed
IEPs should focus on up to three or four key short-term targets for your child. The targets should relate to the following areas:
For children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) targets are likely to focus on communication, social inclusion and flexibility. An IEP shouldn’t
set too many targets at one time and should limit itself to current, agreed priorities. Targets should be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. If specific targets set in an IEP are achieved, it means that the extra help has been successful. New targets then need to be set at an IEP review. Alternatively, it may be decided that the help given has been so successful that an IEP is no longer needed. Managing IEPs is very importat, whatever system is in place at school, time must be set aside for writing, teaching and reviewing IEPs. All IEP targets must be achievable for both the pupil and teacher: they should be small steps, so that success is clearly visible to the pupil, the parents and the teacher. Regular periods of time to work with the pupil, or for the pupil to be working at specific IEP targets, should be recorded in the teacher’s daily or weekly teaching plans for the class. IEPs should be kept continually under review. As a minimum, IEPs should be reviewed at least twice a year and parents and the child concerned should be consulted about the reviews. When reviewing have to consider:
progress views as parents
child’s views of his own progress
how effective the IEP has been
anything that is affecting child’s progress
any updated information and advice
future action, including changes to targets or strategies.
After considering your child’s progress, the targets to be achieved by the next review should be set by appropriate staff with your involvement and, if possible, with your childs input too. All early education settings and schools should have clear guidelines that set out: who will prepare IEPs
how IEP targets will be taught
who will teach the IEP targets
how IEPs will be recorded, for example written records may be kept how all staff who teach your child will know about his IEP
how new staff will be told about your child’s IEP, including when he moves into a new school year, or to a new school.
Professionals from outside the school, such as a specialist teacher, an educational psychologist or a speech and language therapist, might provide advice to help prepare the IEP. They might also make additional specialist assessments, or be involved in teaching the child directly. To summarise, IEPs should: raise achievement for pupils with special educational needs
use a simple format and be seen as working documents
detail provision and targets which are additional to or different from that generally available for all pupils be easily understood by all staff and parents
be distributed to all relevant staff
promote effective planning
help pupils to monitor their own progress
result in good planning and intervention (ie timely and appropriate help) by staff result in the achievement of specified learning goals for pupils with SEN.
Parent Partnership with parents plays a key role in promoting a culture of co-operation between parents, schools, LEAs and others external people. This is important in enabling children and young people with SEN to achieve their potential. Parents hold key information and have a major role to play in their children’s education. They have unique strengths, knowledge and experience to contribute to the shared view of a child’s needs and the best ways of supporting them. It is therefore essential that all professionals (schools, LEAs and other agencies) actively seek to work with parents and value the contribution that they make. The work of professionals can be more effective when parents are involved and account is taken of their wishes, feelings and perspectives on their children’s development. This is important so when a child has special educational needs. All parents of children with special educational needs should be treated as partners, coming together for the child.
They should be supported so as to be able and empowered to:
● recognise and fulfil their responsibilities as parents and play an active and valued role in their children’s education
● have knowledge of their child’s entitlement within the SEN framework
● make their views known about how their child is educated
● have access to information, advice and support during assessment and any related decision-making processes about special educational provision.
These partnerships can be challenging, requiring positive attitudes by all, and in some circumstances additional support and encouragement for parents. Defining Parental Responsibility is important that professionals understand who has parental responsibility for a child. The Children Act 1989 introduced the concept of parental responsibility. The Act uses the phrase “parental responsibility” to sum up the collection of duties, rights and authority that a parent has in respect of a child. This is very important part of the partnership. In the event of family breakdown (i.e. separation or divorce) both married parents will normally retain parental responsibility for the child and the duty on both parents to continue to play a full part in the child’s upbringing will not be diminish.
This means that parental responsibility will be shared, often with the parents living in different households. Key principles in communicating and working in partnership with parentscreates positive attitudes to parents, user-friendly information and procedures and awareness of support needs are important. There should be no presumption about what parents can or cannot do to support their children’s learning. Stereotyping views of parents are unhelpful and should be challenged. All staff should bear in mind the pressures a parent may be under because of the child’s needs. To make communications effective professionals should:
● acknowledge and draw on parental knowledge and expertise in relation to their child
● focus on the children’s strengths as well as areas of additional need
● recognise the personal and emotional investment of parents and be aware of their feelings
● ensure that parents understand procedures, are aware of how to access support in preparing their contributions, and are given documents to be discussed well before meetings
● respect the validity of differing perspectives and seek constructive ways of reconciling different viewpoints
● respect the differing needs parents themselves may have, such as a disability, or communication barriers
● recognise the need for flexibility in the timing and structure of meetings.
LEAs and schools should always seek parental permission before referring them to others for support (for example the local parent partnership service). Where parents do not wish to have their details passed on to third parties their wishes should be respected. When a child attends a residential school, or is ‘looked after’ by the local authority and is living away from home, every effort should be made to ensure that parents are encouraged to continue to play an active role in their children’s education. Parents’ participation in assessment and reviews when a child is away from home is particularly important, because of the need to forward plan for when the child or young person returns to their own community. Schools working in partnership with parents
The school is often the first point of contact for parents. Parents should be fully involved in the school-based response for their child, understand the purpose of any intervention or programme of action, and be told about the parent partnership service when SEN are identified. Schools must tell parents when they first identify that a child has SEN. It is very important that schools welcome and encourage parents to participate and throughout their child’s educational career at the school. Schools needs Special Educational Needs – Code of Practice regularly review their policies to ensure that they encourage active partnership with parents and do not present barriers to participation. Schools should seek to actively work with their local parent partnership service. Parents also have a responsibility to communicate effectively with professionals to support their children’s education. In working with schools they should:
● communicate regularly with their child’s school and alert them to any concerns they have about their child’s learning or provision
● fulfil their obligations under home-school agreements which set out expectations of both sides.
LEAs working in partnership with parents need to ensure that:
● they are accessible, welcoming and value the views and involvement of parents
● information is available in a range of appropriate languages and variety of mediums, so that all parents for whom English is not their first language, and those with a disability or learning difficulties can access the information. LEAs should work in partnership with local parent and voluntary organisations, as well as the parent partnership service, to produce such materials and ensure that parents receive comprehensive, neutral, factual and appropriate advice. Effectively the LEA have to complete and provide many thing inorder for the parent partnership to be at its best and takes responsibility for setting and monitoring the overall service.
They need to:
● set out their funding and budgeting plans for the service
● ensure adequate resources and staffing to meet the needs of the parents
● ensure appropriate management structures
● ensure that the service has a development plan which sets out clear targets and is regularly reveiwed
● ensure that the service is flexible and responsive to local changes
● ensure that parents and schools are provided with clear information about the parent partnership service, and about the various other sources of support in their area, including statutory and voluntary agencies
● ensure that the service is provided with accurate information on all SEN processes
● establish, the service which ensures sufficient levels of resources and training, and clearly set out the quality standards expected of
● have, appropriate arrangements for overseeing and regularly monitoring and reviewing the service, taking account of best practice both locally and nationally
● develop co-operative arrangements with the voluntary sector to ensure the mutual exchange of information and expertise
● promote and facilitate arrangements for the service to work in partnership with other agencies such as health and social services
● actively seek feedback from the service and service users to inform and influence decisions on SEN policies, procedures and practices in order to improve communications and minimise the potential for misunderstandings and disagreements.
Overall the aim of parent partnership services is to ensure parents of children with additional needs have access to information, advice and guidance in relation to the special educational needs of their children so they can make appropriate, informed decisions. The service should provide advice to the parents of all children with special educational needs not only those with statements. The main role of parent partnership services is to help parents whose children have been identified as having special educational needs. However, there will be cases where parents believe that their child has special educational needs, but the school takes a different view. Parent partnership services should be flexible in their approach and handle such cases sensitively and sympathetically. They should consider parents’ concerns carefully, try to help and support parents who want information, and not dismiss out of hand any enquiries for assistance or information. By doing so both offically bodies and parents protects and help the children at a early intervention and concentrate on provding the child with the best possible teaching and education.
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