My name is Sandra Gynn and I am the SENCO (Special Educational Needs co-ordinator) for Fowey School. I believe that every child, without exception, deserves to feel safe, happy and have access to a full education and enjoyable experience at school. Each child is unique with individual strengths and interests which need to be recognised and celebrated. In my role, I work closely with all the staff in school to develop effective ways of overcoming any barriers to learning that children may have, ensuring they have access to effective teaching. The staff at Fowey School share my passion for supporting pupils with special educational needs.
What are Special Educational Needs ?
Special educational needs are referred to as SEN. The abbreviation SEND relates to special educational needs and/or disabilities. Guidance, legislation, and regulations sometimes use the abbreviation SEND.
“A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her. A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:
(a) has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or
(b) has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions.” SEND Code of Practice 0 to 25 2015
Special educational needs can mean that a child or young person has:
- Communication and interaction needs - difficulty in expressing themselves, understanding what others are saying or difficulties socially interacting with others
- Cognition and learning needs – difficulties in learning or retaining basic skills or a specific difficulty with reading, writing, mathematics or understanding information
- Social, emotional and mental health needs – difficulties making friends or relating to adults. May be withdrawn, isolated or find regulating their behaviours challenging
- Sensory and/or physical needs –sensory impairments or difficulties such as those affecting sight or hearing, or physical difficulties which impact on their learning Individual children or young people may have needs that cut across some or all these areas and their needs may change over time.
A child or young person may have needs in more than one area of need
What should I do if I think my child has a special educational need?
Sometimes as a parent you may be the first to be aware that your child is finding something difficult and needs some support. If you are in any way concerned about your child, the first thing to do is talk to your child’s class teacher. We have a clear procedure in place when concerns are raised:
1- Information is gathered about your child from parents, teachers, through observations and of course from the child themselves.
2- If needed, some assessments and screenings may be carried out to pin point specific barriers to learning and need.
3- Any support which is necessary will be put into place. If this support is ‘additional and different’ to what the other children in the class need, then we will discuss with you about your child being added to the school SEN register (or Record of Need).
4- A SEND support plan is set up detailing your child’s strengths, interests, things they find difficult and strategies which can help. This is also an opportunity to set measurable targets which we work on with your child enabling us to monitor progress and provision closely. These are shared and discussed with you and your child regularly (at least termly)
5- At any point through this process, if necessary, a referral can be made to any outside agencies as well as our own CELT panel which gives us access to advice and guidance from a range of professionals.
6- In very rare cases, if your child requires very specialist support, it might be appropriate to apply for a needs assessment which could lead to an EHCP (Education & Health Care Plan)
(For more detailed information on this process, please see the CELT graduated response model in this section)
I am available to further discuss any concerns or advise on the next steps and can be contacted via email: email@example.com or through the school office on 01726 832542. Please note I work across the trust and will contact you as soon as I can.